Beach & Jungle Escape

8 days from £1,684 per person

Enjoy the best of both worlds and discover the beaches and forests of The Gambia. This itinerary combines three nights in a clifftop boutique hotel by the beach with four nights in a floating lodge on a tributary of the River Gambia deep in the forest. Fly from Gatwick (Gatwick or Birmingham from November 2020).

Day 1 - Arrive in The Gambia

Arrive in the afternoon at the Banjul Airport where you’ll be met by our driver for your transfer (45 minutes) to the lovely and rather quirky, boutique hotel, Ngala Lodge, located on a clifftop above a private beach. The restaurant here is reputed to be the best in The Gambia.


Day 2 & 3 - Explore the beaches, markets and villages

Spend your days relaxing by one of two pools or in the flower filled garden or head out and discover The Gambia.

A range of both private and group excursions are available. You might opt for a 4-wheel drive private tour. Before you set out discuss with your experienced driver come guide where you would like to visit. At Tanji fishing village you can see the colourful fishing boats known as pirogues being frantically unloaded, while the sound of the gulls and people haggling over the price of the fish fills the air. Alternatively, head to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, and wonder the maze of alleyways lined with the stalls of the Royal Albert Market where you’ll see everything from chickens to second hand bras for sale. Visit the ‘locals’ at the sacred Kachikally Crocodile Pool and pop by a craft market along the way to hone your own haggling skills.

You’ll find more ideas for things to do including our favorite excursions here.

Day 3 - Barefoot luxury in Makasutu Forest

After a relaxing morning, take a private transfer to the stunning Mandina Lodges in the heart of Makasutu Forest. Here you’ll find your floating lodge on a tributary of the River Gambia. In the late afternoon your personal guide will take you out in a canoe to explore the mangroves and waterways. The Mandina guides are superb at spotting birds and other wildlife as you drift along.


Day 5 to 7 - Forest walks and a sunset cruise

Each morning enjoy a coffee or tea on your verandah watching the forest awake. Head out for a walk with your guide and learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. You could visit The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust and chat to their volunteers or visit Base Camp and a climb the treetop tower for a spectacular view of the mangroves and waterways.

Once back at the lodges, take a leisurely late breakfast and spend the rest of the day relaxing on your verandah overlooking the river or by the pool, watching the birds that regularly visit.

In the late afternoon head out by canoe with your guide or watch the sunset from your verandah.

On your last afternoon, join other guests at Mandina for a cruise along the river in a motorboat to see flocks of birds coming home to roost as the sun sets behind the mangroves while enjoying a bottle of South African house wine (one bottle per couple).

Day 8 - Say goodbye to The Gambia

After a leisurely breakfast, leave Mandina around mid-morning to check in for your flight home.


This itinerary costs from £1,684 per person based on 2 sharing and includes transfers and return international flights from Gatwick Airport.


  • Prices start from £1,684 per person
  • 3-nights’ accommodation on B&B basis at Ngala Lodge (standard room), 4-nights’ accommodation on half-board basis at Mandina Lodge (floating lodge)
  • Return flights from Gatwick with 20kg luggage allowance and in-flight meals
  • Transfers
  • An English-speaking guide available throughout your stay at Mandina Lodges
  • Sunset cruise with wine
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered