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“Great pool and lovely rooms” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ilboru Safari Lodge

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Ilboru Safari Lodge
Ranked #4 of 148 Speciality Lodging in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
South East England
Level Contributor
93 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great pool and lovely rooms”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

What a pleasant surprise to arrive at Ilboru with its charming "roundhouse" style rooms, huge swimming pool (and after days without, WiFi). Food was good, nice variety with for us, buffet style meals where we got to try all sorts of African dishes. My only criticism is the "Snack Bar" sold no snacks, a shame because it was a nice place to hang out.

Room Tip: We had two different ones and each was great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Orchardsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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632 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

Ilboru lodge is something special because of Ad - owner and chef. His smile and cheerful character, great cooking skills makes it all. We had the BEST FOOD in Arusha at the lodge. We tried few places in Arusha and Ilboru is a winning champion in terms of prices and quality. My favorite was mutton curry but jager schnitzel was a winner also. The lodge has beautiful flowers and nice swimming pool. We stayed there in between our climb to Kilimanjaro, trip to Zanzibar and safari. The staff is the most smiling and happy I ever saw during our trip. Highly reccomend for anybody who plan to stay in Arusha.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 36, nice and quiet, two minutes walk to the pool and kitchen.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yuri G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2013 via mobile

Ilboru Safari lodge is a great place to enjoy Arusha city, while it offers the tranquility one desires after being out and about in the city madness. The pool is simply amazing. There are computers and excellent wifi available. Ilboru does a great breakfast as well as snacks and dinner.
Although not downtown, we could easily walk the 2-3km to the city center. During the day fine by foot, after sunset taxis are preferable as in all Tanzanian cities.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Annemijn89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McLean, Virginia
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2013

We stayed at the Ilboru the night before and the night after our safari and loved it. It's a beautiful, clean, relaxing and friendly place to stay, with cute bungalow rooms, lovely gardens, and a fantastic pool. Just a little bit out of downtown Arusha, which makes it quiet and peaceful. At the same time, it's quite the happening place to be. A lot of people enjoy sitting around the pool for a beer or drinks at the end of the day and the restaurant is full of happy campers about to leave on or returning from trips. As the previous reviewer said, the rooms are basic but clean and comfortable and the staff are terrific. The owner is great and checks in with everyone to make sure their stay is going well. My husband and I, and our two 20-somethings stayed in two rooms and really enjoyed it. We definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Further from the pool is quieter
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jay L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Greenwich, Rhode Island, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2013

We stayed at the Ilboru lodge before and after our Kilimanjaro climb and safari, a total of 3 nights. The rooms are very basic, but clean and comfortable. It was a little cold while we were there so we didn't get to enjoy the pool, but it looked very clean.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful. We had a tight schedule between our climb and the safari, but the staff was able to fit in our laundry so that we could have clean clothes for the second leg of our trip.
The restaurant was probably our favorite part of the hotel - the food was all very delicious and there was a good selection of swahili and international food.
Overall, it is a great place to stay - a little off the beaten path but a very relaxing place and a great place to stay between the climb and safari!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherry Grove, Canada
Level Contributor
49 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RyanSales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
186 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ilboru Safari Lodge

Property: Ilboru Safari Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 8012, Arusha, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 148 Speciality Lodging in Arusha
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Ilboru Safari Hotel Arusha

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