First of all, the room was beautiful amazing, gorgeous and all other extremely nice words to describe it, outside shower was perfect, soaking bath inside relaxing, we had the full board package and they did not disappoint, so much drinks, all sorts of delicious food, and ontop of that sundowners on a boat ride with all those majestic hippos and giraffes surrounding us, the staff was extremely helpful and friendly, and the early morning tour of the game reserve with some snacks was a very nice touch, all in all very nice place to visit. BE WARNED no Televisions anywhere, Internet only in the common area and it's quite spotty
This amazing lodge is located right on the Wami River. Each bungalow is very large (can see pictures on TripAdvisor). We stayed in unit 9 on September 20, 21, 23, 2016. All the units are essentially similar in size and design, and are very, very large. There is no A/C, but the ceiling fans made it very comfortable. There is lots of storage room. A long raised boardwalk connects to each unit and to the common areas. Each unit is on stilts to allow for high water times, but feels very solid. There is a modern bathtub inside the bathroom, and a shower outside facing the river and very private. At night you can hear the hippo's grunting below your unit. There are adequate outlets for recharging batteries, night lights if desired, shaving, etc. And they provide a refrigerator in each room and more than enough bottled water, replenished daily.
The main building is very large, and is also built on stilts. It contains a two-level swimming pool, small gift shop, and lots of sitting room.
The staff is excellent. The level of personal care you receive is extraordinary. (When they came in to straighten our room, they even arranged our hats neatly on a table where we had left them.). To a person they are simply lovely, friendly, kind, and genuinely warm. My wife and I can't say enough about this location. (And as I am writing these notes, a monkey jumped on our deck rail, strolled along the deck, and jumped into a tree. Perfect!).
The food was as good as any we have had in our entire trip to Tanzania. There is a full-time trained chef on site, and the selection of food is amazing - all the more so considering how remote this location is. It's presence on the river also means that there are activities, such as water safaris and fishing, that you can experience. Our safari one evening included seeing an amazing number and variety of water birds, hippo's, crocodiles, and a beautiful sunset. And during the boat ride we were presented with champagne and refreshments while on board. All in all, simply wonderful.
I was on a Tanzania Safari tour in a small group of 10 people. We started in the standard wildlife viewing areas of Arusha National Park, the Crater, and the Serengeti. Then we flew to Zanzibar for a couple of days and then a short flight to Saadani National Park and the Sanctuary Saadani River Lodge. Truly, the best was saved for last. Staying at this lodge was the highlight of the trip and we didn't even see many animals -- my primary reason for taking the trip.
All of the other reviews describe this lodge well and I will simply add my superlatives: The food was superior and almost alone worth the trip to this lodge. The chef is a master. The rooms are as spectacular as everyone says and the pictures do not adequately describe how wonderful the experience is. The private deck and shower are special, the views of the river gorgeous, the sounds of the animals all around making you feel as if you are truly among them. It was very hot while we were there and the nights are hot for sleeping but Sean said they are working on putting in more windows to pick up the cross-ventilation of the breeze. But it doesn't matter -- still one of the most spectacular hotel experiences I have ever had.
Any trip to Africa should end with a few days in this lodge. On our one game drive we took the long and miserable roads over to the sister Safari Lodge on the Indian Ocean and had a wonderful lunch. I didn't realize one could take the river boat there -- that would likely have been more spectacular and the next time that is what I will do.
I will definitely return to this wonderful place and I won't be on a tour. I want to be there and make my own choices as to timing and activities and not be confined to a pre-defined schedule.
As others have said, the large game viewing isn't quite as plentiful or as easy as in the Serengeti, etc., but I enjoyed watching the game move away from us and watch us carefully. So often in the Serengeti they were asleep and there were so many safari vehicles all around, but here we were the only ones and the animals would move away from us, so we saw them moving, which seemed so natural. The birds here are fabulous and another reason to make the trip. But hearing the sound of the hippos moving up from the river at night and perhaps even walking underneath your 'room' was so very special. Monkeys in the trees, birds everywhere.
