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.
- 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