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“Great location, great accomodation, great people”

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Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We booked a relatively inexpensive "Banda", a thatched mud hut with a big bed. This was perfect for us, enough luxuary without seeming too removed from our location. The bed was big and comfortable and came with an effective mosquito net. It was wonderful to lay in bed and listen to the forest. Our banda was right on the forest edge, and we generally self catered and so could sit behind the banda watching the birds (and monkeys) in and over the forest. In fact troops of three species of monkey regularly visited the trees just next to the huts. Many birds (but especially Hornbills - Hondo hondo lives up to its name) but the forest path in camp requires patience to see the more interesting ones.
The camp is well organised, helpful in aranging and giving advice, although we thought a map of the local village and area would have been useful for alternative places to eat, and exploring the village. All the staff were very friendly but we must highlight Emanuel for such helpful organisation of our travel out!
In terms of visiting the nearby Udzungwa National park I can`t recommend enough the "idden valley"walk. This is a long days trip, especially if you are stopping to spot and watch. We saw forest elephants and some amazing birds including two of the Udzungwa endemics. All this was in part due to an excellant guide Huruma, I would recommend asking for him in person.
Anway back to the camp. I was surprised by the lack of insects, although this made it pleasant; maybe it was the season. We had one "interesting" night when during a heavy rainstorm our roof leaked and we had a rather soggy night with water dripping rather heavily onto the bed, however we were moved to a dry banda the next day and the roof was repaired. The only real negative comment I have is on the packed lunch, whilst just ok and "local" food, it was very expensive for what it was and could have been put together for a fraction of the cost in the local village, and it was a pity the restaurant meals were a little out of our budget, although they would have been cheaper if booked with our accomodation.
We were impressed by the local involvement; another similar place we stayed in the Usumbara mountains was managed and staffed largely by white Europeans, with the attitude apparently that locals did not have the right qualities. Hondo hondo proved this wrong, and local involvement seemed good.
Overall a wonderful place and I hope go back soon!

Room Tip: Bandas are a great experience
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank captain_jcab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2013

Hello there
Sounds like you had a great time which is good news. I will pass on to the staff your kind comments - they work very hard to help all our guests enjoy their stay and I am happy to hear that you felt their efforts and appreciated their work. We will look into the packed lunches - there is generally a lot of tasty munchies in each lunch which is far from being available locally, so I will see what happened with yours and make sure that everyone is happy with them in future. We hope you will be able to visit us again and once again thank you for your kind words :)
Karibu tena!

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76 - 82 of 136 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2012

The lodge and campsite is set against a beautiful backdrop of the Udzungwa mountains.

Very friendly and eager to help staff, day or night! There is a large campground with lots of space to pitch up ground or roof top tents. There is a large communal fire area as well as a kitchen/washing up area. 4 communal showers and 2 communal ablutions available, which were kept clean. Note that water is heated by solar only and therefore availability will fluctuate with the weather.

Wifi is available though the signalis very weak. There's a nice bar area to chill out by in the evenings and watch the hondo hondos and monkeys. There's also a few walking trails available from within the lodge grounds. A great experience and highly recommended.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
Thank ashah_008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Hello ash_ah08 - Glad you enjoyed your stay and found our staff helpful and friendly. Hope you and your family may be able to visit us again sometime. All the best, Hannah

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Reviewed December 4, 2012

We were advised to stay here to explore Udzungwa National park and what a great site. You can rent a tent, pitch your own or stay in one of their thatched huts as we did. The twin room had plenty of space and mosquito nets are always appreciated! There is a bit of a walk to the shower block but that is to be expected but there is a toilet close at hand!
I'd advise doing fully inclusive as there are no shops or restaurant really close but not just for that reason as the food was fantastic. the 2 evening we were there we had a 3 course meal and loved every course but the highlight was the breakfast!1 I had been in Africa for a while and this was what i was missing, everything you could have wished for AND black pudding. It was a nice treat after such a long time. the treks themselves leave from about 1km up the road and the site has all the information you could need, and possible a lot more, right to hand. A particular highlight was sitting at the bar after a long hike looking up at the mountains and watching the baboons playing around and catching food about 20 yards away from us.

