Return to The Gambia - kayaks, hot tubs and Gida's Garden

Updated on Jan 31, 2019 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Return to The Gambia - kayaks, hot tubs and Gida's Garden

Kathryn, from our Marketing Department, returns to The Gambia on holiday and discovers new experiences and a lovely new restaurant.

In 2017 I had a fabulous honeymoon in The Gambia. While I had been many times before, it was my husband’s first visit. It wasn’t long before he too was hooked. On our second day there, he was already talking about future holidays in The Gambia.

Last month we returned. We’d previously stayed at Mandina Lodges, Fathala Wildlife and Ngala Lodge. This time, Neill wanted to see more of the country and meet more locals, beyond the hotels. I was eager to return too, as no matter how many times I've been, there's always somewhere new to visit, a different excursion to enjoy or new restaurant to try.


Kombo Beach Hotel

We stayed at the Kombo Beach Hotel in Kotu. I’ve been there so many times over the years that each time I go back, I feel a sense of coming home.

It was wonderful to be able to introduce Neill to all the staff. Sam the pool guy, I had first met some 13 years ago.


Six in One Excursion

We ventured out a lot, to see the vultures being fed by Kotu bridge and took many walks in the area, chatting to everyone we met along the way. So Neill could see more of The Gambia, we went on the Six in One Tour and explored the local market at Serrekunda, enjoyed chilling out at Lamin Lodge, watched the wrestling at Sanyang (Paradise) Beach and saw the fishermen unloading their boats at Tanji.


Kayaking along Tanji Creek

A new excursion that I was eager to try was kayaking along the creek at Tanji. If you enjoy nature, I couldn’t recommend it more. Because the creek is fairly narrow, we were able to get quite close to the birds we saw along the way. And we saw so many. Over 40 different species!

You can read more about this excursion and see more photos here: Kayaking at Tanji Bird Reserve.

You can see all our excursions here.


Returning to Ngala Lodge

For the last two nights, we returned to Ngala Lodge. We had a wonderfully spacious suite with a hot tub - a luxury I always enjoy with a glass of bubbly in hand.

The food here was as good as ever and the staff just as helpful and friendly. 


Gida’s Garden

Recently opened in Fajara, we’d heard very good things about Gida’s Garden, just a short walk from Ngala Lodge. Set in a pretty garden, this new restaurant more than lived up to our expectations. Together with Ngala, this is by now my favourite restaurant in The Gambia.

The service was very good and the food exceptional. I loved my ‘Taste of France’ - beef fillet medallion served with a cheese sauce, gratin dauphinoise and grilled vegetables (D695). Neill was particularly pleased by his dessert, pictured above. I thoroughly enjoyed mine too!

All too soon it was time to go home but I’m sure it won’t be long before we head back once again to the Smiling Coast of Africa.

If you want to know more about a holiday to The Gambia, visit our website


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