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“A good start to a safari”

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Ilboru Safari Lodge
Ranked #4 of 179 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2012

We stayed at Ilboru Safari Lodge before and after out safari in July 2012. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable enough. The grounds are lovely, with all bungalows set in beautiful gardens. There is also an inviting pool, though I didn't have time to sample it. The meals were good and are themed, which is very interesting when first arriving in Africa. On our first night we were served a traditional Swahili banquet. The last night we were served samples of game dishes. Breakfasts were generous and provided plenty of options. Staff were friendly and helpful. This is a modest but pleasant enough establishment.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joanne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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489 - 495 of 697 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2012

We stayed at the Ilboru Safari Lodge for two nights in July 2012, starting and ending our safari there. The hotel is fine for the first/last night before or after your safari but not much more than that. The rooms are located in small houses, two rooms in each house, and all rooms have their own private terrace. The rooms are quite spacious with a big comfortable bed with a mosquito net. The bathroom is small and not very good. If you want extra hot water you have your own heater that takes 40(!) minutes. The showers have an uneven pressure and temperature and our toilet seat cover could not be properly pulled up. There are no mosquito nets at any window and the windows in the bathroom could not even be completely closed. There is no fridge or safe in the room. The buildings are built in stone and the room was quite cold the first night. We slept well but the room was very basic.

The hotel has a swimming pool (which we didn’t try) and an outdoor play area for the kids. There is free internet access (two computer terminals) and in the same building you can buy snacks and drinks all day (we ordered two warm sandwiches which took a very long time to make though). The hotel also has laundry service. The breakfast buffet is not enormous but fine. The dinner was a set menu. The night before our safari we got a nice “Swahili dinner” with some traditional Tanzanian dishes. On our return we got a “Safari dinner” with buffalo, gazelle and “game meat”. The idea for such a menu after returning from your safari is not bad, but it was not tasty at all (and to be honest a little disgusting after seeing the same animals captured and half eaten during your safari). The lunch box we got when leaving for the safari was nice with a sandwich, some chicken, fresh fruit, chips, juice and a cookie.

Overall this is an OK lodge but not much more. There is nothing to do outside the lodge area (it’s a very poor road leading up to the lodge) so don’t go here if you want to experience Arusha. But as a start/end to a safari it’s perfectly fine.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SannaE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

The hotel is at the end of a severely rutted road. Depending on the time of day, it can take between 7 and 14 minutes to get to the hotel from the main road. The hotel is nicely landscaped and the food compares favorably with more luxurious hotels (probably the best boxed lunch we had during our stay on the safari circuit). We stayed in the main building. The bathroom was tiny and somewhat in disrepair. Some other reviewers complained about dogs barking. We heard the dogs, but they were very far in the distance and not a problem. Dividing up hotels into (luxury, modest, and backpacker), this is a modest hotel. Rankings on Tripadvisor are somewhat misleading because they reflect people’s expectations. This hotel has about the same ranking as a luxury hotel (the Serena Mountain Village) in Arusha where we also stayed. There is absolutely no way that this hotel can compare to the Serena Mountain Village (in experience or price). Also, do not expect a modest hotel in Tanzania to match a modest hotel chain (such as Red Roof) in the United States. That said, I would say for a modest hotel in Tanzania, this is clearly acceptable.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank dalanw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

My wife, me and our two litte children ha spent this March two weeks int the Ilboru Safary lodge. From here we have made several trips to see Arusha, its surrounding and the landscape of Tanzania. It is a perfect place so start and recover from safari tours. The lodge has a good comfort, is very clean and has a very friendly staff. The manager, a Dutch, talks to each guest, each day. He always has som helpful advice and very good proposes. Because he is also a cook, the food is very good and has a big variety. The price of the rooms and restaurant is absolutely ok. We have enjoyed our holydays and wouldn't hesitate to go there once more.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank HenneHeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We (three friends) stayed here for two nights - once before a safari, and once after. The staff was really friendly, the room was clean, and they had three beds ready for us. Food was great.

The pros:
Location - in a busy city like Arusha, this was very serene - lovely!
Staff - very friendly
Food - delicious
Provided mosquito nets

The cons:
The windows were not "sealed" (they were the rotating horizontal blind type of windows), so there were a few bugs in the room (but most were kept at bay with the mosquito nets).
The bathroom flooded very easily from the shower, since there was no lip to catch the water.

Overall, good value for the price.

Room Tip: If you are three people total, ask for a larger layout.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank MissGypsy2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

I originally did not want to stay at Ilboru Lodge thinking that other places sounded better on TripAdviser. Did not want to add any more expense to my safari so stuck with the original itinerary and stayed at Ilboru at the beginning and end of the safari (4 nights) and am grateful that we did!! The manager/owner (I assume he is the owner) was one of the nicest and most helpful lodge owners. We were treated with utmost respect and he seemed very concerned that we were well taken care of. Breakfast was nothing to write about, just a standard breakfast) but lunch and dinner were amazingly good. The choices were many, could not be faulted at all and were delicious, no matter what we tried. Go for the mushroom soup, it was outstanding.
The rooms were clean, spacious and pleasant to be in. If you rinse clothes in the sink, it is tough to have them dry because of the humidity so when we were outside by the pool reading we took a few items and discreetly set them in the sun to help them dry. The prices for the lodge to do laundry is reasonable.
We had no issues with hot water or pressure.
I agree with other posts about the front desk staff being the coldest I encountered in Tanzania. But the restaurant staff were totally the opposite, especially Emma. One super lady with one great smile.
The lodge is down a rutted local road, but walking around the community is a great experience.
Would definitely stay here again (and I hope I have the chance!!)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank hawaiiansun1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

I had read about the road into the hotel, and wondering if where the driver was taking you. Well it's true, but so worth it. Once you bump around on the road, and then arrive at the hotel gates the whole picture changes. The gardens of the hotel are very impressive with lush tropical flowers. The front desk is very welcoming and the check in quick. We were greeted with a welcome drink that was refreshing. Our room was very clean and in a quiet area of the hotel. The rooms are in buildings that are round, with 2 rooms in each unit. The meals were plentiful, and you can order off a varied menu. The hotel's manager is a very friendly dutch man and he will most likely come around and welcome you to the lodge. There is a nice bar within the garden area, and a swimming pool. We didn't get to use it in May, as it was under repair. We didn't have time anyway to use it.
We also used this lodge on the return to Arusha at the end of our safari. We experienced the same great hospitality. Overall I would highly recommend this hotel based on our positive experiences.
Don't worry when your driver turns off the paved road and after driving 10 minutes you start to wonder have we been taken. You haven't been. The prize is up ahead.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank robrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilboru Safari Lodge

Address: P.O. Box 8012, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 179 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Price Range: $100 - $146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Ilboru Safari Hotel Arusha

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