Yes, AirConditioning would be nice but you only really need it at night and since they have minimal electricity at night maybe it isn't possible. So, after thinking at first that I wanted AC at night, I have changed my mind. It just doesn't fit the ambiance and this resort. It might ruin the special ambiance of this lodge to have motors purring and to close the windows. We have AC everywhere else in our worlds but here it just doesn't really fit. Enlarging the windows to pick up all the breezes would make a big difference. And the ceiling fan is designed to be over a king bed and goes between when the beds are made into two twins. So, maybe placing another ceiling fan over the beds so when they are split each bed has that fan. But it doesn't matter, in the end -- the experience is so special.
Sean and his wonderful staff make you feel that you are a queen in a palace without being over-attentive or intrusive. The eco-conservation of the resort is being furthered by Sean and the staff who have planted a huge garden so they can produce their own vegetables. I hope they are all still there when I return. I wish I had made better notes of their names. Maggie, Humphrey and Sean are the names I remember but I do not remember the name of that wonderful chef -- so very special
One of our party had a birthday while we were there and the chef made a birthday cake and the staff sang and danced and nothing could have been better.
The next time I will add a couple of days at the sister lodge and get from one to the other via the river -- what an incredible experience that will be.
I should make sure that I, too, lavish praise on the wonderful rooms. They are a huge suite with the spectacular bathroom and the outdoor shower. I would have liked to have had a couple of lounge chairs out on the deck like they have at the pool but the sofa was very comfortable. The lighting is somewhat dim as the day progresses, but that all just adds to feeling of 'really being there'. It is a good idea to bring your own small flashlight but the resort provides an excellent on for you. And, yes, the rooms are a few minutes walk from the main lodge, so if you have any disabilities, it is best to get a room that is closer. But I felt that each walk to the main lodge and back was just a mini-wildlife walk and always saw something special. We had room number 8 and I would ask for it again.
This is an incredibly special place.
Only some rooms have AC but there is a ceiling fan that works fine at night....can be hot during day. My husband had to stay back one day due to a fall and he was treated royally by everyone. Great massage too. Outdoor shower lovely and tub incredible if you like soaking (see photo). Huge units with plenty of room, little fridge, water and drinks. Lovely soaps and toiletries. Some rooms a bit of a walk from the main lodge so ask.
All units have private views of the river, and after safaris, taking one of their guided boat rides is a pleasure and fun to see more hippos and crocs.
Always welcomed back from any travel with cool towel and some sort of drink!
We booked a night here when we were unable to book the required number of nights at River Lodge's sister lodge on the coast, Saadani Safari Lodge, but we were so glad we did! This lodge is every bit as gorgeous, but in a completely different way, and with the same attention to being eco friendly. Another slice of pure magic from Sanctuary Retreats.
We’d been so sad to leave the Safari Lodge, and were pretty sure that nowhere else could measure up. As we rounded the final bend in the river on the boat ride to the lodge, we could hear the sounds of people singing. Such wonderful singing, echoing across the water and filling the air – the kind that makes your heart swell. Then as we neared the lodge, we could see that it was all the lodge staff that were singing – and just for us! I have seriously never known a welcome like it. It was emotional. And of course there were delicious fruit cocktails on hand too. Welcome to Saadani River Lodge!
What impressed us most about both the Sanctuary Lodges we stayed at was the generosity and knowledge of the managers – seriously special people are recruited to run these lodges. Sean was fairly new as manager but had already developed a good rapport with the lodge staff, and could not do enough for us during our stay. He took us out on a river trip where his knowledge of birds was invaluable, and his photography tips for my new camera were a revelation! The lodge staff seemed so happy in their roles, as evidenced by their infectious singing, and were so friendly and professional – what a great team.
The Lodge is very luxurious, with its walkway system of super-size suites a few metres up on stilts in the canopy – suites are all quite far apart so it feels like nobody else is around! Our suite was gorgeous – beautifully decorated, huge comfortable sofas both inside and out, fridges, air con, etc. We had views of the river and hippos, and the canopy and monkeys, both from our huge balcony and also from the room, as floor to ceiling windows run the length of it so as to maximize the views. I luxuriated in our bathroom’s rolltop bath whilst listening to the hippos snorting – wonderful!
The communal area of the lodge is very spacious indeed, with lots of large comfortable seating looking out into the jungle and over the river – such a lovely, relaxing place to wind down with a drink before dinner. And the food is delicious and plentiful.
If you can go there – go there! You won’t be disappointed.