Welcome to the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse!

Stay at the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse in Dar es Salaam and support the community.

The Friendly Gecko Guesthouse is a socially responsible hostel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We aim to offer convenient and safe accommodation for a reasonable price. With making financial contributions and cost sharing arrangements we support the charity organization "help2kids".

Since we accommodate up to 16 volunteers from help2kids, we consider ourselves to be more of a home than a hostel. We love to meet new people and travelers from all walks of life and share our daily experiences.

Stay at the Friendly Gecko and explore Dar es Salaam while contributing to the education and care of vulnerable children in Tanzania. Learn more about us and our history here.  

Lonely Planet (2015) - review

Something different: Friendly Gecko guesthouse. If you want to stay in Dar a couple of days and connect with an interesting project and people, consider checking in to the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse which is situated 20km north of the city centre off the New Bagamoyo Road. The guesthouse itself comprises a mixture of simple rooms in a large, private house with a garden and kitchen, but it's the affiliated NGO help2kids (www.help2kids.org) that makes this a special place to stay. Firstly, because the house is always full of interesting volunteers and secondly because 100% of the profits go to support the help2kids orphanage and educational outreach programs in local nursery and primary schools. It's possible to arrange volunteering opportunities through the guesthouse as well as a host of activities such as market visits to Mwenge and Kariakoo. Boat trips to Mbudya Island, PADI diving courses and day trips (by bus) to Bagamoyo. The less actively inclined can just enjoy the pool at the nearby White Sands Resort. Come evening everyone heads back 'home' for Juliet's Tanzanian dinners and a chance to swap stories. 

Latest Guest Reviews

The friendly Gecko is a beautiful and nice guesthouse. The people are amazing! I got up way too late but they saved up a very yummy breakfast for me stlil. It is a great place to meet young people to exchange stories and experiences with - I met absolutely amazing people who I am still in touch with. The staff is absolutely lovely!
The only critic I have is that to me personally it seems quite expensive for a backpackers.
However, all over I can really recommend it! Especially to young open-minded people :) 
Taken from TripAdvisor, Nadjag94 , April 2015

Friendly Gecko is very friendly and very clean. After 2 days of air flights, this was a great place to recover. I stayed two days on my arrival and nice to just hang out, talk with interesting young people from all over, and show up for meals. There are beaches nearby and excursions that can be done from here- I went to Mwenges Carver's Market and Village Museum, Kanduchi Ruins, Tinga Tinga painting place and Wonder Workshop (very hard to find). One day I hired a taxi and one day a bajaj. Since the Gecko is on the outskirts of Dar, it feels safe and small townish. I also stayed two days before my return flight to California. The manager is very knowledgeable about the area. Great place to stay while on my own (50 + yr old )
Taken from TripAdvisor, CAxen, June 2014 

"From first booking the stay until we left, the staff communicated quickly with our questions. They helped arrange transportation and their services were perfect! We didn't have a very long stay, just two nights bookending travels to Arusha and Zanzibar, but they have great activities for longer stays around Dar and to tour their NGO, help2kids." 

Taken from TripAdvisor, Mark T., January 2014

"Dear Friendly Gecko Team, I am sad to leave this wonderful place.  I really enjoyed my time here and the great team from the Gecko made me feel at home.  Thank you for my time here, maybe I will for a second time!"
Patricia from Germany, September 2013 

"Dear Friendly Gecko, thanks for the wonderful stay this weekend! We felt incredibly welcome to the Gecko! The place is great, awesome location, and the youthful energy is contagious! Even the dogs win you over, despite everyone being intimidated by them. Much love and encouragement from the two girls in a tent! P.S. Special thanks to Juliet for the laughs and the check-in help. Xoxo."
Daniela from Canada and Hillary from Scotland, August 2013 

"It was our second time staying here.  Last year we stayed here as volunteers, this year we just visited everybody again. Compliments to Jessica! You and everybody else from the Gecko made us feel at home.  Keep going on like this. We will miss the Gecko and its members. And we will of course miss Juliet’s food. We wish you all the best.  Maybe one day we will come for a third time to stay here. Thanks again. Asante sana. Dankeschen."
Raphaela and Seraina, August 2013

