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“An experience in a million”

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Mandina River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“An experience in a million”
Reviewed June 10, 2013

If you visit the Gambia, it really would be a crime to miss this place.
I can honestly say I've never stayed anywhere that gave such a personalised service, yet made me feel as relaxed and welcome as I would at home.
Having your own tour guide to take you where you want to go when you want to go, meals served when you want them and then chilled out drinks with guests and the owner round the fire pit in an evening.
Lawrence is so passionate about this place and the country as a whole (let's face it, you wouldn't get awarded the order of the Gambia for nothing) and can give you so much information about other places to visit that are off the normal tourist routes.
It's very rare I go on holiday to the same place twice, but I will definitely be going back to Mandina!!!

Room Tip: The rooms on the river are spectacular. The eco toilets and outdoor shower added to the experience f...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank CTS_on_tour
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
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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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
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 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
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Helpful?
8 Thank Jam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geordie Land
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
5 Thank footloosenfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norwich
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
2 Thank mucko30_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
Thank JoySouthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank wrcamp393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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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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