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“Another world”

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Simply Saadani Camp
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Another world”
Reviewed 13 March 2014

I stayed at Tent-with-a view for 4 nights as part of the VJV 'Secret Tanzania' package. I loved everything about the place and the staff were just wonderful. Natalia is an excellent manager, and all the other staff have been friendly and helpful . I want to mention the Masai warriors especially, as they were always there to escort us, without us having to ask or look for them. On the morning of our departure, they treated us to a performance of some of their dances, which were great fun to watch. The accommodation was very comfortable and clean, as was the restaurant and bar. The food was excellent: 5 interesting courses every night, served up in the restaurant or at the beach. The game drives were fascinating, even if it sometimes took an hour or so before we spotted any animals. Watching groups of elephants and lions close by were the highlights for me. Our guides were knowledgeable, patient and had excellent eyesight! The remote setting, the tranquil atmosphere, the sound of the waves from the sea at night and of the wind rustling the leaves of the trees that surrounded the bandas, plus all the positive aspects already mentioned above, made me feel like I was in another world. I would love to go back!

Room Tip: All the bandas are the same and placed along the beach. I am not aware that one is better than anoth...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Renate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 reviews from our community

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English first
St Leonards on Sea, England
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My wife and I stayed at Tents with a View as part of the VJV “Secret Tanzania” package Tour.

We were welcomed by the manager and his staff with cool towels and a fruit cocktail drink. These were particularly welcome after the 50 minute flight from Zanzibar and the 1 hour drive from Saadani airstrip. The drive was slightly extended by wildlife sightings, in particular elephants.

The welcome and service we received throughout our stay was exemplary, with all staff friendly, considerate and attentive. Breakfasts and lunches were simple and adequate. The five-course evening meals were excellent. The chefs worked wonders, especially considering much of the fresh food arrives by air. My wife, who is vegetarian, was extremely well catered for.

The bar is understandably comparatively expensive given the lodge's isolation but is well stocked with good local beers, South African wine together with international and local spirits.

The whole site is patrolled by friendly Masai security, some of whom are armed with rifles. This was reassuring, particularly at night, when we were escorted by torchlight along the beach to and from our banda.

Our accommodation was clean and comfortable, although the saline water supply to the shower and wash basin may not be to everyone's taste. Locally laundered towels and bed-linen consequently attract moisture. The window netting and mosquito nets were effective. The rooms are sprayed every evening. Drinking water is supplied daily.

It was extremely pleasant to fall asleep to the sound of the nearby waves and the sea breeze kept us cool during the night.

There are lovely walks along the beach and the shallow shelving makes bathing safe and enjoyable.

Our visit coincided with the host, Natalia's final stint. She was a real asset to the camp, good company and very informative.

Our game drives were exciting, with plenty of diverse wildlife viewing. The isolation of the area ensures that we rarely encountered other similar groups.

Our African wildlife viewing experience rated as highly as some of the best wildlife safaris we have been on.

Highly recommended.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank xxMisterJohnxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014 via mobile

I have booked my stay directly with Rama in their DAR office .. and. I had so many emails and questions to Rama .. surely he had a patience of a Saint !! Thank you Rama ..

Arrived in DAR Es Salam airport a solo female .. was greeted by the cheerful Robert from their DAR office who transferred me to the Domestic terminal .. he was very friendly and helpful .. I felt safe and less apprehensive ..

arrived at Saadani airstrip .. greeted by lovely Natalia .. she made me feel at ease right away .. I was travelling solo .. first time in East Africa and Safari .. arrived at the Tent .. it was such a lovely setting .. all the staff are so friendly and kind ..
My Banda is very spacious with an amazing view .. love the hammock outside the balcony with sea breeze blowiing gently ..
The bathroom is authentic .. there were lovely hot water and mineral water for drinking ..
I love the Eco friendly approach .. who needs a hair dryer .. air con .. and fridge when in bush ..
Love the back to natural lifestyle !!

3 times safari during my stay .. with Tizo .. he is an amazing driver and guide .. he can spot the wildlife miles before anyone and whenever I wish to take photos .. he will slow down for me .. First time in safari and able to see Lions .. Giraffe .. Elephants .. so many other animals was the total highlight to the trip !!

went for a canoe afternoon .. unfortunately the rain seized the ride .. Chris gave me a view on the elephant project and it was extremely informative ..

