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“Luxury accommodations and hot showers after 10pm”
Review of Tarangire Treetops

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Tarangire Treetops
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I am late getting to this review as we stayed during September. Tarangire Treetops was the first safari lodge we stayed at in Tanzania. We were lucky to get room 6 which surrounds a baobab tree and is relatively close to the reception/restaurant area. After a day's journey from Arusha and through Tarangire NP we arrived at Treetops to view their beautiful reception room surrounding a huge baobab tree. Cold drinks and cool towels awaited us before we were conducted to our treehouse. We did not use a guide from the Lodge as we had our own guide with us to visit the National Park. However, we did take advantage of a night game drive and saw many night time animals -- serval cat, spring hare, banded hyena, bush babies. And afterwards even though it was quite late we were able to have a hot shower, particularly appreciated since we had been on a day long game drive previously and just had time for a quick bite of dinner before going on the night game drive.

We enjoyed the food and found the candle-lit barbecue in the large boma particularly enjoyable as it was followed by a dance by the Masai warriors who are a fixture at the Lodge. We were surprised to find the red table wine was so good.

I know other people have commented on hearing things in the night. I slept so well I didn't hear a thing. However, on our first night my husband heard rustling outside our treehouse. As the sun came up he saw that it was an elephant eating the leaves from the acacia trees that surrounded our treehouse. We had an early morning wake-up call and our guard told us that there was an elephant (probably the same one) very close to our tree house. He came back for us in a half hour to escort us to breakfast, and as we were descending the stairs, he told us to go back up as the elephant was too close. A few minutes later he said that we could come down but that we would take a round about route to the restaurant. We were in a line of: Masai warrior, guard, me, and my husband at the rear. Suddenly we heard the elephant bellow and before I could even think where to go, the guard was tackling me and pushing me towards safety behind the baobab. The elephant charged about 30 feet and then stopped. This was his way of saying that we had invaded his food pantry I guess. Well the guard and the Masai clapped and encouraged him to move away from us so that we could make it to the restaurant. I don't think that we were really ever in danger as we heeded the elephants warning bellow but this impressed us with the wisdom of waiting for an escort. When one visits Africa, one is often in the domain of many large wild animals -- it is their home -- not ours -- and we have to respect that. Anyway, it gave us a taste of adventure.

Tarangire NP was our first safari park and I was absolutely blown away by all the animals, especially the elephants and zebras. We saw a number of lions, usually from far enough away that one needed a good telephoto lens to take a picture. I never got tired of seeing any of them. As to the supposed bumpy ride from the park to Tarangire Treetops, it wasn't as bad as I had been led to believe. I think they did a bit of road grading. The Park itself at that time of the year was very dry. They were obviously awaiting the rains. One sight that was particularly spectacular was the huge line of elephants we saw from one of the picnic sites looking over the swamp. There must have been a thousand elephants in front of us. Oh and a word about those picnic sites -- they are very welcome as they have western style flush toilets -- very useful when on a day-long game drive.

We would definitely recommend Tarangire Treetops Lodge to anyone wanting a special African experience. A special thanks to the gentleman who fixed the sole of my boot which decided to come apart at the beginning of our visit -- they were old boots but I never noticed a problem with the sole until we arrived in Tanzania.

Room Tip: Room number 6 does have a more private bathroom (half partition) that makes it more appealing to tho...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Dianne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 19, 2012

