We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great place to relax and enjoy fresh seafood Swahili/ Italian style”
Review of Kimbilio Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Kimbilio Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great place to relax and enjoy fresh seafood Swahili/ Italian style”
Reviewed 17 August 2013

This was my second stay at Kimbilio having spent a very pleasant week there last year. I now feel part of the family and was made very welcome by Betty, Alfredo and their staff. The accommodation was spacious, clean and comfortable, the highlight again was the food, plentiful seafood and shellfish prepared in a special mix of Swahil and Italian cuisine.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

109 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    88
    16
    3
    2
    0
See reviews for
14
39
17
9
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arusha, Tanzania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2013

My business partner and I just returned from a 3 day trip to the Kilwa area, visiting Kilwa Kisiwani (the site of the UNESCO ruins), Kilwa Masoko (the town where most of the accommodations can be found) and Kilwa Kivenje (the old fishing village where ruins can also be found). Of our three nights in Kilwa Masoko, we spent two at Kimbilio Lodge, and wish we had stayed there all three nights!

Our trip was partly to tour the ruins (not to be missed) and also to check out accommodations in the area, as I am working with a Tanzanian partner to start a safari tour company. I prefer beach locations off the tourist path, so wanted to check out Kilwa. I highly recommend Kimbilio Lodge as THE place to stay if visiting the Kilwa area.

Kimbilio Lodge has an idyllic location on Kilwa Bay, on the white sands of Jimbiza Beach. 6 bungalows dot the well maintained landscape, 3 right at water's edge and 3 set just a bit further back but all with views of the water and direct access to the beach from your own pathway. The beach was spotless, even though the water was a bit rougher than usual (unusual high winds the 2 days we were there). Unlike at the other lodge we visited while there, when the tide goes out, the beach still exists at Kimbilio!

The Italian couple who manage the lodge are welcoming and friendly. We joined them for dinner on the first night, which was fun. We had the place to ourselves due to it being off-season. Dinner and breakfast were delicious, with fresh seafood excellently prepared for dinner. All the staff were gracious and professional, always with a smile and the friendly "karibu" for which Tanzanians are so well-known.

The spacious bungalows are very nicely decorated, with large, comfortable beds, mosquito nets, and huge bathrooms and showers with enough hot water. We stayed in 2 of their accommodations, which were furnished similarly: the waterfront one being a bit larger and had AC (not that we needed it) and a ceiling fan. The slightly smaller unit set back a bit from the waterfront was similarly equipped, without AC but with a huge ceiling fan. There is a backup generator which supplies power in the event of a power outage.

Elizabeth (Betty) and her husband, the lodge managers, introduced us to Osman, one of the local tour guides, who escorted us around Kilwa Masoko, arranged the half-day trip Kilwa Kisiwani to the mosque and palace ruins, and the next day took us to Kilwa Kivenje to see the fishing village and the ruins there.
I highly recommend Osman as a tour guide for the area: his knowledge of the history of the area is astounding and his English is excellent! We traveled to Kisiwani by sailing dhow, an experience in and of itself! We toured the ruins from mid-afternoon to almost sunset, and the timing was perfect. Allow 3 - 4 hours to see all the ruins at Kisiwani at a leisurely pace.

From Arusha, we flew on FastJet out of JRO to Dar Es Salaam, and then rented a car for the 5-6 hour drive to Kilwa. Most of the road to Kilwa is fully paved now; there are just a few sections still under construction so there are a few diversions. We had a Rav 4, but never needed the 4-wheel drive, but rainy conditions might necessitate using 4 wheel drive.

For anyone looking for a paradise beach location away from the crowds, I highly recommend the Kilwa area, and definitely stay at Kimbilio Lodge! There are other activities to do there as well, such as diving, fishing, etc,; we just didn't have the time to indulge.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kathy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Uppsala, Uppsala Län, Sweden
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

I had a great time in Kilwa and my stay at Kimbilio was wonderful. Since it wasn't during the diving season I virtually had the place (and the beach) to my self. The chalet was huge and very nice with great facilities. The food in the restaurant was wonderful. Even though I had miscalculated my budget and brought too little money the very friendly staff and management managed to find ways to arrange everything within my budget (I think I might have got a bit of discount on some things). Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Viktor E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lafayette, CA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2013

Kimbilio is the type of place that independent travelers long for - reasonably priced, great Italian food, interesting and welcoming hosts and near to a UNESCO site. We flew to Kilwa from Mafia and were picked up at the landing strip by Elizabeth and treated to a wonderful whole fish lunch when we arrived. Location is quite scenic on the beach and safe with Masai guards at either end. Rooms are large and clean, nothing fancy but certainly more than adequate. The lodge set up two trips to the two archaeological sites - Osman was an excellent guide who spoke very good English. Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara are very different and are both worth exploring, with the latter being a long boat ride but well worth the time. We found the local expat crowd that visited the bar added to the charm. We hired a local car and driver to take us overland to Selous - a bit of a haul on dirt roads but better than going back to Dar and flying down. Luis Luque is a Spaniard living in Kilwa who has the car and driver - worked well for us and was reasonably priced - contact is doctorlucrecio@hotmail.com.