The food .. never tasted such delicious and tasty cuisine :)) Tino .. Rama .. Basilisa .. all made me feel very relaxed and keep me company together with Natalia ..
3 days I spent in the TWAV .. never once I felt awkward since I was the only guest ..
all the staff are so friendly and warm ., I will return with a heartbeat ..
Meeting the Masai warriors at the Tent was also the highlight as I am fascinated by their culture ..
Michael .. the Masai warrior came on the Safari with me .. it was so much fun .. and for him listening to my music on my iphone ..we bonded :)
I don't feel like a guest at all .. feel like I was amongst friends and families ..
I fell in love with Africa even before I arrive and I love it even more now ..

Thank you to what a beautiful team of staff at TWAV .
Hope to return one day very soon .

Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank 1111abcd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

I loved it here, everything about it! Where to start? I loved the setting, the white sands and the sea that was so close to the Banda. I loved the people; It felt like being a guest with the kindest of friends. Natalia was an amazing host.
I enjoyed the rustic bathroom where I felt I was having a shower in the bush. Have to confess that I didn't like the cold water so much but that's cos I'm a city softie and I wouldn't want to change it. I believe you can get hot water anyway, I probably just didn't run it long enough.
Meal times were a delight, the food and the charming service. Tino offers a different cocktail each evening; if you get the opportunity to sample a Tino-tastic don't turn it down!
The jeep safaris with Tizo we're wonderful. I don't know how he manages to drive so skillfully and at the same time spot everything there is to see, but he does. We saw tons of wildlife including lions by the watering hole.
If I had to pick a very favourite thing it would be the canoe rides with Christian along the mangroves. The bird life is amazing and Chris is so knowledgeable and relates it to African culture at the same time. A great educational opportunity and a sense of peace and harmony that I can't recall ever experiencing before.
I had to fight back the tears when it was time to leave - not entirely successfully.

Room Tip: It doesn't matter. Someone will escort you back to your Banda and Michael can teach you some Swa...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shirley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Tent with a View - and what a view it is too.

This review is written on the understanding that this is not a luxury hotel, it is a Safari lodge in the wilds of Tanzania.

What was great:

Staff - Very friendly and helpful
Safari - With a very knowledgeable guide, who had the eyes of a hawk, and a laugh that shook Africa.
Food - A five course meal in the evening - one night actually on the beach, and eggs cooked to order in the morning.
Accommodation - the comfortable 'Bandas' or tents within a wooden frame raised off the ground so that they benefit from the cooling breeze, situated just a few metres from the sea.
Location - In the middle of nowhere - right next to the beach. Watching the Sun rise over the Indian Ocean was magical.

What was not so great:

Water - The water used in the showers and wash basins was brackish, and not drinkable. But it was plentiful and, not that I needed it, hot. Jugs of mineral water, that could have been cooler, for drinking were placed in the bandas and replenished twice a day.
Electricity - There were british type sockets in the rooms which could be used for charging phone or camera batteries, but there was insufficient capacity to allow hair dryers or tongs to be used. My wife had a bad hair day every day. Whilst this is part of the 'green' credentials of TwaV, (which I agree with) by only utilising solar power where possible, but perhaps consideration could be given to utilising a generator -if only for an hour a day. It of course also means that there was no A/C anywhere.
Security - The beach, and therefore access to the bandas is public. That said we never felt insecure as there were cheerful Masai Warriors and other guards on duty 24 hours a day.
Access - The walk from the bandas to the restaurant and back on the beach can be viewed as a very romantic and unique experience. But for those who may be less mobile, it could be a challenge, however help was always very close by.
Food - The food was great, and well presented by clearly enthusiastic chefs and waiters. But there was no choice of dishes, after all it was not as though there was a supermarket next door. This did not bother me, but I dare say that if a guest required something different then the staff would do their best to cater for them. Beer could have been a bit cheaper - but then it always can!

Would I stay again - Unequivocally Yes

Room Tip: The lower the number of the Banda allocated the closer it is to the restaurant.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ray1x1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We had a wonderful stay here 2 years ago and have been dreaming about returning to this blissful beach/park combination. Our 3 day return visit over New Year beat all our expectations and I can't recommend this place more. The accommodation is in luxurious breezy tented accommodation raised on stilts just footsteps from the beautiful beach and sea and every night we were serenaded by wild jungle noises and the waves! Lovely staff and friendly service - everyone was so kind and helpful. Delicious food.

The management is outstanding. They have a very broad experience of Africa and the safari business and it was a pleasure to sit and chat with them at meal times. Everyone tries to make your stay as perfect as possible.

