Mandina Lodges Makasutu Forest, The Gambia - BIM001

A unique, tranquil hideaway, these stunning eco-lodges on a tributary of the River Gambia, lie deep in the heart of Makasutu Forest.

A troop of baboons regularly visit Mandina Lodges and guests are warned not to leave any toiletries in the open-air bathrooms in case inquisitive little hands whisk them away.

9 Bedrooms, Sleeps 18

Large freeform pool
Personal guide (forest walks and canoe excursions)
Bar and alfresco dining areas
Mosquito nets
Tea/coffee delivered to your lodge each morning (no room service)
Safety deposit box
UK 3-pin sockets
No air-conditioning or fridge/minibar
Solar power is used where possible
Credit cards are not accepted
No children under 10 years

Escape the world and disappear into the forest to this wildlife lover’s paradise. Seemingly a million miles away from anywhere, it’s hard to believe that this serene oasis is less than an hour away from the coastal resorts.

With just one Stilited Lodge, four Floating River Lodges, three Jungle Lodges and one Mangrove Lodge, and no WiFi this unique eco-resort is a wonderful, tranquil retreat, steeped in nature. It’s the perfect place for a complete digital detox.

The popular Floating River Lodges, built in mahogany with high-beamed ceilings, are reached by a wooden walkway through the mangroves. A private shaded decking area, looking out across the river, is the perfect spot to enjoy your morning cuppa. This is brought to you in a thermos flask, left outside your door each morning at the time of your choosing.

The impressive mahogany Stilted Lodge overlooking the tributary is a fabulous choice for a honeymoon. Laid out on two floors, it has a separate bedroom, lounge area and outside deck on the lower level with a day room on the upper level.

Set back from the river are a further four Jungle Lodges. These colourful rooms feature stained-glass windows, and each has a spiral staircase leading to a roof terrace.

Finally, the Mangrove Lodge, set slightly away from the other lodges is a smaller yet charming hideaway.

All the lodges feature four-poster beds with mosquito nets and, except for the Mangrove Lodge, have open-air showrooms. The Stilted and Floating Lodges have composting toilets, while the Jungle Lodges and the Mangrove Lodge have flushing toilets. To save energy, none of the lodges have fridges or air-conditioning; instead fans are used to cool the rooms as needed.

The service of a guide is included who will take you on forest walks and river trips by canoe. All the English-speaking guides are very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna. Other activities including kayaking, fishing, a sunset cruise and a visit to a local market are payable locally.

Dinner is served under the thatched cabanas by the stunning free-form pool surrounded by the jungle.

Children 10 years of age and over are welcome at Mandina Lodges. However, as the property is by the river, parents must supervise children at all times. While the wildlife will delight all ages, there is little entertainment for children and no WiFi.

Please also note, the owner’s friendly cats and dogs may well want to say hello during your stay.

Mandina Lodge will close for the summer from the mid-April to mid-October.