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“A jewel in a dusty crown”

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Bougainvillea Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 November 2013

As an independent traveller in Karatu the range of accommodation is from a local "inn" or "guest house" starting at US$ 6 (you get what you pay for) B&B, through a range of slightly better local establishments and a variety of "resorts" to the Bougainvillea Safari Lodge at US$ 70 for half board. A warm welcome awaits you, minimal formalities at check in, bag carried to your free standing bungalow (all are individually named after local crops or trees) by the larger than life Maggie and a cheerful "mchana mwema" (have a nice day) as she starts. The bungalow is of adequate size with a portion walled off for luggage and spare blanket storage and there is a separate shower/toilet room (the en-suite facility) with lovely hot water. There is bottled water, and a candle and a torch besie the mosquito-netted bed. This is, after all, Tanzania so the electricity can be intermittent with a fluctuating current. The current is, however, more than adequate to charge mobile phones, camera batteries and lap tops (more than adequate that is if they are designed for European standards and not for the evidently much higher power requirements of American stuff (although as they are getting more than twice the voltage than they do at home where is the problem?). The large swimming pool is set among the shrubs and trees of the large secure compound. There is no external telephone service but who needs one in these days of mobile equipment? The fact that there is no television is more of a drawback. The lack of wi-fi in the bungalow is a minor problem as there is an excellent service in the main area (although wi-fi in a few bungalows for business travellers would be a help). Dinner is served individually and comprises a starter, soup, main, dessert and coffee. Full breakfast with eggs to order is also in the dining room or on the terrace if the weather is clement. Extremely good value for money compared with some similar establishments that charge three or four times as much for similar or inferior service and facilities. Quibbles? Too many tourists!

Room Tip: All rooms appear good
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank trevorbart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 - 129 of 364 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2013

After coming from camping in the Serengeti, I thought I'd arrived at an oasis when we drove in to Bougainvillea Lodge. What a delight! Lovely gardens, with white cottages with verandahs set around a pool and gardens. Sitting area and fireplace in the cottages. We stayed here for two nights for the Ngorongo crater. I could have stayed a week. Just a relaxing, clean comfortable setting. The food was very good and staff very accommodating. It is about 15 minutes to the Ngorongo gate, and it takes about two hours from the lodge to the bottom of the crater.Other lodges can be about 20 - 30 minutes closer to the crater. So there is some backtracking to the crater, but well worth it for the serenity and comfort of Bougainvillea Lodge. Only problem - wifi is only in the main reception/dining area and not in the rooms. Nevertheless, highly recommended.

Room Tip: The further you are placed from the reception area the more you are away from the main road noise.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank wakeham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

We stayed at Bougainvillea for two nights while we were on safari at Ngorongoro crater.
The room was huge and very comfortable with a front porch to sit out and relax. There was a big, clean swimming pool so after our safari we jumped in for a few laps and lounged around on the sun bed with drinks until the sunset. There was free wi-fi in the lobby so it was very convenient.
The food was excellent and the service was great. The breakfast was plentiful with nice, strong coffee. And the dinner was family style meal served by the staff coming around to your table.
The staff were very friendly and polite as well.
It was a peaceful, quiet, relaxing place. And we wished, once again, we could stay a day or two longer to just take it easy and rest there!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Yu M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We spent two nights here whilst on safari at Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara. The accommodation is large and comfortable. The staff are happy and polite and the food is good. Only little quibble was the service in the dinning room was a little disorganised but this is Africa and it has its own charm as a result. You certainly wont go hungry. The packed lunch is adequate for your safari with a reasonable choice of things included and you get sent off with a good breakfast and a well prepared evening meal when you get back so it shouldn't be a problem. If you get back in time the sunbeds and pool are a welcome treat.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shirley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights at either side of our stay in Serengeti. Long days meant we really only ate and slept here but it was a lovely place for both. Food was a plenty, 5 courses with waiter(ess) offering 2nds,3rds!! Staff jovial, polite and happy to help! We were especially fond of Joseph who was a great guy! The swimming pool and gardens were inviting and it is just a pity we didn't have more time to enjoy. There was also a small fridge in the room which was a pleasant bonus for the water and thermos flasks for the following days safari. Tranquil place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Alcofrolic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

Beautiful setting and large bungalows with king sized beds and large bathroom. The gardens are well stocked and well tended and there is a swimming pool. An oasis of calm which is welcome during safari and well placed for Tarangire national park.

Room Tip: All the bungalows are excellent.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank April0304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

This is a nice lodge with a swimming pool in the village of Karatu.
Rooms are big, beds comfortable, the restaurant was good, breakfast was ok. There are is the possibility to take a walk to the village if you wish. As usual the lunch box was poor, but this is the same for all the lodges.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ale_oo07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bougainvillea Safari Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Road, Karatu, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Karatu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 51 Speciality Lodging in Karatu
Price Range: £150 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bougainvillea Safari Lodge, located a few minutes from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area gate, offers comfortable accommodation, excellent food and friendly service at a reasonable price. Manager and executive chef Reggie Bayo has many years of experience and his food is legend on the northern safari circuit. Each comfortable room has a fireplace; family cottages and triples are available. There is a comfortable lounge and bar as well as a swimming pool and gift shop. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bougainvillea Safari Hotel Karatu
Bougainvillea Safari Lodge Tanzania/Karatu

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