We have just returned from an incredible time on Elewana's Fly Safari and a "chill out" in Zanzibar and I have to heap praise on the accommodation and provision of an extraordinary experience throughout. We landed from Arusha in our tiny aircraft on what looked like an unmade road of red soil- a real bush airstrip. We were met by our guide, Alex, who had cold towels, iced drinks and snacks ready for us beside the elegant safari Land Cruiser which was for our sole use over the next 2 days! Following a game drive through Tarangire National Park, just as the sun was setting, we arrived at our camp. Treetops is a fantastic introduction to a safari. It is wonderful balance of bush experience and absolute luxury! Local Masaai are integrated into the camp staff and provide a colourful welcome to new arrivals. These smiling, friendly warriors help to escort guests to and from their rooms after nightfall when elephants, buffalo, impala or even lions can be wandering through. Lauren and Ryan, the managers of Treetops are welcoming and hospitable. They quickly get to know their guests and have that wonderful gift of making you feel quite at home within minutes of arriving. We were introduced to Jonathan, our butler for our stay and he took us to our "tree house". Wow! What a really fabulous room. A winding, wooden staircase led up to a huge wooden and canvas room which was wrapped around a baobab tree. The balcony is almost 360 and provides a breathtaking view of the surrounding bush. The decor is modern but uses locally sourced and recycled materials and the effect is a luxurious blend of old colonial and quirky. The ensuite bathroom has hot water provided by individual heaters and the shower is fabulous, huge and powerful. The bed is vast, incredibly comfy and, despite the nocturnal noises of animals moving through the bushes below, we slept amazingly well - although we did keep getting up to look outside, it was all so exciting!
The meals at Treetops are superb and the selection of wines were very good. Overlooked by the terrace is a watering hole where elephants and lions came to drink, once when we were relaxing with a cup of tea and the next day as we sat with our pre-dinner gin and tonic!
However, despite the wonderful surroundings, room, and food, it is the staff and their provision of little extras that we appreciated so much. I will never forget the 5 star lunch which Lauren organised in a dried up river bed for us - It was a complete surprise and worth a very special mention. After an incredible morning game drive, Alex drove down into a river bed and the sight that met us was surreal. Jonathan stood next to a beautiful zinc bowl with a towel over his arm and a jug of hot water to wash our hands, behind him was a table set with white cloth, silver and glass and "Out of Africa" folding chairs. A few yards away was a long table laid out with salads and a hot plate where a chef in full whites, together with hat, was preparing fish and kebabs! Drinking chilled white wine and eating wonderful freshly prepared food while discussing the morning game drive with Alex was a truly unforgettable experience. Before we headed off once again, Jonathan took us to our personal wc tent that had been strategically placed behind the trees - complete with old fashioned "thunder box " - quite amazing!
More treats followed the next day with drinks laid out by Jonathan on "Sunset Hill" where we sipped wine and took photos with Alex and our Masaai warrior who then took us on a night safari before we returned to Treetops - again, a real "bucket list" memory.
All in all we cannot heap enough praise on Elewana and our Treetops experience. The facilities are top quality and the staff really put themselves out to make our experience personal and quite unforgettable - a huge thank you from us both

Room Tip: We had room 6 - fairly close to reception and lots of wildlife to see
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank PandJ_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We arrived at Tarangire Treetops in the late afternoon at the same time as a large group who were part of a company outing. We were escorted to one of the few empty chairs and did the check in ritual before being taken to our treetop accommodation.
The room was beyond fabulous and the bathroom and shower delightful. There was a small group of elephants right outside the veranda, a perfect greeting party! We loved our space and enjoyed being on the balcony immensely. Although it was lovely to see the animals nearby, we both have mixed feelings about filling a pond for their use, as it is anything but natural.
The food and service was impeccable. We felt very cared for and the idea of having the same server throughout our stay was wonderful. The house wines were delicious and the general ambiance was quite nice.
There was a spectacular barbecue the second night and we loved the Masai dancers although the men have been eating too much great food to be able to jump as high as their brethren in the Masai Mara!
The group that was there during our stay was rude, loud, and generally obnoxious. When we saw one member taking flash photography and another flicking her cigarette out into the bush toward the pond, we were pretty undone and wished a staff member had said something. Obviously, there is nothing that can be done about who is there when you are, but safety and sensitivity to the wildlife is a necessity.
Overall it is a gorgeous lodge and a lovely place to stay. The nearby Tarangire National Park offers an incredible number of elephants and plenty of game to watch.
We would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank kelnaples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

I"m writing this review whilst still fresh in my mind. My husband and I have just spent 3 magical nights at Treetops and have nothing but praise for the whole experience. The treehouses are as stated in previous reports but what some people have failed to mention is that they are spacious, beautifully clean and the showers are better than most 5 star hotels we have stayed in. The views are amazing and you certainly know you are in Africa. The hosts Lauren, Ryan and Simon make a point of getting to know your preferences and provide that personal touch. The food, considering where you are was very good and quantity was more than enough for most people. We ate in 3 different places for our evening meal. The small boama, surrounded by candles and a fire in the middle. The terrace overlooking the amazing watering hole and the larger boama for a BBQ with a Massai dance ( no participation needed which we were happy with). The whole team at Treetops should be commended, Mbasi in particular looked after us very well and we thank him.

Our favourite moments were spent sitting on the verandah watching the animals visit the watering hole 50 feet away! My husband commented he didn't need his 50" tv when he had a viewing gallery like this! We saw loads of waterbuck, wart hog, impala, elephants, a small cat possibly a serval, a troupe of 50 baboons, fruit bats and 2 lions which unfortunately we missed!

The Massai walk you back to your treehouse after dark and I amused them by always asking "where is your spear". We felt very safe and looked after and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Treetops in an instant. Throughout the night you hear sounds and rustling which add to the atmosphere.

The laundry service is excellent and the guides are looked after very well, which we think is important also.

Just a note after reading all other reviews. Yes it's not IN the NP and the road is bumpy, but we felt it added to the experience.

