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“Kilimanjaro with AHLA”

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Arusha Hostel Lodge & Adventures
Ranked #58 of 183 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Reviewed August 21, 2013

I stayed at AHLA the night before my hike to Kilimanjaro and the night after. The rooms are nice and the beds are comfortable. The lodge has a wonderful view of the entire city of Arusha, especially at night. It was a cozy, quiet place to say. It's a bit outside of the city center so it wasn't as noisy as some of the other lodges I've stayed at. Hot water is available in the morning and afternoon for showers and although their is a cut off of power after a certain time it usually happened after I was asleep anyway at around 11:30 or 12.
AHLA arranged my hike to Kilimanjaro and it was an incredible experience. The team of porters and guides that Justin (the owner) arranged were amazing. So warm, friendly and welcoming and always concerned with my health and how I was doing along the way. Every morning they would sing to me to cheer me on for the days hike. No other company on the mountain did that. On the worst days this helped me push through. After I made it to Uhuru peak they baked me a cake in the middle of one of our camp sites with nothing but a few ingredients and a small flame. I have no idea how they did it but it was the sweetest gesture and no other company did that. I could not have been more safe this this group of champion porters, guides and the cook. One of the greatest experiences of my life. I paid a fraction of the cost of what I would have paid for other companies and got so much more than I could have ever imagined. If you are looking for a company to climb Kili, look no further. AHLA is the only option.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Nabi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 14 of 15 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2013

My finance' and I stayed at this location for 7 nights.The trek up a mountain following 12hrs on a bus was not good news and in the dark is bloody dangerous. The host/owner Justin was pleasant enough, but frankly that is all that can be said about this place. The photographs do represent a true picture of the accommodation. There were initially no hot showers because he had no hot water boiler. Then when he did get a boiler, if Justin was not about as he frequently was not, then there was no hot water. The accommodation does not have 24 hr security and Justin will go off leaving the property UN-attended so if there is no guest about, then the property is open to be robbed. I had to chase off two youths who were looking to enter the property. When I took this up with Justin, he seemed disinterested. The property runs on solar power (a good green credential there), but there is in-sufficient battery power to accommodate all the guests staying there, so of an evening you end up sitting in the dark with headlamps on. Justin's flat mate made my finance' feel very much on edge with his constant glaring at her and eventually we decided to leave early because of this and his constant walking in and turning off the available power to the guests. I have to say, this was not a pleasant stay and I would advise people not to stay here. I have read the previous reviews on this accommodation and I frankly do not believe they are true or accurate. Justin, a would of advice, you are a young man trying to make a go of things and I admire you for that, but you must represent your property accurately.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cape To E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I will never forget the night I arrived in Arusha, sitting on Justin's deck drinking a Kilimanjaro, in awe of the number of stars in the sky and the lovely African music wafting up from somewhere down the hill. This is Africa. Justin was our host for our trek up Kilimanjaro and he additionally organized a safari for me. Both of these experiences were run so smoothly and were staffed with professional, knowledgeable people who were also kind and fun. It was the guides , porters and chefs on our Kili adventure that made this trip so enjoyable. We were cared for, well fed and skillfully led to the top of that amazing mountain, arriving precisely at sunrise on our summit morning. Glorious experience greatly enhanced by Justin and his team. In addition, I took a four day safari in advance of our trek. My driver/guide Ibrahim was a joy to be around and skillful at ferreting out the big 5 (and many others). Everything was handled professionally and efficiently. Again, the service, food and camaraderie made my trip unforgettable. I will never forget my four days in the bush with Ibrahim and Dodo.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

Starting from the 3:30 AM pickup at the airport to the end of our stay in Arusha, Justin and his team delivered first class service. In addition to arranging a 3-day, 2-night safari, with lodging in superior hotels, he helped us to get a SIM card for our phone (even going to a different vendor when he felt the first one was trying to rip us off), took us to at least two ATMs when we had trouble with our bank cards, took us shopping at a local grocery store for water and snacks (not included in safari) where prices were lower and suggested the best restaurant to go to in Arusha. The great service continued even after we returned from the safari, and he had already received his money. I can't say enough good things about Justin. You won't be disappointed.

For the safari, our guide, Ibrahim, was excellent. He's been guiding/driving for over 15 years and still showed amazing enthusiasm and interest. His eyes would dart back and forth looking for things of interest. He identified both flora and fauna and we were able to see just about everything (the leopard was too elusive). After the day's touring, he made sure we were settled into our room for the evening and that everything was OK for us. His english is excellent. On the final day, we had a long drive back to Arusha and I knew that he wanted to get started back on the road to avoid driving at night, but he let us stay a bit longer when we were able to get some good views of lions. It was dark by the time we returned to Arusha and the ride was a bit treacherous due to the road conditions, unlit bicycles, pedestrians, cattle crossings, etc., but Ibrahim did a great job getting us back safely. Ask for Ibrahim when booking your tour. You won't be disappointed.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank csinger13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Justin & Jenna were wonderful hosts, both very friendly and accomodating. It's a fantastic view on top of that hill, of the busy Ngelelo section of town below, and not far into the centre of town. I would go back to AHLA for sure.

