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“Exceeded Expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Stanley's Kopje Camp

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Stanley's Kopje Camp
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Mikumi National Park, Mikumi National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Green Bay, WI
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Our group of four were touring the southern circuit of Tanzania, starting in the Selous Game Reserve and ending in Ruaha National Park. My initial thought was that Mikumi National Park and Stanley’s Kopje would just be a stopover point between the two major destinations. In reality Mikumi is an excellent park and Stanley’s Kopje would be my choice of lodging if we were to visit the area again.

Check in was quick. Our tents, Numbers 7 and 8, had excellent views of the watering hole, which is approximately 175 yards from the tent. Our first evening we were able to view zebras, impalas, warthogs, and hornbills at the watering hole. When we awoke in the morning impala were at the watering hole and in the tall grasses between our tent and the watering hole. Excellent view of the watering hole is also available at the bar/dining area as well as the swimming pool.

We stayed two nights at Stanley’s. Dinner was scheduled for 8:00 P.M. but since we were the only guests at the site we were able to choose an earlier dining time. I had read that a honey badger is a frequent visitor at the camp and was extremely please to see him both nights at dinner. (You could hear him approach the dining area as his claws dug into the ground).

When our Masai escorted us to our tents after dinner he pointed to a genet in a tree. This was the only location in which we saw these two animals.

For our all day game drive, Kate, the manager, offered us the options of a pack lunch, a dine-in lunch at Stanley’s or lunch at Foxes sister site, Vuma Hills. We chose to eat at Vuma Hills. We enjoyed our lunch at Vuma Hills, but were glad we chose Stanley’s to stay at. Stanley’s is located on a hillside and has a great panoramic view of the surrounding savannah.

Complimentary laundry service was provided by Stanley’s Kopje.

The Hippo Pool in Mikumi National Park was one of the highlights of our trip. You are allowed to get out of your vehicle and view the animals at this site. While we were at the pool, a giraffe, numerous zebras, impalas, and baboons were present, as well as a huge herd of cape buffalo in the distance. If you walked around a slight bend, hippos were occupying another area of the watering hole.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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36 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights and could not speak more highly of the place. The only criticism I have is that of the administration in the UK, having to email 4 times and eventually call to find out if our deposit had arrived safely. We were beginning to get a little concerned when almost a week later they still hadn't let us know our money had been received. That being said it didn't ruin our experience of the lodge itself.
Our room was beautiful, lovely decor, very clean, the shower was excellent considering the location and far better than we had experienced elsewhere in Tz and the view over the waterhole was outstanding.
Food, while simple, was delicious and we found enough of a selection to ensure we had enough to eat.
The staff were friendly, helpful and eager to ensure we had the best possible experience.
Kate, the stand in manager, was lovely and very keen to make sure we had everything we needed. On discovering that I am dairy and wheat intolerant, which I hadn't bothered informing on booking knowing that I can usually work around it, she instructed the kitchen and for the duration of our stay I enjoyed the delights of cassava flour- pancakes, bread and cake. Treats I haven't enjoyed for years!
Last but by no means least, our guide, Hamphrey, was beyond excellent. His knowledge of the area, the animals and the ecology was brilliant and as a previous student of ecology and conservation, I found his tours to be informative and insightful. We saw lots of wildlife; lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, hyena and hippo as well as some of the rarer creatures, porcupine, civet, genet and rare kingfishers, and all without the crowds of tourists found in other parks. It frequently felt as though we had the park to ourselves!
I would absolutely recommend Mikumi and Stanley's Kopje to anyone wanting to experience a more authentic Tanzania and also feel like you're staying in luxury.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

As we visit there only for spend our weekend we are from Dar es Salaam,we arrive Saturday afternoon and left the next day .
we don't mind with the simple breakfast and dinner that the provide.
Food is just simple ... with a choice of local fruit.
the staff is friendly and helpful.

the room we stay is camp but with real bed and real toilet. nice ..

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

During a business trip to Dar, I arranged to spend a short weekend at Stanley's, it had only just opened for the season and I will here set out both the good and bad of the resort and its parent company Foxes with whom I arranged the accommodation.

Pre Trip: I'm afraid this was the downside, I got the impression that the company were only interested in getting my money, there was absolutely no info provided (see later why this would have been useful) though I will try and outline the key points, I had to ask a few pertinent questions that would seem to be ones that everyone travelling independently might want to know the answers to and never was there any volunteering of additional information, there was also a 5% surchage levied on my booking as I paid by credit card which no one though to mention at the time of booking. I also informed them as I was unable to leave Dar till about 2pm that I might be arriving a little late, no one bothered to tell the Lodge this and they had prepared lunch ( I hadn't left the dar traffic at this stage).

The Journey: i hired a car and travelled independently. If you are not experienced at driving in developing africa then don't bother, hire a driver or fly. Even if you are an old hand (and especially if leaving on a Friday), think about the max amount of time it will likely take then add a couple of hours. The road is straight apart from a roundabout at Morongoro (it would have been nice to be told which way to go here as there are no signposts however I managed to ask at a petrol station in Swahili) however there is a a constant battle in trying to get past the long train of petrol tankers and lorries, many of which move very slowly indeed and pump out diesel smoke incessantly. Many of these vehicles have clearly not been roadworthy since the 70's which is reflected by the carnage on the roadside . Be also aware of the traffic Police enjoy jumping out on you, you are an ATM on legs!

