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“Splendid for bird watching, the real Gambia”

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Marakissa River Camp
Reviewed 13 January 2010

We spent four nights at Marakissa, and were there for the second time.
The location is splendid. It is away from all tourism, yet a short drive from the airport and walks around bring you really into authentic Africa. Joop and Adama, a Dutchman and his Gambian wife, are hospitable and very nice, and do their utmost to make your stay pleasant.
Adama works wonders in her small kitchen and is able to cook dinners for passing groups as well as resident guests. There is a thatched, open place as a dining room and breakfast are but also a similar round place near the garden with lots of drinking spots for birds, where visiting birds come at regular times, including rare species like the spotted honeyguides. You just sit still and see them all come to drink.
The round huts are comfortable and cool to sleep in, with toilets and cold showers, which is normal in Gambia outside the tourist areas. The accommodation is simple but functional.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank JWandM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 21 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2009

Marakissa River Lodge
Only stayed for one night. It is near the border with Cassamance, near Dar es Salam. It’s a real chill out place, where there is a complete silence, apart from the birdsong. We hadn’t telephoned in advance, (lost the number) and as it’s out of season, Adama didn’t have much to offer, but we were perfectly happy with omelette and chips that evening, and we shared the staff’s plasas next day. Adama would have gone into Brikama to get the best bread etc., if she had known we were coming.
Sat in the Bantaba on arrival and the first thing I saw was a Violet Turaco. Beautiful bird, so made a grab for my camera which was still in my bag. Got lots of shots of the flipping bird hiding behind trees. Even a video of it resolutely watching me from behind a branch. Don’t have any specialist camera equipment, so I don’t know why I even bother trying. Anyway, then I missed a giant kingfisher, sitting right behind me, because I was engrossed trying to pick which of the three wines they had. Sometimes you don’t have that choice in Senegambia! Saw lots of other birds, Pied Kingfishers, of course, the Giant Kingfisher, the blue ones, Senegal parrots, Robin Chats, etc. Got up just after 6 am to walk down the river and hear the dawn chorus. Absolutely amazing. I thought I saw a magnolia bush, covered in huge white flowers, then one flew off and I realised it was a bush actually covered in Little Egrets.
The lodge is basic, but clean. There are showers and toilets in the huts. There is a separate restaurant with a roof top bar, (wonderful view) and a bantaba. The huts have just had new grass roofs. There is no electricity. You have candles in the rooms and an oil light outside.
Cost per night per person is 400 dalasis, including breakfast. Total cost for two, with added evening meal, bottle of wine, beers and softs came to 1,800 dalasis. It is about an hours journey from Senegambia. They are closing from August to November.
Their phone number is [--]
Will post a few photos of the camp., and remembered to get pics of toilet!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank heledd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2009

We (1 couple) stayed in Marakissa for two nights in March. The lady owner was friendly, polite and helpful. The setting on the River Allahein is breathtaking. Sitting on the verandah watching the sunset and the birds swooping over the river is a memory I'll treasure. We had two main meals while there, fried fish and chips and rice with a meaty sauce. These were fine, if not haute cuisine. Certainly typical of local area. The accommodation is in traditional huts. No electricity. There was a candle in the room but since the watches disintegrated as soon as you struck them, this was fairly redundant. Take a torch (or two). The beds were comfy and the room attractively decorated. The place is very much set up for birders, with fresh water ponds, feeding and watering areas and even a baboo pole set out over the river that many pied kingfishers come to perch on. You can bird while sipping a cool beer or just soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
There was a pool but it had no water in it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank loobgraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: De kamers zijn ondergebracht in huisjes. De gebouwtjes herbergen elke 2 twee persoonskamers met badk...
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  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank Larissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2015
Google Translation

Room Tip: Maak een tochtje met de kano!
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  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank IrisenArjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Marakissa River Camp

Address: Marakissa Road, Marakissa, Gambia
Region: Gambia > West Coast Division > Marakissa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Marakissa

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