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.
Hello Lisa. We came back from our trip two weeks ago now so I am sending this email much later than I wanted to. Nevertheless, what I wanted to say was thank you very much for helping us organise an amazing trip. Our days in Mafia Island to celebrate my 50th birthday were exactly what I wanted them to be: a fantastic time with the family doing activities that we all love and enjoy in a relaxing, unusual, beautiful place full of sun, surrounded by water, wildlife and friendly people. We swam with whale sharks, did a lot of snorkeling, had two picnics on a beautiful sand bank, watched the sunset over the sea, did a bird watching excursion and tried scuba diving.
All merit to you because Pole Pole in Mafia Island was your recommendation. I never heard of Mafia Island before and didn't consider Tanzania to start with. It was an amazing place to stay: friendly, relaxed, beautiful, comfortable, with great food and fantastic service. Thanks not only for finding the place but also for your patience as we prepared the trip and I explored options and decided what I wanted. All went incredibly well (places, transfers, flights) and we had a very memorable time together that we will all remember forever - as we still do the safari trip to South Africa you organised for us 5 years ago.
I cannot wait to plan another trip! I am already thinking about where and when. Hopefully no pandemic will get in the way this time. And I will come to you as my favourite travel agent.
I copy in this message the Tourdust office because I want them to know how good you are and how much I appreciated the different trips you organised for us (including the trip to India for my parents that was cancelled due to Covid). I cannot thank you enough :o)
Kind regards, Carol
Carolina O reviewing Relaxed Bush & Beach Family Holiday in Tanzania on 25 November 2022
It was a fantastic experience, thanks very much. All the arrangements were seamless and our guiding/support team were excellent, if there is a way for you to formally commend the team to your ground operators then I would be grateful if you could do that, they really were brilliant.
Many thanks for your help in arranging the trip, and for your patience during the multiple re-arrangements over the past couple of years.
Kind regards, John
John B reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 14 November 2022
Can't praise tour dust enough, they helped us to create a holiday of a lifetime that has given us family memories we will treasure forever. From start to finish the whole experience was exactly what we wanted and more. Due to covid we waited 2 and a half years for this trip but worth the wait.
Carly R reviewing Value KwaZulu-Natal Safari and Mauritius on 07 November 2022