Conscious that the main gate closed at 6 and that i was unlikely to make it in time I phoned (number given) to advise, i was told by the guy who answered (introduced himself as a booking clerk) that the gate in fact closed at 7 and I should proceed there first as I would just about make it, (the gate is 30km further than stanley's so this is an additional 60km journey). Well guess what, it wasn't and the very pleasant night rangers instructed me to return in the morning.

I eventually got to camp about 19:30, be also aware it is about 5km from the road and only suitable for vehicles with some form of off road capacity (My Rav 4 was probably the minimum standard). Also be aware, some fellow guests were given dirty diesel at a Dar petrol station which caused them some mechanical issues, be selective about where you buy, and make sure you have cash.

Upon arrival, I was able to breath a sigh of relief, I was met by Kate, the new manager and taken to my room which was splendid, the dinner was excellent and the drink prices are comparable with prices in Dar, with added luxury of a camp fire, good conversation and the music of the bush. Most people call it a night early, escorted to your room by the Maasai and power off at 22:30.

Breakfast was fine and the head guide Yustin came to introduce himself, he offered me a full day out with him in the open jeep, this costs $200 but was worth it. Yustin is an outstanding guide, having been in the bush in other parts of Africa, I would still have missed many of the highlights he noticed and his knowledge was encyclopedical as was his passion for the bush. I attach a few pictures.

Back at the camp, a quick swim and a sundowner watching the giraffes wandering along the floodplain were interspersed with excellent conversation around the campfire with the now full camp. Dinner was once again excellent.

I had to leave early the next day to drive back to Dar. The checkout was interesting, the Clerk appeared to be on a different planet, he had no idea I had been on a game drive and if I had not been honest would not have charged for it, when I did proffer my $200 in cash I was informed that some were from pre 2006 and could not be accepted, this has never been an issue for me in Tanzania before and was not mentioned at time of booking. I instead had the privilege of paying another 5% surchage with credit card.

The only issues with the room were that there was no hot water in the shower, it is solar powered and didn't really bother me but it will some and the toilet flush was not functioning properly however this is semantics really.

Overall Foxes really need to get their admin in order and put together a small info sheet to send out at the time of booking, otherwise the location, staff (mostly) and facilities are excellent and I would love to go again.

I would suggest that if not experienced in navigating East africa then using a company to drive and arrange may be a shrewd move. The camp is also open for Children over the age of two, I have though much as to whether I would bring my 2 year old here, she would no doubt love the animal sightings and playing in the pool however she would not love the Tsete flies (prevalent at this time of year), the journey or the long periods in between sightings.

In summary, the place is amazing, Mikumi rivals and betters other parts of east and South africa where I have spent time in the Bush and has a huge elephant population but just have the phrase 'Pole pole" in the back of your mind and do your homework beforehand.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuenca, Ecuador
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We really enjoyed the very laidback and intimate environment that Stanley's Kopje provides, in a setting that is well-integrated into the environment of the northern part of Mikumi Park. There is an intense sense of quiet and becoming part of the plain. The camp, while comfortable and spacious, is quite rustic (incidentally, this is the same as Trip Advisor's top rated camp (Foxes Safari Trek); it just changed names. There are 12 over-sized tents on platforms and a large hilltop structure with a 360 view. The food was wholesome and healthy, but not gourmet. The camp manager, Karen, was extremely helpful and pleasant, as was the whole staff. We thought it good value for money and will return. We were driving by ourselves, and this was fine and appropriate. The roads were in relatively good condition. While we were not fortunate enough to spot them, other guests saw both a small pack of kudu and a pride of 5 lions during the time we visited. Allow up to 6 hours from Dar es Salaam depending on the time of day and week.

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues, mention it on booking. Some tents have better access, and more level en...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Just by accident our group of 15 was relocated to this camp instead of Mikumi. What a wonderful camp! Karen the manager was a delightful host. The tents were very clean, the food very good and the park was full of wildlife! The dining room is located on a hill top ( a bit of a walk) and once there you have a great view of a waterhole. If I have the opportunity to go back to Tanzania, I will stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Metzingen, Germany
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

The Stanley´s Kopje camp in Mikumi we have been to is really something magic bearing idyllic nature and overwhelming sense of calm. The personal support was very friendly and familiar. And the driver and ranger were great. Being booked as honeymooner we got a great tend with a prefect view on the waterhole which is directly next to the complex (btw the waterhole can be observed from all tents). This waterhole attracts many animals and even without any games you see a lot of animals directly from your veranda. It was an extraordinary/exclusive stay during our honeymoon in Africa.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stanley's Kopje Camp

Address: Mikumi National Park, Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Morogoro Region > Mikumi National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Mikumi National Park
Number of rooms: 12

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