Tarangire lodging....October 09 Help!

Old Aug 18th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Tarangire lodging....October 09 Help!

Anyone have experience with River Camp in Tarangire area? It's on our itinerary but I'm thinking of changing it since I Just read a terrible review on Trip Advisor about it.

. Asked my company for alternatives and they offer Swalla camp ( an additional $1300 for the two nights) and Lake Burunge Tented Camp.which I know is outside the park and will also be an additional $300.

Our deposit has just been wired, but as far as I know I still have time to change this part of our reservation. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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I haven't stayed at River Camp since it was sold to Mbali Mbali... used to be good. Another out-of-park alternative might be Maramboi Camp. It's closer to the park entrance than Lake Burunge. Either is a nice camp and are owned by Tanganyika Wilderness Camps. Burunge is about an hour from the main entrance on a rough road; Maramboi is a lot closer. I don't know if the park service ever opened the gate near the Burunge camp for them to use.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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I recently stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge. It was a great place to stay with fantastic views over Tarangire and the Tarangire Conservation area.

To get to the park we went through the Boundary Hill gate (I think it is called) on a rough road but okay...and not too long.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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We stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge during our trip in July. We had great views and the staff was amazing!
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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Ask about Kikoti Camp, also outside the park (as is Boundary Hill... both in/around the same area). Rate will be a tad higher than River Camp.

There's always Treetops, a beauty, but costs will be more than Swala.

Maramboi is farther away (believe 10km) south of the park.

I like the Kikoti tents and property more than at Maramboi.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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Maramboi is only available one night...and I just read a poor review of Lake Burande (sp?) They tell me Boundry Hill is at the other side of the park....should that be a deal breaker?

So if it's between Lake Burunde and River Camp, sounds like a wash unless I can book Boundry Hill?

Comments please...Kikoti seems to be as expensive as Swala and Treetops and with Migration Camp already in the mix, the budget is a concern
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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What about Tarangire Safari Lodge? http://www.tarangiresafarilodge.com/
It's very centrally located on the river with great views. They have mostly tents and 5 bungalows. We really liked it in February and would stay there again.

We did do an afternoon/evening game drive to Lake Burunge and really enjoyed watching the bachelor elephant herds come to drink and play in the water.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Hi Sandra-

I have only stayed at the Sopa in Tarangire, which is a really nice place, and centrally located - but it's not a tented camp so that's not really the reason I am writing.

There have been many people who stayed at River Camp that write on this forum - and although I don't recall whether they are good or bad reviews (could be both), I encourage you to read through these first before making a decision. Trip Advisor reviews sometimes make me scratch my head - sometimes it seems as though people try and find anything to complain about.

Give some of these a read - they go back as far as 2004 and some are written by people who are still writing on the forum:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34515385

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34648151

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34628643 (Eben is still around somewhere)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34688402

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34778745 (PART 1)
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34778831 (PART 2)
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34778922 (PART 3)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34781952

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34846477 (Calo still posts on this forum)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34873555

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34882614

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34939376

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35080621 (sandi posts all the time on the forum)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35024614

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35040848
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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>>Kikoti seems to be as expensive as Swala and Treetops and with Migration Camp already in the mix, the budget is a concern
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I think first you have to decide if you are going on safari to stay in the best luxury accommodations or if you’re going for the best wildlife viewing or if you need to stay within a certain budget or a combination of all factors. I myself want to stay closest to the best wildlife with clean accommodations and decent bathrooms with an eye on budget.

If you're looking for the best camp location in Tarangire, I do NOT think you will be disappointed at Tarangire Safari Lodge. True, the tents are on the small side and they are close together. We stayed in a bungalow but a tent would have been fine too. I thought the food was quite good but not gourmet. The staff was very friendly and I believe that this lodge is locally owned. So for me, this was an ideal place to stay for 2 nights considering location, comfort and budget.

The best part is the location. Its right in the middle of the park with a great view overlooking the river and the wildlife is all around you. It's also very convenient to go back for a hot lunch, swim and nap at mid day. If you stay at Treetops, Boundary or Kikoti, I believe it's about 50 minutes over bumpy roads to get back to the better game viewing areas and it is not feasible to go back for lunch. A hot lunch and nap is fairly attractive when you’re on safari. Box lunches get old fast and bouncing around in a land cruiser is tiring. Just my 2 cents.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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I have stayed twice at Tarangire Safari Lodge in both tents and bungalows and I would return again.

