Onsea House & Machweo

Arusha, Serengeti and northern Tanzania, Tanzania

At a Glance

  • Enjoy delicious meals created by Axel, the resident chef-manager

  • Just ten minutes from Arusha, perfectly placed to stay before or after your safari in Northern Tanzania

  • Relax in the House's extensive spa and enjoy some pampering treatments

  • Set high in the hills outside Arusha with incredible views over the Maasai Steppe and to Mount Meru

  • Perfect for families or couples; honeymooners will enjoy the Honeymoon Suite with its Romeo and Juliet balcony

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.

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Insider's View

Enjoy delicious meals on the dining terrace with incredible views to Mount Meru!

Have a relaxing swim in the extensive swimming pool

Treat yourself to a pampering spa treatment at the new Machweo spa

Enjoy beautiful sunsets from the terrace with a Gin & Tonic in hand

Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Onsea House & Machweo or take a look at our itineraries to Serengeti and northern Tanzania


Onsea House & Machweo is a privately owned and run luxury small boutique hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. Onsea is a great base for those going on to a safari in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro Crater, or attempting an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Onsea House & Machweo is a charming boutique hotel on the outskirts of Arusha, with comfortable rooms, views over Mount Meru and a lovely spa. Whether it's the start of your trip or a relaxing place to unwind after your safari, this is a great base.

There are fourteen rooms in total, five in the main Onsea House, and nine at Machweo, all set in the extensive and beautifully manicured gardens. The cottages have been designed thoughtfully to make the most of the space within – arranged in pairs overlooking the gardens they are comfortable and spacious, with muted colors and a slightly different design in each room. The rooms at Onsea House feel a little smaller and darker than the cottages in the garden but it is still a lovely option for families, with its own swimming pool, terrace and garden.

The atmosphere here is one of total relaxation, with plenty of areas to relax and a large terrace on which meals are served. The food here has a deservedly excellent reputation – Axel, the chef-manager, is part of the Janssens-Onsea family who own the hotel, and creates the most delicious meals for his guests – as you would expect from a chef who worked previously at a Michelin starred restaurant.

There is a swimming pool at Onsea House and another at Machweo, offering plenty of space to relax and unwind in the Tanzanian sunshine. There is also a fantastic spa, offering pampering treatments as well as a sauna and steam bath.

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The hotel splits into two areas - Onsea House and Machweo. The house consists of 5 double rooms opening onto the shared terrace. Machweo has six cottages, set in pairs amongst the gardens, and three beautiful suites. Several of the cottages and suites interconnect, ideal for families. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom with shower - at Onsea House there are combination shower/bathtubs, whilst at Machweo the cottages have showers only and the suites have a bathtub as well as a shower.


Air conditioning, babysitting, bar, car parking, gardens, hammam/steam room, sauna, restaurant, swimming pool, spa treatment room, WiFi/Internet, child friendly


The Michelin experienced Belgian chef, Axel, prepares a fusion of exquisite European and African delights based on seasonal specialties.



Harriet Whitmarsh (Staff)

The Perfect stop off before or after your safari in Northern Tanzania. Its a relaxing spot with a spa and swimming pool which is perfect for a wind down after a long flight or after the bumpy roads of a safari- maybe even treat yourself to a soothing massage from the wide range of treatments available.

Its crowning glory is its Michelin star chef-manager Axel who puts together the most delightful menus each evening.

The lodge makes its own organic honey, chutney and jams which are absolutely delicious and perfect for any last minute gifts to take home.


Anna Hearn (Staff)

Onsea House, about ten minutes drive out of Arusha, and with spectacular views over the Maasai Steppe - on a clear day you can see Mount Meru - is a lovely option for either families or couples needing a place to stay either before or after their Northern Tanzanian safari.

The House has recently added garden cottages and these are beautifully designed - set in the lush gardens and decorated in muted tones, each comes as a pair, with two separate entrances - completely private from each other.

The main draw here though - apart from the spectacular views - is the cuisine. Axel, the chef-manager, is fresh from working in a Michelin-starred restaurant and takes huge pleasure in captivating his guests with the most delicious meals - at the beginning of every meal he emerges from the kitchen in his whites to describe each course and how he has created it - it's quite fascinating! The meals were suitably delicious with little amuse-bouches between each course and many of us were clamouring for the recipes!

Overall Onsea House is a lovely option for a stopover in Arusha before or after a safari - or treat yourself to a slightly longer stay and really enjoy the atmosphere and fine dining.


  • Game drive in the Serengeti

    Explore the vast grasslands of the Serengeti with your safari guide on game drives in the early morning and late afternoon. This is one of the most famous national parks in Africa, and it's easy to see why.

  • Hot air ballooning over the Serengeti

    Soar over the Serengeti's savannah plains in a hot air balloon at dawn, watching wildlife beneath you & finishing with a champagne bush breakfast.

  • Search for the migration herds

    One of Africa's most iconic moments - the migration of two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles around the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem.

  • Visit to the Shanga workshop

    Pay a visit to the Shanga workshop in Arusha, a local, socially-conscious, company which employs people with disabilities to create stunning hand-made jewelry and glassware. Admire the beautiful creations while contributing to the local community.

Location & directions

Arusha, Serengeti and northern Tanzania, Tanzania

Onsea House & Machweo is perched on a hill providing unparalleled panoramic views across the Maasai steppe, Monduli Mountains and the unrivalled spectacle of Mt. Meru.

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Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Onsea House & Machweo or take a look at our itineraries to Serengeti and northern Tanzania

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