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“Stunning. Absolutely unique.”

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Mandina River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Stunning. Absolutely unique.”
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
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Helpful?
Thank rebecca s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Groombridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dominofananas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WILTLSHIRE
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

One of the most tranquil and relaxing places we have ever stayed, there was not one minute of the day that we didn't enjoy. Drinking morning tea on the decking of our floating lodge watching the sun come up to finishing our glass of wine after dinner sat around the fire pit in the bhoma .

Lawrence, Linda and all the staff couldn't have done more to ensure our stay was as good as it possibly could be. Food was excellent and service faultless. You certainly you knew you were in The Gambia unlike so many resorts where you could be anywhere. Small and perfect the ideal place to relax and recharge those batteries, only wish we were there for longer than 7 days !

Room Tip: We stayed in a floating lodge which we lied.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LOU3993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, England
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This is a place we have been thinking of going to for some time, and it lived up to our expectations.
We stayed in a floating lodge (number 1), complete with cat (Jenny).
There have been comments about the cats & dogs on previous reviews, apart from the fact that they were probably needed here they were all pretty friendly and we saw no problems with hygiene etc.
Service, guides, & food were all top notch, and the setting was perfect. Lovely to get woken up with a flask of tea and watch the sun come up over the river (with Jenny).
Lovely pool as well, together with bee-eaters at 16:00 for entertainment.
Pretty quiet at night, though probably expected with the small number of guests.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stephen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
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
Helpful?
Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank FredMPL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy W
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

Property: Mandina River Lodge
Address: Makasutu Culture Forest, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Serekunda
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Mandina River Hotel Serekunda
Mandina River Lodge Gambia/Serekunda

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