I like the situation along a high ridge that affords magnificent views of the park, the staff are friendly and the food is OK. It was better in 2008 than in 2005.

I'm with wildlifepainter, if luxury accommodation and gourmet meals are essential then TSL is not for you. However, if a great situation within the park at a reasonable cost meets your needs then TSL fits the bill.

Cheers,


Pol.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 06:35 AM
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Every visitor should make his/her own decision about what is important or not when choosing a camp / lodge.

Hopefully this comprehensive description of Tarangire Safari Lodge will help:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/18933300
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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I've been to Tarangire Safari lodge as well. The reasons were simple; it is reasonably priced, and centrally located (actually not that far from the park entrance, which for me ment shorter drive times on our way to more important areas like Ngorongoro and Serengeti).

I was very please with what I got, and would choose this lodge again. Great lodge.

J.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Thanks all of you...I read all the links and this is where I stand...Tarangire Lodge is appealing....but sounds like too many tents and not the greatest conditions for us celebrating our 50th anniversary...(and my husband is coming along as a not enthusiastic traveler)

So my first choice is Boundary Lodge (thinking it's not out of the way for our next stop...Karatu and Gibbs) or if it's not available or too expensive, then we'll take our chances with River Camp and hope for a tent without holes and with a fan.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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I think you will be happy at Boundary Hill Lodge. I spent a wonderful evening there last year.

If you're lucky you may even see wild dogs nearby. Last year I got very lucky with dogs in Tarangire. One pack was spotted near Boundary Hill / Treetops and I saw another pack deep inside the park.

My pictures are here: http://www.go-safari.com/Tarangire/BoundaryHill.htm
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Wow, the room that we stayed in didn't look anything like those pictures! In fact it was a very basic room. We did have a lovely view from our deck off the front of the room. However, the back of our room looked up on the fire they used for cooking and everyone that was working there could see in our room. Our toilet overlooked the shower which overlooked the sink.

When we got there someone mentioned that since we had asked for adjoining rooms, our rooms weren't as nice as some of the others. I didn't think much of it at the time, but looking at those pictures I can see a huge difference.

Bottom line, don't ask for adjoining rooms!
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 07:11 AM
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Go for something inside the park if you can. Atmosphere is always better and no gates to pass through which take away the wilderness feeling. Oliver's Camp is also inside the park and it gets great reviews (not sure of price) Swala is brand new and worth the extra money if you can stretch the budget a bit. Has anybody tried it yet by the way?
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Oliver's is as expensive as Swala, maybe a bit higher. And, Swala has been around for years... not new. Maybe some recent "soft" refurbishing, but friends there a few weeks ago and didn't see any major difference from an earlier visit.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Swala is way over the budget...and the reviews have been
"fantastic" for Boundry Hill Lodge....The only downside I can see is that it is outside the park... (I read Sandi's post about her checking out lodging in Tarangire from a while ago) .but then so many of the high end luxury properties like Treetops are also in similar locations. And Boundry Hill is a moderate priced camp and looks like it offers good accomodations with great vistas...so next step is checking availability. And if that fails, I'll probably give in and stay at River Camp which on reflection doesn't sound that bad.

The two poor recent reviews on Trip Advisor say River Camp is dry and dusty (duhh...it's the dry season) it's off a bumpy road..it's hot..(duhhh..it's Africa) and it's not new...so I'll deal with it if need be.

Thanks for input....I'll let you all know the outcome in a few days.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 03:47 PM
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If River Camp ain't new, neither is Safari Lodge! Duh!

Yeh it's a bumpy road across the river rocks and up a hill to River Camp. Yeh, it's dusty... even if not in dry season. Welcome to Africa. Dust everywhere, depending on color of the earth - red, black, white - you name it!

SandraJoy - Those TA reviewers should have been there end-'06/early-'07 when there was so much rain, you couldn't find dust if you dug down 6-ft! They would have been complaining about washed out roads, airstrips and mud, mud and more mud! Guess some people should never leave home
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