Rivertrees Country Inn is situated halfway between the town of Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport. It lies on the banks of the Usa River within four hectares of lush, well-tended, tropical gardens. Filled with flame trees, bougainvillea, hibiscus and banana trees, these are a haven for birdlife, and the lodge's rural location adds to its feeling of calm and tranquillity.
The old farmhouse at Rivertrees has been restored and converted into the lodge's main lounge area. Furnished with antiques and with old framed photos of the property and surrounding areas on the walls, it has a large fireplace and a few separate seating areas. In one corner, a cabinet houses a selection of books, magazines and board games; in another is a small TV area with satellite TV. Afternoon tea is served here or out on the large covered veranda, overlooking well-tended lawns.
The dining room and bar are in a separate thatched building, which is completely open-sided with views over the gardens. On sunny days the dining tables may be moved out on to the lawns under large shady trees. There is an open kitchen, too, so you can watch the chefs as they prepare your evening meal: home-cooked food, using fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit from Rivertrees' extensive vegetable gardens. There is also a small seating area with comfortable sofas around a fireplace. Tucked around the corner from the dining area is a rustic bar, made from the wood of an old dhow, and lined with chunky wooden bar stools.
Rivertrees has a total of 14 rooms dotted around the large property, all of which are en suite and have fans and mosquito nets. These are made up as follows:
10 standard rooms form the bulk of the accommodation. Three of these are located in the original old farmhouse, with the other seven grouped together nearby. Each has red-polished concrete floors dotted with traditional grass mats, under a whirring ceiling fan. The furniture consists of a wooden four-poster bed (or twin or triple beds) draped with mosquito nets, a writing desk and chair, a day bed, and a simple wardrobe. It's all very solidly built, and should be very cool – even when temperatures outside are high
The white-tiled en-suite bathroom is small and functional with a single basin, shower cubicle with shower curtain, and a toilet. Some of the rooms also have a bath. Complimentary toiletries are provided. Outside is a small, covered veranda with two small wooden chairs and a table.
Two cottages stand on the banks of the Usa River, with the relaxing sound of flowing water nearby. These are very similar in style and furnishings to the standard rooms, and can be either twins or doubles, but are quite a bit larger. Each has a small seating area with two armchairs and a table beside a fireplace – lovely for chilly evenings. Both cottages have a ramp and handrails and are Rivertrees' most wheelchair-accessible option. The cottages have en-suite bathrooms that feel fairly light and spacious, with double basins set into a wooden cabinet, a separate bath, a shower cubicle and toilet. A door leads from the bathroom to a private outdoor shower. Fluffy white towels and bathrobes and complimentary toiletries are provided.
The River House, which is also located on the river bank, has two separate en-suite double bedrooms, a separate living room with fireplace and satellite TV, and a wrap-around veranda where you can eat dinner if you want some privacy. Since the beds are doubles, and the bathrooms are fairly open, we would recommend this as a good option for two couples travelling together as opposed to families, indeed they don't generally allow children to stay here.
Rivertrees is a lovely place to relax, whether wandering through the tree-lined gardens or by the large swimming pool or enjoy a variety of spa treatments. A range of activities is also available, although these really need to be booked in advance. It is possible to visit a local village, tour a nearby coffee plantation, or go to see the local market. Horse riding is also an option, organised on a nearby farm.
Dear Lisa. On behalf of the three generations of the Rowland family. Thank you, so much, for organising our wonderful holiday to Botswana and the Victoria Falls. The trip of a lifetime. The week mobile camping in the bush, with our guide Nandos and his crew was a fantastic adventure. How they manage to cook such wonderful food on an open fire is amazing. The sites were constantly visited by monkeys and once by elephants. We were even lucky enough to see two packs of wild dogs, once with a kill. Waterberry Lodge on the Zambezi River is a wonderfully tranquil place. Ideal to relax after the adventures of our safari and visiting Victoria Falls. Very many thanks once again
Godfrey R reviewing Private Mobile Family Safari in Botswana on 25 September 2023
We had a great time - even with the flight between Governors and the coast being two flights and a car! We also experienced a power cut At Nairobi airport on the way home so 2+ hours late taking off. Governors. Wonderful people and dealt with the flight delay very well - taking us back and letting us know that we could stay there if the flight was delayed overnight. The game drives were excellent and our guide (Erick) obviously very experienced and managed to find all the key animals - no rhino in that part of the Masai Mara but everything else in abundance - never seen so many herbivores (many many elephants as well as all the others) as well as two prides of lions. Could not have asked for more. The ‘tent’ was excellent and comfortable and well serviced. The only ‘complaint’ would be that the food - especially dinner - could be improved (I think we got a bit bored of soup as a starter for every meal bar one) and the main courses were not at the same level as Kinondo Kwetu and while all were explained there was no choice offered. The breakfasts were just what was needed after an early game drive. Kinondo Kwetu. What a great location and the welcome when we arrived at just gone 11.00pm was better than you could have ever thought possible - they we’re disappointed that we did not at that time want the full dinner experience! The rooms we’re comfortable. The food was excellent but again no choice was offered - other than for allergy reasons (which we do not have). May be some choice would be nice. Having said that the food we did have was excellent as were the wines (albeit a short list!) and other drinks. There were (as you know) lots of facilities/sports options - but we spent our time relaxing which was exactly what we needed and there were lots of places to do that. Overall. We would go back to both places - perhaps a few more nights at Kinondo Kwetu next time but 3 nights at Governors was perfect for us. Thank you for organising and recommending both places. That you and your colleague for trying to find out about the plane (flat tyre) but communication by the flight company left a lot to be desired (Governors were furious that they were not told and had taken us to the airstrip). Phil
Philip R reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Kenya Beach on 01 September 2023
It was certainly a holiday of a lifetime for us and we loved every minute!! The standard and location of each accommodation was excellent, as was the variety of each different accommodation type. Our schedule was perfect and we managed to achieve everything on our to-do task list. Your documents were also really helpful, as were the driving directions. We all thank you for making this such a wonderful holiday. Happy to leave a review publicly if you point me the right way. Best Steve
Stephen H reviewing Classic Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari on 01 September 2023