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“Unexpected treat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge

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Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Lafayette, CA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Unexpected treat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

We happened on Shamba Kilole serendipitously when our flight to Mikindani (Mtwara) was cancelled and we had to scramble for an alternative. Fortunately, flights were available to Mafia and Marco was most gracious in accommodating us in one of his suites. The suites are most comfortable and the food exquisitely prepared. Our snorkeling trip organized by the lodge was some of the best we have had anywhere in the world and the private snorkeling guide was a first. We also had a guided walk on the neighboring island - very colorful and interesting. Dinner sitting at the outdoor boat by the pool one night was special. All in all, a great stay. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Suites are better value - closer to the water and more spacious.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruby84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

Shamba Kilole is one of those special places where you can go and be nurtured and leave with a sense of awe and calm. I had spent 6 weeks volunteering in a small village on Mafia and arrived at Shamba Kilole with a major intestinal infection. Francesca immediately took over bringing me ginger and lemongrass tea and suggesting a special menu for my stomach. It was luxury, lying by the pool, taking short walks and eating simple but amazing food. Francesca even gave me some medicine from her own supply from Italy. What more could you ask for? My husband who had just arrived on the island, spent his time snorkeling and exploring Utende, the local village. knowing that I was in good hands. We stayed in a separate bungalow that looked out over the gardens it was very roomy, clean and nicely decorated with local art. The mosquito nets were big and roomy, a real plus. The staff are great. Most come from the local village and are knowledgeable about the area. They loved asking us to guess what ingredients were in some of the dishes, Tanzanian with an Italian twist - green banana gnocci, ugali chips, ravioli with amaranth greens (Mchicha). Every meal was a tasting experience my only regret was that I was too ill when I first arrived to be able to partake but I certainly made up for it later.
Having spent some time on Mafia I can say that it is a special place. There is not much tourism and the experience you get will be authentic. The local people are happy to converse with you and you'll find yourself learning the numerous greetings in Swahili ,as greetings are a crucial aspect of Swahili culture. If you want to combine your trip with seeing the whale sharks and the turtles contact the owners, they are very knowledgeable about the island and can suggest the best time to visit. If you want to hang out on a beach you only have to walk a few minutes through the local village of Utende to the beach in front of Pole Pole. This small resort will meet anyone's expectations of a beautiful tropical retreat.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank arutherford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

Many top lodges can feel over luxurious for their surroundings but Marco and Francesca have ver cleverly designed a luxury lodge that feels at home in its setting. The rooms are discrete, wonderfully clean and roomy but also individual: each one has a different colour scheme and local, artistic character. The grounds are natural, full of interesting local plants and trees and the pool is delightfully enticing. The main building is full of intriguing corners, seating groupings and levels so that you can choose to be peacefully alone or meet fellow guests. The highest praise however must go to the quality of the cuisine: mostly fish-based with an Italian twist: perfetto! As divers we felt very confident in Marco's care: knowledgeable, patient and humorous! We'd hoped to see whale sharks ... however they'd already gone by March this year...but our disappointment was short lived...the area is teeming with life; each dive was a visual and physical treat.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ndjamena
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

My experience in Mafia, travelling all by myself was very rewarding and this was because of the welcoming atmosphere that you find in Shamba Kilole. The place is just great, starting with the bungalows which are clean and very nicely decorated. The food is just delicious and the staff is very friendly and attentive. If you are going for a dive or for snorkelling this is the place. If you plan to see turtles and whales, I would suggest to contact the owners (Marco and Francesca) to get from there information when it is the best time to go.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 837AngelaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

we flew over from dar with our 13-month old daughter in the standard 13-seater aircraft. Francesco and Marco are complementary hosts, each with their own specialities. Marco handles the diving and snorkeling (at very reasonable prices) and it was one of the best dives of my life. the coral is fantastic, and the dhow takes you to the best places off the coast. Francesco prepares the menu, which are highly creative and original, using local ingredients. literally every dish is a treat. And every meal has several courses. The staff is very attentive without being obsequious, and the tip policy is indicative of Francesco and Marco's philosophy: you are encouraged to leave a group tip, while extra tips for specific staff members are noted in a book that everyone can read. There's a nearby village that one can walk to very easily. the pool has no chlorine, but is cleaned with a type of salt solution so we were able to allow our daughter to put her head underwater for the first time. the sky is very beautiful at night, and the whole experience is very familial, but not in a cloying sense.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank t g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savona, Italy
Level Contributor
68 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed for 5 nights.
It's a very nice lodge, quiet and peaceful, great to regenerate after a stressful period, in a wonderful location.
The staff is really experienced and professional, but at the same time welcoming and friendly.
The activities are really well organized and everything is perfect.
Food is excellent and there is a good selection even or vegetarians.
Thank you for the hospitality
I hope to come back soon

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stgpoggi81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

Shamba Kilole is an amazing lodge to stay at when traveling around Africa. You can actually relax and enjoy the stay. They organize activities perfectly and professionally. The staff are all extremely friendly and accommodating. I will definitely recommend this lodge to anyone and would love to be back ASAP.

Thank you for a wonderful stay

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JustinBrooker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge

Property: Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge
Address: | Kilole, Kiegani, Mafia Island 0000, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The relaxing lodge has 6 bungalows facing the sea all surrounded by trees and garden. Swimming pool, private jogging park, dive school, restaurant with conference room, wine cellar, terrace top. All rooms are in different style following Swahili tradition and history. Ideal for sea lovers, honeymooners, bird watchers. ... more   less 

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