"Dear Friendly Gecko, I thank you very much for the friendly accommodation! The friendly mix of cultures here has provided me with a perfect beginning and end to my first African adventure. Therefore I can only say (and fully mean it): Guf Wiedersehen!"
Alex, July 2013 

"Although I was only at the Gecko for a few nights it was absolutely wonderful. After a day and a half of traveling from Arusha and then through Dar it was a welcome site indeed. I had a pick up from the driver Jacob, who was awesome. It was amazing how he navigated the streets to get us there....really...it was so amazing. I was told about Lauren the manager, and she was super sweet, a real gem-- Down home Canadian Girl....well, it felt like home. The rooms were large and so spacious and very, very clean and I even had my own bathroom!! A must in TZ. They had mosquito nets, a fan (sounds like basics, but a must in TZ and not every guesthouse has them). They had a house girl who did a fabulous job keeping the house clean. The house was filled with volunteers from all over the world and it was great to talk with them and share experiences and ideas. Everyone was laid back and non-stressy. The house was quiet after dark, wasn't a lot of partying so you could actually get some sleep. The food was great, cooked by a local Tanzanian women (forgotten her name) but she was so nice and helpful, she did a great job on the eggs!. The house is located walking distance from the beach, so it was great for relaxing. I didn't have time to go out, but it's located close to a few spots that are big for expats. Had an amazing time."
Ngozi from Canada, February 2013 

"After staying one night in a horrible hotel in downtown Dar es Salaam we arrived at the Friendly Gecko. Everything was just perfect: the pick-up service from Jacob the taxi driver, being welcomed by Lauren, Guesthouse Manager, and introduced to the Guesthouse and the volunteers, our private room with own hot shower, AC and a mosquito net, delicious food for dinner (freshly cooked by Juliette). We can truly recommend this Guesthouse to everyone who wants to spend his time in a safe area, in a clean house, with excellent service and a lot of helping hands if needed."
Fritz from Germany, September 2012 

"I had a really nice time at this hostel!! It felt like a home-away-from-home.  It is by far one of the cleanest places that I have stayed during my time in Tanzania and I have yet to find a nicer hot shower! The other people that were staying at the hostel during my time were really friendly and helped me to get around and find things to do in the area.  The house was in a very safe area of town- I would never consider staying in the city center if there is a bed available at the Friendly Gecko! I will most certainly return to the hostel on my next trip to Dar!!"
 Kim, March 2012 

"Dear Friendly Gecko, It has been very nice to stay at your guesthouse. The staff and the service has been brilliant. Next time we’re in Dar we will of course stay here again. Thank you for more than welcoming us with two children! See you!!!"
Hannes, Nora, Alfred and Klara from Sweden, March 2012

"Dear Friendly Gecko, Is has been the closest to home-coming somebody arriving in a foreign place can have. Thank you for enjoying together with all the guest, the ‘karibu’ this house has written all over it."
Joris from the Netherlands, March 2012

 “Dear Friendly gecko Guest House, Thanks so much for such relaxing/partying stay. It was amazing seeing the great work you all do. All the best with the future of your organization. Stay in touch and come to visit us in Australia. Much love…” 
Amila and Joseph from Australia, January 2012 

"Dear Friendly Gecko, Dear Amanda, Thank you so much for your warm welcome of my first days in Africa. I felt in a family as I have known you before. Great! Therefore I stayed 2 days more and I’m going to come back in the end of the week before Arusha!  I’d like to let a help2kids symbol on the top of the Kilimanjaro…"
Alexandra from France, November 2011 

"Ladies and the Friendly gecko (Amandine, Tara and Vinzenz-honorary lady but who is most definitely a gentleman!), Thanks so much for ensuring my stay was excellent. Great time at Mbudya island and the orphanage. I will definitely recommend the Gecko to my friends. Professional service, confortable room, friendly and safe atmosphere and fun as well. Thanks for letting me tag along my stay in Dar will be a nightlight because of my local experiences. I wish I was staying longer. See you when I come back." 
Kat from Australia, September 2011 

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