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“Paradise found in Tanzania”
Review of Sanctuary Swala

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Sanctuary Swala
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise found in Tanzania”
Reviewed April 1, 2010

We did not want to leave this luxurious and welcoming place. Tarangire is indeed Africa's best-kept secret and Swala completes the trip. Never have we seen so many elephant families and such beautiful greenery. Swala's tents were designed by someone who has actually spent a great deal of time in one-- so everything worked, all was where it should be and we had incredible comfort without feeling that it was "over the top". Best of all was sitting on the deck at night stargazing-- no light pollution here! I agree with all the other reviews about delicious food, solicitous staff-- plus a great and well-priced gift shop that features locally made jewelry from Tanzania Maasai Women's Art, a great group to support. We will absolutely be going back again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mtcook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Edinburgh
Level Contributor
144 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2010

This was more luxurious than I could have imagined. I can honestly say probably the best meals I've ever had. The beds were just so comfortable and my sore back just disappeared after the first night. Maryna and Stephen were lovely and so helpful and friendly. Tsetse flies in the area were painful but not too bad in camp. Having laundry and drinks included was good too. If you can afford to stay - do!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank mandy003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2009

Spent three days at Swala as part of a Gilroy & Camm safari. Swala has just been re-built from scratch and the quality is just exceptional. Very slick design with clean colours, clever lighting and amazing handmade furniture including huge beds with the crispest cotton sheets ... this really is as comfortable as you will ever be in a tent.

It is still wild enough though and with its own waterhole, the game seems to come to the camp ... after a few days chugging around on game drives, it was great to be able to pull up a chair on the deck and let the safari come to us. Great place.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank magnetiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2009

We went to Tanzania for our first safari with Ecological Wilderness Adventures & it was through their recommendation that we stayed at Swala. Swala is magical and not like any "campsite " that I have ever seen.The managers and staff cannot do enough for you. As the sun is setting, you have appetizers and drinks on an outdoor veranda overlooking the animals come to their watering hole. The food was excellent-filet so tender I didn't need a knife.(An aside: once our waiter discovered I had a food allergy, the chef would make me special desserts so I wouldn't feel left out as others were eating the last course. They did this on their own without me asking).The accommodations are top of the line: indoor & outdoor showers, fabulous linen, turndown service (!), a private porch so you can sit and watch animals walk by, etc. The list goes on. We cannot recommend Swala enough.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank oneidaelane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
1 review
Reviewed July 25, 2009

My husband and I stayed here in July 2009, just 3 weeks after they re-opened. There is nothing rustic about Swala camp now - it was beautiful. Our favorite lodging in Tanzania, even over Serengeti Migration Camp. Great location, beautiful tents (both an indoor and outdoor shower!), lovely linens, great public areas and service. We actually skipped a day of game driving so we could hang around the camp and watch the elephants, zebras, etc all day. And they had internet service and a swimming pool!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank meggie25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
245 reviews
173 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2008

Tarangire is a national park near Arusha which is often overlooked as people tend to go to the Serengeti or Manyara. Major mistake. Tarangire is simply fantastic. It is a lovely park with great landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. If you go at the right time (dry season up until December) you can see 100s of elephants. At one point we could see at least 15 families all with babies. It was amazing.

We stayed at Swala camp, 66 KM in the camp. It is very isolated but simply great. There are 12 tents, a bit basic but they are building new tents. The best part about the camp is the setting: it overlooks a waterhole and while we were having our dessert. the resident impalas were panicking. We looked at the waterhole and there was a whole pride of lions. A minute later they were joined by 3 elephants. It was just fantastic.

The next morning at breakfast the impalas all joined us and did there morning gymnastics, showing us their many skills. Even the babies joined in.

The managers are great and all the staff are lovely.

I can warmly advise this lodge

  • Liked — setting and service
  • Disliked — tents are dated
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chocolate74
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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