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“Wonderful setting but possibly not ideal for older/elderly travellers”

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Serengeti Simba Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
South East England
Level Contributor
67 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Wonderful setting but possibly not ideal for older/elderly travellers”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We had booked our safari as part of the Thomson/First Choice package hence had no choice of lodges. (Plus we had changes to elements of the itinerary at the last minute). Our third stay was two nights at the Serengeti Simba. I would really love to agree with previous reviews but I can’t. Probably our reaction on arrival was coloured by the fact our driver/guide got lost and we were driving along just visible tracks only being directed by lights on the hill the Lodge is on, plus Tsetse flies were enjoying our presence which didn’t help (you are in a tsetse fly area by the way). The Lodge is quite a drive from the park entrance. The driver had turned off at a Serengeti Simba sign on the ‘main’ road, be warned and go along through the village before turning left! Access is by a steep rutted track. We also found the access to our ‘room’ difficult and were very worried that hubby might trip. At night you are guided by an escort with torch and spear! Hubby also mentioned that the rails at the edge of the veranda and quite weak and some of the veranda floor slats were wonkey. We had booked our holiday stating that we needed two beds. All the other Lodges and hotel had got such a room ready. Not the Serengeti Simba. They said they had been told two doubles (we were two couples). Give them their due they quickly put in a proper single bed complete with mosquito net. The rooms are clean and well kept with a bath (such luxury) and an outside shower which the other couple said was amazing. As in our previous Lodge the lighting was dim especially in the bedroom and dining area. Our torches were in our bags which locked with a coded lock, I could only just see to open them. The views from the Lodge are stunning, you look right over the plains to the mountains. It was lovely to sit outside with a drink and look over the landscape for miles. We were all surprised that we weren’t offered any choice for dinner. Luckily we all liked what we were given. I guess you could probably ask for an alternative. Breakfast was good with elements of a cooked breakfast cooked as and when required. Staff were friendly but their English was a little limited. The other couple had thought of using the pool but on looking decided if they did would only go in to the waist due to some algae, so didn’t bother. The Lodge has some very interesting design features both in the 'rooms' and main building. The Lodge has a wonderful setting but may not be the best place for older people.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank AnnieB08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
auroraafrica, Marketing Manager/Guest Relations at Serengeti Simba Lodge, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Thank you so much for posting your review of our lodge on Trip Advisor. We're pleased you rated the overall experience very good as we're aware there were issues when you stayed with us. As a result of your feedback we've made some recent changes. We've adjusted the road signage to help prevent drivers from getting lost in future . Unfortunately your group (and others) arrived on one of the worst days we've ever had for tsetse flies and although they are not at the lodge per say, they do come and go throughout the year in the woodlands below. Although we've placed traps all along our access road, sometimes nature takes its course in a negative direction. Allow us to apologise again for not being aware of your room-bed preference. Our reservations department is now double checking every booking to clarify "double" as one or two beds for two people. We do advise travel companies that the lodge is not accessible for disabled or very elderly people. Our paths are somewhat steep and rough and there are a fair amount of stairs in the main building. If there is any notice or indication of a problem we always send an additional escort to and from the room to ensure safety. Since your stay we've added an additional main dish choice to our evening menu based on your comments on our feedback form. We're also in the process of upgrading our solar light bulbs inside the tents to provide more light. Thank you for helping make the Serengeti Simba experience better for future guests and we're happy you enjoyed our amazing views, unique architecture, bathtubs and friendly staff.
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 February 2012

In January 2012, I experienced the amazing beauty of the Serengeti for the first time with my sister. We stayed at the wonderful Serengeti Simba Lodge for 1 night. I would recommend staying at least 2 nights at this wonderful lodge. The view of the Serengeti from any of the individual luxury tent cottages is amazing. Our cottage was beautifully decorated and spacious with a fantastic outdoor shower. After a long day of driving this is the perfect place to relax and be pampered by the welcoming and gracious staff.

Dinner was excellent and the common areas are very comfortable and peaceful. Once my head hit the pillow I was sound asleep and don't think I moved once during the night. The prearranged coffee service delivered to our cottage in the morning was the perfect way to wake up leisurely while taking in the amazing view. Both my sister and I highly recommend this lodge for anyone going on safari in this area of the Serengeti National Park.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2011

This lodge on the Serengeti had only been open a few months when we went there-but it is a wonderful place. We had the pleasure of staying there for two nights. The drive into the lodge is very interesting through a small and colorful village. The lodge itself is up high with beautiful views of the Serengeti. The rooms were comfortable (great beds!!!) with fantastic views and private terrace. The food and service were excellent-I would highly recommend a stay here. It was only about five minutes from the lodge when one would start to see wildlife-lots of giraffes right next to the road.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank magentagirl088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tanzania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2011

I visited the Simba lodge this August, and after a long, hot, and dusty drive through the Serengeti, it was perfect. The view, the rooms, the food... it all made the ride well worth it. It truly is a luxury tented camp on the edge of Serengeti.The tents are outstanding--large poster beds, smooth and simplistic designs, and best of all-- an outdoor shower. Bathing in hot water (solar heated!) with an uninterrupted view of the Serengeti plains, made me quickly forget the dust and exhaustion of the trip. And then I sat on the veranda of our tent, clean, and refreshed to admire the outstanding view. Nothing but open plains spotted with Acacia, with mountains silhouettes off in the distance, and just the sound of birds to keep you company. While the view from our tent was wonderful, I went up to the main lodge to watch the sunset, which was spectacular. Large sweeps of clouds infused with vibrant reds and purples across the vast Savannah sky.

Dinner was amazing. In fact the whole weekend we ate like royalty- fresh food, deliciously prepared and professionally served. The only let down all weekend was when it was time to go.
When I was there the lodge was still in the final stages of preparation, so certain things didn't work (the swimming pool - but it was too cold anyway), and there was a problem with the generator at one point. But Its Africa, and the middle of nowhere, so such glitches are expected. The staff was amazing at getting things working and making sure that we were absolutely comfortable. That alone is reason to visit. Combine the staff with the view, the luxury tents, the quite, and this is the place to go on your next safari!

Room Tip: You can ask about the view and the type of bed you want (1 or two)
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Neserian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sixmilebridge, Ireland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

I think we were one of the first guests in the Lodge when it opened earlier this year. The tented rooms were amazing. Like a 4-star hotel room in tent! The staff couldn't do enough for us and provided us with our special dietary requirements morning, afternoon and night. Service with a smile in the middle of Serengeti. Definitely and experience not to be missed if you're visiting this part of the world.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank GurmukhNeote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
auroraafrica, Marketing Manager at Serengeti Simba Lodge, responded to this review, 5 October 2011
Thank you for your review. We loved having you and your family here with us as one of our first guests. We take great pride in our vegetarian food. As a small lodge we have the flexibility to work with our guests in the event of dietary preferences or restrictions. We do hope you'll come and stay with us the next time you're in Tanzania.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

Spent 2 nights here the first week of August. Although is is somewhat off the beaten track and a distance to Serengeti Park, this place has everything you could want after a long day on the road. Spacious tented room with an outdoor rain shower to wash of the dust and dirt, and believe it or not a bathtub! A beautiful 4 poster-ed bed awaits you with a view from the top of the hill that is gorgeous. Dinner and breakfast is served not a buffet. Staff is very accommodating and friendly. A night safari is offered, which we took, and is a fascinating look at the Serengeti and its wildlife at night. This is an eco-friendly lodge that makes use of solar to heat water and provide some of the lighting. It is not a fenced camp so after dark you need an escort to your tent.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jackster1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Israel
Level Contributor
92 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2011

The lodge is brand new (in fact they're still putting the finishing touches to it) but it's already the finest place we stayed during our two week trip to Tanzania! We stayed there for three nights and wished it could have been longer!
Rooms - in one word - perfect! Spacious, comfortable, well laid out and with a breathtaking view over the Serengeti. The outdoor shower (boiling hot solar-heated water) was brilliant and the toilet (apologies for going into details - but these are pretty important in places like Tanzania) actually worked!!
The cook produced the most amazing variety of excellent food and even managed that most difficult of all dishes....the "perfect creamy scrambled egg on toast"!
The staff were delightful and went out of their way to help us with everything.
The location of the lodge is great - it's on a small hill about a 20 minute drive outside the Ikoma gate of the Serengeti park, right on the migration route of the Wildebeast and Zebras. In fact, we could sit on the veranda of the main building and watch the herds of animals pouring over the hills and across the plain beneath our feet! Make sure your driver knows the location, as (our one criticism of the place) the signposted route to it is NOT the best and easiest way to get there.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WanderingFungi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
auroraafrica, Marketing Manager at Serengeti Simba Lodge, responded to this review, 5 July 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments and thoughts about Serengeti Simba Lodge on Trip Advisor. We're delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and found the lodge so much to your satisfaction. We hope that your onward safari brought you many wonderful adventures.
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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 Serengeti Simba Lodge

Property: Serengeti Simba Lodge
Address: Ikona Wildlife Management Area, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 115 Speciality Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Serengeti Simba Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located outside Serengeti National Park’s Ikoma Gate with endless views across the plains. Built of local materials and using solar power and hot water in the rooms, this lodge is unique to the area. Reception, lounge, bar and dining incorporate a natural rocky outcropping (kopje) into the design. Fifteen creatively designed large canvas rondavels reveal the romance of a tent with the security of a permanent structure. Each bathroom has an outdoor stone shower. Family rooms are in a ‘stone house’ with equally impressive views. ... more   less 
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