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Ilboru Safari Lodge
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All reviewslarge poolkilimanjaro climbbumpy roadgreat poolwater pressureroad leadingmain buildingfirst nightbeautiful gardena nice place to stayan oasisbreakfast buffet ispre and postset menugift shopcomfortable roomstour company
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Reviewed 6 July 2013

I recently stayed at the Ilboru Safari Lodge while on a Kilimanjaro climb. I spent a total of 3 nights at the Lodge both before and after the climb.

The drive to the hotel can make you nervous, especially if you haven't abroad. It's a bumpy dirt road through a poor area of Arusha. However, once you go through the gates and onto the lodge proper, you will likely agree that it is an oasis.

The grounds are beautifully manicured with trees, shrubs, and flowers. The lodge itself is composed of a main building (with gift shops, restaurant, storage, and some rooms), pool area, a separate building with snacks/internet, and multiple guest houses (2 suites to each guest house).

The lodge is well maintained and very clean. The pool area is quite nice, with loungers surrounding it and the restaurant staff service this area as well. The gifts shops are smaller, yet contain some excellent art work and local handi-crafts.

The hotel staff are extremely helpful. If you don't like porter server, don't be surprised if you have to state several times that you don't need help (remember, the tips for porter service are usually much needed by the staff, who work in a country where the minimum wage is 388 Tsh per hour, or less than $0.25 American). The staff do go above and beyond though. If you come back from a safari or climb, they will typically offer to wash your hiking boots etc for a tip (I used this service and my boots were spotless!).

The hotel also has spa and massage services (I didn't take advantage of these).

The front desk staff were very helpful, arranging a tour for me and making sure I was notified of pickup times, etc. They work frequently with the various tour/safari operators, so it's a pretty well greased machine.

The rooms themselves were quite nice. No TV or air conditioning, but they did have beautiful 4 poster beds with mosquito nets, an amazing duvet, and LOTS of storage space. The washrooms can be hit and miss, so check out the washroom and make sure the hot water heater is working and the toilet works well before accepting the room. (Note: Hot water is on a switch...save energy by turning it off but also remember to turn it on about 30 minutes before you shower!)

Internet is available via wifi in the main lodge building and the snack building. The internet was VERY intermittent. Do not use this internet for critical functions, as it's not reliable enough.

The food in the restaurant was FANTASTIC. The breakfast buffet has a moderate selection, but was quite tasty. I sampled their Swahili/Tanzanian dishes and the Swahili salad is amazing. They also have Indian, American, and even some European dishes. I have to say, their french fries (chips) are AMAZING (I know, I should have been eating more local food) and they have a hamburger sandwich (called the Mac) which was to die for. Most amazing burger I've ever had actually!

Overall, this was a great place. My only real negatives about the lodge were the spotty internet, the occasional power outage (lasted only a few minutes at longest while I was there), and the occasional mediocre server. The rest more than made up for it.

Last point regarding currency: Most prices quotes by the hotel are in US or Tsh. However, if they are only reported in Tsh, the hotel uses a generic conversion rate. So, you can function exclusively in US dollars if you want, but you WILL pay a bit of premium due to the exchange rate they use.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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6  Thank RyanSales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2013

This lodge is a wonderful oasis in the chaos of Arusha. Great accommodation rondavels, beautiful gardens and pool, good kitchen service, wonderful staff - all one could want in a base for hiking and safaris. The only very slight negatives were the low and variable water pressure, the inefficient toilet flushing and the slow internet, but these are minor and forgivable. I would recommend this to anyone needing an Arusha stopover.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Roy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2013

This was outside the downtown area of Arusha, it's own little oasis of lovely grounds and a nice swimming pool. The 3/4 mile road leading to it is terribly rutted and you can't believe that there could be any nice hotel on it, but it's worth the bounces. It was about a $5 cab ride into town, but again worth it. (perhaps could have paid less) We had dinner and breakfast and it was always good and plentiful. We stayed there twice, before and after safari and the second room we had was in a newer area, further from the main building but a little nicer. The staff was very friendly and did a nice job on laundry after safari. It's not super luxurious but nice enough and a price performer.

Room Tip: The newer ones are a bit further from the main building but a little nicer, although the exact same style.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Marilyn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

Ilboru was our start and end point for a Kilimanjaro Trek. 20 or so of us arrived en-mass, wanted feeding en-mass and departed en-mass - and the staff really did all they could to accommodate us.

The Lodge is basic, and clean with some nice gardens and an open pool area. The lodges are quite spacious, again very basic, but clean and serve their purpose.

Because we were booked in as group, we were fed from a set menu, with lots of small dishes of local produce - which was all hot and tasty. From what I saw of the menu there was a good variety of food

Kit that we were not taking on the Trek with us was stored safely for our return.

This lodge is used by lots of groups, so if you are checking in as an independant traveller dont be surprised to see weary dirty travellers with rucksacks slouched in the reception area.

If you are a group looking for a lodge for the beginning and end of your journey then this is the place for you !!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank screpta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2013

We, 20 people from US and China, stayed in this hotel on Feb. 15, 18 2013, before and after going to Serengeti and Ngorongoro. We had to store climbing gears in this hotel. When we returned from Safari, our luggage piled mess , it was to hard to find. The dinner services so slow, and internet is too slow to get anything done.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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