The bad parts were, and I stress "were", because when we (middle aged Canadian couple) visited last December/January the place was really still under construction: There were water issues, i.e., a fresh water leak under our bathroom toilet that spilled a couple of litres per day on the floor, OK, you don't expect a 5 star hotel when you are hostelling around and I would have cleaned it up willingly but I couldnt find a mop or a rag around! Also there was a lack of water for showers during our stay day --- but Justin hired a young man to pump the "bicycle" water pump so we could have tiny showers! A lot of work to please the guests under trying circumstances. Mosquitoes came in as the door was often left open, I got a lot of bites my first night in Africa, but no malaria, so hooray! They need a few more kitchen items, basic utensils, can't recall which but I missed some basic stuff when on my own. Also they could use some sort of gripping steps - stones or rubber tires, anything - on that steep path up the hill. I'm a fit mountain hiker but someone is going to fall badly sooner or later - after it rains they are very slippery.

But I repeat that I would definitely go back there as a backpacker. I know a lot of these things were fixed after we left because as I said, it was in a state of construction. Justin was putting in a new water system for example, and finishing up the two new cabins; I also see they have a great website now - so things are evolving there. Their attitude is "can do" and always useful and friendly - running a hostel from scratch cannot be easy. I wish Justin & Jenna all the best success in this busy lifestyle they have chosen.

George & Johanne, Ottawa, CANADA

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank george586
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I never write reviews for hostels or trips (I always forget), but I really want to make an exception for AHLA, because I thought it was absolutely amazing and is very deserving of a good review. The hike is adventurous and really nice, the view is from the top of the hill is stunning, and the hostel itself is clean and cosy. However, the highlight were Justin and his staff, who were so warm and welcoming and we had so much fun doing the hike to the waterfalls near Moshi (which I also highly recommend). They make you feel at home and can arrange every kind of activity you like. Justin took me to town, showed me around and on the last day made sure I was on the right bus back to the border (I stay in Kenya). All in all a fantastic hostel with fantastic staff.

Eva, the Netherlands

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Eva-spiderwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Firstly I would like to give top marks to the location of the hostel, not only is it a peaceful location it also has fantastic views of Arusha! And fantastic scenery and the views and the sunset and sunrise, which was lovely and so pretty with the most amazing views and so nice to see this! The breakfast was really tasty and thoroughly enjoyed the fresh fruit and coffee and fresh bread was lovely, filled us up for the day ahead! Most of all the host was exceptional he really did go the extra mile to make us feel welcome and also would go out of his way to assist with anything and nothing was a trouble to him! When arriving in Africa he met us at the airport with a warm welcoming and was very friendly and helpful! This guy certainly makes the most fantastic host and can honestly say it is the best customer service I have Eva received! He certainly knows how to make guests welcome and also he has lots of experience in arranging mountain climbing, safaris and other exciting things to do in Arusha, Tanzania! He assisted with helping me arrange climbing Kilimanjaro and really did do a great job and chose a fantastic team! Which helped me through the challenge! He gave me detailed information of the hike and gave me excellent advice and went through my kit list all if which where no trouble to him! He always took the time out to assist with helping of guests and he worked so hard in ensuring guests were happy!The hill up to the hostel is really nice as you can see the scenery of Arusha and it is very much a positive aspect of the hostel,as the views are amazing! It's another world up there so pretty to see Arusha! The hostel was closer to town then the house our group was staying in and it was cheap enough to get to town when experiencing the nightlife of Arusha, so good location as it was peaceful and quiet which gives opportunity for a great nights sleep! Also town was not far from this hostel and easily accessible via dala or taxis was cheap enough too! Another great aspect is the wi fi that the hostel has it was a good connection compared to the rest of Africa therefore this is another positive aspect to the hostel! I really enjoyed my stay at this hostel and when I return to Arusha would be at the top of the list for accommodation! Big thank you to Justin and Valle for making us so welcome and I would give this hostel 100%! This guy is inspirational that he has designed this hostel and the fact that he is happy to help you have the most amazing time in Africa!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank DanielleRobson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arusha Hostel Lodge & Adventures

Address: Ngulelo, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #58 of 183 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Price Range: $10 - $30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arusha Hostel, Lodge and Adventures (AHLA) is nestled on the highest hill in Ngulelo and has a view of the entire city.The Hostel has 4 private bungalows, 3 dorm rooms, 3 bathrooms, a full, communal kitchen, a dining room, and living area. AHLA provides free WiFi, a laundry service, walking tours, and breakfast included. AHLA staff will coordinate hikes to Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru along with safaris to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and Arusha National Park.Additionally, staff will arrange a wide variety volunteer experiences. No matter what you want to make out of your trip to Tanzania, we can make it happen! ... more   less 

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