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“Excellent location and staff - let down by assistant manager”

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Sable Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent location and staff - let down by assistant manager”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This lodge was the second of 3 on our honeymoon safari. We arrived late after a long drive but were greeted with cold towels by Holly (the assistant manager) and another member of staff. The location is excellent and our banda had a good view over the trees. A nearby beehive was a bit unnerving, but nearby wildlife is to be expected. The en suite bathroom is not completely enclosed (which the other lodges had been) and ours had a bat flying around in the evening (we thought that was very cool, others may be less keen!)

Our introduction with Holly started well and we agreed that we would talk about the plans for the following day at dinner, "when these things are normally sorted out". Holly never turned up at dinner so we had no idea what the plan was. Before dinner we had also found that our toilet didn't flush and she was no where to be found when we asked for her after dinner. Someone did come and fix the toilet but didn't do it properly so it only flushed once.

The following day Holly had reappeared and we spoke to her about the toilet and it was fixed properly while we were away that day.

We found the food here to be excellent, (indeed one of the dinners was the best beef we'd ever had!) and the fact that the water came from a nearby spring (we didn't mind drinking) was also very good. The meals were only spoilt by Holly's presence (apart from the first evening) when she would sit very close by despite having the rest of the restaurant to choose from. We felt this was a little awkward and stifled conversation.

All the other staff (including the manager, Mbasha) were excellent.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JayTrip56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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English first
Westward Ho, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights here. I reiterate all the positive comments other guests have made. The safari trips were wonderful, dawn or dusk, by jeep, boat or on foot. The staff really seem to care and looked after us so well. The accommodation surpassed my expectations by a long way (banda 12). Never did I expect hot and cold fresh water and such comfort in such a remote place. Rama, our guide has the most phenomenal eyesight and can spot a 'find' miles off - literally! He is also so knowledgeable, it was a privilege to spend our time with him. The food was wonderful, they will cater for you if you let them know (I don't eat meat) - who needs a menu choice when the food is this good? Pepe the armed guard was friendly and kind, despite us having no common language. Holly, the on-site assistant manager has a wealth of experience that exceeds that of some people three times her age. We saw so many animals, amazing sunsets and sun rises, visited the Masai village and learnt so much. I would loved to have stayed a very long time. We got the train from Dar to Kisaki and despite the fact that we were several hours late, Rama still met us late at night and took us back to the extreme comfort of Sable Mountain Lodge. They even save dinner for us. The staff are a group of exceptional, kind and dedicated people. I can't thank them, or recommend them, enough.
Also note: Tent With a View are a great company - see also Tent with a View Saadani. We went from one to the other and the contrast of the two safari was well worth doing.

Room Tip: Banda 12 has incredible views. Would also like to try the Villa on another occasion - top of the sit...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Claire D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heerhugowaard
Level 6 Contributor
340 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Yes, the location of Sable Mountain Lodge is very good. We were given a nice tent with outside shower and toilet and a nice view from our balcony. You really feel in the middle of nature.
After a warm welcome by assistant-manager Holly we enjoyed some of the beers we brought with us and then went to the "Landrover Bar" for a drink. Holly was there with two other guests and ignored us completely. At dinner time, she dined with the two other quests (who were the ONLY other guests) and told them lots of interesting stories about her life. Same thing at breakfast in the morning. By that time, we felt definitely "B-category". By coincidence we all left at the same time, the other guests with a warm wave from Holly, who again completely ignored us. I think this is very unprofessional behaviour.
The other negative comment I would like to make is about the price of the beer, 5 USD for a 330 ml can. At all the other lodges we stayed we paid max 2,50 USD for a half litre bottle! A real rip off.
The food was average for a place that purports to be a more or less luxury camp and we only got one towel a day (that also had to serve as towel for the pool).

