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“Underappreciated lodge in an oft-overlooked park.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tarangire Sopa Lodge

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Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Underappreciated lodge in an oft-overlooked park.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

I stayed at the Tarangire Sopa for three nights in late December. On balance, I found the lodge to be welcoming and affable, in private, serene location (but not remote).
The rooms are mid-sized and decent enough; take criticisms here with a grain of salt. In my experience, the Tanzania lodges tend to be inferior to similarly appointed lodges in neighbouring Kenya, so if you're used to the lap of luxury, almost anything in TZ's northern circuit is going to disappoint you. One thing worth mentioning - these things are important after a long day on the road - the water pressure in the shower is just fine. Often, in back-country Africa - for obvious reasons- water pressure is often virtually non-existent.
The restaurant and adjacent veranda are built above a tall bluff overlooking a thick stand of trees and bushes; it's a little like being above a tree canopy, and the view is really quite serene, especially if you're used to the big city.
There's Internet service in the lobby, but not in the rooms. When you're in the TZ bush, you'll soon find that ANY Internet service is a luxury.
The food - which some have sniped at here - was actually not bad, for my taste.
The staff will leave you feeling frustrated at times; some have a barely serviceable knowledge of English, let alone lodge etiquette. Service in the restaurant can be exceedingly slow — 10 to 20 minutes for a lukewarm Coke. When, nearly half an hour after everyone else had left from lunch and I was the only one left, the waiter was nowhere to be found. I assumed my bill, for two soft drinks, would be automatically charged to my room. Instead, an hour later, the waiter let himself into my room and woke me up from an afternoon doze to insist that I sign the check then and there.
For every negative, though, there were two or three positives. The view, the ambiance, an affable and helpful manager (Isaiah), a small but well-stocked gift shop, a decent pool (that no one appeared to be using), fair-sized rooms, a minibar-size room fridge (but no minibar), 24-hour electricity and the park itself make Tarangire Sopa a fine alternative to the usual lemming rush across Tanaania's northern park circuit.
A local familiar with the Sopa properties told me Tarangire is one of the better ones; he added that the TZ Sopas are, on average, superior to the Kenya Sopas. Of course, that may just be one person't opinion. As I said, in my experience, the Kenya lodges overall tend to be of a higher calibre, and more cost-effective. That said, for my taste, I liked the Tarangire Sopa just fine.
As for the park itself, Tarangire is, it sees to me, something of an overlooked gem. It's overlooked because it's not on a direct line with the Arusha-Ngorongoro/Serengeti circuit, but it's well worth a visit. Depending on time of year, you may end up having the place to yourself - and, this, in a park that seems as large as Serengeti.
For my taste, Tarangire is best for elephant sightings; it rivals, if not surpasses, the more famous Lake Manyara in that regard. For me, anyway.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MzunguPhotographer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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549 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
derbyshire
Level Contributor
198 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

Good lodge with pretty good food. Rooms were OK with a nice outlook, but not on the scale of Serengeti or Ngorongoro lodges. No negatives were experienced. Helpful and pleasant staff always happy to give a cheerful "Jambo"
Recommended.
NOTE: We were bitten many times by Tsetse fly. Be warned, they are not detered by DEET repellent, they seem to love it.

Room Tip: I don't think the views are any better from any particular room...you can always ask at the fron...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank stationmastershouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
the Hague
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

We spent two nights in the lodge. Tarangire national park is so stunningly beautiful and the lodge is right in the park, that saves a lot of time! We noted that maqny people tend to spend one night only on safaris, so they are always underway. Looking back we would have liked three nights instead of two to have another extra day in this park rather than in Lake Manyara (a lot busier). We found the lodge good, the food overabundant but good (all these fresh raspberries!) - quite an achievement, so far from supplies. The rooms are indeed on the dark side but that makes them less hot. The staff is nice but somewhat overactive, all meant very well of course. We very much enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JWandM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2012

The native motif of this lodge on the edge of the wonderful Tarangire national park is highly appealing and the lobby and dining rooms are well appointed and attractive. But, oh my, the bed was terrible. It was one of the worst beds I've ever experienced in 30 years of travel - felt like sleeping on a plank of plywood. The bedroom itself looked nice and it was spacious. Bathroom was clean and modern. Hot water available in the morning and evenings between certain times. Spent two nights here - the national park is worth the time - and enjoyed the breakfasts and dinner as well as the wait staff performances singing local songs. Had lunch one afternoon outside on the patio near the pool and were treated on the morning we left by an elephant near the pool drinking out of a watering trough for the landscape. A real treat.

Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank foggySanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

Set within the park in a small forrest area.
Very nice pool.
Room spacious but somewhat run down.
Very good and friendly service.
Remarkably fee tetse flies om premises compared to the park in general.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank peterbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

Little bit tired compared with the others but still clean comfortable rooms, friendly staff and when you think how far into the bush you are you cannot fault it at all. The Tarangire was my favourite Park due to the number of elephants and the monkeys joining us for lunch at the hotel was a high spot for my daughter.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Meggie_Ryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

This is a luxury property and its really well spread out. You wouldn't find anything to complain about in terms of facilities, space and staff manners. However, this is an old property. It gives you the feeling of those five star properties downtown that has been postponing a much needed facelift for a bit too long. Nothing really exciting about the place.
Pros:
1. Bang in the middle of the park
2. Well spread out rooms

Cons:
1. Safety. While going out for dinner, we found an african buffalo grazing right infront of our room. Although there was a water less moat separating us, this is really frightening. Especially because there was no safety briefing. We have stayed in tents in Masai Mara where hippos used to graze all night outside the tent, and we had felt more safe than this place

Room Tip: We stayed on the ground floor. Was ok. Just ask for a security briefing!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sayantan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Property: Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Address: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tarangire Sopa Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Tarangire Sopa Hotel Tarangire National Park

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