Emerging from a hideous week of snow and the ensuing chaos, the appeal of getting away from it all has sent me into sunshine daydream overdrive, and I know I’m not alone if various conversations I have had are anything to go by, so cue some internet globe-trotting. If you fancy a variation to the run-of-the-mill holiday by the beach, then situated on a mangrove tributary flowing of the River Gambia you will find the Mandina Lodges at Makasuru Forest. The Gambia is on my ‘must visit places’ list and given how I love the serene, calming effects of water, the Mandina Lodges hooked and drew me right in.
What a stunning and unique place to spend some vacation time don’t you think?
Presented as a haven of peace and tranquillity, the Mandina Lodges were built with an emphasis on preserving the beauty of the rural landscape. A sense of exclusivity is maintained within the forest where you have a choice of only eight lodges located on or close to the waters edge, all built to a high standard using local materials. The solar-powered River Lodges are either floating or elevated on stilts. But if being on the water is not your thing then the Jungle Lodges are set back from the river.
The Stilted Lodges are split across two floors offering: a separate bedroom, outside viewing deck and lounge area on the lower level; and a dayroom on the upper level. The Jungle Lodges benefit from their own private roof terrace looking out towards the mangroves and forest. Enjoy al fresco dinners in the tented dining areas whilst cosying up to the warmth of a magical mood enhancing fire; or chose to dine privately in the comfort of your lodge.
The pace of life here is unhurried allowing you to: unwind, enjoy leisurely cruises along the river, partake in guided walks or with the Lodge’s strong links to the Makasutu Wildlife Trust and the Gardens for Life programmes sponsored by The Eden Project learn more about the various conservation projects in the area.
The Gambia itself is a small narrow country surrounded by Senegal, known as ‘the small country with a big heart’ and even though it has grown in popularity over the years it is still a best kept secret destination, not over run with hordes of tourists… and those who do visit have a habit of returning.
Just looking at them I can feel the warmth radiating from the images… so idyllic!
Additional Details: The Gambia Experience currently has 7-nights packages ranging from: £699pp-£1,999pp For further information visit: www.gambia.co.uk
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