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“nice spot poorly run” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Mandina River Lodge

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Mandina River Lodge
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Makasutu Culture Forest, Serekunda, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
london
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“nice spot poorly run”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

We stayed here a couple of months ago and was unhappy with the way we were treat by management. They weren't organised and didn't know what was going on. We paid a lot of money for this trip - considering it was only a week in the Gambia and expected a much better service.

There was dog mess around the restaurant and decking areas which wasn't cleaned up for hours - uch!

The place was situated in a lovely spot with lots of birds and had the potential to be so much better, if only it was owned/managed by other people,

We stayed in a floating lodge and was greeted with cat poo on the decking area there too - which I slipped on - disgusting.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Geordie Land
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Mandina River Lodge. What a place to stay and chill out for a few days. The welcome from the hosts and staff make you feel very welcome and more like family than paying guests.
Stayed in one of the Jungle Lodges, lodge 2, which was as described in the brochure, was a joy to stay in with plenty of wildlife to see around the lodge.
The personal guide that you are allocated are all very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour.
The grounds of Mandina River Lodge are large enough to walk around without bumping into other guests. As for the swimming pool – well – there is no need to going pining for a swim in the sea, the pool is large enough to satisfy the most serious swimmer. Only thing is, at certain times of the day you have to share the pool with various birds also having a jolly good wash and brush up, which is most entertaining and great fun in trying to capture the action on camera. The birds in question are the Fanti Saw-Wing Swallow, Pied-Winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-Chested Swallow, Pied Kingfisher and the White-Throated Bee-Eater, to name but just a few.
The walks that your personal guide (with you for the duration of your stay)takes you on are a good experience and very exciting at times, especially when you come face to face with a troop of about 300 baboons. Wow, what a great experience that was on both the morning walks and evening walks. The baboons are well enough behaved so as not give any real cause for concern. Wild they are and must be treated as such, given the respect that is due and also given a two to three metre gap between them and yourself.
The sunset cruise is on a different level again. It is a MUST do cruise if you do nothing else at Madina. You leave at just after five in the afternoon and come back in time for diner. Now that is something else, the food. There absolutely no need to worry about the standard of the food. It is excellent and cannot be faulted.
Another aspect to Madina Lodge that is worth mentioning is the night sky. It is very good and could be a fair place to visit to view comet ISON, providing it survives its encounter with our sun. However do bear in mind that it will be low in the Northern horizon
All in all, Madina River Lodge is one of those hidden gems of The Gambia.
I look forward to our next visit there in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed April 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norwich
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

superb holiday,fab staff,stunning accomodation and surroundings,nothing is to much trouble,if you want a special hol and to feel special this is the place.Great fishing.And a special place in our hearts to the animals Linda and co have adopted,keep up the good work.Will be returning

  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Loved the opportunity to sit and watch the river running by the front of the river lodge we stayed in, no need to hurry. Really enjoyed our three days here, it more than met our expectations, which were quite high after reading all the reviews.

Stayed April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Mandina truly is heaven on earth - it is unique! The whole area has a feeling of tranquility. We really can't speak highly enough - it was perfect. (We have only one negative and that is we were not there long enough - just 3 days!!!) The choice is yours as to whether you just relax and do nothing or take advantage of the many activities that your personal guide offers (and Mamadi, our guide, was fabulous!) We were in Floating Lodge No.2 and, being picked up by boat from our deck first thing in the morning to visit the oyster factory, was one of the many magical moments we experienced. We just loved waking up to the sounds of the forest. Waving to the locals as they rowed by going to and from work was another delight. The service was impeccable - coffee on our deck before breakfast, the Chef coming to our lodge to see what we would like for dinner - what more could you want!!! The staff, without exception, were friendly, courteous and efficient. Definitely a 'must' for a return visit (and this time for longer!)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

From the minute we arrived at Mandina, we fell in love with the place. Words and photos cannot do it justice! Lawrence is the most charming host and his staff are super-friendly and efficient. We stayed in floating lodge 2 which was just beautiful. Lawrence's artistic talents have been put to good use to design and create a truly unique setting where every little detial has been thought out.
Highluights for us included: having tea bought to use on our floating balcony, fishing straight from the lodge, chatting with the chef every night to choose our supper, floating in the beautiful pool before drying off on the daybeds, baobab juice for breakfast, spying baboons straight from our lodge... the list goes on!!! That is before I even mention the activities we did with our fabulous guide, Sanna.
Thanks to everyone for a remarkable stay; we will definitley return!

  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Groombridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed in Floating Lodge No.1 which is at the far end of the boardwalk.
Unfortunately my husband was not too well (definitely not the fault of the Mandina) but we
think a combination of Malarone and the heat. The pool was beautiful and exactly my
"cup of tea" as there was no deep end to worry about, double sunbeds, an outstanding
restaurant for a maximum of 18 guests which was very unique, two lounges and a
romantic fire to enjoy your after dinner coffee and chat to fellow guests. But we both realised that we were a little old in the tooth for this type of holiday, late 70's and so we missed out
on so many of the exciting things that other people got up to, canoe trips at sunrise and
sunset, a 3 hours evening trip which we had to cancel and walks with our guide. You need to
be up early and before the heat of the day. I would advise anyone past 75 to think how fit
and active they are in order to get the best out of this holiday.

Room Tip: Honeymooners, Floating Lodge No.1 for privacy, oldies No.4 which is nearer to the pool, restaurant...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Mandina River Hotel Serekunda
Mandina River Lodge Gambia/Serekunda

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