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“Great Stay”

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Boundary Hill Lodge
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Stay”
Reviewed 22 November 2009

My wife and I just finished a 2 day stay in early November in Boundary Hill. It was really a great hotel and probably one of the more underrated places in Tarangire. It's a very interesting place and has probably one of the most remarkable settings you will ever see for a hotel. Getting to theres is a bit tough, requiring about an hour drive up an extremely poorly maintained road (not the hotel's fault, its an 8 room hotel that requires a 30 kilometer dirt road up a large hill for access and it's really the only place using the road, no way it could afford to really maintain the road well). The hotel actually does not have a lobby or an indoor dining area- you check in outside under an overhang. The eating area is on an outdoor patio with panoramic views of the valley below, can make for a buggy experience, but dining there one of the most remarkable things I've ever experienced and something I believe everyone will appreciate. Quite honestly, it's one of the most beautiful settings I've ever seen. Rooms are spectacular, can have some bugs in them, but that inconvenience is more than made up by the views (including the view from the toilet which is pretty unreal). Your room basically has a panoramic view view of a huge conservation area outside of Tarangire. In our 2 days there we saw giraffes, antelope and elephants from our room and some of the most amazing sunrises ever (rooms face east so no sunsets). The staff are all masaai tribesman and are probably the nicest people you'll ever meet and really bend over backwards for you. All in, I'd highly recommend this hotel, at least for a night. Food was also very good, but for full disclosure we were the only people in the hotel both nights so we didnt have a buffet. Not sure how that would change the dining experience.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank danmeds12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Kazuno, Japan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2009

I've been to safaris to Ngorongoro twice, Lake Manyara and the Okavango. This was by far the most impressive safari for various reasons:

LOCATION
As the name suggests, it's on the boundary into Tarangire National Park. As some of the other reviews have mentioned, the road to the lodge is quite bumpy but definitely worth it when you get there as it’s the only settlement in sight with amazing views. You can see the Milky Way at night when the sky’s clear. The gate into the National Park is also very close although we didn’t go (as you need to pay park and car fees). You can only pay the park fee by credit/debit card.

ACCOMMODATION
Each room is out of view of the others, not that it mattered on the first night as we were the only couple there! The one we stayed in had a comfortable double bed, a bath outside as well as the shower, and panoramic views even from the loo (see photos). You can just sit on the balcony and spot animals (binoculars recommended), or the rock hyraces might come and greet you!

Electricity is run on solar panels – there was no electricity on the second night but we had torches so it was fine. Also the sockets are old three pin ones (at 120 degrees to each other), so I couldn’t charge my phone but I didn’t need it anyway. We had hot water from the shower all the time but we didn’t fill the bath as we wanted to preserve water.

SAFARIS
We did walking safaris and a night safari as we're not huge fans of being in a car all day. Even though it was very dry, we still saw giraffes, elephants, zebra, etc. and ate baobab and marula fruit while walking. The guides were amazing at tracking and identifying faeces of different animals. We were lucky in that it was cloudy during the first morning walk. Some of the walks can be quite exhausting if the sun’s out so stay at the lodge during the midday sun – the guides will be happier that way as well!

The night safari was awesome! We saw animals that we hadn’t seen before, such as porcupine and wild cats. Even the ones we’d seen before seemed different at night. Moses, one of the guides, would scan the area with a spotlight, and when he spotted something, the driver would go off road to chase it until we lost sight of it. If you have a spare torch, take it with you.

During the walks we would have three guides – Papa, a young Maasai warrior with his spear; Moses, a slightly old man with his piece of plumbing to bash the snakes apparently; and Imma(nuel) who speaks quite good English. During the night drive, Papa would be replaced by the driver (John?)…

FOOD
Every single meal was delicious, and we only felt bad because there was so much of it every time – enough to feed us twice over! I ate so much on the first night that I literally couldn’t move, and we were glad on the last morning when we opted for brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. We took our own bottle of wine which they kindly opened for us (no corkage) and provided wine glasses. Bottles of water were included in our package.

HOSPITALITY
Excellent. From getting picked up by Simon at Arusha and been invited to tea and coffee at his house, the stay at the lodge and all the staff being kind and flexible, all the way to being dropped off at the bus station back in Arusha.

PRICE
Paid $320 each for three days two nights (all inclusive) and was worth every dollar, plus the tips we left behind. We were asked for $50 deposit each beforehand which we did through Exim bank in Moshi, and paid the rest in a mixture of dollars and Tanzanian shillings. They don’t accept credit card.

RECOMMENDED?
Yes! Especially for a romantic weekend, but also for families. Maybe ask beforehand what the climate is like in the conservation area, since if it’s the end of the wet season/start of the dry season (June?), then you’ll probably see as much in the conservation area as in the national park itself, and you’ll save park and car fees. Also they had a pool which wasn’t operational yet, but maybe during the wet season? Would definitely like to go there again, maybe with our families.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Y0Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2009

What a surprise to arrive here after a long trip!
The masai guided us to the lodge at the end of the hill, holding a light, showing the way, and when we opened the door we saw the most beatifull view we've ever seen!
the lodge itself was amazing, the big bed, the nice bathroom downstairs (also with view) and the balcony with bath outside. The day safari in nice Tarangire National park was great, we met hunderds of elephants, giraffes, zebra's and a leopard and hardly any other tourists.
The food and service was absolutely perfect!!!
I was stunned and overwhelmed by this beautifull place and the friendly staff.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chickZwolle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2009

I have recently returned from 5 weeks in Tanzania and stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge on two separate occasions.

The combination of Tarangire National Park and staying overnight at Boundary Hill Lodge was one of the highlights of my trip.

On our first visit to Boundary Hill, we spent two nights at the lodge. The accommodation was excellent: the staff was efficient and friendly, the food was very good and the room we stayed in was amazing. It was spacious and overlooked the Tarangire Conservation area. I was particularly taken with the decorations of the room which included framed newspaper articles about Tanzanian history.

I was so impressed with the whole experience that we went a second time, several weeks later, and took my nieces who we had met up with in Arusha. This time we spent a day in the National Park and then the evening and next morning at the Lodge.

The rooms are built on the edge of the hill and all overlook the Conservation area while the lounge and dining area overlooks the National Park. A very unique place!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wendyVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mally123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glendale, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 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
    • Location
    • 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 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
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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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