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“Nice lodge in a beautiful park! Enjoyable stay!”

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Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“Nice lodge in a beautiful park! Enjoyable stay!”
Reviewed October 24, 2005

Before coming to Tanzania, I had no idea what to expect in the way of hotels and expected something quite primitive. I was presently surprised by all of your lodges while on safari. They were all unique and had character. Each room/lodge provided everything you would need. If you come to Tanzania, expecting the Holiday Inn or a JW Marriot, you will be sadly disappointed. Go to Tanzania for the experience with no pre-conceived notions and you will high enjoy yourself! A safari in Tanzania is one of the greatest vacations and an awe-inspiring experience!

The Tarangire Sopa Lodge was nice and my husband and I enjoyed our stay. Before arriving, I knew there are specific rooms that are on the first floor, but feel like they are in the basement. I have read to beware of rooms #9 to #35. Fortunately, we had a higher number room on the second floor with a view of the pool area. Each room was large with a large bathroom. There was a sitting area when you entered and two queen beds in the main room. The balcony had sliding glass door. The normal mosquito net surrounds the beds. There was no air-condition in any of our lodges. The evening and nights are cool due to the dry air. With screens over the windows and on the balcony, you can leave them open and be quite comfortable. This was our only room that had a ceiling fan. It was definitely needed since it gets quite warm during the day and there are more mosquitoes here than other places. All the lodges must generate their own electricity, so the lights are usually dim. There is also hot water available for a limited time at night and in the morning. You are dusty after all day on safari and want a bath when you get back, so we had no problems. A blow-dryer was in the room.

Out of our entire trip, the Tarangire National Park was the warmest location. I won’t exactly say it was hot, expect during the middle part of the day with the sun blazing.
We arrived at the lodge at lunch time. After seeing our room, we ate lunch. The lunch was a buffet for salad and desert and entrees were ordered from a menu. The food was good. The dining room was very warm during lunch. Because the animals sleep during the hot afternoon, we had time to lay by the pool or swim. It was the only day of the whole trip that I actually put on my swimsuit. The pool water was cool, so I did not go swimming. My husband did though and really enjoyed himself. There was nice, cozy lounge chairs with big towels all around the pool area. After lunch, the electricity was turned off since most guests are not around during that time. This did not bother us since there was plenty of sunlight in the room.

Remember the lodge is located in the Tarangire National Park, so animals are free to roam around the hotel. We saw water bucks right below the deck of the pool. There was also rock and tree hyraxes everywhere – in trees, on the lodge roof, everywhere. Hyraxes are quite cute and harmless animals. The tree hyrax is brown in color and slightly smaller than the rock hyrax.

The lodge (like all Sopa lodges) has a sit down menu for dinner with a few choices for each course, except soup. You either want soup or don’t want soup. The service in the dining area was good. During our dinner, the lights went out and then we heard loud drumming. Several waiters/waitresses march in singing a traditional song with a torch and drums. They marched directly to one table to wish a guest happy birthday!
The lodge has a nice size gift shop. I found several pieces of silver jewelry here that I really liked. I looked at all the jewelry in each lodge shop and found this shop to have one of the best selections. One piece of advice… My husband and I wanted to buy some souvenirs and thought we would have time to stop in Arusha, but we did not have time and never stopped in town. If you want to buy souvenirs, don’t wait; just buy them at the gift shops. I was glad that I did buy a few things (silver jewelry, cravings, etc.) at the lodge gift shops.

At check-in, you are warmly greeted and given fresh juice and a warm washcloth. This was exactly what I needed after the long extremely and bumping trip to reach the Serengeti Sopa Lodge. After a long day on safari, you can come back to tea or coffee and snacks. Upon check-out, you will be greeted right outside your door by one or two people waiting to carry your bags. Don’t forget to tip.

Also don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful Tarangire National Park. This is the best location to see lots of elephants up close. It was fitting for us that after spending our last day on safari in this park, we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life!

  • Stayed September 2005
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Helpful?
22 Thank alturner007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Epsom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2005

Having read Jeremys recent review, I quite agree. We were there at the beginning of June and I too was surprised at the standards of the hotel bearing in mind the resources available.

Yes - you must try and get a 1st floor room and I agree the food is a little limited. The bar was very impressive.

However, my real surprise was after dinner when I bumped into a very casually dressed security guard brandishing a fully loaded AK47 assult rifle. Having some experience with army rifles he let me dismantle the gun and take out some of the ammo!!!

I also spotted similar guards positioned along the roads on the way to the crater.

Who or what was the threat???

Stayed June 2005
Helpful?
6 Thank MaxBaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
368 reviews
154 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 567 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2005

We had two nights here on a Kuoni Tour (see also my reports today on Serengeti and Ngorongoro Sopa Lodges).

Tarangire is as different from Serengeti and Ngorongoro as those are to each other. Another long drive from Arusha, but luckily the road is tarmac most of the way.

Large, busy, usually full hotel, road up to it better than most.

Food the least good of the three Sopa Lodges we stayed at, but it was still adequate for our needs. Be careful what rooms you are allocated as many ground floor ones have large bushes outside and no view whatsoever - two couples on our tour tried to change but only one was able to do so. They were very spacious, though. First floor best but still limited views compared to the other two parks. Very large pool, and lots of rock hyrax (like a large guinea pig) on the roofs and exotic birds all around.

Imported wines, mostly from South Africa, and drinks are as usual quite expensive.

Mosquitos are a real problem after sunset - make sure you take your tablets and repellent.

Remember you are in a remote place in a very poor (average income US$1 per day) third world country, where English is not the mother tongue, and then you realise that you are actually getting good food and service. Don't be stingy with the tips for the staff who carry your bags, etc, and your safari drivers, whose knowledge and ability to find that special viewing is usually excellent - our's was!

The highlights of our week's safari were here with two separate close-up and clear sightings of leopards, one with its kill of two wildebeest it had hauled up a tree, plus the other "big five". And you don't have to drive quite so far as in the Serengeti to see something.

Helpful?
34 Thank jj-the-jetsetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Property: Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Address: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tarangire Sopa Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Tarangire Sopa Hotel Tarangire National Park

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