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“Trip of a lifetime”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sanctuary Swala

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Sanctuary Swala
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2013

I just returned from a safari to Tanzania . Three nights at Sanctuary Swala was a highlight of the trip. Everything about this camp was wonderful. The accommodations, food, nightly campfires, stargazing were all fantastic. Chris and Mina were delightful hosts to us, a group of five lively Canadian women. I will never forget the sound of the 12 lions roaring to each other outside our tents one night. All in all, a top notch place to experience Tarangire. I hope I can return one day.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jwaring2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Swala, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience on Tripadvisor.

We are thrilled that you had a great stay with us and appreciate your kind comments, it gives us great satisfaction receiving positive feedback following a memorable stay.

Chris, Mina and the rest of the team eagerly await your return.

We would love for you to keep up to date with the latest from Sanctuary Retreats and Swala by liking us on Facebook . Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’.

We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

Tarangire was an excellent park, so many elephants, giraffe, Boabab tree....

The Swala Management team was great, made us feel excitied and comforatable at the same time.....

the camp was full of monkeys, gazelles, etc..

The tented accommodation was very good...luxury combined with adventure....

Food was excellent.......

Woke up by a bull elephant trumpeting....what more do you want on a safari....

Room Tip: you want to stay as far away from the reception as possible....the walk back to the 'tent'...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeterC168662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

The trip of a lifetime! I absolutely loved my tent and my plentiful visitors- playful monkeys on the roof, deck, and roaming the outdoor shower. To awaken in the mornings hearing the cacophony of birds and watching the impressive display of impalas, dik diks, and elephants roaming by was magical. My last night I awoke to the roar of a lion in the camp, definitely a first for me.

Chris and Mina's infectious laughter was memorable. They were very helpful and gracious hosts. The staff were kind, gentle and I enjoyed our daily conversations--and the dancing. The food was delicious.

Richard, my guide and driver was very knowledgeable and the game drives were incredible. To be immersed in nature was an unforgettable experience. Silae Swamp is one of the most incredible places on earth! I would return in a heartbeat. Swala, thanks for the lifetime of memories.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snowy1466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2013

A truly stunning place to stay. The "tents" are bright, comfortable and clean. The staff could not be more helpful and welcoming. The crowning glory is the cavalcade of animals which cruise through the camp, day and night. I was laid low for a day by the usual holiday problems but missed out on nothing. From the veranda of our tent I watched Elephant, Impala, Zebra, Warthogs, Water Buck, and Kudu coming and going. Monkeys and mongoose played amongst the fallen trees and rocks as the storks roosted in the trees and flocks of guinea fowl rushed by. The only criticism would be the food; it was ordinary at best and needs serious rethinking. But overall the experience was remarkable.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mprofane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

I almost paid around $7,500 for 2 nights at the Ngorongrono Crater Lodge. But I started to get frustrated that they were charging me -- in addition to the $3100/per night -- $75 to meet me at the Arusha airport to give me my tickets, $200 to drive me from each way from the remote airport to the lodge (as if taxis were an alternative option), and a per person "park fee" that exceeded what the park charges. Fleece the rich idiots who don't mind getting no value for their money. Everyone else go to Sanctuary Swala instead. Even after losing my exorbitant deposit, I saved thousands by going to Swala instead and still had a top notch, luxurious safari that felt far more intimate and personalized. I received a phone call shortly after checking into my hotel in Arusha to see if I needed anything. How they knew I arrived, I have no idea. It was only me and my husband in the safari jeep. We had a night safari and a walking safari. Monkeys played on my tent porch, while elephants and impalas ate within touching distance of my tent and zebras lingered 100 meters in the distance next to wart hogs. The bed, bathroom, towels, and bathroom toiletries were just as luxurious as any 5-star western hotel. The absolute nicest camp managers. First-class service from the staff. A booking agent who went out of her way to be helpful regardless of how atypical the request. Incredibly delicious food. The most thoughtful box lunch for the flight back to Arusha. Lovely souvenirs in the gift shop from local craftsmen. I don't understand why you wouldn't add this hidden gem to your itinerary and opt for the crowds of the crater instead. I could write a novel on why this place is a better choice than any other camp/lodge/hotel in any other park.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hockessin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

First, this was the first time I had been to a place like this. Completely out of this world, in the middle of a jungle surrounded by nature, animals and amazing staff members. Having said that, it is not an extra luxurious place. They try their best to comfort you but this is not your typical four seasons type of a stay. The lodge is very much into preserving nature and the facility is completely off the grid. And as a result, the experience is a comfortable luxury tent/camping experience. If you are into this stuff, you will LOVE this place.

One thing that could be improved is the food quality. I know they tried hard but the food was below par. I am hoping that this was a one off thing.

Chris was the hotel manager and he and his staff were amazing. Chris was probably the most welcoming hotel manager I have ever met in my 25+ years of hoteling around the globe. Our guide (Dominique) was absolutely great.

I highly recommend this place knowing well that there are compromises in ultra luxury and comfort in order to preserve the nature.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank AasimH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Swala, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Dear Aasim,

Thank you for taking the time to post this review and for your kind comments.

We are sorry to hear you felt the food was below par, we have addressed this with the team and will be looking into this.

We appreciate the recommendation and we do hope to welcome you back one day soon.

Please keep up to date up with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Swala by liking us on Facebook. Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gainesville FL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I spent two nights at Sanctuary Swala in July 2013. It was fantastic! The tent was clean and luxurious, with hot shower, flush toilet and an electrical outlet in the tent for recharging our camera batteries. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, without being overbearing. The food was excellent. We heard lions roaring during the night not far from our tent, and the lions came to the camp pool during the night to drink. Outstanding place that I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baldwiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Swala

Property: Sanctuary Swala
Address: P.O. Box 427 | Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Swala 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The main area is situated right under a big baobab tree, a common sight in these parts of Tanzania. The dining area, lounge, deck and small library all feature a chic, contemporary African design with a traditional thatched roof. This main area is lifted on stilts allowing a wide view of the grasslands of the Tarangire right in front of the camp. The stunning infinity pool overlooks the nearby waterhole often visited by elephants as well as the big cats that are often seen. The relaxing pool area also provides the perfect place to sip a cocktail and cool down after a day of game viewing. Sanctuary Swala has been renovated to the highest eco- friendly standards and has a particularly low carbon footprint. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main area and in guests' tents. Each of the twelve canvas pavilions is shaded by tall acacia trees and all are within sight of the well frequented water hole. They are unashamedly luxurious and exquisitely furnished but still close enough to nature to permit an exciting night under canvas. The tents feature a spacious open plan arrangement with comfortable king or twin beds, campaign chairs and plush sofas and boasts an ensuite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower for that extra bit of luxury. Sip cocktails or enjoy scrumptious dinners on your own private veranda and watch the waterhole which regularly draws lions, leopards and resident bull elephants while your own personal attendant caters for your every need. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in guests' tents. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Swala Hotel Tarangire National Park

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