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“A little bit of Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge

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Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Old Bagamoyo Road | Saadani, Saadani National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A little bit of Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

A perfect location for a intimate safari. Lots to see and do and plenty of facilities to relax and unwind from a busy life. We were made extremely welcome and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Swimming pool and a beach - what more could you ask for as well as different safari trips every day. The river trip is a must and a short walk into the local village to see authentic africa. The food is outstanding and will cater to your needs.

Room Tip: all rooms face the sea - just take your pick
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  • Stayed November 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
Galten
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

locasion is manific, wild animals very close, nice trips with qualified guide, service exelent and overall tastful.Food is outstasndig, with a good variation. I am going back one day with my family!!!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

After traveling for a total of 13 hours, Justine and I were absolutely exhausted. The light aircraft from Zanzibar was tiny, literally 2 seats for passengers and a small space for luggage, almost like a mini with wings! This provided incredible views of the Zanzibar coastline as well the deep blues of the ocean and was really quite exhilarating once you get over the initial fear of being in such a small aircraft.

By the time we arrived, we'd been travelling for a total of 13 hours and we were absolutely exhausted. We received a wonderfully warm welcome from Sumira and her staff and were greeted with ice cold towels scented with rose water which was so appreciated at this point, and a fresh tamarind juice which was dry and slightly spicy but nonetheless refreshing.

Sumira gave us a short tour of the lodge and she quickly realised that we were tired and showed us to our room. The first thing we did on arrival was enjoy a dip in our private plunge pool before heading to the dining area for a wonderful seafood platter.

All we could do after that was sleep and the bed was so comfortable, with wonderful feather pillows that you just sink into and cotton sheets, a good firm mattress and a ceiling fan above the bed. When we woke a couple of hour later the stress of the long journey just began to melt away as we spent the rest of the day drinking and enjoying the sun and the plunge pool until dinner.

With our own access to the beach it was easy to feel like we were on our own on some deserted beach hideaway and when the tide comes in the ocean is only 15 feet away from the decking. If that wasn't enough, out the other side of the suite is a veranda with a lamp lit swing chair that looks out into Saadani National Park.

Everything is handcrafted here in teak or mahogany and the floors are incredibly smooth. The whole lodge has real eco credentials and exists in harmony with it's environment. Everyone at Saadani is warm and friendly and the public spaces including the infinity pool, the bar and the restaurant overlook the sea. the menus are set depending on what is caught or locally sourced form one day to the next and the portions were just right, with 2 course for lunch and 3 for dinner. By the end of our first day we were so relaxed, time had already slowed and the charm and spirit of the place had already started to work it's magic.

This was the perfect time and place for me to propose to Justine with the day ending perfectly when she said yes. This is a perfect destination for nature lovers looking for an authentic beach getaway with real soul.

There aren't many places I know of that have such a mix of Beach, Bush and River and even though there are safari activities on offer, this is a wonderful beach destination in it's own right.
You can sail out to sea in the morning for dolphin spotting and enjoy a game drive in the afternoon and finish your day with a walk on the beautiful quartz sand beach.

A place to fall in love and to fall in love with and I'd love to return there sometime in the future.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
ZANZIBAR in Tanzania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

4th October 2012. Both of us enjoyed a perfect stay in our beach bungalow at 5m of the ocean.
Excellent 4wdrive in the game park with a very competent guide/driver.
Sunset on lanscape, wild bush, borassus, doum palm trees, elephants, lions, etc
Will come again in 2013.