Room Tip: If you specifically want a Baobob Treehouse, request it. We weren't bothered as you are still i...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Anoif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed 3 nights. The selling point for us was the experience of staying in a Boabab tree house. We didn"t get it for the first night as we were told on arrival there were only a few units and these need to be requested on booking. However the GM Simon was kind enough to accomodate our request for the next two nights at the Boabab tree house. So do request in advance, while all units are treehouses, only a few were built around and on the boabab tree.
Visually and as an experience I rank this among the top. However we found the quantity and quality of food only average. Service level is ok but can be better for the price we are paying. For eg...unless requested - no one brings coffee/tea/cookies for our wakeup call. This courtesy is par for course in all other lodges and camps we been to. So it was strange we needed to request for it. The other problem was respond time - we needed a replacement for a faulty hairdryer. It took like one hour to get any service. I do like the pool, the view at lobby overlooking the waterhole where we can see elephants, waterbucks, baboons and even a hyena. I also like the good wi-fi access in lobby. Special mention for my guide Ndosi - really knowledgible and friendly. One other noteworthy observation in the treehouse - there are no curtains/screens/doors for the tiolet, bashful ones will have problems with this - surely it is not that difficult to just instal a curtain around the tiolet area! This seems to be a common complain among guests.
As for location - it is located outside the national park so you can go your bush walk, off roading and night game drives. That said, it is a long one and half drive to park entrance and the air strip.
For wildlife, Tarangire is famous for its large herd of elephants and wild buffaloes - it lived up to its reputation for sure. We also saw plentiful of other interesting wildlife and birdlife. However the large predators were missing - safe for a couple of isolated sightings of lionesses. The other thing i like about Tarangire is the abundance of the very pictureques Boabab trees, you don't get this elsewhere. So that is nice esp for phototaking again backdrop of sunrise and sunsets. I also strongly recommend a hot air ballon ride - its a wonderful experience worth waking at 4am for !!!! We were told there is two operators - one (the one we took) was hour and half away from Treetops and the other 5 mins only. We were booked on the former. The latter is a new operator.
Last but not least - the tsetse flies. Yup they bite through anything. Particularly bad in the trees and bushy areas and during the heat of the day and dry weather. So early morning and late eveing game drives are fine. No fun to be bitten by them (I had lots) - but tolerable inconvenience in exchange for all the rest the park got to offer. That said, no such problem at the lodge - thank godness.
I would recommend a visit to Tarangire as a combination with other parks to get the full African experience. Treetops I recommend for its unique lifestyle accomodation and setting - within certain qualifications as mentioned above.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Navigator22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights at this lodge and the experience was amazing. I had never stayed in a tree lodge before, The rooms were spacious and the showers excellent. i never expected to find so much space on top of a tree, and the views from the balcony were spectacular. the restaurant itself is made up of bamboo/ wood,a nd the fireplace is amazing. the staff are very attentive and the manager comes down and talks to all her customers,which I thought was very good.
The evening barbecue/camp fire and then eating outside added to the magical experience. and the best part was seeing the baby elephant drinking at the waterhole just outside the hotel!

Room Tip: Try and get rooms near the main foyer especially if you do not want to walk long distance in the dar...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank lalita g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Everything has been said and written about this, so yes, let's confirm it: the setup is absolutely magnificent, both in terms of location, main hall (offices / dining) and "houses in the trees". Enjoying an aperitif along with the elephants in front of the pool, dining at candlelight with feet in the sand, or enjoying the sunrise through the huge panels of the room are indeed a once in a lifetime experience. Plus the night safaris on offer (additional 55 USD) are a must (they take you to private paths and you get a whole new sensory experience, with animals you would never see by day). Service is quite nice (we were in a rush for the night safari, and they kindly accomodated this constraint), and the fact that there are so many bats in the central baobab has not been an issue for us.

Now for a few let downs (considering the price). First, the food is pretty uninteresting. Obviously, there is a huge logistics challenge considering the location of the place, but food is supposedly something this place takes pride in, and from that point of view, it did not hit the spot in our case. Also, as mentioned by other posters, there is an enormous gaffe in the design of rooms, in that the toilets are pretty much sitting right in the middle, without any partition (not only vis à vis the shower, but also the bedding side; some rooms seem to have a mid level partition, but not all, and anyway unsufficient). And finally, not a drawback (it's part of the deliberate choices made in selecting this place), but you have to take into account the time taken to drive there, from the park gate.

Overall, it would have been rated perfect at 100 USD/night less, or had the food be truely outstanding.

Room Tip: Lower-numbered rooms are closer to the main hall.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Thomas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tarangire Treetops

Address: Tarangire Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range: $1,057 - $1,551 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tarangire Treetops 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tarangire Treetops tree-houses meander through the branches of thousand-year old trees. Nights are magical, as the wind seems to carry bedtime stories from the ancient branches of the majestic baobabs and marulas; calming your senses, cradling your slumber. Here, under clear and sparkling African skies your dreams and fairy tales have been waiting for you! Nowhere, does fantasy come alive as it does at Tarangire Treetops. Experience night-game drive and bush walks only at Treetops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tarangire Treetops Hotel Tarangire National Park

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