We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful Swala awash with Impala” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Swala

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Tarangire National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Sanctuary Swala
Save
You added Sanctuary Swala to your Saves list
4.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   P.O. Box 427 | Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful Swala awash with Impala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

We stayed at Swala Camp for two nights in March and were impressed with the level of service and comfort that one can find in the African bush. Situated on the west side of Gursi Swamp in the southwestern part of Tarangire NP, Swala is located in a remote and quiet section of the park where every tent and the main lodge have a panoramic view of the woodlands, savannah, enormous baobab trees, watering hole, monkeys, impalas, dik diks, and other wild creatures that come in and out of camp at will. Our daughter enjoyed the beautiful small swimming pool which overlooks the watering hole.

Husband and wife team Liz and Garth manage the camp very skillfully and took great care of us during our 2 night stay. Our Tent #8 was gorgeous - for hubby and me, 2 twin beds widely spaced (that can be joined) with an enormous elegant mosquito net thrown over both. Teen daughter had a third twin bed with a princess net. There was a writing desk with chair and two upholstered chairs, a lovely bathroom with double sinks, flushing toilet, indoor and outdoor showers, and lots of storage space. Lighting was very good. Our huge verandah with tables and chairs overlooked an open woodland filled with vervet monkeys and impala day and night.

The road to camp runs through a woodland that, in March, had tsetse flies (roll up the windows and you will be fine), and there were absolutely no flies in camp (or mosquitoes, for that matter). There is wifi and slow internet service and a lovely shop filled with jewelry and craft items made by local ladies.

Food was outstanding - as good as bush food can possibly be - lots of wine and outstanding service. All drinks and laundry are included in the cost. We sat in the open air dining room both nights with solicitous service from the staff and on the verandah for breakfast where the hornbills kept us entertained with their antics. For our day drive, the camp staff packed us an enormous picnic hamper filled with delicious food, beer and soda.

Perhaps the loveliest part of all was the sound of the wildness around us. We could hear lions at night. And the birdsong at sunrise of many different varieties of birds is a lasting memory from this beautiful place.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    108
    11
    0
    0
    0
See reviews for
27
66
5
3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orlando
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

We spent only one night in Swala Tent Camp, but it was wonderful. From the time we were greeted at the entrance to the time we departed, we were pampered. The service was superb. We loved our room, complete with indoor and outdoor shower and large bed. It is remote and very quiet at night. All meals and alcohol was provided. They even have wifi and a guest computer! Location is on the edge of the swamp and we were surrounded by a herd of Impala, monkeys, and water buck the whole time we were there. Just wonderful.

Room Tip: All rooms appear to be equally good. The walks are along dirt paths and if you have difficulty walk...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

we were on Safari in 3 different places in Tansania and the first one was the Swala Camp.
A 2.5h drive from Arusha but it does have its own airfield about 1h away from the camp.
The NP roads are very bumpy and the road to the camp is always the same for 45min.
We had the tent No. 10, the last one before the bush, quiet and very private.
The interior offers all required details but has a limitation on the electrical use, the manager did advise on the times. No wifi or Telefon but a walky-talky for emergencies in the room.
In January was the tse-tse fly season and boy, there are plenty which want your blood.
Pls note that a swamp is near by the camp which attracts them.
The landscape was beautiful with the akazia- and baobab trees and birds which were watching us at breakfast time.
Our 2 nights stay was enhanced by rain during the night which sounds very heavy in the tent and we wondered how the road will be, lots of water in the holes and some slippery parts but in general better then expected.
The pool is small but has a great view, the food is good but too large portions. Sometimes our requests got forgotten e.g. could we have some coke for the game drive etc.
Small things but ......

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

Can't say enough good things about our experience here. We did a 2 week tour of Tanzania and Kenya and this place was the top drawer. The tents and ambience of the place are unmatched. They find that perfect mix between luxury and authenticity. The staff was great and we loved dining at the communal table.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
entebbe
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

We stayed at Swala for 3 nights - it is really well worth staying a day extra just to enjoy the wonderful African experience. We did a game drive into the camp on the first day. The following day we did 2 more drives ( including a sundowner drive) and on the final day we relaxed at the pool and on the deck of our fabulous tent. The food is exceptional - full breakfasts and home made bread, lunches of salads and chilled soup, 4 course dinners and cheese boards after snacks and cocktails around the camp fire.....who could ask for anything more. The staff, from Liz and Garth, Raymond and all the waiters and askaris at night time, are courteous and helpful, the tents are just amazing and the wildlife is plentiful. There is a very reasonably priced gift shop and there is a computer for guests internet use. The are indoor and outdoor showers in the tents, radio contact at night time, lovely toiletries, beautiful white furnishings, its really magical. Really excellent, enjoyable and memorable stay.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Southport, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

We stayed two nights at the end of our two week safari at Swala and it was amazing!! This was beyond luxury in the bush! The "tents" are buildings with canvas on one side, with an amazing view. Our tour operator, Lynn at Africa Dreams Safaris recommend this and it was a great choice! The first morning we woke up to see an large bull elephant chomping on the trees outside our tent. The food was amazing and this was the first place that had ice was plentiful for our drinks. The sundowners and appetizers overlooking the watering hole was a highlight. In the morning and evening the wildlife comes in groups to take a long drink, and it's so much fun to watch. Garth and Liz were very accomdating and treat you like a king/queen. Our guide also said this is the nicest camp for him. Be prepared to drive an extra hour to get to the camp, but well worth it!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

Sanctuary Swala Tented Camp in Tarangire Park is absolutely beautiful! We added a 2-day stay here at the end of our safari (in September 20011), because we wanted to stay somewhere luxurious, but where we could have easy access to animal viewing (knowing we'd be tired after 8 days of game driving). We were not disappointed! In fact, we never left Swala and still saw wonderful wildlife! In Swala, the animals come to you!

Meandering through the camp were loads of zebra, elephants on the outskirts, giraffes, impala, Vervet monkeys (also known as, "Stop! Thief!"). Our first night's sleep was interrupted with the sounds of lions close to our tent, having a roaring contest. It was wonderful! They took turns roaring back and forth, not sure what was being said. The next morning, the Maasai guards told us that there were 5 lions near the camp that night - and our tent. I just wish I'd had the foresight to turn on my video camera and at least capture the roaring sounds. What makes Swala an animal magnet is the watering hole that is on the premises. It's dry season, after all, and the animals simply loved that hole!

The tents were huge, with both indoor and outdoor showers and running water. The beds were luxurious and the rooms well-appointed. The deck was also great (yes, these tents had decks!). We would sit on the deck before dinner, sipping a glass of wine and taking photos of the animals walking by our tent! Somebody pinch me!

The camp is extremely well-managed, the managers and staff, very helpful and friendly. And once again, we had great food!

If you need a place to stay before leaving the country and your safari experience, then Sanctuary Swala Tented Camp is the place to stay!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Sanctuary Swala? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sanctuary Swala

Address: P.O. Box 427 | Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sanctuary Swala 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Swala is located in an exceptionally private section of Tarangire National Park, offering visitors a luxurious and very exclusive safari experience. The camp, which has twelve tents, has recently been completely rebuilt to the highest eco-friendly standards. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sanctuary Swala Hotel Tarangire National Park

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sanctuary Swala, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.