Article by Kathryn Burrington, the Gambian specialist for Fleewinter, a UK based tour operator offering tailor-made holidays & expert advice.
 

Perched on the cliff-tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you will find the beautiful and rather quirky, boutique hotel Ngala Lodge.

 

Ngala Lodge Review

This small, intimate hotel has been voted by the public on Trip Advisor as one of the most romantic hotels in Africa, and it is easy to see why. I’ve stayed at Ngala Lodge several times, including on my honeymoon. It’s one of my favourite hotels. I love the character and atmosphere here. The staff always make me feel so welcome and the restaurant has a reputation for being the best in The Gambia.

In the colourful, flower-filled gardens, it’s easy to find a secluded spot. Being a child-free hotel (over 16 only), the grounds are always peaceful. The views from the lawns and terraces out across the ocean are sublime, especially at sunset.

Below: steps lead down the cliff face to a secluded beach with decking and sunbeds

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Ngala Lodge Suites

Each suite has been individually designed, displaying works of art by the owner and from his personal collection. For the ultimate in romance book an Atlantic Suite with your own a Jacuzzi on your private terrace, or one of the more modern Macondo Suites.

All the suites are spacious with air-conditioning and ceiling fans. There’s also a mini-fridge stocked to your requirements, a safe, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi and a private terrace, large balcony or garden. One feature that I particularly love is the mobile phone that comes in each suite, so you can call reception, or perhaps the bar, whether you’re in your room, in the gardens, on the beach or poolside.

 

Standard Suites

The ten original suites are housed in a former colonial mansion and have either a private garden or spacious balcony.

Standrad suite at Ngala Lodge, The Gambia
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Above: The living room of a standard Suite at Ngala Lodge, Below: The private balcony of s standard Suite at Ngala Lodge.

Private balcony ay Ngala Lodge, Standard Suite
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Atlantic Suite

The Atlantic Suites are more spacious still, each with a large private terrace or balcony and their own Jacuzzi (heated on request).

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Above and below: Atlantic Suite

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Macondo Suites

Ngala Lodge celebrated its 20th anniversary a couple of years ago by adding six new luxury sea view suites and a stunning cliff-top infinity pool. I had heard great things about the new suites. On my next visit to The Gambia, I was eager to check them out.

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For more information about tailor-made holidays to The Gambia visit Fleewinter.

The view from the Macondo Suites is superb and perfect for catching The Gambia’s fabulous sunsets.

Inside the open-plan, air-conditioned suites are spacious and bright with cheerful splashes of colour and furnished with a king-size bed and smart dark green leather Chesterfield sofas. The bathrooms have a more modern feel than the original suites and are spacious and bright with stunning mosaic basins and either a shower or bathtub. Each suite has its own balcony or terrace while the ground floor suites have the addition of a private plunge pool.

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Above: Macondo Suite bathroom, below: Macondo Pool Suite

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The infinity pool at Ngala Lodge

The new infinity pool is narrow, but the view is superb plus, of course, you also have access to the main pool which is tucked back in the gardens just a short stroll away.

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The Macondo Suites are a fabulous addition to one of my favourite hotels, and they are proving very popular. Light, bright and cheerful, they are incredibly comfortable with a lovely sea view and, as always, a warm welcome from the excellent staff at Ngala Lodge.

 

Dining at Ngala Lodge

The clifftop Ngala Lodge restaurant has been extended, as it is very popular with both hotel guests and visitors alike. I’ve eaten here many times, and the food and service have always been excellent. Each day the menu changes offering international cuisine. Be sure to save a little room for dessert; they’re outstanding.

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During my last visit, I discovered another great restaurant, about a ten-minute walk away called Gida’s Garden. I’ve only eaten there the once but the food was excellent and I’m looking forward to trying it again.

 

Ngala Lodge’s location

Ngala Lodge is located away from the main tourist resort in a quiet residential area.

The village of Bakau is less than a mile away. Here you’ll find a craft market, a botanical garden, restaurants and the vibrant fish market where you can watch the colourful pirogues bring in their daily catch. The sacred crocodile pool of Kachikally is also just a short taxi ride or 30-minute walk away. There is a small but interesting museum here and by the pool itself, visitors get a lot closer to the crocs then most would ever have imagined. The capital, Banjul, with its vibrant Royal Albert Market, and the seaside resorts of Kotu and Kololi are also within easy reach.

For more information about tailor-made holidays to The Gambia visit Fleewinter.

 

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Ngala Lodge, sitting amongst the palm trees in a lush green garden one of the most romantic hotels in Africa
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