Tarangire Sopa Lodge is a large 75 roomed hotel in the Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire Sopa Lodge: Our full report
Situated in a wooded valley in the north-eastern corner of Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, the 75-room family friendly Tarangire Sopa Lodge provides chain hotel-style accommodation in an accessible part of the park.
The main areas, and rooms at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge are designed in the style of an African village, with round buildings and tall conical roofs. Although only built in the 1990s, the décor does looks a bit dated.
On arrival, you’re greeted by the friendly staff at the reception desk. Opposite the reception is a small curio shop selling local African curios, nature books and even a small supply of toiletries.
A short flight of stairs leads down to a large open lounge with plenty of comfortable seating areas. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides make this a very light and welcoming area to relax in, with views of the surrounding bush. To one side of the lounge is the bar with a few easy chairs and a snooker table. There is also a coffee area here where complimentary tea and coffee are served all day and, in the afternoon, complimentary cakes are on offer too. Opposite the lounge is the restaurant, which is equally light and airy, and which can seat up to 150 people when full. Wooden parquet floors and wooden chairs and tables make this a fairly characterless space lacking style or colour. At the far end is a large buffet area, from which most meals are served. To the front of the restaurant, glass doors lead onto a terrace overlooking the bush with tables and chairs shaded by umbrellas. To the other side, a door leads from the restaurant to an outdoor dining area, referred to as the barbecue terrace because a barbecue buffet is served here twice a week.
In the gardens is a large circular swimming pool with a wooden bridge leading across to an island in the middle of the pool. On this island are a few sunloungers and umbrellas – a lovely place to relax and unwind after a day on safari. Around the pool are some tables and chairs, positioned under thatched umbrellas, where lunch is served. At the far end of the pool is a bar where drinks are served during the day.
The 75 bedrooms at Sopa Lodge are located on either side of the main area and designed in blocks of four, with two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs. These include two inter-connecting rooms for families and four disabled rooms. On a recent visit in July 2013, they were in the process of upgrading all the rooms with 40 already completed – the rest are due to be completed by the end of the year. The refurbished rooms all have terracotta-tiled floors throughout and are entered via a lounge featuring a desk, chair and mirror above. In a cabinet is a mini bar, which is filled on request. A cupboard for storing clothes also contains an electronic safe. Each room has two double queen-size beds surrounded by mosquito nets and covered in fresh white linen and African-print cushions. Behind each bed is a wall light and the bright African prints hanging on the walls add a modern feel. In the corner, are two contemporary upholstered chairs and a small table. Sliding glass doors lead to a small outdoor balcony with two chairs and a table.
The en-suite cream-tile bathrooms are light and modern and equipped with a single basin, toilet and spacious shower with a glass door. Each bathroom has a hairdryer and branded toiletries are also provided.
All visitors to the Tarangire Sopa Lodge arrive with their own driver and guide, as activities are not included here.
Our viewAlthough the main areas are dated, the recently renovated rooms are pleasantly decorated and comfortable. The staff are all very friendly and welcoming and the lodge is spotlessly clean. Bearing this in mind, we feel that Tarangire Sopa Lodge a good option for travellers on a bit of a budget who wish to visit this lesser-known park.
Ideal length of stay: We suggest a two-night stay in order to explore Tarangire National Park.
Directions: Tarangire Sopa Lodge is a two-hour drive from Arusha, or a 40-minute drive from Kuro airstrip, which is located within the park.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Sopa Lodges
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: On a recent visit to Tarangire Sopa Lodge we did not stay long enough to sample a meal. However, the manager explained that all meals are served buffet style, but when the lodge isn’t full lunch and dinner may be presented as a set menu.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the main restaurant and lunch is often served outside beside the pool. Twice a week a barbecue-buffet dinner is served on the barbecue deck.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: All drinks are charged extra. Soft drinks start from U$2 and wine ranges from U$30 – U$40 a bottle.
Further dining info: Room service is available.
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Property’s age restrictions: There is no age limit
Special activities & services: There are a few games available in the main area. A child minder can be arranged, though parents should note that they are not professional child minders and are usually members of staff.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available
Generally recommended for children: We would recommend Tarangire Sopa Lodge for families with young children. The pool will keep children occupied when you are not out on safari.
Notes: Children will need to be constantly supervised by their parents as the camp is not fenced in and game wanders freely throughout day and night.
Power supply: Generator
Power supply notes: There’s a generator as well as diesel boiler for hot water.
Communications: There is Wi-Fi in the main areas which is free of charge. There are also two computers in the Wi-Fi Centre, which are charged at U$3 for 30 minutes or U$5 for an hour.
TV & radio: There is a satellite TV in the TV room in the main area
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There is a medical doctor on site. For more urgent medical cases the nearest hospital is in Arusha.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: The lodge has guards on duty 24 hours and there is also a resident TANAPA ranger on site.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the main areas as well as in each room. There is also a fire alarm and each room has a notice of what to do in case of a fire emergency.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an additional cost.
Money: It is possible to exchange US dollars, euros, British pounds and Tanzania shillings. There are digital safes in all of the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: Mastercard and visa are accepted at no extra cost