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“Bad experience”

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Ruaha Hilltop Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 September 2013

The location is not good for a 2 days stay as it is located 1 hour from the park gate.
Rooms are basic and not very clean.
Food is not good, personnel is nice but with no experience. The manager is not interested on clients but only on getting money.
I had transfer and accommodation organized by a travel agency in Arusha for the entire tour (15 days), we only had problems with them: they forgot our transfer from the air strip giving excused of car problems.
But the most important review is about game drive organized by the lodge manager, very expensive, old cars not good for a game drive and with no competence - the same person serving drinks for dinner, is the guide on game drive. I have had a very bad experience with them, I was really scared when we had a group of elephants (especially with a female nursing a little one) in front and around us, and they wanted to go ahead instead of going back. I didn't feel safe at all! We finally got out and the elephants went away, but it was a very bad situation I had never had the days before with the other guide.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank BebeMilano_Italia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (83)
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33 - 39 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2013

Spend a couple nights here with other students from a program based in Iringa and fell in love. Absolutely breathtaking sites, friendly staff and OUTSTANDING safari experience. Food was great. Very clean, rooms are comfortable and very well situated close to the park. The stars at night are incredible. Will be back, will recommend highly to anyone traveling here.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank danielbernal13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013

We stayed here for three nights and it was our first safari experience. The welcome was great and the two days of safari with Titus were fantastic. He has a great eye and provides a lot of extra info about the animals and nature. We haven't stayed at any other safari lodges so we can't compare (and I have to say we are fairly easy to please) but I'd say that you get great value for money here, comparing it with the rates of other similar places in Tanzania.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank holandesin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Great view
Lodge well situated (+/- 15 minutes from the Ruaha NP).
Huts very clean.
African management and staff a little bit clumsy (accentuates the African feeling) but very helpfull and friendly.
Good food (breakfast, packed lunch, dinner).

Room Tip: if you are not in a good phisical condition, ask a hut near de reception (the lodge is built on a hi...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Luc V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2013

My sister and I stayed here for 2 nights in February during the low season and enjoyed a wonderful welcoming stay. On arrival we were meet by the owner Alban and his ever friendly staff who who took our bags up to our room. We had a balcomy with a lovely view of the Ruaha National Park below us. The room was extremely spacious and they had nice little touches in the room including flip flops to wear in the shower and a beautiful trunk where we could lock away any valuables.

Alban was ever present during our stay and he and his staff run a beautiful lodge. Alban grows most of the vegetables himself and we also got to taste some home grown coffee. We enjoyed tasty meals including a lovely pumpkin soup. The upstairs of the recreation area has a wonderful balcony from where you can get an amazing view of the vast national park stretched out in front of you. If my memory serves me right, i believe there are 16 individual rooms at the lodge that can accomodate various numbers. Our room had 3 double beds and must have been one of the largest rooms at the lodge.

Titus (hope i spealt his name correctly) was our guide on safari and we got to see so many beautiful animals. He has a great eye for them and spotted a sleeping lion under a tree and we were able to get within only a few feet of the King of the jungle. What a sight.

The lodge uses solar power and a generator but hope to have a connection to the main electricity line in the next few months.It is also a competively priced lodge. Our aunts have previously stayed here and it was on their recommendation that we chose to stay here. This is a lovely, well run and friendly lodge with a big welcome.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Killeaney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2012

This was our first "safari" experience while in Tanzania. We arrived by bus in the town of Iringa, which is about 2 hours away from the lodge. As I got off the bus, Alex, our driver/guide was one of the first people I saw, which is so important when traveling by bus in Tanzania. He wisked us away for a very interesting drive to the lodge. Upon arriving at the lodge we were met with warm, scented towels and fresh fruit juice. Then we were shown to our room, which was just as we had expected. One fun fact about the lodge is because they are so far out in the wilderness, their electricity is only available by generator, so there is power for only 3 hours each night. Then there are romantic lanterns for the rest of the night. Our bungalow was at the top of the ridge with a marvelous deck overlooking the valley. Our luggage was carried up to the room for us. The next day we went on a full day game drive. Ruaha National park is amazing as was our guide. In one day we saw, lions (2 males), giraffes, zebras, baboons, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, dik diks, impala, mongoose, wart hogs, monkeys, and tons of beautiful birds. The safari vehicle was 3 rows of seats in a tiered formation, so everyone could see everything. The meals were pretty good. Lunch was a little greasy, but that is the way they cook in Tanzania. Everyone at the lodge went out of their way to meet our needs and I would go there again without a 2nd thought. Thank you for an amazing stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank DebbieSH6207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2012

We spent five nights here and loved every one of them. The staff were really friendly, informative and helpful - especially Alban and Nyemma. On arrival, we were given a refreshing towel to wipe the dust from the journey there away and our luggage was carried to our bungalow for us. The room we were allotted had impressive views of the vast Ruaha national park from the balcony outside as well as lots of decorative character inside.

There was always plenty of the homemade food at breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was absolutely delicious. A fresh soup was prepared each evening for the starter; I particularly enjoyed the creamy groundnut soup. The warmed bananas and syrup for dessert were also fantastic!

Our game drives into Ruaha were absolutely incredible as our driver and guide worked together to find the all animals we'd hoped to see and informed us about the many more that we discovered too. They seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. We were able to spend as long as we wanted observing the wildlife each time we found it. The lodge organises cultural tours too and we visited a Hehe Tribe village where we gained a genuine insight into their way of life, past and present.

Bear in mind that the location of the lodge is 30mins drive from the national park entrance. If you want to do a walking safari for example, you will need a car to get from the lodge to the start and end of the walk. The lodge organises game drives as well as general transport for such activities; just make sure you arrange it at least a day beforehand and agree the price in advance too.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ashleigh A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ruaha Hilltop Lodge

Address: 5km from Tungamalenga Village, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Iringa Region > Ruaha National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Ruaha National Park
Price Range: £65 - £167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ruaha Hilltop Lodge is located on top of a hill over looking the vast savannah plains. We are committed to offering exceptional service at an affordable price to bring out the real Tanzanian experience in your safari. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ruaha Hilltop Hotel Ruaha National Park

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