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 the Tarangire National Park, the 75-roomed family friendly Tarangire Sopa Lodge offers clean and comfortable, chain hotel-style accommodation in an accessible part of the park. It’s a good option for travellers on a tighter budget.
Although built in the 1990’s the décor looks older than this and quite dated. The main areas, as well as the rooms at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge, are designed in the style of an African village, with round buildings and tall conical roofs.
The main area is large, spacious and cool with marble floors and high vaulted ceilings. To one side is the reception area where friendly staff greet you on arrival. Down a few stairs is a large lounge area with plenty of comfortable seating. Large windows look out over two sides making most of the views of the surrounding bush. To one side is the bar with a few easy chairs and a snooker table. Opposite the lounge is the restaurant, which can seat up to 150 people when full. Brown parquet floors and wooden chairs and tables make this a fairly characterless space as it is fairly monotone and lacking in any style or colour. At the far end is a large buffet area from which most meals are served. To one side 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, where a barbecue buffet is served 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 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 bedrooms at the 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 accommodation blocks are also designed in the style of round African huts, making each room semi-circular in shape. On a recent visit in July 2013, they were in the process of upgrading all the rooms with 40 rooms already completed - the rest are due to be completed by the end of the year after the end of the peak season. The newly renovated rooms all have terracotta-tiled floors throughout and are entered via a lobby which has 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 a mosquito net and covered in fresh white linen and Africa print cushions. Behind each bed is a wall light and bright African prints on the wall, which add a modern feel to these comfortable refurbished rooms. In a corner are two contemporary upholstered chairs and a small table. Glass sliding doors lead to a small outdoor balcony with two chairs and a table. The en-suite bathrooms are light and modern cream tiles on the walls. Here you will find a single basin, toilet and spacious shower with a glass door. Each bathroom has a hairdryer and branded toiletries are also provided. In contrast to the newly refurbished rooms the old rooms are dark and dated, however these should be done away with by the end of 2013, should they complete the refurbishment on time.
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 here 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 2 nights in order to explore Tarangire National Park
Directions: Tarangire Sopa Lodge is two hours by road from Arusha or 40 minutes from Kuro airstrip, 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. The manager explained that all meals are served buffet style, however, when the lodge is not very full lunch and dinner may also be a set menu. Vegetarian options are always available.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the main restaurant and lunch is often served outside by 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.
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