Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary: Our full report
Near the turning to Tanzania's Arusha National Park, Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary has been welcoming ...... visitors since 1959. It's an old-fashioned, family-run lodge with plenty of atmosphere and a fresh new look, set in beautiful, mature gardens where small numbers of resident wildlife freely roam.
On our last stay at Mount Meru Game Lodge in 2018, we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the lodge’s extensive renovations. The new owners have clearly carried out a lot of work and the result is clean and more contemporary, without losing any of the lodge's character.
Friendly staff are on hand to greet you in the reception area, which also houses information and photos on the history of the lodge, along with a small curio shop stocked with local fabrics and jewellery.
Among verdant lawns and huge trees, including some enormous candelabra trees, there are 18 rooms in a collection of simple, painted buildings and log cabins, all with green mabati (corrugated iron) roofs.
Although they are all individual in style, each room features large whitewashed, wooden-framed beds and furniture, white linen and polished, red cement floors with rugs and grass mats. The rooms are light and airy, and there's space in most of them for an extra bed, and storage for clothes. The simple, tiled en-suite bathrooms incorporate flush toilets, a powerful shower, and a single basin and mirror. Good-quality towels are provided, as are shower gel and shampoo. Each room has its own small veranda, where you can enjoy a coffee or a drink, although meals and fireside night-caps take place in the main house.
Two of the rooms are in a separate cottage (the Andreas Von Nagy Cottage), and are sold as suites (Mount Meru Suite and Mount Kilimanjaro Suite). They can interconnect and would be suitable for a family. Each suite has a king-size bed and there are twin beds in a room between the two suites, therefore providing three rooms in the suite. The suites also feature fireplaces, armchairs and larger bathrooms than the standard rooms. There are two other cottages with two rooms that are similarly set up for families.
The main house has a bar, lounge and dining room, with a large terrace, shaded by mango trees, overlooking the lawns. Inside, the bar and dining area offer a cosy and welcoming space on chilly evenings, to enjoy a fireside night-cap.
At the end of the property is a pleasant pool area, with good shade, which was proving popular with young families on our last visit. There are sun loungers by the pool, and a various seating areas dotted throughout the grounds.
Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the lodge is the sanctuary's resident game, which includes zebra, buffalo, ostrich and waterbuck, as well as water birds such as saddle-billed storks, yellow-billed storks and egrets, which can be seen especially at the daily afternoon feeding. You can also often see habituated blue monkeys and striking black and white colobus monkeys from your room.
If you're spending some time in Arusha the lodge is well-positioned for various activities. There is a complimentary coffee tour, as well as supplementary activities that the lodge can help to arrange. These include horse-riding, a game of golf on Kili golf course, mountain-biking and canoeing in Arusha National Park, market visits and a tour of a flower farm.
This is a charming old place, with great staff and food, that has benefited from considerable recent investment. Located close to bother Kilimanjaro International and Arusha Airports, it is makes for a very attractive first or last night for safari travellers on a more modest budget in northern Tanzania, and is particularly well-suited to families.
Country manager: Tanzania
- Arusha, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- One or two nights, depending on whether you plan on doing any Arusha based activities.
- On the Usa River, about 20 minutes' drive east of Arusha town. The lodge is about 40 mins drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- We were impressed by the quality and variety of the food served at the lodge. Breakfast is served as a buffet with a selection of cereals, fruit, bread, cold meat and cheese, with hot breakfasts cooked to order. Lunch is from an à la carte menu and offers a selection of lighter meals and snacks such as sandwiches and burgers. Dinner is either a buffet or set menu, depending on how busy the lodge is. On our stay in 2018 we enjoyed a delicious chicken curry. The lodge has a pizza oven and this was also proving a popular choice with other diners. A children's menu is available, and those with special dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children of any age are welcome.
- Special activities & services
- The restaurant offers a children’s menu.
- There was limited special equipment available when we visited, but the owners are planning to improve the overall level of service and facilities.
- Generally recommended for children
- Good for children of all ages with correct supervision. There is plenty of shade and space to run around. The pool area is perfect for families.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Mount Meru Game Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There's a back-up generator for 24-hour power.
- The cellphone signal is good and there is free WiFi throughout.
- TV & radio
- There is a TV in the bar.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Water is sourced from a natural spring. The rooms have flush toilets and plumbed in showers.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The lodge has a first-aid kit and clinics and hospitals are available nearby in Usa River and Arusha.
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Security measures
- The lodge is gated. Askaris (guards) patrol the grounds.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are installed near all the rooms.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry service is available at a small extra cost.
- There are electric safe deposit boxes in the bedrooms. The lodge offers a limited currency exchange service.
- Accepted payment on location
- MasterCard, Visa and Amex credit cards are all accepted, with a 5% charge.
Other lodges in Arusha
Alternative places to stay in this same area.