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Pole Pole
Pole Pole
Pole Pole
Pole Pole
Pole Pole
Pole Pole
Pole Pole

Reviews of Pole Pole

Wildlife sightings and reviews

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

Showing 91-97 of 97
Duration
Arrival date
Mr & Mrs Serval
UK

"Pole Pole review"

5 nights Arrived 26 Feb 2008
"Pole Pole is lovely. The rooms are lovely, as is the food and service (although don't go there if you don't like sea-food - we had sea-food for starter and main courses every day but one). The drinks delivered to your verandah in the evening is a lovely idea. Maure and her staff are very good. My husband was ill whislt we were there and they were very concerned about him and bent over backwards to do all they could to help, including providing special meals, like boiled rice, for him, and delivering it to the room.

I had a massage whilst we were there and it was very good and excellent value for money. The snorkelling trips were good, although i only managed two of them and my husband didn't manage any. One thing we regretted was that he was not well enough for us to go on a trip to see and swim with whale sharks. We talked to fellow guests who had and who said it was a super experience.

The only negative point is that there are a lot of sand flies (No-see-ums) there. My husband did not get bitten once, but I got over 100 bites, despite using 100% DEET. I guess they either like you or they don't. If anyone knows of anything that deters them I'd be gald to hear of it." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mr D
Bournemouth

"Pole Pole review"

4 nights Arrived 11 Feb 2008
"The staff are very nice but not around much during the day. Nice surroundings a little disappointed having seen the website and viewed the stunning photos of the beach. A lot of the beach shots are of the marine park located a good 1-2 hours away by boat. The local beaches are nice but nowhere near as nice as the photos.

I stayed for 4 days and apart from the last day the weather did not permit travelling to the other islands. For light sleepers take ear plugs this area is full of birdlife, fruit bats and Bush Babies all very lovely until you are still awake at 3am listening to the chorus. ;-)

The snorkelling was fantastic I swam around Coral Garden the most beautiful coral I have ever seen. Other guys that were diving equally had great things to say. A little disappointed that the bar and all the staff went to bed around 10:30 leaving us with empty glasses, especially as I knew I would still be awake from the bird song until the early hours. Difficult to find a place with earlier closing times than the UK.

A few strange rules, only emergency internet access allowed (strictly no browsing) a guy got told off for playing a ringtone twice, felt like school a little, waiting to be scolded. An ideal place for any clean living Benedictine Monks that love to dive." See all these reviews: 5n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Average
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Average
Mr & Mrs LC
SW London

"Pole Pole review"

7 nights Arrived 27 Dec 2007
"Top for food - liked that the staff told us the menu and we sat back relaxing. Loved the Zwahili night.
Resort an excellent design with shade and breeze.
Very relaxing including massages which were exellent.
Very romantic and private.
New Year on the beach was magical.
All staff so friendly and helpful.
Excusions easily organised.
Suggest they get themselves Pole Pole postcards - had to go to the another resort.
Thought the menus, welcome notes etc, lovely. The little things are so important to make it special.
Scuba diving available, good sites.

" See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr P
Bucks.

"Lovely relaxed place - excellent"

6 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2007
"Lovely location with easy access to great snorkelling / diving. Excellent service & general relaxed atmosphere. Good range of trips / activities - lack of a pool wasn't an issue.

Got a good feel of local life from visit to nearby Chole island etc" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Mrs F
Islington

"Pole Pole review"

5 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2007
"I enjoyed my stay at Pole Pole but felt that perhaps we could have been more accomodated for. The rooms were not very comfortable, especially the beds.

The food was absolutely lovely but some times I found the service a bit too pushy at certain times yet oddily lackadaisical at others." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Terrible
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Poor
Mr F
Bucks

"Pole Pole review"

5 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2007
"After Selous Safari Camp, and Ruaha Mdonya Old River Camp, we arrived at Mafia for 5 nights at Pole Pole for sun, sea snorkelling and relaxation.. We were lucky to be the last to land that day and to be the first to take off when we left, as the runway was closed for the interim duration for maintenance. This meant we had to fly from Dar to Mafia in a small tin box with wings that seated 6 people and which I was told was an aeroplane, due to the runway being half shut (ie too short) so we had this Cessna instead of the bigger Caravan plane. I was too tall to fit in the back seat and the poor lady who did get that tiny back seat was more scared than me, and that says something. However, the pilot was great and flew slightly higher above any turbulence, and not only did we survive but we actually had a good view of the great Rufiji river delta and small coral islands on the way.

Thereafter we had the lazy luxury time that we had expected. The 'bungalow on stilts' rooms at pole Pole were superb, comfortable and quiet. It was great to have pre-dinner drinks brought round to the room as the sun went down, and to look out from the veranda, over the gardens and see a single dhow with bright white sail slipping by on the surreal azure blue water and watch the fruit bats flying over the palm trees whilst we sipped beer/G&T's. It sounds corny but it happened every night.

We went for the snorkelling, but the small private (and deserted) beach is good for lazing. I get sea sick, but the sea in the lagoon area was calm enough and each snorkelling trip was fine. The Dhows under sail are quite stable and very relaxing. The snorkelling was varied but good. Some areas with better coral, some with more/bigger fish. The natural lagoon was protected from most of the El Nino bleaching that the other Indian Ocean islands have suffered, so the coral was generally better than expected. There are more fish in the Maldives, but overall Mafia is a good snorkelling area, and other divers reported excellent diving and big fish!

Pole Pole is run by a most charming Italian lady, who was a mine of information and who helped arrange our days and trips just perfectly, and her keen and attentive team, provided a friendly 5 star service. Overall, Pole Pole is highly recommended and we had a wonderful stay." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Dr B & family
UK

"Pole Pole - a fabulous relaxing experience"

4 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2007
"Pole Pole was simply fabulous - a faultless, intimate, lodge that offered an experience that we just think couldn't have been bettered.

The lodges (only 7 in total) were decorated in African style, with wall hangings, and furniture that set off the timber framed lodge. Each lodge had a 'Zanzibar bed' on the private verandah for that peaceful doze in the afternoon. There were delightful little touches everywhere, straw hats to use, handmade local soap in the bathroom (also presented as a gift on leaving), parchment menu's, a regular room service to bring drinks to your verandah prior to dinner ...

The spa was very professional with a local masseur, the private beach and the rustic timber/woven sunbeds were ideal for losing a few hours in the sun.

The visit to Chole island was well worth it. Seeing the village life and boat building on this island was a delight. We felt a little like the pied piper having collected a small band of grinning kids who's favourite word was 'photo' ! They loved having their pictures taken and seeing the results. The massive Comores bats hanging in their thousands from the trees provided an awesome sight during their nightly excursion back to the mainland to return in the early hours.

A trip to Mange reef (not offered by Kinasi due to the length of the trip ?) was an excellent excusion, probably taking 2.5 hours by dhow, arriving at an elongated tear drop shaped sand bank. Gorgeous clear waters and coral around the island allowed for some great snorkelling, however the diving was even better. Although somewhat bumpy on entry, we saw a great variety of fish - white tipped shark, potato grouper (about 200+Kg and 5ft long - awesome), turtle, moray, tuna, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, and it just kept going. After nearly an hour under water and probably 2 miles along the reef we surfaced to return to the now substantially diminished sand bank.

We had freshly caught fish griiled over open fire for lunch and returned to Mafia under full sail - what a great day out.

Pole Pole was a real delight, you were made to feel special, stayed in gorgeous, and very comfortable surroundings, with staff who were always on hand, with beaming smiles. Sad to leave however what a great way to finish our holiday." See all these reviews: 15n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 91-97 of 97
94%
97 reviews of Pole Pole by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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Other lodges in Mafia Island

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini is one of Tanzania's most environmentally aware lodges. With tree-houses, superb diving and a fantastic location on the rural island of Chole, this is ideal if you want to get back to nature.


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Shamba Kilole is a charming Italian-owned eco-lodge on the coast of Mafia Island, with simple rooms and friendly owner-managers.


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