State run ranch in Floral Ntl. Park

Apartment - Entire home/apt · Matamba, Iringa, Tanzania

The Space

This is a unique guest house on a daity ranch operated by the Tanzanian Government right in the middle of the Kitulo National Park aka "Serengeti of Flowers" - the only park in Africa set aside for its floral beauty with over 350 different species, 45 of them unique orchids. Best time to come is Feb-March at full bloom.

There are 3 bedrooms and a spooky looking living room as well as quite badly kept kitchen and bathroom. But who cares? You are on Kitulo!
It gets pretty cold at night so stay warm and a fire going if you are brave enough to boil some water for a shower.

Best way to get there is to bring your own 4X4 vehicle up to the plateau and pay the park fees and and hire a guide at Matamba to get directions, there are no sign posts.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 4
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 0.5
Beds: 3
Extra people: No Charge
Cancellation: Flexible
  • Pros:

    1) New apartment in a new building located 3 blocks from the end of the California cable car line, and one block of Van Ness Street.

    2) Comfortable couch as promised.

    3) Very accessible host: e-mails, text messages, and phone calls.


    1) One key to the apartment and the host acted as though he wass doing us a favor by letting us in the apartment.

    2)Required us to not to come and go as we pleased but instead provide him a schedule.
    I understood when he asked us not to come back to the apartment until after 5 pm on Monday since he might be meeting with a client and will not be accessible. That request was easy to accommodate after reassurance that we could come and go as we wish after 5 pm. However, I didn’t expect a text message at 5:30pm that evening that said, “I’m going out for a drink with friends around 6 pm, and will be back around 9 pm.” It took a while to convince Mbwana that he shouldn’t lock us out of our warm clothes for 3 hours on such a short notice. There was no way we could even get back to his apartment before 6 pm considering our current location.

    3) Host requested that we not to tell anything to his roommate who apparently didn’t know that he is renting out a living room sofa.

    4) Host broke a prior arrangement to allow us to leave our suitcases until 2 pm on the day of departure.

    5) Minor: It would be nice to have a regular pillow with a pillowcase, and not a decorative pillow to sleep on.

    Conclusion: I would not recommend Mbwana as a host. Actually, I would not recommend him as someone to have any business arrangements with. If we weren’t leaving the following day, I would have found another place to stay.

    October 2010
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Marlborough College, University of Bristol, Stanford University
From Tanzania, used to live in UK, Seattle and San Francisco, now living in Nairobi
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