We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“overbooked, included breakfast is a joke and you have to wait for the food for ages...”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Whale Shark Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Mafia Island
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Whale Shark Lodge
Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“overbooked, included breakfast is a joke and you have to wait for the food for ages...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

Although the whole lodge area is well-done and looks nice, the service and the management is just disappointing. We booked our room one month before and when we arrived the manager carlos told us that there had been a mistake and they are already fully booked, so we had to stay outside the area in some rooms that were still under construction and not very nice. That wouldn't be a big thing, but we heard the same story from many other tourists, so this doesn't seem to be a 'mistake', but just the way he does his business. So you can never be sure if you really get a room or not!

The breakfast which is included is a joke, you get 2 fruit pieces and 2 slices of toast with a bit jam, but you have to be very patient to get anything at all. Same with other meals: we never ate other meals there besides breakfast, but we could watch all the other guests, ordering dinner in advance(!) for a special time and then waiting at least 2 hours on the tables for their food.

I would not recommend this place! I am living in Tansania for some time now and I already experienced some places and their service, but that was definitely the worst. It's just about getting the most money out of guests for doing almost nothing.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WittaMine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

31 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    12
    6
    5
    1
    7
See reviews for
3
7
4
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights and were unlucky with the weather and the power on the island which was out the whole time which meant we had no light or water a lot of the time. We have friends who have stayed here and really liked it so I suspect we were a bit unlucky. The rooms themselves and the grounds and bar are nice enough and it has a friendly, sociable feel. The food however is pretty terrible and reasonably expensive and they were often out of various food and drinks. The staff are friendly but don't really speak English and spent much of the day asleep! The owner Carlos proved himself to be a very good guy at the end by helping us to find another lodge and giving us a discount for having no power or water. His attitude to us was excellent when we told him we were checking out. I think he just needs to be around more to let his guests know what is going on and answer questions as we hardly saw him over the 4 days.

So overall it's ok (and the cheaper options on the island sound really dire!). But for the price I expected a fair bit more.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank A C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed several days at Whaleshark. The accommodation was lovely,and the breezy bar and sunset views were an asset
All the staff were really friendly and helpful and we must give a special mention to the delightful Aneste. My husband was ill during our stay and Aneste made him an outdoor bed when the electricity failed. If you think you may be ill it is a good place to be as the hospital is only a minute away. We had very good , kind treatment with clean needles etc and were charged next to nothing despite the hospital clearly having very poor conditions
Carlos and the rest of the staff were as helpful as possible.
Be aware that the whole island regularly loses electricity, so your fan will be little help to you and you may prefer to take your own net , so you can sleep outside
Also be aware that whaleshark operates on Africa time. Not everything happens when you expect but everyone is so nice , if you relax into the ambience you will enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: Only 2 bandas have ensuite shower , but the communal facilities are clean and good and non ensuite i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richardblindell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

Lodge is very close to Airport and town with nightlife. The owner of the Lodge (Carlos) picks you up at Airport. The Lodge is simple but very cosy. There is a "restaurant" (we ordered dinner when we arrived in the morning) and a bar and you see the beautiful sunset before having your dinner. Equipment for swimming with sharks is included! If you like to have a hot shower, ask for it and they bring hot water to your room.
Best: You go swimming with Whale sharks! Carlos organizes a boat trip (30000 Schilling/ person) with pick up right at the beach from the Lodge! All equipment is included.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

Simple and basic but clean and comfortable rooms. Amazing view from lounge and dining areas with a spectacular sunset guaranteed. Manager Carlos friendly and very helpful. He met us at the airport and arranged all activities for us. We ordered our dinner after breakfast and Carlos made sure it was fresh from the ocean by the time we got back from an amazing day whale shark watching and snorkeling!

Recommend Whale Shark lodge to anyone if you traveling on a budget.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jjp_1375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2012

a view over the sea from high up , an amazing beach , close to the village , friendly staff and fresh food.

but wat makes this place so so great is the manager. He is very friendly and always willing to help out.

The rooms are basic, sometimes there is no electricity, but that is maffia... simple , quite and relaxing.

hope who ever goes sees the whale sharks..... !!!!!!!!!amazing !!!!!!!!! must seee!!!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelman79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
133 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

This place was a really mixed experience.

The Good

- The Whale Shark Lodge is in a really nice spot overlooking the water. It's a relaxing place to spend some time.
- The staff are friendly
- Food was basic but tasty
- Easy to get a boat tour from the hotel

The Bad

- Management is not good here. We rang to make a booking two weeks before arrival. Carlos accepted the booking which we confirmed via email. When we rang from the airport before flying to Mafia Island it was as though Carlos had never heard of us. When we arrived there was no available room for us so we were put up in a tent (which was very hot). Carlos blamed his manager, who if they were the nineteen year old kids they did not have enough training.

When we got in a room it was basic but fine.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank samurai_dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Mafia Island hotels
0.0 mi away
Mafia Island Lodge
Mafia Island Lodge
#3 of 4 in Mafia Island
4.0 of 5 bubbles 207 reviews
0.0 mi away
Kinasi Lodge
Kinasi Lodge
#4 of 4 in Mafia Island
4.5 of 5 bubbles 157 reviews
0.0 mi away
Butiama Beach
Butiama Beach
#1 of 9 in Mafia Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 219 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Meremeta Lodge
Meremeta Lodge
#1 of 7 in Mafia Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 129 reviews
0.0 mi away
Mafia Beach Bungalows
Mafia Beach Bungalows
#2 of 9 in Mafia Island
4.5 of 5 bubbles 51 reviews
0.0 mi away
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
#2 of 7 in Mafia Island
4.5 of 5 bubbles 159 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Whale Shark Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Whale Shark Lodge

Property: Whale Shark Lodge
Address: Kilindoni Village, Mafia Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Mafia Island
Number of rooms: 22

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing