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“An island of peace sitting above the ocean of the African bush”

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Boundary Hill Lodge
Australia
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“An island of peace sitting above the ocean of the African bush”
Reviewed 10 June 2009

Hi,

I’m a newbie to this forum ... maybe only a one-off visitor ... but I thought I’d say just a few words about my experience in and around Tarangire NP these past few days. I visited Tarangire many years back and my memory of it was poor experience when compared to eg: Serengeti . But the two days we spent driving around were mind-blowing.

Though (apart from some far-off cheetahs) we saw no cats, we sat and watched innumerable families of elephants, two large (huge!) herds of buffalo as well as the expected impala, waterbuck, giraffe, warthogs, vervant monkeys, baboons etc. And the numerous, diverse, birds were something else!

Between the two days of touring in the NP my partner and I spent a peaceful two nights and a day at a lodge called Boundary Hill. It’s an interconnected group of uniquely designed accommodations with a spacious, tiered relaxation and dining area sited high on top of a ridge looking one way over the NP and the other over a conservation area. Each room has glass walls or patios with endless views. We watched a herd of elephants spend their day browsing across the plain below the lodge. It felt like an island of peace sitting above the ocean of the African bush.

I’ll always remember the time (probably hours!) spent watching the elephants in Tarangire. We happened upon a waterhole at the same moment as an elephant family who treated us to a view of them playing, wallowing and showering in the muddy waters. We watched at the river (while banded mongoose drank from and then swam the river) as thirty or more elephants dug in the sand, drank and then, in a long parade, crossed the wide sandy beach and scaled the opposite bank in the late afternoon sun.

What a privilege it is to have experience this!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mally123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Glendale, California
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2008

I booked Boundary Hill Lodge after reading about it in a travel book and reading reviews at Tripadvisor. I was looking for a more upscale lodge in Tarangire National Park and was not interested in staying in a tent. In addition, I was planning a trip with friends who would be sharing rooms, and the only other property that was of interest was the Tarangire Treetops. But I had read reivews that the bathroom was completely open to the bedroom offering little privacy, so Boundary Hill Lodge became my first choice.

I booked my safari through CCAfrica and when I inquired about Boundary Hill Lodge, they were not initially aware of the property. I actually had to send them the website to make contact. But I am glad I pushed to get a room at this wonderful property. I only wish I had spent more than the one night we had booked.

After our rather long drive from Arusha and a game drive through the park, we arrived at the Lodge early in the afternoon. We were greeted by the staff and Simon, the manager, who gave us a warm welcome. The Lodge is situated just outside the park in a concession area high on a hill overlooking a stunningly beautiful valley filled with acacia and baobab trees. The rooms (or villas) are built into the side of the hill and are made of local bricks and concrete. They are quite large and have expansive windows and a large deck complete with an outdoor shower and bathtub. Because of how the rooms are built into the rocks and separated from one another, you feel as if you are far removed from your closest neighbor. The rooms are simply decorated, but clean and well kept. One of the best features is in the bathroom where they have installed a floor to ceiling window in front of the toilet to make sure you are never too far from the fabulous views. While I felt a bit like a fish in a fishbowl, you soon realize that there is no need to worry about privacy as there is no one else around for miles and miles.

Soon after exploring my room, we were greeted by a staff member who brought us some lunch. After a great meal, we walked around the property and then decided to take an afternoon hike led by a masai warrior. Well, we weren't more than 10 feet outside of the lodge grounds when we spotted a mother and baby elephant. It's definitely an exhilarating experience (if not a bit scary) to see large animals on foot. Of course, we gave the mother plenty of space and continued on our way.

After the walk, we prepared for dinner in the main dining room in a building overlooking the other side of the hill. Since there were only three of us at the lodge that evening, we were escorted to a special table set up on a rocky legde which was surrounded by candlelight. The sounds of hyenas could be heard in the distance. It was a wonderful steak dinner served by a friendly staff. We also enjoyed sitting and talking with Simon, our host, who shared some great stories of his Africa experience.

After dinner, we had the rare opportunity to take a night game drive. Although not a planned activity at the lodge, they were testing the idea of running this excursion. I must say, we didn't see much game, but we did see some impala, elephant, and servit (sp) cats which are only seen at night. After the drive, I went back the my room and went to sleep that night listening to the sound of lions and hyenas in the distance. Electricity wasn't working too well that night, so make sure a flashlight or cell phone is nearby your bed. And yes, my cell phone worked almost everywhere I stayed in Tanzania.

I woke up to the sun rising over the savanah...what a sight! There was a giraffe walking across the valley below. After taking a shower outside (which was a bit cold), we had a great breakfast and then headed out to our next stop, The Ngorongoro Crater.

I would highly recommend this Lodge but if the idea of a secluded room in the middle of nowhere with no airconditioning and a rustic outdoor shower is a scary to you, you might want to consider another option. But the service, views, and great food were all worth it for us.

Also, if you are thinking of traveling during August or September, Tarangire National park is a great spot for game viewing. We saw plenty of zebra, wildebeast, giraffe, elephants and lions. It was a great compliment to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti.

  • Liked — the unique design of the rooms located high on a hill and the incredible views
  • Disliked — inconsistant electricity and shower wasn't hot for very long
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JDMTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2008

We absolutely loved this place! We stayed here for 3 nights in early June 2008 for our honeymoon. The location was beautiful! Our room was all windows with a great view of the Tarangire Conservation Area. Even the bathroom had great views!

The staff at the lodge was wonderful. The two women who worked in the dining area were so nice. Moses and a Maasai man (Loeshi?) took us on a great walk one day and we had a wonderful time. We wanted to take Moses, Loeshi and the girls back home with us as they were so great.

We would highly recommend this place. Although it is not in the park itself, it is in the "conservation area" which also has its share of wildlife. The drive to the park is relatively quick though.

  • Liked — The views and the staff.
  • Disliked — Getting lost finding our room.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Ilike2travelallover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 4 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2008

We stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge 2 nights and were recovering from being ill (we became ill elsewhere) and the staff could not have been more attentive. They brought tea to our room the first night and, when our entire party didn't make it to breakfast, they delivered a tray to our room. They also did our laundry free of charge (although we did find out who did the wash and tipped the person). The rooms were spacious and full of character. The views were stunning (watched elephants from our room) and the food was delicious. Yes, the drive to get to the lodge is not the smoothest but we very much enjoyed our stay and recommend it highly.

  • Liked — Excellent staff, beautiful view and unique accomodations
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank collage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney nova scotia
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2008

We loved this hotel .The views are outstanding, the stone cottages simply lovely and the food was good. I wrote a longer review on the Tanzania Forum.
You will never have a better view while sitting on a toilet in your life!
Staff was courteous and kind. Waitresses spent a lot of time with us teaching us Swahili.
Overall, a memorable stay.

  • Liked — The views!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familydoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boundaryhill, owner/manager at Boundary Hill Lodge, responded to this review, 10 June 2008
Dear Family Doc,
thanks for the great review I am glad you enjoyed your stay at our lodge and in particular my wife liked your comments about the hamburger and chips she cooked for your lunch one day
karibu sana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 March 2008

Boundary Hill is truly a remarkable place. The service and hospitality more than makes up for the long drive down a bumpy track to get to it. In fact, the journey really adds to the magical feeling of isolation and being cut off from the stresses of the real world.

We visited in mid-March which is not an ideal time as it is the start of the rainy season but we were very lucky with the weather and it didn't spoil our trip at all. However, it did mean we were the last guests of the season and had the run of Boundary Hill. We were given the best room which was really stunning. It had a lovely comfortable bed and huge terrace with stunning views over the surrounding countryside. We even had our own bath outside on the balcony.

The food and service was really good in a homely way - not as fancy as some of the other lodges we stayed in but this was no bad thing. The owner was attentive but also gave us a lot of space to enjoy our time together.

We would highly recommend Boundary Hill to anyone looking for a romantic retreat from everyday life. It won't suit those people who like big, bustling hotels but for us it was perfect.

  • Liked — The fabulous views and the bath on the balcony
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank The_Ryans79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2007

After a long but to be expected bumpy 90 minute drive from the highway, we arrived at Boundary Hill Lodge.
There isnt much to the reception, but its important to remember that you are on safari and are here to experience nature and not a 5 star hotel.
That said, once we were brought to our room, we could easily have forgotten that we were on safari. Huge nicely decorated rooms with stunning views of the Tarangire park below.
On our 2nd of 3 nights, we were moved to the best room in the place. Even bigger and more luxurious than the first with a balcony giving a 270 degree view of the park. The view was awesome and if you were so inclined you could even take a bath on the balcony.
Bring binoculars as there are lots of opportunities to search the park below for signs of life, elephants and girrafes being the most common.
The communal area is open air and amazing for breakfasts and dinners. The food was great, but there's no choice so make sure you're not too fussy. Their soups are great!
Turn off your lights when you leave your room as the lights are solar powered. Dont leave your room at night without a guard. We werent told until the next day, but one night we were being escorted back to the room and there was a leopard in the bushes.
We had a fantastic experience here as part of our honeymoon, and the stay was positive rom start to finish, apart from when we were checking out and paying our bill. Perhaps due to our own ignorance and not having checked when we arrived, we were given an exchange rate of 1000 shilling to the dollar, which is robbery given that previous 'touristy' hotels had offered us 1380 do the dollar, and that wasnt even the best rate around. So best thing to do is have lots and lots of schilling with you to avoid their rip-off exchange rates. Also be aware,that if you order a bottle of wine, it will cost you $35 per bottle. Again our fault for not asking but other hotels had only been charging $24-26 per bottle.
So as I said before, a great experience, but a bad taste was left in our mouths when checking out. Nothing bankrupting but the principle was in question.
I would reccomend Boundary Hill but make sure you cheque prices and exchange rates before you order anything.

  • Liked — Location and setting
  • Disliked — rip-off exchange rates
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fatius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boundaryhill, owner/manager at Boundary Hill Lodge, responded to this review, 20 October 2007
I was at the lodge when Fatius was there with her husband, but left before her bar bill was prepared, however since reading this review I have reduced all wine to 20US$ per bottle for the rest of 2007 season and will have a daily tsh/US$ exchange rate, we have also intriduced new bar bills where we will request all guests to sign.
I appreciate her comments about the reception this design was intential so clients after the simplicity of the reception would be even more amazed at the rooms
Fatius thanks
management BHL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Boundary Hill Lodge

Property: Boundary Hill Lodge
Address: | Sakina, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 28 Speciality Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Literally perched on the edge of Tarangire National Park, among trees and rock outcrops, the lodge is nestled into the cliffs and huge granite slabs. Built of natural materials, predominantly local stone, wood and burnt brick, Boundary Hill Lodge offers outstanding views over the Silale and Gosuwa swamps, where elephant and buffalo graze among the acacia and baobab trees beneath the vastness of Africa's sky. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boundary Hill Hotel Tarangire National Park

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