I must shamelessly praise the Ujamaa Volunteer Hostel in Arusha, Tanzania for their incredible hospitality, cleanliness, and connectedness to the community. I am a part of a volunteer group with The Juilliard School in NYC that, for the last three years, has come to Arusha for extensive stays. Owners Carley and Gasper have a very visible presence and nail the balance between professionalism and kindness right on the head. Hard. They are genuinely gracious people and business owners, and have been consistently receptive to all of our needs both in and out of the hostel.
As a trip leader, it is sometimes hard to find a place that can accommodate the needs of groups-- which unavoidably entails other complications (food, travel plans, our bizarre artsy fartsy members, etc). Still, Ujamaa has tended to all of our oddities swiftly and hospitably.
Furthermore, their 'Volunteer Experience'-- hooking guests of the hostel up with a project in the community-- creates an underlying pulse of good will with your bunkmates. This in turn cultivates a deep sense of family and community. The ' Volunteer Experience' itself is remarkably organized and oriented seamlessly by the staff. In a city that may seem daunting and unnavigable at first culture-shocked glance, Ujamaa makes you feel welcomed and incredibly inspired to get involved!
Another huge selling point is its location-- a short walk from the Clocktower downtown area, markets and transportation are easily accessible. You're 10 minutes from the Maasai craft market, a corner grocery, numerous internet cafes, delicious local restaurants, the Via Via night club . . . and quite frankly whatever else you may need. Still, the hostel itself is wedged beautifully inside of local daily life on a side road-- peace and quiet.
Did I mention the food is drool-worthy and cooked by the sweetest Tanzanian women on the planet? Well, it is.
But most importantly, I feel the staff trust me as a guest and have respect for me as a person. After three years, there is no other place I would choose in the Arusha area other than Ujamaa.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ujamaa Hostel is for volunteers and travellers and is located in Arusha, Tanzania. We provide fun, safe, affordable accommodation where you can meet like-minded people, check out the Tanzanian culture and spend time volunteering in the local community if you want to. We welcome short-term visitors and travellers to the hostel for 1 night or more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ujamaa Hotel Arusha