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Ngala Lodge
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Reviews (491)
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Reviewed 19 November 2011

Just got back from 2 weeks at the N'Gala Lodge which is everything the Gambian Experience brochure says it is. If you are looking for fine dining, peace and quiet and a boutique hotel, then this is the hotel for you. The Manor suites are excellent and share a private lawn to the sea betwen 4 suites! The breakfasts were rather disappointing--- never set up till about 30 minutes after start time and then service fragmented. Dinner under the stars was perefct every night and never a touch of Banjul Belly! The staff are all good and not forever pestering guests to be their friend! Not a lot to do in the vicinity but taxis are cheap.

Room Tip: Go for the upstairs Manor suites.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2011

This is the second time we have been to Gambia. This time we stayed at the Ngala Lodge in Fajara. The hotel itself is set in some beautiful grounds. It is very small and so therfore quite intimate. You do get to know all the other guests very quickly.
The hotel has two areas for the rooms. One of them is part of a new extension. I think it is called the Manor House. There are 4 or 6 rooms in that part, each room taking 2 guests. Those staying here have the run of all the grounds, and in addition have a seperate area reserved for them. This area has its own sunbeds and and some lovely seating areas. It also has a Jacuzzi, although in the week we were there, it was not in action.
The rest of the grounds are also very pretty and there are plently of beds for guests. You will not be left scouring the place for a sun bed. The pool is small but quite adequate for the few guests that are there. There are beds around there as well, although they get snapped up quite quickly. The etiquette is that if a bed has a folded towel on it, then it is free. If the towel is unwapped then it is taken.

As far as the food is concerned, that is more of an issue. If you are a meat and fish eater, then it is most likely ok for you. There is a reasonable selection from the lunch menu and main evening menu. If you, like us are veggy, then that it is more of a problem. The breakfast has very limited choice, and the same applies to lunch and dinner. The dining experience is the only thing that we think was lacking from this place.
There are a good many eating places around, that are a taxi ride away. One of the best is Clay Oven. Overall we thought the lodge itself was great but it could improve on its menu.

We did the 'waking up with the birds' excursion' with 'The Gambia Experience'. It was very good, although you have to get up at 5.00am.

Room Tip: The Boraba suite in the manor house gives an excellent view of the sea
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank khayam m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Ngala Lodge is a peaceful haven in which to relax whether you are holidaying or visiting on business/charity work. The staff are very attentive and friendly, and prepared to go the extra mile. There are a range of rooms at Ngala Lodge but all are comfortable with a/c and some wifi reception. The restaurant is of a high standard with a mixture of local and European influenced dishes. My only criticism here is that they do not use 100% local produce, much of the European menu ingredients are flown in. However, they do have lots of locally caught fish and locally grown fruit and veg. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Atlantic suites have most space and private jacuzzis. Otherwise try to avoid ground level rooms as the views are not so good.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Mr_MYork_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2011

We stayed at Ngala Lodge on our honeymoon and would not hesitate to recommend it. We upgraded to one of the Atlantic suites, which was freshly painted, spotlessly clean, very generously sized and with an amazing view from the balcony through the top of the palm trees to the Atlantic Ocean. All the rooms are air conditioned.

The hotel has a small but very pleasant outdoor pool (34 C water temperature while we were there!) and well-tended gardens which offer some nice shady places to relax and read a book. We stayed half board and so ate at the hotel's own restaurant each night; this didn't become boring as there are daily specials to choose from as well as an extensive a la carte menu. The food is delicious and so are Mo's cocktails!

However, what really makes this hotel special is the staff; without exception they are friendly, polite and extremely helpful. If you stay at Ngala, we recommend you take the time to chat to the staff; it's a great way to find out about Gambian lives and culture and you might even make a friend. We were lucky enough to spend a day out with one of the staff, who also took us back to his house for lunch and to meet his family - a fantastic experience.

When we travelled in early October, it was the tail end of the rainy season. It was very hot and humid (about 35 C in the shade, sometimes over 40 C in the middle of the day) but we only had rain a couple of times and always in the late afternoon or evening. The rain was normally accompanied by spectacular electrical storms, and cooled things down nicely. The advantage of travelling at this time of year is that everything is still lush and green.

In terms of things to see, we recommend Kachikally crocodile pool, watching the fisherman bring in their catch at Bakau and the Bijilo Forest monkey park - all of these are easy to organise yourself with the aid of a driver. We did one excursion organise by The Gambia Experience - "wake up with the birds" - which is highly recommended despite the early start. There are plenty of other things to do if you're more adventurous, but you may struggle to tear yourself away from Ngala Lodge for long...

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jamesandcatrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

This small firendly hotel has all you would want. Friendly obliging staff where nothing is too much trouble.
Rooms are lovely, food excellent could not wish for anything better.
As and when there are problems they are resolved, without fuss as quickly as possible.
Our second visit, would not hesitate to go back again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sluggy1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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