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Juliadrusilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lerwick, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights recently on the safari part of our holiday. From the minute we arrived until we left, the welcome and service was second to none.
We were lucky enough to get one of the honeymoon banda's. absolutely stunning, huge verandah to look out over, we had a family of blue monkey's near us in the tree's on two occasions, we could have sat looking out over that view forever!!
Room had everything you could need on this sort of holiday, loved the shower being outside, great experience to look down on the tree's whilst showering :)
The staff here are lovely, very friendly, and work very hard to make sure you have a pleasant stay, was so nice to be asked by them how our day on safari had been when we returned. The food was also really good, and plentiful, all our meals were thoroughly enjoyed.
A particular mention must go to Rama, our guide whilst staying there, what a font of knowledge he is, and really tried hard to make sure we saw as much wildlife as we could, loved every minute :)
We were disappointed to leave here, incredible place, lovely staff, I will always cherish my stay at Sable, and may well be back someday :)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sheltie10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

We have just spent 4 nights at Sable Mountain Lodge on the safari leg of our holiday, what an amazing place.
A dozen or so individual 'tented' 'rooms'.
Basically a timber framed hut with canvas sides and roof with a thatched roof over that. Our room opened up to look over a valley, stunning view even from laying in bed! We had 2 comfy chairs and a coffee table, a deck outside the tent.
The ensuite facility was great half was covered by the roof and completely open on one side,but the shower area was actually outside. We could shower and again look out over the valley. It may sound a bit 'open' but no rooms overlooked anyone else, in fact, the rooms were so spread out in the trees one room wasn't viewable from another.
Food was great, couldn't fault it, service was superb.

We were told beforehand that it was not possible to charge camera batteries but in fact there was one available socket behind the bar, for everyone to share, but nothing in the rooms.

We took a torch as advised but they did have solar powered lamps you could borrow.

Hearing a lion in the night was a bonus.
Would definitely go back there

Room Tip: They're all good, but no 9 & 10 have outside showers
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank steve2212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, WI
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We, a group of four, stayed two nights at Sable Mountain Lodge in September of 2013. We stayed in the villa which offers great panoramic views of the surrounding forest. The main bedroom was huge, complete with a storage area and a very large bathroom. The second bedroom contained two twin beds and no storage area. The villa has a fantastic verandah which offers great views of the surrounding area.

The hot water was rather sensitive as some of our group complained they were nearly scalded and others had cold water.

The lodge has a nice bar area, where you can recharge your batteries, a beautiful dining area overlooking the forest, and a fresh water swimming pool. Showers are also available in the pool area.

A short walk will take you to the “tree house” which is a very elaborate structure complete with sofas and chairs and overlooks a small watering hole. A ranger must walk with to the tree house. We sat in the tree house for 90 minutes late in the afternoon but alas the only creature that visited the watering hole during the time was an eagle.

While the lodge was fine the problem is the location. Selous Game Reserve in September is very dry and there is little or no water in the reserve near the lodge, hence game viewing is minimal. In addition, control burns are taking place in the reserve at this end of the park which reduces the game viewing further.

We cancelled our full day game drive, via the advice of our guide/driver, and instead did an early morning walking safari in Selous and a visit to a Masai village in the afternoon. I thought the Masai village experience here was much better than what we experienced three years earlier near the Ngorongoro Crater.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DePere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiesbaden
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

This has been my second stay in this lovely and rather authentic African environment. This time I brought along some of my children and grandchildren to show them Africa at its best
As in the past the rooms were large and tidy, the service friendly and attentive and personal Attention impeccable. Even food in this remote part of the country was good and plentiful.
The Safari into the Selou, which is still rather unspoilt by too many visitors (we met just one car during the whole day) proved again to be exciting and wonderful. Our guide RAMA was knowledgeable and helpful.The Manager, Mr. Mbasha was in full and efficient control of the place.
I can highly recommend Sable Mountain Lodge to all those who want to experience Africa without "shicky-micky" in an original and authentic style.
The whole raher unusual and very specific trip to Tanzania was organized by TENT WITH A VIEW; Daressalaam, MR: RAMA, who guaranteed a smooth,,punctual and reliable execution of our program. Many thanks and compliments to everybody.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hermannson-wi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sable Mountain Lodge

Property: Sable Mountain Lodge
Address: Selous Game Reserve, 40525, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sable Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beautiful Sable Mountain lodge is set in the beho hills on the North Western boundary of Selous Game Reserve. The lodge is built over several hills giving a fantastic vantage point and, arguably the best view of the reserve. There is a combination of large and comfortable en suite tented rooms and stone cottages all private and all with great views. The freshwater pool provides a welcome on return from a safari. The nearby tree house and water hole attracts lots of game and a few hours can easily be spent there observing. Relax at the Land Rovers Return pub before dining in the restaurant or under the endless stars. The most special element about Sable Mountain is the team who are famous for their friendliness and will go the extra mile to ensure that you have a superb safari experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sable Mountain Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Sable Mountain Lodge Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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