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“Friendly Oasis Just Outside Dar”
Review of Friendly Gecko

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Friendly Gecko
Reviewed February 27, 2014

The Friendly Gecko is a clean, comfortable and peaceful retreat from the chaotic hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam. It's located outside the city center in Africana and the friendly staff helped make it a good introduction to both Dar es Salaam and my first solo travel experience in Africa. I arrived and immediately felt the laid back and amicable vibe of the guests, as well as the guesthouse manager, Jess. I was fortunate to meet other travelers at the Friendly Gecko since it does, as mentioned in other reviews, cater to volunteers who are staying there for extended periods of time. Although all of the volunteers were welcoming and courteous, it's a slightly more insular community that's not as receptive to random travelers passing through as they are to other volunteers. As a result, it can be harder to connect with those who have been living in Tanzania for several months versus a traveler like me who's only spending 3-4 nights. Nevertheless, the dorm rooms were clean, the dinners from Juliet were fresh & delicious, and it was great to have free bikes to use to head to the local beaches. And again, I'll shout out Jess for offering excellent suggestions on places to visit in the area and also providing tips from her own travel experiences to other places in Tanzania. The other staff members were super friendly too. Overall, I'd recommend the Friendly Gecko to anyone starting off a solo journey in Tanzania looking for a warm starting point on a long adventure.

Room Tip: If you're a solo traveler on a budget, opt for the dorm since it's a great value.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

We truly appreciate such positive feedback! We are also happy to hear that you were well taken care of and the Gecko met your standards. As the house does become a home for many volunteers, it is true that the excitement of Dar becomes a routine, but hopefully all are still friendly :)

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Reviews (40)
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6 - 12 of 40 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2014

Thanks to Jessica and Juliet for the great stay.
You guys provided valuable info about the immediate area and helped us get to experience some amazing sites, sounds in a very short space of time.
Accommodation was perfect, the kitchen facilities and dinner provided by Juliet was amazing.

If you are staying here, you have access to
- Kunduchi fishing village, definitely do this..
- Mbudya Island, is also well worth the visit, but don't get caught up on the beach, take a walk to the isolated beach no one visits and walk back around the Southern part.
- Mwenga market is a must

Thanks for all the help while we were there.

Room Tip: We slept in the dorm, which is a little load when people enter and exit the house. Apart from that...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank raramuridesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Thank you so much for the feedback, we are glad to hear that the management and staff was helpful and that you received a valuable short-term stay! Dar es Salaam can seem a bit chaotic, so we are happy that the Gecko served to ease your way into Tanzania well.

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Reviewed February 5, 2014

We stayed in the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse for seven days. The rooms are simple - but all you need is there. The house is more a volunteer house than a guesthouse, that is why you sometimes feel like "left alone". Depending on the website, we expected to do some short trips and safaris during our stay and that was the reason why we chose to stay there. For example, we expected to do a safari that is possible as a day trip in two hours. But in reality it was not possible at all... if we had known about that, we really would have done an absolute different planning of our vacation. When we asked about the trips they offer, the staff did not really know what we are talking about and was confused about the question. So we just organized some trips on our own. I was really disappointed about that. Breakfast content white toast, butter and jam. But if you are aware about that, do not expect too much for your stay and plan some trips on your own, you can have a good time here. You can support a grassroots project during your stay in Tanzania and that was an idea I liked.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank juliaivana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Knowledgeable and friendly staff. The manager told us about safe and fun places of interest, and helped us get the appropriate form of transportation. Overall, the stay was enjoyable and perfect for passing through Dar.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Ckrause11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2014

Thank you for your feedback---we are always happy to hear that our guests had positive experiences staying with us! We are happy to offer our travelers advice and assistance, as well as a comfortable place to stay even if just for a few nights while passing through :)

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Reviewed January 29, 2014

The Friendly Gecko is exactly what I look for when I'm traveling. The actual hotel is beautiful, the atmosphere is extremely friendly and homey, and it is socially responsible. I had an opportunity to visit the orphanage that the profits from the hotel support and the children and staff were amazing. 100% recommended! Asante Sana Sana!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank sassafone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded February 2, 2014

We are so happy to hear that you also appreciate our favorite part of the Gecko--our relationship with help2kids! Thank you for your support and we are glad that we can offer like-minded travelers an opportunity to share comfortable accommodation in a friendly environment.

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Reviewed January 16, 2014

From first booking the stay until we left, the staff communicated quickly with our questions. They helped arrange transportation and their services were perfect! We didn't have a very long stay, just two nights bookending travels to Arusha and Zanzibar, but they have great activities for longer stays around Dar and to tour their NGO, help2kids.

Room Tip: We had a private room because we were a little sick, but the dorms looked nice and there were not ve...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2014

Happy to hear that our services worked well for your needs. We do tend to have a nice mix of volunteers and travelers staying here which can be helpful and fun when sharing stories :) Thank you for the positive feedback!

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Reviewed January 15, 2014

I stayed in the dorms at the Friendly Gecko in December. I was just there for a few days but it was great. The staff were super friendly, food was great and house was nice and clean. Close to northern beaches of Dar es Salaam and away from the hussle and bussle of downtown Dar. Would recommend to anyone passing through Dar or looking for a longer relaxing stay.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank Sam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Thank you so much for the feedback! We are very glad that you enjoyed your time here and in the beautiful area. We will continue to strive towards excellence in giving all our travelers this experience.

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Additional Information about Friendly Gecko

Address: Manyara Drive | Africana/White Sands, Dar es Salaam 84516, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 122 Specialty Lodging in Dar es Salaam
Price Range: $20 - $50 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Friendly Gecko Guesthouse is a socially responsible hostel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We aim to offer convenient and safe accommodation for a reasonable price. Since we accommodate around 10 volunteers year round from help2kids, we consider ourselves to be more of a home than a hostel. We love to meet new people and travelers from all walks of life and share our daily experiences. Our Guest House is located a bit outside of the city center of Dar es Salaam (around 40 minutes by car) in a safe and quiet neighborhood. With our large garden and community areas we offer a convienent and relaxed place to recover after a hectic and hot day in downtown Dar es Salaam, or a nice stop before heading to Kili or Zanzibar. ... more   less 

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