Chole Mjini Lodge

Reviews of Chole Mjini Lodge

Excellent(95%) From 25 travellers
Excellent
19
Good
6
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 25 of our travellers who have visited Chole Mjini Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs F from Hunton
Arrived on: 18-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Chole Mjini Lodge review

The tree house accommodation built around a large Baobab tree with views of the sea was absolutely unique and quite wonderful - even in the dark when quite windy! We slept really well and were very comfortable. The "plumbing" was basic. We were prepared for it and so it was as expected but it may not suit all tastes and this would be a shame as the overall experience was exceptional.
Apart from the activities which I will turn to next our fondest memory will be of the way we were so well looked after by Celine and by Jay, who were unfailingly kind and thoughtful.
We had a wonderful whale shark trip with Jean's team based on Mafia island. Our briefing from Sami was excellent and made us fully aware of how to swim with whale sharks without distressing them, thereby getting the best experience (for them and for us)! We got the impression that each of our four guides that day were all equally well informed and responsible and that added to our enjoyment. Sadly no other boat seemed to take this more responsible attitude with examples of others diving into the water right over the fish, causing it to dive deeper and to change direction. Hopefully this will be addressed. In spite of this we had a truly wonderful morning, seeing three whale sharks, a very large Ray and a large number of fish. Our only regret is that we failed to see that you could hire an underwater camera (which could have been terrific as our sightings were wonderful, especially when we were first to find a whale shark and had about five minutes swimming alongside it before the irresponsible hoards arrived).
The next day I tried an experience dive with the diving operation just across the water. They were very professional and ensured I was well prepared for my two dives before we left for the first dive site. It was worth every dollar! Luke spotted a huge number of interesting fish and was able to point most of them out to me, as well as a turtle I was thrilled to see.
We cannot recommend our stay too highly if you enjoy water based activities. It was a quite brilliant part of my trip - even better than I had hoped.

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Mr & Mrs J from Herts
Arrived on: 12-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing Tree House Adventuree

The Tree House was an extraordinary place to stay. We loved the outdoor shower! We had great views over the sea and the forest with frequent sightings of Amethyst Sunbirds. The food was good. The staff were friendly and helpful. The option of dining with the other guests proved very enjoyable.
The sandbar trip and picnic was great fun and allowed us to see some other birds. The village tour was very interesting.

Species seen included Hermit Crabs and Monitor Lizards.
Birds seen included Black-bellied Starlings, Golden Weavers, Brubrus, Common Bulbuls, Amethyst Sunbirds, African Paradise Flycatchers, Bronze Mannekins, Common Waxbills, Black-headed Weavers, Tawny Eagles, Whimbrels, Pemba Green Pigeon, Emerald-Spotted Dove.

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Mrs G from London
Arrived on: 25-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Unusual stay at Chole Mjini

The treehouses at Chole Mjini are pretty magical and kept us dry even in a torrential storm!

We loved the experience of staying in the treehouses and Chole Mjini has clearly been lovingly built and looked after by Jean and Ann. The staff were friendly and the food tasty. We liked that locals from Chole Island appeared to make up the majority of the workforce.

We enjoyed a couple of very good snorkelling trips during our stay but were unsuccessful in our bid to swim with the whale sharks.

If we were to come up with any particular criticisms of Chole Mjini it would just be that the toilets were a little too dark and the showers were powered by kerosene which does not particularly fit with the eco nature of the resort.

Overall however, it was a very relaxing, rustic but beautiful lodge that we would definitely recommend to others.

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Mr K & Ms C from Germany
Arrived on: 7-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sleep under the stars in a tree!

Repeat guest - that should say it all.

Only complaint, like last time, quality of dinner food average; with all the fresh seafood around, could definitely be improved.

Great everything else - the tree houses are off the charts worth alone a trip to Mafia.

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MRs W from Surrey
Arrived on: 23-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Excellent tree houses for relaxed stay

Chole Mjini Lodge is a wonderful opportunity to be away from the hustle and bustle of life. The pace of life slows down and the activities are quite flexible with meals are provided to suit. The owners, Ann and Jean are keen to share their experience of living on Chole with guests. There are a number of trips or activities you can take part in.

The tree houses are all different and although accommodation is very simple, all have ingenious facilities including long drop toilets and hot open air showers. They have fantastic views and you wake up to sunrise at tree canopy level with bird song disturbing the stillness.

Taking a boat to a nearby sandbank, (which we had to ourselves, along with birds and crabs) was wonderful if not a little surreal. Spending an hour or so on a white sandy beach with sunshade and drinks provided before a boat comes to collect you was fantastic.
We used our days to scuba dive but had the rest of the day to relax.

Meals were served in different locations on the site. Whether it be in the historic ruins, on the dock if the tides allowed, on under a Tamarind tree with a view, the food was superb. All locally sourced food meant that meals were mainly seafood based but there were always vegetarian options.

