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“The ONLY place to lodge in Arusha”
Review of Ujamaa Hostel

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Ujamaa Hostel
Ranked #20 of 176 Speciality Lodging in Arusha
Reviewed 23 June 2011

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.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great, but book early!
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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Thank in_jenna_ral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (112)
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90 - 96 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2011

I have fortunate to have traveled to the Arusha area five times. Ujamaa has much to offer and I highly recommend it. The location is optimal, as it is an easy walk to town. Carley and Gasper know all there is to know about the area from volunteering experiences to site seeing, local restaurants and nite spots. Carley is a wise, warm and lovely woman who is nothing but an absolute pleasure.

The food is good and you can not beat the place for the bed and food, laundry included in the price. Many folks return there time and time again. That speaks for itself!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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Thank dianesara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

Ujamaa was my second home. I loved the [female] staff and loved spending time with them getting to know them and gave me an opportunity to do some tutoring in English. They welcomed me 'home' after time away and I felt safe at Ujamaa. The rates very reasonable and included having my washing done. I enjoyed the walk to/from town each day as it gave me chance to interact with the local people, especially gave me the opportunity to speak with school children as I believe that through Education we can rid poverty. It also was great to find out about their daily lives. I've made some firm friends by staying at Ujamaa, and also a good understanding of project work being undertaken and I would recommend this hostel without reservation.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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Thank EJO16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2011

We spent a year staying at Ujamaa Hostel, we had originally intended to stay for 3 months..so that should tell you how good this place is.
For what you pay the service is amazing. Breakfast and dinner included and the food was great with vegetarians well catered for.
Washing is done every day which is a great relief to know after a day working at the projects your clothes are ready for the next day.
Staff are amazing and really make your stay at Ujamaa. And what Carley and Gasper can't tell you about Arusha and volunteering probably isn't worth knowing, they really have it covered. They also run an amazing project of their own as well as running the hostel.
If you want a great place to stay and a really amazing introduction to volunteering in Africa, then you can't go past Ujamaa Hostel!

Room Tip: Dorm rooms and double rooms available
  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JDMAC3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2011

Run, don't walk, to experience Ujamaa Hostel and all it has to offer!
The owners, Carley and Gasper, operate a well run hostel that provides tremendous support for volunteer activities in Arusha and area. We were warmly welcomed by the hostel community of other volunteers and staff. The hostel quickly became our home away from home, and we greatly enjoyed living with other volunteers or travelers from around the world. A variety of volunteer projects and staff support allowed us to find a good fit for our interests and skills. The hostel location is easy walking distance to the town centre and services.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Tanzanianut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

My daughter and I just spent 16 days in Tanzania, and the fabulous experience we had volunteering and heading out on safari owed in no small measure to the Ujamaa Hostel. From the minute we found it online and started arranging our stay with Carley, questions were answered, special information offered, friendliness shared. We connected with the safari operator and volunteer locations all through the hostel and met some terrific people while we were there. Rates are extremely reasonable.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Arusha2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2011

This hostel is a great place to stay if you are volunteering or just passing through. The owners, the staff and other guest will make you feel at home and part of a big family. Good value for your money!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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Thank travelnow2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ujamaa Hostel

Address: Njiro Block A, Plot 24, Arusha 1661, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 176 Speciality Lodging in Arusha
Price Range: £31 - £33 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
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 
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Also Known As:
Ujamaa Hotel Arusha

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