The safari activities are very varied and each night you can discuss the timetable for the next day. Our safari in the bush was fascinating, we were lucky to have as our guide David, the elephant conservation specialist, and we concentrated mainly on elephant spotting and tracking these beautiful giants through the park but also in the park we saw many warthogs, colobus monkeys, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, wildebeasts, baboons, many types of antelope and so many beautiful birds......... in one place we saw 7 species of animals together in one group, a very special experience in the wild. I'd particularly recommend the boat trip up the lovely Wami river with its many species of colourful birds lining its shore, thousands of flamingos wading in the estuary, crocodiles basking in the sun and an infinite number of hippos (we saw a hippo with her tiny baby) - in the boat you can get very close view and we even stopped to have lunch next to one group of hippos who were grunting and dipping while we ate. The lodge also offer foot safaris and from the camp there are walking trails in the coconut plantation and a canoe trip on the Mafui river. Since our previous visit they have built a viewing platform, called "The Roof", which gives spectacular views of the animals and an overnight stay can be arranged.

I think it's very important, when planning a holiday in a poorer country, to choose an organisation that is committed to putting something back into the community. A Tent with a View run many local charitable projects including the Mkwaja and Kisaki village doctors schemes and, committed to animal conservation, you can visit their wildlife research building on the camp where they carry out the elephant project which, among other activities, charts the daily movements of the significant elephant population in Saadani and aims to increase local village awareness and reduce illegal poaching in the area. A lion collaring project will be starting soon.

As I mentioned before, this was our second visit to Saadani and this time it was the second stop on a tailor made tour of Tanzania which Tent With a View organised for us. We like slightly offbeat trips which give us the chance to visit places which are not usually included in normal tours. This time Rama, who's based in the Dar es Salaam office, arranged for us a 3 stop beach hop (which included Saadani) up the Swahili coast followed by a few days walking in the Amani Nature Reserve in the Usumbara mountains and, as a finale, a stay in the Selous in Southern Tanzania. A trip of a lifetime:-)

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PearlW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

After spending 5 days in Zanzibar we headed to Tent with a View for a safari. This was our first safari experience and we loved it!

The Amazing!
1. Even before we came, the staff at the head office in Dar Es Salaam were very helpful. They contacted us to arrange the transfers to and from Saadani air strip, and even amended the dates of our stay (despite the booking being non-changeable / refundable according to Booking.com).
2. The place: it's incredible. It's on the beach but next to a national park, which must be a rare find.
3. The staff: They were all incredibly friendly. From the manager Natalia, to Basilisa the waitress, to Tino the menu-announcer, to Edward the Maasai security guard - they were all incredibly helpful and welcoming. It didn't really feel like staying in a hotel - more like visiting friends.
4. The safari: we went twice and saw elephants, giraffes, warthogs, lions, zebras, velvet monkeys, flamingos, hippos and crocodiles. It was AMAZING. I would really recommend the full day safari for the variety it offers and the guaranteed lunch with the hippos (read - lunch on a boat 3 meters away from the hippos). Saadani is a very new national park, and feels very quiet - we hardly came across any other visitors while we were there and it felt like a very intimate experience. Tizo and Christian were our guides and they were very fun to spend the day with. Because of the river, the park looked extremely lush and green - an absolute beauty.
5. The Tower: it's Tent with a View's mini-lodge in the middle of the bush (read elephants coming to scratch their backs on the wall at night). If we were to return, we would definitely stay there for a night.
6. The food: was simple but excellent. The chef was very accommodating (my husband is a vegetarian and he was extremely well catered for).

The good:
1. The bandas (huts) were comfortable and looked awesome. It was breezey, but our banda still got quite hot at night, and I would have loved a fan. Having said that - my husband slept right through the night, so maybe my Russian genes were just a bit out of place in Tanzania.
2. I loved the eco credentials with the water in the shower coming from a nearby well, solar powered electricity etc.

All in all - a wonderful stay and I would 100% recommend it as a place to visit, especially if you are also visiting Zanzibar which is only 15min flight away.

Room Tip: The higher the number of the banda, the further they are from the restaurant / bar / communal area...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Olga N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simply Saadani Camp

Property: Simply Saadani Camp
Address: Saadani National Park, Tanzania (Formerly Tent With A View)
Region: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Saadani National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Saadani National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Simply Saadani Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simply Saadani Camp (formerly Tent With A View safari lodge), Saadani National Park is in a remote and secluded location on the Indian Ocean coast, around a 4 hour drive north of Dar es-Salaam. The emphasis is on relaxing and enjoying the natural environment of Saadani National Park. Tanzania'€™s only coastal wildlife preserve, Saadani is€“ a unique combination of safari & beach. The deserted sandy beach is perfect for beachcombing, and the clear sea is safe for swimming.There are just 11 beachfront tented rooms (or "bandas") including 3 family suites with en suite bathrooms and solar powered hot water and electric lighting. Each banda has a large private balcony with a hammock. In the immediate vicinity of the lodge there are several guided nature trails, canoe rides and a wildlife research centre. ... more   less 
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