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“Amazing experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mandina River Lodge

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Mandina River Lodge
Makasutu Culture Forest, Serekunda, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for the second time in February 2013. The first time was in December 2011. It is wonderful just to hear the noises of the forest and to see the stars without light pollution. The guides, who come as part of the package are knowledgable and friendly; without them we would have missed many of the birds and not seen the baboons at such close quarters for so long. The swimming pool must be one of the best I have used and the floating lodges are breathtaking when you first see them. The evening meals are excellent and this, combined with the ambiance make the experience unforgettable. Lawrence and Linda welcome guests personally which sets the tone for the stay. Long my they sustain Mandina in this way for the benefit of the forest and the guests!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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122 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Loved every minute of our stay. Our guide, Amadou, was a true expert in the local birdlife and very sharp-eyed: we would never have spotted so many species without his help. Sunset cruise is a must, not for the sunset but for the amazing sight of hundreds of river birds returning at dusk to roost on one small mangrove island. A canoe trip is also advisable - your guide will take you and do all the hard work - but you may need baling skills (note to the management: it's time to replace the canoes with ones that don't leak quite as much)!

The standard of food was very good, by far the best we've had at any eco lodge (we've stayed at several in different parts of the world). Fresh, local ingredients cooked with care and attention.

The resort is very tranquil, staff friendly, rooms spacious and comfortable (we stayed in a jungle lodge, lack of aircon was not a problem, and in any case impractical in such a large space, as the ceiling fans were more than adequate) and birdlife colourful and varied. Barring disasters, we'll be back next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Following 3 blissful days at Ngala Lodge, we then moved to Mandina - slightly worried that nothing could be as fab as Ngala. We need not have worried - Mandina was wonderful! We spent 4 glorious days here - it truly is paradise. As other have said here, it is a unique location - we stayed in a floating lodge, and it was just perfect. The service was amazing, and special mention should go to our guide, Mamadi - who went above and beyond to show us his country. The food was excellent, and our hosts Linda and Laurence made sure that we were happy and relaxed. This will live long in our memories, and we hope to return.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We spent 3 days at Mandina Lodges, having spent a week at the Sheraton Gambia Hotel prior. Mandina was a completely unique experience, set in a forest there are just a few lodges dotted around, some over looking the river and other in the "jungle" - we stayed in a jungle lodge which we liked very much, although we were also a little envious of the river lodges! There is a decent sized swimming pool to relax by, you can also do various walks and river trips too.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We stayed in January this year and had a really wonderful, relaxing holiday. We stayed in the stilted lodge for 10 days and never once did we wish we had booked a split holiday. The lodge itself was very spacious with a rustic look and feel, kept beautifully by our room staff. I had been a bit worried about the eco loo but there were no problems there and I would not hesitate to recommend them. All of the staff were wonderful, the food excellent, in fact I asked for smaller portions as there was too much for me. Our trips out in the dug out canoe with Lamin our guide were wonderful as were the walks in the forest, thank you Lamin. Fishing from the lodge was fun, I even managed to beat my husband and caught two. If you want a place to really chill out, watch the bird/wildlife then Mandina is the place for you. If you want the nightlife, loud music, gym etc., then think again. Someone I see complained of animal excrement, only twice was there a package on the decking leading to our lodge and without asking, that was cleaned away very quickly. The dogs and cats didn't bother us at all at any time, in fact they are a good warning signal for when the baboons are on their way to their resting place for the night. The swimming pool is the best I have every swum in I cant say more than that.

Room Tip: We loved the stilted lodge but they all looked really nice. its personal choice.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kettering,northants
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

This is by far the most beautiful and peaceful place we have ever seen. Service was perfect from start to finish, the food was amazing, with a wide range of choice. The boat trip at sun down was a perfect touch to our stay. The lodges are very clean , beds (probably the most comfortable we have ever slept in!) This is a place every person who travels to the Gambia must see. Its far away from all the hussle and bustle so the perfect place to unwind, relax and be waited upon. Tea and coffee served to our room in the morning was a lovely way to end our stay. Recommend 110% and was worth every penny!
Will most certainly be returning next year! :-)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

After 10 days in the Kairaba Hotel in Kololi this rounded off our holiday very nicely. We stayed in a floating lodge which was really a form of deluxe camping with the outdoor bathroom facilities, but the room was very spacious and furnished to a very high standard. The setting was absolutely stunning and peaceful.

We were assigned our own guide who really made sure we got everything we wanted out of our stay, and there being only a maximum of 16 guests the service was really personal and of the highest standard, tea or coffeee being delivered to your room each morning, and breakfast and lunch cooked to order. The chef asked you each day for your choice of evening meal, and catered for any individual dietary needs, and Linda and Laurence were always around to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

This is one of the best places we have ever stayed at, and allowed us to get a bit closer to the real Gambia in a comfortable and secure setting, whilst still retaining most of our "creature comforts". We will definitely go back.

John & Marilyn Francis

Room Tip: We would recommend the floating lodges being right on the river.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Mandina River Lodge

Address: Makasutu Culture Forest, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty lodging in Serekunda
Also Known As:
Mandina River Hotel Serekunda
Mandina River Lodge Gambia/Serekunda

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