A lovely weekend

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Mattiano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Hello Mattiano - Thanks for your review, sounds like you had a great stay which makes us happy here :) The super mega amazing breakfasts are one of our points of honour so I am happy to see you made the most and enjoyed it so much! Come back any time - cheers, Hannah

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Reviewed October 25, 2012

We spent two nights camping at Hondo Hondo and were very happy to find a friendly staff, beautiful setting and hot showers and a kitchen tent with running water. We brought our own tent and it was a great value for the price. The restaurant bar is a great place to have a beer and watch the rain forest canopy, listen to the birds and watch the monkeys in the trees. We had breakfast in the restaurant one morning and the food was excellent and service outstanding. We cooked most meals in the kitchen tent which also has electricity for charging electronics, etc. and the reception area has WIFI. The hot showers were clean and great after camping in camp sites that didn't have water for several nights prior to coming to Hondo Hondo. The only down side was that there was a ceremony or party in the village one of the nights (a Saturday night) with disco music playing till dawn. We were camped in the field pretty close to the the village and other campers were not bothered that night so a set of ear plugs would have solved the problem. Overall, highly recommended. Beautiful setting and a great value for the price!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CamiK555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Hello CamiK555, Sounds like you had a good time! Glad you enjoyed and hope you canc ome back again. All the best, Hannah

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Reviewed October 21, 2012

Lovely setting in which the kids could run around entertaining themselves for ages. We stayed four night on two separate visits. The mud huts represent great value and the lux tents bathrooms are great - really unexpected in such a remote location. The food was also an unexpected treat - tasty, lots of it, and the children ate everything. As HH grows, I hope they can get some more bikes as that would be a great additional activity to the hiking but there weren't enough for our group.

Room Tip: Definitly lux tent if you want a private bathroom. The mud huts were roomier than I expected and gre...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Susie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2012

Hello SusieK - Thank you for your review, it sounds like you and the family had a good time and I am glad to hear it. Good point about the bikes - this suggestion is well noted and we will take the idea on board. Welcome back to stay any time! All the best, Hannah

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Reviewed October 18, 2012

I chose Hondo Hondo on purpose. Spent a lot of time reading the reviews, looking for a place where I could be anonymous, alone, in solitude, away from my hectic life and responsibilities. And I am happy to write that it was a perfect place for my purpose. As I was leaving yesterday by company car to Kilombero airstrip for my plane back to Dar after one week of intense mind work, writing, review of my life and thinking and planning for the future, I was satisfied, at peace and happy that Hondo Hondo provided me with exactly needed ambiance I needed. I did not care much about mosque in the village with their new speaker system, I did not care about occasional vehicle passing by during the day or at night. I was too much focused on what I came to do at Hondo Hondo. The Sanje waterfalls hike was perfect on the very first day, though it proved to me mercilessly that I should get in shape. Ifakara Kilombero boat trip was another attraction I liked a lot. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful, each and everyone of them, especially Derek (manager), Scot with his heart in love with Tanzania and its people, who is a great person and I appreciated in particular his generous offer to take me to Kilombero town trip fro free when he went there for shopping and fixing of the termite eaten road sign of the camp, free drinks, chips mayai lunch and wonderful talk which made me to see this person in a totally different light. I am very grateful to Boni, Imma and Mariam at the restaurant / bar who were very sensitive and tried their best not to interfere me with my work. I was very much impressed with the room service, finding my tent cleaned and bed made every day, with a fresh towel and nice arrangement of the local cloth on the bed. I was not bothered while I was in my tent. I am grateful to Said, the driver, and Nico, the guide who accompanied me to Sanje and to Ifakara. Great person to take for any hike or trip, young but with the wealth of knowledge. Godfrey, the assistant manager of Derek, was very kind and thoughtful, always making sure if I was ok, and needed something. As far as wildlife is concerned, I was able to take great pictures on my trips and at the camp, with all three kinds of colubus monkeys, baboons, hornbill and numerous other species of birds (remember, it was the end of the dry season, and there was no rain since June; still, I was able to see all these fantastic animals; it kept me wondering how it must be when it rains here!). I was disappointed only with few bugs around (thing that would make happy any visitor, but I wanted to shoot all kinds of bugs, unfortunately, dry season is not a good time for this). The food was very good, and I was happy that local people were employed in the kitchen and trained by the master chef Paul from Dar. I liked to sit in the restaurant/bar area with my camera, reading and writing and shooting pictures as the life was unfolding in front of my eyes in the forest and the lawn in front of it. My few suggestions for the improvement of the camp would be - changing tables and chair in the restaurant from camping style to more solid, especially for people of my size; installing some kind of solar fans in the tents as it becomes very hot inside during the day (especially for us, guys used to fans and AC in our offices). The bathrooms in our tents are a special experience, and it takes time to get used to the idea to the open roof baths. But it was ok, I enjoyed a wonderful cold water from the mountain to keep me cool during the day and in the evening, warm water. I am not a good sleeper but I was able to sleep soundly in my tent without any problem, the bed was great. One more comment - sometimes the drivers who came with the visitors became a bit intrusive, and tried to start conversations with me and bother me with questions even if they saw I was unwilling, busy, working or reading. All in all, I came back to Dar es Salaam at peace, satisfied, happy and full of new energy. I wish the owners to continue with the good service and make necessary improvements to the camp. It was one of the best times of my life.

Room Tip: I was staying in the tent 3 which was in the back, quietest place. I asked specifically for the quie...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank WojciechAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2012

Hello WojciechAK - Thankyou for your detailed review of your stay with us. I am happy to hear that Hondo Hondo met your expectations and I will certainly ensure all the staff get to read your review and receive your thanks directly. Regarding your suggestion for adding fans to the tents : we are definitely looking into it - we need to add additional solar panels in order to generate enough power for this and it is on our to-do list. Your other suggestions are also noted. I very much hope you will be able to return to Hondo Hondo for another stay in the future and we wish you all the best. Regards, Hannah

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Reviewed October 18, 2012

We had an amazing holiday organised by Wild Things Safaris, based on Hondo Hondo. For our family group it was the holiday of a lifetime and fulfilled all expectations. We had excursions of several days duration to Ruaha, Itete, Selou and a river camp, everything worked like clockwork. Returning to Hondo Hondo each time was like being welcomed back home by the friendly and obliging staff. Relaxing there in such comfortable surroundings was pure joy. On discovering one of our party's birthday, a celebration evening of drumming and dancing was organised with the local village. The food prepared at Hondo Hondo was high quality, well cooked and presented. Tented bedrooms were very spacious and bathrooms surprisingly luxurious, especially considering the rainforest location! We actually considered the Hondo Hondo tented accommodation even more comfortable and spacious than at our (dearer) camp in Selous!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank maisey34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanWood1, Owner at Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2012

Hello Maisey34 - Thanks for your review, I am glad you and your family enjoyed your stay with us and you all found it so relaxing. Welcome back any time and thanks again for your comments.

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Additional Information about Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp

Address: Main Road | Mangula, Kilombero Valley, Udzungwa Mountains National Park 34514, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Iringa Region > Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Price Range: $262 - $283 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hondo Hondo (Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp) is on the border of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. We offer comfortable accommodation in well equipped en-suite tented rooms in our atmospheric grounds. For those on a budget, there are traditional thatched huts or a campsite. Our restaurant serves good quality meals catering to all tastes, and ice-cold drinks are available from the comfortable bar. The lodge grounds are often visited by troops of colobus monkeys and up to 86 species on birds have been identified onsite. A great base from which to explore the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and the little visited Kilombero Valley. ... more   less 
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