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“Just what we wanted”

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Safari Garden Hotel
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
wales
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Just what we wanted”
Reviewed 2 March 2009

We have stayed here four times as part of the excellent Hidden Gambia experience. Great swimming pool, lovely staff, good food. Lack of water pressure at times and so we just jumped into the pool to stay clean. Located where there is real life.
On your first visit it is best to use a hotel guide until you get the hang of things. Travel by bush taxi to Banjul market, lively but friendly. Guide recommended.
Great place to relax at the begining and end of up river tours to Bird Safari Camp, another wonderful place to experience real west Africa.
Buy wonderful Gambian silver jewelry at Almanba (Lama Lama) on Atlantic Rd. or have your dress made on site by the friendly seamstress.
Talk to the staff and get the feel of how they live. They are just great, and all this is from a sceptical seventy year old.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank cymruwalescymru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2008

ATMOSPHERE - Very laid back, relaxed and informal. I wanted somewhere away from the larger tourist places where one hotel is like another.
ROOM - OK, clean but simple, don't expect top class luxury BUT personally I don't go on holiday to spend my time in a hotel room.
GARDEN - Lovely. Nice to wake up and have breakfast outside in the garden then slip into the pool for a dip. Also spent a couple of evenings relaxing and talking to the other guests who seemed to range from tourists to African Gov Ministers, volunteers and ex-pats working in the area. A real mixture and just so interesting!
FOOD - I ate here a couple of times. The food was a bit expensive about (£6) for a main meal but the fish dishes were superb.
STAFF - Brilliant, I have to say they were amazing. From the lady who cleaned my room to the owners, they were definitely the best staff I have ever encountered. I have travelled quite extensively and they are not similar to other hotel staff they are genuinely friendly but not in your face. They also gave some advice about the best places to visit and helped me arrange cheap transport.
DIFFICULTIES - Take cash...debit and credit cards seem to be a problem throughout the country. The hotel did offer to take my card but it cost them a supplement which would be added to my bill.

  • Liked — Definitely the laid back atmosphere and the friendly staff
  • Disliked — The fact that I had to leave it
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank HardtopleaseLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2007

The hotel is run by a lovely English ex-pat couple, Geri and Maurice, who took a very active interest in making me feel at home. The staff are very engaging and it was a pleasant and relaxing stay. The place also attracts a lot of NGO volunteers and other long-stayers which gives more of an insight into the country.

The hotel has a small pool surrounded by a pretty garden and as well as the communal sitting area, most if not all rooms have their own verandah. The beach is less than 10 minutes walk away. There are 2 ATMs within about 10 minutes walk of the hotel and the rate worked out identical to what I got at banks, bureaux etc. although you can only get out D2000 at a time.

Fajara is a quiet area where a number of the consulates and embassies are located and was a good choice to be away from the main tourist areas.

I was booked in for 2 nights initially but I ended spending all but one night there, with just a brief jaunt up-country to Bintang.

  • Liked — People and location
  • Disliked — Water pressure can be a little weak sometimes.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank Simon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2007

I have stayed at Safari Garden Hotel quite a few times over the years because it truly is a little paradise of peace and tranquility...away from the 'Blackpoolesque' strip that is Senegambia. The rooms are simple and clean, the staff are always really lovely and welcoming and along with the owners, Geri & Maurice, they always make you feel like one of the the 'Safari Garden Family' which is especially great if you are there on your own (which I often am)....I never feel alone. They always take the time to stop and say hello or invite you to their dinner table in the lovely outdoors restaurant in the garden. Speaking of which, the food is great too! They cater for the european palatte (and I'm not talking bog-standard fish n chips here!) and or if you want to try the local dishes, they are on the menu too. The desserts are well worth a try too (try the choclate and beetroot cake!!). even if you stay in another hotel, then yoi really should go to Safari Garden for lunch or dinner at least. They have a small but extremely clean pool there to lounge the day away or take a 10 minute walk to the beach and swing on a hammock at Leybato beach.....great views of the sunset there too. Safari Garden does it for me everythime :)

  • Liked — Its friendly staff and owners and how welcome they always make you feel
  • Disliked — nothing to say on this matter as the proof is in the pudding - i.e. I go back there often!
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Hellyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2007

I have just returned from a wonderful stay at the Safari Garden. The rooms are basic and take your own bath products but that is the charm of this hotel. The staff are very friendly and the food fantastic - check out the chocolate and beetroot cake! The owners are delightful and are commited to eco tourism. I would return there no problem!

  • Liked — The friendliness of the staff
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed April 2007
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank openminded2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
Reviewed 31 December 2006

Avoid this place. We were thoroughly mislead by favourable review in Lonely Planet. Rooms were tiny, filthy and way over priced at £40 a night. The water pressure was so low that the shower was unusable. At £40 a night I would have expected a little more, Furthermore the hotel slapped an extra 10% charge on bill when we tried to pay by Visa at end. This Visa charge was not flagged when we booked, when we checked in or even on the notice board price list. Food at restaurant was disappointing too. Go to the Ritz around the corner for cheaper and better cuisine. I not be visiting this hotel again and would strongly advise others to avoid. We bumped into sopme guest that had a similar experience and they checked out early and into Fajara Guesthouse which they found was "better and cheaper" (their words).

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Arriving
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank FluffUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 March 2005

We stayed at Safari Garden in Feb 2005 and had an excellent week. The rooms are simple but clean and had all we needed (take your own toiletries, though!) The hotel aims to be eco-friendly, so not too many luxuries. The setting is delightful, all rooms with own bathroom and verandahs facing the lush small garden/ pool/ seating area. We had all meals outside under shady trees with birds singing. It is near enough to walk to the beach or main road for taxis. We found plenty of food to suit us, despite our dietary restrictions, lots of choice and flexibility from the ever-helpful staff. The best part was probably the small and friendly feel of the place, making us always feel we were coming home. The owners have good relations with their staff, many of whom have been there for years & are kept on even in the low season. It feels altogether a happy place to stay, not the lap of luxury but all we needed - can't wait to return.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Safari Garden Hotel

Property: Safari Garden Hotel
Address: Kairaba Avenue, Kmsd Road | Off Atlantic Road, Fajara, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Safari Garden Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safari Garden Hotel is located just off the Main Road in Fajara, just 10 minutes walk to the beautiful beach. All of the rooms have ensuite bathrooms and private terrace, many with a view of the gardens and swimming pool. Flavours Bar & Restaurant serves food and drinks from 7.30Am until late and the friendly staff are always around to help. We are a locally run hotel that provides our guests with a genuine and friendly Gambian experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Safari Garden Hotel Gambia/Fajara

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