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Dr J from Aylesbury
Arrived on: 28-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Unique eco Chole Mjini Lodge

What a place!

Enchanting, airy tree-house rooms, kerosene fuelled outdoor shower, odourless, long drop eco loo, and no electricity.

Hands on owners who made us very welcome. Superb location.

The boat trip to the sandbar exposed in mid-ocean at low tide was magical.

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Mr & Mrs D from London
Arrived on: 14-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

A Rare Return Visit

We don't often revisit places but we fell in love with Chole Mjini five years ago. We enjoyed our return visit just as much.

Everything was as we remembered; the smell of frangipani on arrival; the dhow sailing; tree house living; good island food and relaxing activities. Anne and Jean are welcoming hosts and their passion for Chole is infectious.

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Mr & Mrs D from Surrey
Arrived on: 5-Jul-2015 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Amazing and unmissable place to stay

We stayed at Chole Mjini for 7 nights & wished we'd been bolder to stay for our full 12 nights spent within Mafia and Chole. The lack of electric was a bonus, with amazing night skies, and romantically lit dinners. The gardens are beautiful encouraging a colourful array of birds and butterflies; we saw birds of paradise, humming birds, weaver birds, kingfishers and monitor lizards just strolling through.

The tree houses - where to start? The baobab tree by treehouse 2 must be 2000 years old, and everything is built with thought and care. Tree house one, has the most stunning view from the bed. Morning tea or coffee is delivered by a pulley system, and the hammocks are comfortable and nicely situated.

The long drop toilets are the best in East Africa! No smell. A comfortable seat, but the resident gecko made me jump until we got used to each other! The shower is certainly innovative. It sounds like a swarm of bees when the wind blows, and under the circumstances is more than adequate. A pumped hot shower it isn't, but it certainly serves its purpose within the restraints of the situation. A shower within a secluded outdoor area, which is warm enough given the climate and works ingeniously to overcome the lack of utilities.

The only thing that I would mention as a negative was the lack of comfortable seating in the tree house. The bench on the balcony was uncomfortable (I know they're hand made on the island, but,) - perhaps rattan chairs may be an alternative?

My husband had worried about the food, but he was quickly won over. Fish was on the menu everyday, so if you're a carnivore, then you're in trouble, but the food was delicious and plentiful. I doubted fish quiche, but it was delicious, and the fish samosas were to die for! The salads and vegetables were varied and nicely presented, rice and pasta all cooked to perfection. Breads cooked in a charcoal oven, varied from cinnamon rolls, to warm doughnuts on an early morning boat trip.
Condiments including balsamic vinegar, chilli oil, salad dressing etc were always on hand.

There are 3 or 4 brands of beer to choose from, and the wines are thoughtfully sourced and chosen - all delightful.

The staff are helpful and attentive, and the rooms cleaned and tidied with care. Linen and towels regularly changed and the laundry service was exemplary - even with a charcoal iron.

The daily dhow trips were fantastic; snorkelling, a bbq lunch on the sandbar, a trip to see a turtle nest hatching, a romantic sunset sail, a visit to neighbouring Juani to see the Kua ruins. Refreshments always provided and knowledgable guides. Other entertainment included badminton amongst the ruins, or Viking chess on the beach and paddle boarding around the island.

Most of our meals were communal with Anne and Jean and their family and other guests, eaten under the stars in varying locations, but that was our choice for the varied and interesting conversation. More private seating arrangements are easily arranged if required.

All in all, I would heartily recommend you stay here. It will be a decision you won't regret if you are the sort of person that doesn't need a hairdryer. Anne and Jean are wonderful hosts who have dedicated their lives to this island and its' indigenous people - building a school, a library and caring about the whole community. They are true philanthropists and have created a truly balanced ecological paradise.

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Mr S from Maidstone
Arrived on: 26-Jul-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Chole Mjini July 14

Wake up every morning to watch the sun rise through the branches of the Baobab tree in which your room is built - can't be beaten!

The location of this place makes it something special - from the rooms in trees to dining in ruins or on a jetty overlooking the sea.

The food was very good and the staff always helpful. There are plenty of trips that you can do (don't miss the snorkelling over the coral reef) but its a great place to just relax and 'chill' if you want to.

Toilets: I would say don't be put off by the fact they are downstairs from your room and don't flush. You soon get used to it and they are perfectly acceptable.

A useful tip: no-one tells you to keep the receipt for the Marine Park readily available - don't throw it away as you need it when you leave the park because they check it - a Dutch couple we were leaving with couldn't find all of theirs and got charged the entry fee again - and they were only allowed to pay in US Dollars, Tanzanian currency was refused!

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Mr S from Accra
Arrived on: 6-Jul-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Nice location

Very tidy and great experience to stay 3 nights in a baobao tree. Super friendly staff and also very helpful to do the trip easy with a child (e.g - serving food earlier seperately in evenings etc)

Excellent food and good variations of activities

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