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
"Great relaxation at Pole Pole"
The grounds were excellent but swimming in the sea not really viable due to lack of depth.
Representative from the local dive centre visited every evening at 7 pm to advise on potential activities in the following day. We went to see turtles hatching on another island and also visited two villages on tours, just ourselves and a guide... most interesting." See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
"Pole Pole review"
The food was plentiful and what was really good was the system of choosing what you wanted to eat for lunch and dinner at breakfast time as it meant you were not automatically served four courses if you only wanted two. The english of the staff is a bit patchy and I had made the mistake of saying that I would eat fish. At home I stick to a predominantly vegetarian diet but will eat fish if it makes someone's life easier. The staff at pole pole interpreted this as being that I would eat fish for every course, other then dessert, at lunch and dinner each day. When I said I didn't want to eat fish every day and could I see a vegetarian menu they said there wasn't one. I did speak to the customer relations manager to say I didn't think they had understood that I wanted to eat vegetarian food and could he just make sure that the restaurant staff knew, but again this was lost in translation and there was no supper for me the first evening. I stuck to my guns and they gave me some curried vegetables but thereafter I was offered vegetarian food.
Against this, however, they were incredibly helpful and went out and bought flipflops for my husband as he had forgotten to bring his - so I am sure the mix up was a language issue.
There is good diving as it is set in the Marine Park and is a good base if you don't want to be surrounded by too many people.
" See all these reviews: 18n in Tanzania
"The best service Ever!"
It is really very hot there. Fans do help but it is hot at night without air con.
The whale shark tour is marvellous. Whilst we were there two Americans refused to sign the liability waiver and were refused access to the tour. It was illegible but our view on these things is that you have to decide for yourself if the trip is something you want to do and if you are happy with the activities planned. Those waivers are not worth the paper they are written on! There was some bad feeling I think about the South African chap who owns outfit and a nearby hotel.
Snorkelling is really very very good. " See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
"A great end to an amazing honeymoon"
The food was to a very high standard and we were treated to a private meal as we were on our honeymoon as well as very relaxing massages in the spa.
A number of activities were included in our stay here including a very good snorkeling trip with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. The resort is very small so it was easy to find a spot to relax by ourselves to enjoy the tropical island breeze.
We would definitely recommend Pole Pole to those who want to escape modern life but still expect some creature comforts." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
"Great place to chill out"
Any time in the room was mostly spent on the wonderful veranda, which boasted a mosquito-netted day bed and lovely views of the lush gardens and the sea. Bathrooms are rather dated, however, and detracted from the overall quality, which is a shame.
I loved having tea delivered to our room each morning before breakfast, and in the evenings, the bar whipped up some seriously good cocktails, too. There's wifi by the pool, which mostly worked well.
The dive shop - a high-quality operation - is just a ten-minute walk long the beach and diving was very good, with some very impressive coral reefs. " See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania
Hosts and staff were super friendly and very accommodating/flexible (e.g. changing the menu to our taste, arranging a romantic candle light dinner away from the other guests, dinner on the beach).
Diving and excursions were lots of fun and super easy to organise the night before.
Really enjoyed our stay! Highly recommended.
Tide can be a bit of a pain if you want to swim in the ocean." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Relaxing paradise at Pole Pole"
Our showers was in need of maintenance - weak flow and poor heating controls. Nice old propeller fans to provide some temperature control, negated on several occasions by power cuts.
Mosquitos were a problem in the reception area, where we were given the welcome briefing.
Food generally good, and restaurant service speed and delivery improved after we implemented breakfast orders on the night before - the only way to get through breakfast in time to enjoy the inclusive activities.
The watersports/dive centre team (David and Mateis) were excellent - the complimentary activities much enjoyed - snorkelling on the reefs, dhow sailing trips, visit to Chole Island, BBQ on the sandbar, etc
We did fill in the feedback form at PolePole, and they responded helpfully, which should benefit future guests." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 1n in Kenya
"Total relaxation at Pole Pole"
The pool was great with plenty of shade to get out of the sun if required. The beach was a little disappointing, mainly because of the tidal nature, however the staff did an excellent job of clearing the seaweed each morning.
The food was good, but some of the dishes were a little dry and some a little too highly spiced for my wife's palate. Having said that, we were offered alternative options.
The activities were good and it was particularly helpful having time with the dive centre staff each evening to plan our activities. The massage at the spa was excellent and a great start to our relaxation.
The only criticism is that they allowed smoking in the restaurant area - this made our final evening meal rather unpleasant." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Relaxed post safari stay"
One activity was included every day within our room rate. Every evening before dinner the guests congregate for pre-dinner drinks, a chat, and discussion with the manager of the local dive and excursion centre with whom the activities take place to decide what to do the next day based on tide and availability. Other activities are available in addition to those included.
The bungalows are a good size with mosquito nets (necessary) and a deck to sit out on. The bathroom has twin basins, toilet, bidet and shower. My only gripe would be that there was only one UK style plug (the norm in Tanzania), a couple of unexpected European style plugs, and a number of Italian style plugs! There is a pool and a spa on site for massage and manicures etc which was also very good.
Overall we had a great time, enjoyed all the activities, and felt it met our expectations all round. Our thanks to Paola, Marina and Mussa who are very hands on and make sure that everything runs so well." See all these reviews: 16n in Tanzania; 4n in Kenya
Holiday styles & special interests in Tanzania
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Tanzania.
Other lodges in Mafia Island
Alternative places to stay in this same area.