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“Friendly Hostess”

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Songota Falls Lodge
Ranked #2 of 134 Arusha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 5, 2012

I had read all the posts and booked Songota Falls with Joyce- she is a great cook as all the post make note too. But just make sure that you know that only breakfast is included and that Lunch and Dinner are extra (alot extra) at the end of the night she requested payment which i was happy to do but was surprised when she wanted a total of $142 $80 for the room $10 for a 3minute ride from her son to be picked up at the bus station and $52 for lunch and dinner for myself and my travel partner (food good but If i knew how much it was I would not have done). I do not mind paying for what services I use but would have liked to have known before hand. Moral of the story is just ask "how much" before indulging. She also wanted $35 for transport to Arusha airport (15 min away) when I eventually paid $20 even Mt. meru only charged $30 for airport transfer

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 71Countries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 - 135 of 226 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2012

We stayed at Songota Falls Lodge relaxing between two safari's. In agreement with all of the other reviews, Joyce is wonderful. Her food is spectacular (much appreciated after our first safari's food) and her hospitality unmatched. Her son picked us up at the airport allowing for an easy and stress free arrival. If you are looking for a place outside of the main bustle of Arusha town, this is the place to stay. Thank you Joyce!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank stagrima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed at Songota Falls Lodge for two nights at the beginning of our trip to rest up and recover from jet lag. As the other reviews accurately note, Joyce is wonderful. Her homecooked food is delicious. She also showed us around town and took us to some reputable tanzanite dealers upon our request. (I did buy a stone and recently had it appraised in the US -- it is real and very good quality!) The accommodations at the lodge are pretty basic, e.g., there is no bathroom "door" in the huts and the toilet did not quite work properly. However, if you're looking for a peaceful, unique place that is not in the middle of Arusha (and you may not want to stay right in the middle of Arusha!) with an owner that is warm, welcoming, and willing to go above and beyond to help you, then this is the perfect place!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcbinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

The accommodation is located up in the hills, making it a little chilly at times, but is in a lovely setting away from the noise of town. Joyce is a friendly host and the meals are plentiful and delicious. The huts were a little dark, especially the shower and toilet space, which were located in the back portion of the hut (it's all essentially one circular room). It's cute and pretty, though not necessarily the most modern of facilities, if that's what you're after, and the breeze can get through the cracks in some of the huts. Had a comfortable time though, and again, Joyce is a pleasure to meet, and I understand she's also done a lot for the area in terms of getting proper water supply to the surrounding families.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank nalia81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

We booked Songota Falls Lodge purely of the Trip Advisor reviews and didn't regret it for a second. It is a wonderful place and Joyce is a very warm host. She makes you feel like you're at home. She is also a fantastic cook and she prepared meals (from fresh and locally grown ingredients) to our individual needs. We came here with an upset stomach from a safari and Joyce made special meals and tea for us, and we left completely happy.
Joyce also arranged airport transportation, a ride into Arusha and a walk to the waterfall.
In the period that we were there, the waterworks of government was broken. Joyce made sure that the guests had (hot!) tapwater anyway.
We were happy that we stayed here and if we ever go back, we will definitely coming back to Songota Falls Lodge.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Alida S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

There are two things that made our stay in Songota Falls so enjoyable - the location and the warmth of our hostess, Joyce.

Songota Falls is set on the outskirts of Arusha, 1,500 feet above sea level in the middle of the forest. The accommodation takes the form of small huts or lodges, made predominantly of wood. Due to the altitude of the Lodges, I'd advise bringing an extra layer of clothes (fleece/jacket) to wear in the evenings as it get a little colder than elsewhere in Tanzania. However, because of the lower temperatures, there are no mosquitos; every cloud has a silver lining!

The accommodation itself is nicely appointed with stone floors, a large double-bed which is quite comfortable and a shower and toilet partially hidden by a partition stone wall. Joyce usually switches the hot water on in the mornings and evenings so make sure you get a shower when it is hot! The lodges themselves are set in cleared forest land with banana trees, pines and other plants as a backdrop.

The view from the lodges is across dense forest and this, combined with the friendliness of the staff, makes the place an excellent location to unwind after a safari. We were due to stay for two nights after our safari but extended to four because we were having such a good time. One tip - arrange pick-up with Joyce when arriving in Arusha as negotiating with the local taxi divers is a nightmare. Songota Falls is a little off the beaten track on the road towards Moshi and they will ask for astronomical amounts of money to take you there. The side road leading to Songota from the Arusha-Moshi road is very bumpy and passable only with a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Joyce cooks excellent home-made meals (costing approximately 14 USD for a three course meal) and may even ask you in the morning what you would like that evening. Her avocado vinaigrette is incredible - highly recommended. Bear in mind that because of the location of Songota, it's not the type of place where you can pop in to Arusha for something to eat. You will be limited to eating your evening meals at Songota Falls. Joyce does offer bottles of wine (30,000 TSH - I think) and beer which you can sip on whilst listening to the sounds of the forest.

A taxi in to the centre of Arusha costs approximately 15 USD one-way and you can arrange with Joyce to be picked up at a certain time/place later on in the day. Joyce's son, Raymond, may drop you; he's a very nice guy and keen to help. All in, the price of the accommodation, transport & food probably makes Songota Falls a more expensive option than many of the budget hotels in Arusha but, as always, you get what you pay for.

Overall, we had a great stay with Joyce at Songota Falls. If I were ever in Arusha again I wouldn't hesitate to stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for a hut with a view across the forest
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank adamtalbot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Let's start with the positive. As mentioned by previous reviewers, Joyce was a wonderful hostess and greeted us warmly on our arrival with fruit juice and very flexible in her approach to what was on offer at mealtimes. A really lovely lady. However, the accommodation was not what we expected. The weather was a little damp during our stay and therefore the room also felt damp and cold. The ambience wasn't helped by the single, low voltage bulb lighting the room. The mattress was made of foam and felt damp and musty so we went to bed fully clothed (including hats and socks) to keep the damp/chill at bay. Exhausted from safari we went to bed around 8.30pm but next to our hut was a small wooden crate which contained a dog. The dog in the crate was not happy. It was crying, barking and scratching to get out and as the evening went on it became more and more distressed (as did I) until I could bear it no longer and went to find Joyce to ask what was going on with the dog. She explained that this was a guard dog for the property and would get out at 10pm and the noise would stop. I totally understand that the property needs to be protected, but why-oh-why does the dog need to be kept in a crate (not big enough for it to stand-up in) from 7am - 10pm?

I really want Joyce to do well. She is an African woman running a business which is a pretty rare thing in Tanzania, however I am really surprised to see that Songota Falls has been rated No. 1 B&B in Arusha and suspect that the high ratings are more to do with Joyce's hospitality rather than the standard of accommodation.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank scottishlisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Songota Falls Lodge

Address: 1134, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 134 B&Bs / Inns in Arusha
Price Range: $45 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5

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