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

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Ngala Lodge, Gambia

This small, intimate hotel was recently voted on Trip Advisor by the public as one of the most romantic hotels in Africa, and it is easy to see why. I’ve stayed at Ngala Lodge a number of times, including on my honeymoon. It’s one of my favourite hotels.

Set in colourful, flower-filled gardens there are many secluded spots for guests to find solitude and being a children free hotel, the grounds are always peaceful. The restaurant has a reputation for being the best in The Gambia. Each suite has been individually designed, displaying works of art by the owner and from his personal collection.

Whenever I stay at Ngala Lodge, I feel that I am home. The staff are superb and always make me feel so welcome. It’s no wonder that many of the guests are repeat customers and everyone I have met that has stayed here says that this is their favourite hotel in The Gambia, even though it is not the most luxurious. For the ultimate in romance book an Atlantic suite with your own a Jacuzzi on your terrace, or one of the more modern Macondo Suites.

All the suites are spacious with air-conditioning and ceiling fans, a mini-fridge stocked to your requirements, a safe, tea and coffee facilities and free Wi-Fi. The bathrooms are large with walk-in showers,  bathtubs and double sinks and every suite has a private terrace, large balcony or garden.

Check out what people are saying about Ngala Lodge in TripAdvisor.


Superior Lodges at Ngala Lodge

Atlantic Suites at Ngala Lodge

Manor Lodge

Ngala Lodge, Manor


Macondo Suites at Ngala Lodge

Ngala Lodge celebrated its 20th anniversary with 6 new luxury sea view suites and a stunning cliff-top infinity pool. I had heard great things about the new suites. When I was asked to photograph them by The Gambia Experience, I was more than happy to take the opportunity to check out what all the fuss is about.

View from the Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

Firstly, the view is superb and perfect for catching The Gambia’s fabulous sunsets.

The Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

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. There’s also all the usual features you would expect from a quality boutique hotel including a mini bar, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe, desk, and WiFi (although not of the speed you might be used to). One feature that I particularly loved was a mobile phone provided so you could call reception, or perhaps the bar, whether you were in your room, in the gardens, on the beach or poolside.


The bathroom is spacious and bright with stunning mosaic basins and either a shower or bathtub. Cotton tie-dye robes are provided.

The Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

Each suite has its own balcony or terrace while the ground floor suites each have the addition of a private plunge pool.

The Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

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.

The Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

The Macondo Suites, Ngala Lodge, The Gambia, West Africa

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 for the excellent staff at Ngala Lodge.

Ngala Lodge Restaurant

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


Ngala Lodge’s location

Ngala Lodge is within walking distance of the village of Bakau with its craft market, botanical garden, restaurants and the vibrant fish market where you can watch the colourful pirogues bring in their daily catch. The sacred pool of Kachikally is also just a short taxi ride away. There is a small but interesting museum here and the crocodile pool itself, where visitors get a lot closer at the crocs then most would ever have expected! The capital, Banjul, and the seaside resorts of Kotu and Kololi are also within easy reach.

For nature lovers, there are a number of nearby reserves. The Gambia is a firm favourite with bird-watchers with over 560 species recorded. River and sea fishing are also popular.

The Gambia is known as the smiling coast for good reason, the locals are among the friendliest you could meet anywhere. English is the official language although a number of local languages are also spoken. In the popular resorts, bumsters (local young men befriending the tourists) can be a nuisance. However, this is not a problem at Ngala Lodge as it has its own private beach and is set away from the main tourist areas.

Further afield but still within an hour’s drive are many other interesting places to visit including Makasutu Forest, Sanyang beach and Tanji fishing village.


Ngala Lodge Fact File

  • Location: Between Bakau and Fajara on the west coast of The Gambia
  • Airport: Banjul Airport  (about a 30-minute drive)
  • Ideal for: Couples
  • Standard: Very comfortable
  • Facilities include: air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, king-sized beds (twins available on request), shared Jacuzzi in private Manor garden (Manor suites only), private Jacuzzi (Atlantic suites only), mosquito nets, every suite has a sitting area with comfortable sofa and armchairs plus a private terrace or garden area. The hotel has a private beach.
  • Number of rooms: 18 suites
  • Website: Ngala Lodge
  • Package holidays from the UK can be booked through The Gambia Experience

Check out what people are saying about Ngala Lodge in TripAdvisor.


Photography © Kathryn Burrington

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