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Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge
Chole Mjini Lodge

Reviews of Chole Mjini Lodge

Wildlife sightings and reviews

28 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Chole Mjini Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Showing 11-20 of 28
Duration
Arrival date
Mr & Mrs D
Surrey

"Amazing and unmissable place to stay"

7 nights Arrived 5 Jul 2015
"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.

" See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mr S
Maidstone

"Chole Mjini July 14"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jul 2014
"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!" See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr S
Accra

"Nice location"

3 nights Arrived 6 Jul 2014
"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" See all these reviews: 6n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
riguss
Belgium

"Chole Mjini Lodge review"

7 nights Arrived 27 Dec 2013
"We spent 1 week at Chole. The place is amazing and potentially as close to paradise as possible. The reef is beautiful and in some places really unspoilt. The very idea of the tree houses as put in place together with the special relationship between the lodge and the village left us admired and happy to be there.

We also appreciated being disconnected from the world without electricity, running water, flashing toilets etc.

However, this is an expensive place, not only to stay in but also to reach (the costs of the marine park are high) and to fully exploit as most of the activities get easily to serious prices for one family (one trip to see the whale sharks is 100$ pp). Guests are therefore entitled to expect a service which matches these costs.

Unfortunately this is not the case. Some examples:

1) we were exposed to potential life risk at sea 2 and half hours from the lodge (faulting boat engine, very low level of remaining fuel, uncaring captain) The same captain was again unable to operate another engine and to bring us on a sand bank off the lodge on the last day of our stay.
2) the toilet was given to us the first night full of tropical cockroaches 3/4 cm in size. I killed more than ten myself and had to ask in order the toilet to be sanitized, but only the day after.
3) while the food was good, the quantities were ridicolous: typically one would get a lot of rice and very little fish (30g). In 2 occasions we were refused additional serving "because the remaining portions were for the other guests".
4) common facilities are non existent: apart some sitting space in the breakfast area, no organised sunbathing anywere, not a deck chair, not a bench near the sea. The terrace in our treehouse had no shade.

We understand that the management has changed several times in the last 3 years and Jean and Anne are now reassuming direct responsibility. It is about time and having met and talked to them we have appreciated their strength and vision. Our advice would be, however, that you check thoroughly the conditions of the lodge under the new management before sending new clients.



" See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Average
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Poor
Mr & Mrs P
Volcano

"Great lodge and overall experience"

4 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2013
"The camp is described as "quirky" and that's a good description. The treehouses are wild and different, and each house has it's own personality. The new manager, Danny, is doing a good job and they take advantage of their great location by moving dinner sites around the camp. There are many daily activities available and our 4 days there were filled with fun and excitement.

A great place to end up a Tanzanian safari adventure, with snorkeling, dhow excursions, village walks and other hikes available.

Dinners were excellent, but everything is seafood based." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs K
Wiltshire

"Relaxing stay with Whaleshark swim"

3 nights Arrived 26 Nov 2012
"After daily early starts on safari in hot temperatures, we were ready for a rest! It took a day to relax into Chole, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. It was a treat to enjoy slightly cooler temperatures! The staff were delightful, very friendly and eager to chat but they also respected our privacy. The food was very good, portions were balanced and just right for all the excursions.

We enjoyed the company of all, including 2 teachers who were working with babies and families. 'Batman' was excellent, very talented in numerous areas, and he worked so hard to find whale sharks. I swam with an 8 m whale shark with him and although I am not a strong swimmer, I felt very safe in the water with him. My husband and I both wish him well in the future he deserves to do well! The whale shark experience is one of the most memorable experiences that I have been lucky to have. Also visited an out of season turtle hatching (watch your footware as it involves a walk over sharp rocks)" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs H
Ontario

"Enjoyed being off the grid at Chole Mjini"

4 nights Arrived 1 Feb 2012
"Very good management from Lyndsey, good food - really liked the different romantic evening meal locations.
Good friendly service.

No real beach might be a minus but were busy enough with diving/excursions." See all these reviews: 17n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
The M family
Herts

"Great fun but not for everyone"

2 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2011
"The whole family loved it. Very different experience sleeping in simple open tree houses in the mangroves. Drop toilets on the ground are a little way away from the rooms. Open air showers worked well despite the need to light a cup of parafin to get them going (good fun). Fantastic trips out to sandbars and extremely atmospheric dining by candlelight amongst the old ruins now covered in strangler figs.

Lyndsey now manages Chole and does a terrific job. Very friendly, organised and helpful.

Highlight is a guided trip round the village which the lodge helps support.

Overall highly recommended for something completely different if you are ok with no running water or electricity in your room." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Mrs S & Family
UK

"Chole Mjini Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Dec 2010
"A wonderful and unique location. Expert Africa rightly made us aware at the outset that activities were limited but def. worth the visit.

Loved the treehouses and showering facilities were ingenious. Slightly aware of a take it or leave it attitude from the management but they were pulling out mid January so perhaps that explained their attitude. Didn't like the way our children were pushed continually towards interacting with the management's children or the lunch and supper communal dining despite our requests for a separate table. One meal being formal with mangement was fine, but every meal .......

Wonderful to explore villiage, sail dhows, snorkel etc - snorkel hire and beer prices a complete rip off compared to Mafia and lodges. A continual and very hard sell on whale sharking which at $50 per head for half a day was expensive (probability of viewing them was 50%)

Food really delicious.

Overall a huge success but to make it all round excellent there needs to be a different attitude from management." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Average
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr K & Ms C
Germany

"Chole Mjini Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Oct 2010
"an absolutely delightful place! one of the best ocean setting locations I have ever been to (if one likes a rural romantic setting);
sligth drawbacks: a little more light in the evening (or working hed lamps ) would be helpful;
given the abundance of seefood available in the area, more faciful dishes would be nice. Also some better refrigration to keep beer and wine cold would be good.

Verdict: a few smaller flaws which are immaterial in light of the over all experience.
I would certainly go baclk any time!" See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 11-20 of 28
94%
28 reviews of Chole Mjini Lodge by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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