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Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

feemaggie
9 posts
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Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

I'm seeking any tips as I've hit a bit of a wall....

We are hoping to travel down the coast exploring a bit, including a stop at Saadani village coming straight from Lushoto. Ideally we'd like to speand a couple of days in the area by the beach and exploring the Wami River and the national park.

Unfortunately the Saadani Safari lodge is beyond our budget and the other options in my guide books seem limited.

I've emailed a couple of campsites in and around the village and also the National Park which has three campsites but not yet had any replies which concerns me slightly. Not all have contact details included in the Lonely Planet / Rough Guide....etc

I guess my questions are these....

1. If we turn up in Saadani village, we will be able to find somewhere to sleep if we haven't prebooked?

2. where would you recommend staying in the area?

3. If we are unable to find something, realistically, how easy will it be to:

i- travel north to Mkwaja village if we dont have our own transport

ii - move on to Bagamoyo which seems like the only other option.

Any tips are most welcome including recommendations. I've searched on the forum but I've not found too much.

Thanks all

Fee

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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1. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Fee

There are no lodges or guesthouses to stay at that are cheap, the village is in the park, so no option there either.

Best option is to stay at the campsite in the park, $30 plus $25 park fees, but you will need your own tent and food etc. and then pay park guides for walks and the river trip will need to be booked with one of the lodges, $40 plus.

But also to explore the park you would probably need to hire a car or have come in one.

But if you are coming from Lushoto I would probably just go by local transport to the beaches below Tanga then also onto Pangani then Bagamoyo. All of this can be done by local bus. At Pangani there is a pretty rustic campsite Peponi it would be good for a bit of beach and then head further south form there.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
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2. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

I would have probably given the same advise as NE. If you're at Lushoto then Tanga/Pangani is very closeby. There will be more options there. You might even find a day or two in Tanga to be enjoyable (it's one of my favorite Tanzania cities and is very a cosmopolitan Tz city). Most of the business people in Tanga holiday at Pangani when they get the opportunity.

If you are taking the coastal road from Lushoto rather then the Chilinze to Moshi hard surfaced road, know that this is a very rugged road.

I have typically never had much difficulty in finding a place to stay when I'm out and about. There are guest houses most everywhere, but know that these are not even 1 star hotels. But it adds to your experience.

feemaggie
9 posts
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3. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

NE / Kurt

thanks so much for your updates....if i could just test this a little, I think as I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet...

We did think about Tanga and Pangani but as we'd only two full days in our schedule (not including travel via bus), calculated that we wouldn't have time to travel from Lushoto to the coast, back inland again and then to Saadani village. Based on this, we may still end up there and I wouldn't be too disappointed byt that.

However, we ideally would just need somewhere to sleep at Saadani and I believe, we can arange the Wami river trip with the safari lodge in advance. Thank you for reminding me that we'd have to pay into the park too.

So....

The two possible places I'd researched as options to stay at were Tanapa resthouse, which has 'adjacent camping' and Warthog camp in Saadani village, where you can hire a tent.

Have you heard of these places....I am struggling to find contact details for either...tho both Lonely Planet / Rough Guide refer to them.

I guess we need to take a decision about whether to take the gamble of travelling there and ending up with no where to stay? I'd hate to miss out on the Wami River though and if we go to Tanga / Pangani, we won't have time

I am aware of the three campsites within the park where we would have to be self sufficient. We haven't heard back from the national park though and this part of the trip will determine whether or not we have to take our camping gear, which we'd prefer not to have to do.

Decisions, decisions....

fee

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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4. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Resthouses: I know nothing about the one at Saadani, but I've used the resthouse at Kigoma and also in the Serengeti.

In both cases, I showed up and asked for a bed, which I got. Neither was luxurious in the slightest way. I strongly recommend that you bring your own mosquito net and hang it or else you might not sleep at all if the mosquitoes are bad.

There was the possibility that the beds could be full and depending on the setup you might be sharing a room with strangers. But you're probably looking at $20 per person per night or in that range so you get what you pay for - maybe a little less than what you paid for.

If you can confirm that there is indeed a resthouse at Saadani, that would be a good step. I would guess that the chances of it being full when you arrive would be very small. I would just try to arrive as early as possible in the day so that there is room to search for options should that not work. My experience with resthouses is that there is someone who is responsible for letting people in and that there really isn't a system for booking them in advance as that person is not connected to the internet in any way. Same at Saadani? No idea. But it would make sense if it's all part of TANAPA.

feemaggie
9 posts
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5. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Hi Brian

thanks so much for your helpful advice. It all makes sense now. I appreciate that if there is a resthouse, it may literally be somewhere to lie down and not much more than that.

You are the first person or reference point I've found that explains the concept of resthouses in Tanzania so I'm glad I included the description.

I appreciate that as a traveller its for me to adapt to what I find but I am quite surprised that there is such a limitation in Saadani as a national park. However, sometimes you make your own luck so perhaps it will be worth taking a punt on just to see. And if we do, I promise to post what i find.

The tent might get packed afterall

fee

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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6. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

I have heard that the accommodations at Saadani are rather rustic (I would take that to mean rather basic), or the common vernacular here would be primitive camping. I have stayed in some "rustic" Tanzanian guest houses and would always check the security of the place, and sometimes I had some "guests" (rodents) during the night time which kept things interesting.

If you can tolerate this kind of accommodations then go for it; but if you would freak out at the first sign of a rat crawling about, or a gecko and assorted insects crawling on the walls, or possible mixed sleeping companions then you would be better advised to not go to these places.

feemaggie
9 posts
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7. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Hi Karl

thanks again for your advice again....The crawly things dont bother me so much but it seems that Saadani offers either extreme luxury or the very basic .

Thought it worth sharing that I've now heard back from the Saadani park warden who tells me that there is a public campsite where you can stay for $30 a night per person and if you don't have a tent, it's an additional $20 a night per person to hire a tent.

So all told, when added to the park entry fees, its quite expensive.

In addition, there is a basic resthouse which costs $50 for the single room and $40 for the room with two beds.

We're now going to aim to get to Tanga / Pangani and then decide whether or not to travel to Saadani.

Btw, I wondered if you'd heard any update on Scandanavian Bus company and whether or not it is still running.

thanks

fee

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Fee... I posted a note on the forum yesterday concerning the Scandinavia Bus Line. Essentially, my son went to the Scandinavia bus terminal in Dodoma and it was closed. He asked people there if they were closed down and they said yet. He also asked if this was all over he country or just the Dar Dodoma line, and they didn't know that. I would assume that if they are still operating it would be only some of the routes, and I would doubt if the Tanga Dar route would still be operating if the Dar Dodoma route is shut down (that was typically always a full bus).

Don't fret though, there are quite a few other buses which operate between Tanga and Dar as well as elsewhere. There are buses that go everywhere in Tanzania, it's the basic inter city transportation for locals.

feemaggie
9 posts
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9. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

Hi Karl

I saw your post late yesterday....in the meantime, we called the bus company. They told us that they won't be running services until July. That was the answer so while I know misleading information isn't helpful, I thought it maybe worth mentioning.

I don't know what that means exactly....is it all routes or some, but thats what we were told. Anyways, there seems to be plenty of choice of other companies.

Fee

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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10. Re: Saadani - budget accommodation / contacts needed please

They won't have services until July, I doubt if they would start up again in July unless they are doing some company reorganization or refinancing. The last time they shut down was because they weren't paying for their fuel bills so they shut them off.

There's plenty of options.