Another great aspect of a staying at the Mandina Lodges is whilst you might want to simply relax and absorb the surroundings, you also have access to the river and the hundreds of acres of forest and savannah.
Guided walks and canoe excursions
You’ll be assigned your own guide who will lead walks in the forest to watch the baboons and catch sight of some of the spectacular and very accessible birdlife. It’s also possible to visit local villages and partake in the sage advice of the wise man of the forest... And best of all - it's all free, and part of your holiday package!
There are various trips available on the river, including slow meandering explorations of the labyrinthine tributaries that characterise the area and the chance to watch the women collecting oysters from the exposed mangrove roots at low tide. You’ll also see fishermen casting their nets.
Wide Open Walls
A number of local villages have taken part in this project which has seen street artists from around the world visiting Makasutu Forest and transforming villagers' homes into wonderful works of art. A fascinating project well worth exploring. Discover more.
Why not visit base camp, which serves as a hub for day visitors to Makasutu Forest. You'll find a second swimming pool here and a not-to-be-missed tree top tower, where you can admire the wonderful view of the bolong, the forest and mangroves. You can also take part in the occasional activities that take place here, both by day and by night, including group meals and ritual dancing demonstrations.
At an additional cost, a sunset river cruise to Bird Island offers the opportunity to see the huge populations of egrets and herons as they return to their evening roosting sites. Watching the dragoons of these elegant birds flying across the sinking glowing coin of the sun is a sight you won’t forget in a hurry.
Visit Brikama Market or one of many lovely beaches
A visit to any Gambian market is a colourful experience and, further afield, there are also many lovely beaches within relatively easy reach. Your guide can escort you; there is an additional charge for transport.
Visit Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust
With the recent opening of a second branch of this well-established charity near Mandina Lodges, it is now possible to visit some of the animals in their care and learn about the work of the charity caring for and educating about welfare of The Gambia's working equine population. Discover more.