Room Tip: all bugalows are facing the ocean good swimming pool
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 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.
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I stayed at Saadani Safari Lodge very recently and loved it. Right from the start it felt like an adventure. The staff are all incredibly welcoming. The lodge is beautifully designed and fits within its ecology perfectly. Food is a delight, they take care to cater to everyone's needs and we had some of our best meals anywhere on holiday at this lodge.
The accomodation is fantastic. Each apartment has its own slice of beach and you wake up to beach views. Our beach apartment did not have air conditioning but we really did not need it as there was a delightful ocean breeze blowing all the time. The beach is beautiful and is used by fishermen from th elocal village so you can watch them do their thing, making you feel as though you are indeed, immersed in real African life.
There is a wide variety of activities, ranging from a tour to the local village, a masai mara village tour, river or ocean safari, game drive or walking safari. I have been on various other safaris, in other national parks and games reserves. Saadani possibly has less animals than some, but that is not entirely a bad thing. I hate being on game drive and feeling almost as though I am in a zoo, after sharing the 5th lion pride of the day with 8 other jeeps all crowded with photo-snapping tourists, or getting bored of giraffes 'cos I have seen a dozen already that day. Saadani does have lots of animals but you may have to work a little harder to see them, which means you are kept fascinated all game drive, and makes it really exciting when you see any animals. That said, I was there for 3 nights, went on 2 game drives and on both occasions saw buffalo and elephant, the usual varieties of antelope, giraffe and even a leopard, very close to the lodge. The one thing I did not see was other tourists. Not a single other jeep anywhere. I understand there is a lodge on a river about an hour's journey away and another camp 33km away. I think that may be it. We also did not see any lions but one was seen on the beach right by the lodge while we were there, so keep your eyes peeled.
The combination of safari and beach was a real winner. That was why I chose Saadani Safari Lodge and I was delighted I did. I have been on several safaris before. This was my wife's first. It was absolutely perfect for both of us. Enjoy.

Room Tip: all are good. choose one nearer the swimming pool and dining area if poss
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saadani L, Owner at Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear Captain,

Thank you very much for your kind review. We really enjoyed your stay with us and glad you captured the spirit of the place. From the whole Saadani family best regards to Claire and you and we all hope to see you again.

best wishes

Costas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed here in January in a mid-range lodge, and I have been dreaming it ever since. We were there for 2 nights but it was so relaxing it felt much longer. Our room was amazing, very comfortable, beautifully decorated and maintained, with a paradise like view of the beach when you opened the curtains in the morning. The outdoor shower was an experience!

The food was ok, it wasn't great but wasn't bad either. Service was very friendly. The pool is in a lovely setting but you're already spoiled with an almost deserted beach to enjoy.

We travelled by road from Dar es Salaam which we arranged through the Lodge. The road trip was pleasant and our driver was just about the safest driver you could find, but it was very long and the traffic on the road from Dar es Salaam to Chalinze can be hair raising. I've heard that since we stayed a new road has opened though that cuts down on the travel time, but if I was doing it again I'd probably fly.

The only disappointment was the road safari, we didnt really see many animals apart from giraffees - the highlight was a lion's footprint! We did however see lots on the river safari and I would still come back here simply because it was one of the most relaxing breaks I've been on.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cirencester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

After a seriously relaxing three night stay at Saadani River Lodge, my husband and I were transferred to Saadani Safari Lodge to enjoy the second part of our honeymoon. We were greeted by Jana with a refreshing and delicious glass of tamarind juice made from the fruit on the trees in the bush. This was the beginning of all the thoughtful little touches that made our stay so special and memorable. We were told that the lodge was fairly busy because of Eid but you couldn't tell. Everything is so spread out, with so many places to sit and relax that, if you want to, you can go for most of the day without seeing other people. The managers, Nic and Jana were so welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them. On the evening of Eid, the staff put on a traditional Eid banquet which was delicious and then we all went outside and watched a local youth group doing traditional singing and dancing on the beach around a campfire. A real taste of African culture. After Eid, when the lodge was less busy, Nic and Jana told us that they were moving us from our already lovely Classic Banda to the amazing Siri Suite which has its own pool, seating area over the bush, a swinging chair which looks out over the bush in the direction of the beautiful sunsets and a bed so huge you could sleep a whole family in it! Each night, Jana had a member of staff leave a traditional African fable on our pillow which is such a lovely touch. We really enjoyed reading them each night. As we left at the end of our stay, she even gave us one to take with us to read on the plane! All the staff were really helpful and friendly, with many of them being employed from the local village. Our chef, who also cooked for us at the River Lodge, was so kind and even made us a cake with Mr & Mrs Pinkney iced on top to help us celebrate our honeymoon.
Each evening, after one of the exciting activities, we would go to the bar and have one (or several) of Jana's delicious cocktails, usually made from fresh juices and carefully prepared by the entertaining bar man, Ali. The atmosphere in the restaurant/bar is welcoming and relaxed and Nic and Jana were always there to have a chat about what we'd been up to that day and make recommendations as to what else we could do.
The food in the restaurant was excellent every day. Made from fresh ingredients, often fish or prawns caught by local fisherman in the sea that day. My husband arrived a fussy eater and left having really enjoyed all the fresh cuisine because it was prepared so well. We especially enjoyed the king prawns- we had never seen prawns so big before!
The activities were amazing. On the day that we arrived we were offered an afternoon game drive which we happily agreed to but then Jana received a phone call to say that some green turtles were due to hatch further along the coast and so she asked if we'd like to go there instead. What an amazing, once in a lifetime experience! The guide from the turtle sanctuary told us all sorts of interesting things about the turtles and then we watched as they dug their way out of their nest and instinctively made their way to the ocean. After that, we went several game drives with our knowledgeable and friendly tour guide, Isack. We saw four lionesses and were even lucky enough to see them trying to stalk a waterbuck. We also saw many giraffes, baboons, reed bucks and lots of beautiful birds - and ugly ones - vultures! As well as this we saw buffalo, gnu and a couple of snakes! Unfortunately we didn't see elephants (we came very close a few times) as they were migrating towards the water but Isack went out of his way to try and find them for us and Jana even offered us an extra game drive on our last day so that we'd have one last chance to spot them! In addition to the game drives, we did a walking safari, a sundowner in the bush and a river safari where we came pretty close to a lot of hippos and crocodiles. Isack also took us on a village tour. The history of the village was mind mind-blowing. There is so much evidence of the past, including a 2000 year old baobab tree which has carvings in it that the Germans left behind during the war. The villagers were friendly and the children desperate to have their photo taken so that they could look at it on the camera!
I hadn't intended to write a review this long and I could keep on going with all the amazing things there are to stay about this wonderful place. The peace and tranquility were just what we needed after many very busy months planning our wedding. The place is a credit to Nic and Jana who work so hard to ensure everyone has the best possible stay. We couldn't have chosen a better place for our honeymoon and hopefully we'll be able to go back one day.

Room Tip: The Siri Suite (Siri meaning secret) is lovely and secluded. If you want a private place to relax by...
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  • Stayed August 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge

Address: Old Bagamoyo Road | Saadani, Saadani National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Saadani National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty lodging in Saadani National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The heady mix of different ecosystems sets Saadani apart from all the national parks in Tanzania. The Blue haze of the Indian Ocean washes over Lowland coastal forests, acacia woodlands, open grasslands and mangroves. Saadani Safari Lodge set in the heart of the park offers an idyllic retreat to explore this most unique and distinguished destination.Beach, bush and river come together in a clash of colourful ecosystems found nowhere else on the eastern coast of Africa. Saadani Safari Lodge is owned by Costa Coucoulis, a passionate nature-lover who has fully renovated and refurbished an existing property with creative style and sympathy to the natural environment. The fifteen, tented cottages with their cool grass roofs are strung along the beach. Each has its own veranda and pretty en-suite bathroom. Seafood is a specialty, in particular the feasts of fresh prawns that are brought from the sea to the lodge kitchens daily. Nature-wise, the uniqueness of Saadani Safari Lodge is its proximity to such a mix of different ecosystems. From the delights of the Wami River where a stone’s throw from the open sea you can be boating past pods of hippo, the lodge also offers game driving and bush walking to explore the plentiful wildlife in the natural bush. Out at sea, a sand island is a lovely spot for picnics and snorkelling in warm tropical waters ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Saadani Safari Hotel Saadani National Park

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