Room Tip: The rooms right on the beach are great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruby84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2012

I never stayed here but I have eaten here a few times. Nice ambiance, view and setting. Friendly welcome and excellent food (big tasty portions and real starter/dessert). Clean, well-lit toilets, open kitchen and nice bar. Reassuringly expensive? i would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2012

We had a wonderful 4 nights at the Kimbilio Lodge. We stayed here as part of our road trip from dar to the Selous and then Kilwa. The owners/management were very friendly and helpful and the food was delicious. The bartender taught us how to play bau and helped us with our Swahili. We decided to do half board and the food/service was more than we had hoped for. There is a talented chef who cooked us flavorful seafood fishes each night. The management set up a dhow sail and private tour with a local guide to Kilwa Kisawani, helped us to plan a fishing trip, and took us out to do a wall dive. Their approach to diving is also very professional and all equipment is clean and well kept. Kilwa is a magical place. I highly recommend the area and the Kimbilio Lodge.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stacygee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012

My wife and I stayed at Kimbilio for two nights (three would have been even more relaxing) on our way back by bus from the south of Tanzania to Dar-es-Salaam. The owners and staff were friendly and really went out of their way to help. The rondavel was just five yards away from the beach.

The highlight was an afternoon trip to the island where the famous ruins of the Kilwa Kisiwani World Heritage Site are situated. We were accompanied by an enormously well-informed guide, Osman, organised by Kimbilio. We crossed the 2km channel by dhow and had time during the crossing to work out the difference between dhows and the sailing boats we know - the 'boom' at the top of the sail rather than the bottom, making it difficult to tack. But at least you don't get hit on the head!

Probably the most impressive buildings were the two medieval domed mosques and the big Omani fortress complete with sanitation. We then walked across part of the island and came down to the shore again from the Great Palace at sunset to find our dhow nestling in the dusk in the midst of tall mangrove trees. We had to wade out to it in shallow water over white sand. It was a magic moment!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TanzaniaTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kilwa Masoko
0.0 mi away
The Old Boma at Mikindani
2.2 mi away
Kilwa Beach Lodge
Kilwa Beach Lodge
#4 of 6 in Kilwa Masoko
4.5 of 5 bubbles 53 reviews
24.9 mi away
Fanjove Private Island
Fanjove Private Island
#2 of 6 in Kilwa Masoko
5.0 of 5 bubbles 90 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Mwangaza Hideaway
Mwangaza Hideaway
#5 of 6 in Kilwa Masoko
5.0 of 5 bubbles 23 reviews
0.1 mi away
Kilwa Pakaya Hotel
Kilwa Pakaya Hotel
#1 of 1 in Kilwa Masoko
4.0 of 5 bubbles 34 reviews
0.0 mi away
Meremeta Lodge
Meremeta Lodge
#1 of 6 in Mafia Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 129 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kimbilio Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kimbilio Lodge

Property: Kimbilio Lodge
Address: Kilwa Masoko | Tanzania Coast, Kilwa Masoko, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Kilwa Masoko
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Kilwa Masoko
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimbilio Lodge is a very small, italian managed, romantic lodge situated on a lovely white sandy beach in Kilwa Masoko. Only 6 bungalow, directly on the beach, fitted with mosquito nets, ceiling fans and hot water. African style mixed with italian touch is present in the bungalows decor as well as in the cuisine: our customers will try swahili specialites as well italian dishes. The restaurant serve only seafood. Great snorkeling just in front of the lodge (equipment available inside the lodge for the guests) and boat excursions on the outer reef are possible. Excursions to the UNESCO world heritage site of Kilwa Kisiwani are easily organized, as well as excursions to the archeological site of Songo Mnara and excursions to see hippos. The Lodge has been conceived to offer relaxation, leisure and culture in a peacefull and romantic setting. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Kimbilio Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kimbilio Lodge Tanzania/Kilwa Masoko

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing