Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops: Our full report

Rooms
20 treehouses, at various heights
Traveller's rating
Good (80%) From 1 review
Children
Best for 12+
Open
All year

Tarangire Treetops is located on Masaai land in the Radilen Management Area, one hour's drive north-east of the eastern boundary of Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.

Treetops is the sister lodge to Migration Camp, The Manor and Arusha Coffee Lodge, and offers similarly high standards of service, style and luxury. While the lodge is open year-round, the fruits of its marula trees attract elephants from July to September, making this a particularly exciting time to visit.

Each of the 20 rooms or treehouses at Tarangire Treetops is perched in or near a tree, some in marula trees and some in baobabs. The tree houses are raised several metres above ground level on stilts, with tree branches and trunks growing through some of them. Rooms #3, #8, #9, #10 and #15 are notably higher, so if you want to experience a real treehouse vibe, choose one of these. Rooms #6 and #19 have baobab branches growing right through the rooms, so are a little more airy and atmospheric. From their elevated positions, the mesh-fronted rooms and wrap-around decks offer impressive views across the surrounding bush. Depending on outlook, each room has either beautiful sunrise or sunset views.

Inside, all the spacious rooms are similar in style, featuring reclaimed dhow wood, polished floors and either a twin or king-size bed with crisp linen and forest-green throws. There's a small seating area and coffee table immediately as you enter and a writing desk with hairdryer behind the bed. The large bathroom is at the back of the room, with a flush loo, twin wash basins and a twin shower; all are of a high quality.

Reception at Tarangire Treetops is set atop a broad wooden deck and wraps around a vast and very impressive baobab tree. A small curio shop sits behind, selling products such as baskets, beaded jewellery and T-shirts, as well as essentials like toothpaste and suncream. From here, the deck continues to the open-sided lounge and restaurant area, which features a sunken firepit, all set under cool thatch.

Reclaimed dhow wood, neutral tones and striking African art create a simple and natural, yet very stylish feel. There are plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs here, creating a perfect place to sit with a drink and watch the waterhole below. This is a hugely popular spot for elephants in the dry season, which makes for some captivating viewing.

Wooden steps lead down to a lower-level deck, where there is a swimming pool with sunloungers facing out over the surrounding bush. This is a pleasant location for dinner when the weather is fine—and the birdwatching around the pool is wonderful.

Towards the back of the lodge is an outside dining area, designed in the style of a traditional Maasai manyatta, where evening barbecues are frequently held under the stars. The main areas are serviced from 6.00am to 11.00pm, so there is always someone on hand between these times to assist with any requests.

Due to the lodge’s location in a village-controlled wildlife management area, they try to maintain a good relationship with the village nearby and support it in various ways. In addition, they like to introduce some of the Maasai culture to guests staying at the lodge. Guests will typically get to experience a display of Maasai dancing during dinner, by men and women from the village, at one point during their stay. Whilst it is fascinating to witness and learn about the culture, some guests may find this somewhat forced and possibly a little uncomfortable.

Given the lodge’s clear and positive involvement with the community, it is disappointing that its significant environmental footprint is not being addressed by the management at the moment.

Many of our travellers who come here will arrive with their own professional guide and vehicle. However, for those who fly in, Tarangire Treetops is around one hour's drive outside the national park and the lodge can organise activities with their own vehicles and guides. The usual 4WD daytime safari drives are augmented by night drives and walking safaris, both of which are charged at an additional US$55 per person. This is paid to the lodge, and we're told it is used towards conservation. To guarantee these additional activities it's best to arrange them in advance, so please let us know if you would like to do this.

As the lodge lies outside Tarangire National Park, guests must drive into its busier northern side for most game-viewing activities. One interesting possibility would be to use Treetops for a one- or two-night stop on the way from Arusha to one of the camps deeper into the south of the park – as part of a three- or four-night exploration of Tarangire.

Our view

Tarangire Treetops has a lovely setting, good service from friendly staff, stylish design and high-quality fittings. This is probably one of the most luxurious accommodation options in or around Tarangire National Park and the high-level rooms, with their arboreal environment, are beautiful and memorable.

Geographics

Location: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: Most travellers spend two to three nights at Tarangire Treetops, but you could easily spend longer to further explore Tarangire National Park.

Directions: Tarangire Treetops is located about 1.5 hour's drive outside the eastern boundary of Tarangire National Park, 22km away, and about 2.5 hours from Arusha.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Elewana

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: When we were last at Tarangire Treetops in June 2017, the food was tasty and well-presented, complemented by great service.

Breakfast (served between 6.30 and 9.00am) is a buffet of fruit, cereals, yoghurt and bread with fresh fruit juice, tea and coffee. You can also order a full cooked breakfast from the waiter.

You may choose to take a packed lunch, which could include items like sandwiches, barbecued chicken, samosas and a salad, plus some fruit. Or you can return to the lodge for a light three-course lunch, served from 12.30–2.30pm.

Dinner at Tarangire Treetops is a set three-course meal, served roughly between 7.30 and 9.00pm. On our last visit, we had a roasted Mediterranean vegetable stack for the starter, followed by a delicious vegetable curry with all the accompaniments. Dessert was a fruit crêpe, which was very enjoyable.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Most drinks are included at Tarangire Treetops. Champagne, premium wines and luxury spirits are extra. Filtered drinking water is supplied so guests can fill up their water flasks (provided by the lodge).

Further dining info: No

Children

Attitude towards children: The lodge will happily welcome children.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at Tarangire Treetops.

Special activities & services: Tarangire Treetops can do special meals for children. They can also help with childminding, though parents should be aware that staff are not trained in childcare. Staff can organise nature walks and opportunities to try out local bows and arrows.

Equipment: The lodge has cots and high chairs but babies and young children rarely stay here.

Notes: Most of the treehouses are reached by quite steep steps, which would be dangerous for young children. Animals can wander through the lodge so children should be under parental supervision at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Power supply notes: Electricity is available 24 hours a day and you can charge batteries in your room.

Communications: Tarangire Treetops has cellphone reception all around the camp. They also have WiFi in the central area, and a laptop which guests may borrow at no charge.

TV & radio: There is no TV or radio at Tarangire Treetops.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: Hot water is available all day and the rooms have flush toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a trauma kit at Tarangire Treetops and a number of staff have had first-aid training. For serious matters, they would drive you to Karatu (two hours) or Arusha (two and a half hours).

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Tarangire Treetops has plenty of askaris (security guards) who escort guests around the camp at night, when animals sometimes wander into camp. Each treehouse is equipped with a two-way radio for requesting an escort. The rooms also have panic buttons.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the rooms and main areas. There is also a fire break around the camp. The staff are periodically trained to deal with fires.

Extras

Disabled access: In Place

Laundry facilities: Laundry is included at Tarangire Treetops and is machine-washed and tumble-dried.

Money: Tarangire Treetops can only offer foreign exchange in small amounts.

Accepted payment on location: Tarangire Treetops accepts Mastercard and Visa credit cards (no surcharge) as well as cash in pounds, US dollars, euros or Tanzanian shillings.

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