Travel

Giraffe Beach Hotel, Dar Es Salaam (Review)

If you have already come across our posts about travelling to the Tanzanian National Parks or the delights of Tanzanian Coffee and Chocolate, then you’ll understand our love for the country of Tanzania.

Over the Christmas period of 2022/2023, I made another trip to Tanzania’s biggest city, Dar Es Salaam. If you find yourself there on business or transferring here to extend your travels elsewhere in Tanzania, then it is always great to know where to find a comfortable hotel to rest your head.

This brings me to Giraffe Beach Hotel, located in the Kigandoni region of Dar Es Salaam. The hotel has been situated on the famous hotel strip on the northern beaches of the city for many, many years, however, has recently seen a little bit of love and investment. I had previously visited to spend time by the pool, but I was blown away by the transformation and thought it warranted a review.

So, if you’re in Dar Es Salaam and looking for a place to stay for a few days, this is my experience at Giraffe.

 

Airport Transfers & Check-in Times

The Giraffe Beach Hotel is situated along Jangwani Beach, which is home to other big hotels (Like the Ramada next door, and White Sands). Generally, the visitors to these hotels are in the city on business or are passing through.

Annoyingly, Jangwani beach is on the opposite side of the city to the international airport. In previous years, this trip could take a number of hours with bad traffic, however, since recent road developments from the airport, the trip can take between 1 hour and 1 hour 20 minutes. It is advised that you arrange a transfer via the hotel as fairs from the airport can be very expensive.

The check-in times for the Giraffe is set at 3pm in the afternoon, however, the staff are extremely accommodating and it is possible to check in sooner, or enjoy the facilities while you wait.

The staff at Giraffe are all very friendly, and accommodating and speak a number of languages.

 

The Hotel (Rooms & Facilities)

The Rooms

We booked ourselves into a standard double room with a sea view. It costs a little more than a city view however, the money is well worth it. The room itself is very well furnished, decorated and put together. It was clean, instantly comfortable and everything worked perfectly. The AC walking in was delightful.

The room we had was fitted with a desk, a side table and comfy indoor chair, and a wardrobe. There is a kettle stocked with teas, coffee, and bottles of water. There is a safe and fridge too.

The bathroom was very spacious and well-provisioned. I have encountered issues with the showers in other hotels in Tanzania but this one had a good stream of both warm and cold water and was spacious enough to swing your arms around.

Now, let’s talk about the important bit: the huge bay windows which look out onto the balcony and the sea. The whole room is centred around the view of the pool, restaurant, beach banda and the spectacular crystal blue Indian ocean (you an see Dar Es Salaams two beach islands which are accessible via boat – also can be organised by the hotel). The sliding doors can be opened fully, with a door net to make sure the mosquitoes don’t come into the room during the evening.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by the room and felt extremely comfortable during my stay.

 

The Facilities

The facilities at the hotel include a beautiful outdoor pool, a restaurant/ bar where you can eat breakfast (a buffet-style self-service) or order drinks throughout the day. The hotel has a gym and areas where it is possible to sit and work (the wifi is very good – which is unusual for Tanzania).

The beach resort opens out directly onto Jangwani beach which is mostly public, with a private section at White Sands. It is possible to walk both ways to the public beach (where people sit and relax) and visit the multiple beach bars and restaurants located close by.

While the beach is beautiful and well-kept by the hotel, Jangwani beach is not the best for swimming generally. This side of the city is sometimes dirty and the water is often polluted (made worse if it rains). The low tide, however, is good for a walk but be careful of the rocks as there are always sea urchins hiding! That is one way to ruin your holiday!

If you want to enjoy the full glory of a Tanzanian beach, it is best to visit Mbudya island, which is located just off the shore and about a 20-minute boat ride away. (visible from your balcony). The island has a beautiful beach and pristine crystal-clear shore. It is possible to camp overnight there and there is a small restaurant which sells locally sourced seafood. It may look a little rough and ready for visitors, but the food is fantastic.

While we stayed at the hotel, we noticed a few guys at the bottom asking whether we wanted to go to the island, but I am unsure whether this is local fishermen trying to make an extra buck or organised by the hotel. If you want to go, I’d suggest going to reception to ask their advice, or walking down to Waterworld further down he street. The only reason I suggest there is because once upon a time it was one of the only reliable boat services and I have continued to use the boat ever since.

Would I Recommend Giraffe?

I think that if you’re staying in Dar Es Salaam for a few days, and you’re looking for a comfortable, relaxed and reliable place to stay, then it is a fantastic place to stay.

You are able to book directly with the hotel, or via Booking.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *