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.
It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.
It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.
Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!
My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.
William M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019