You may be picked up by motor boat from the capital of Gambia, Banjul, if the owner of Madiyana Safari Lodge happens to be in town. Though chances are you’ll have to find your way to this remote island by ferry, bush taxi, a pinasse boat, or perhaps … a donkey cart. Don’t let this discourage you; it will only add to your Robinson Crusoe experience!
Don’t be deterred by the lack of electricity, running water or the basic grass hut accommodations either. The Madiyana Safari Lodge does not allow more than ten occupants at a time. What you’re giving up in conventional luxuries will be made up for in solitude and peace.
Amenities that are provided include comfortable beds with mosquito nets (very important), annex make-shift "showers" (buckets, that is!). There is also a truly magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean, the soothing sounds of rolling waves, and a veranda to enjoy the glorious starry nights.
A very imaginative chef conjures up the most delicious candlelight dinners which are served on a breezy outdoor lounge. The menu often features the catch of the day including Captain Fish, Jack Crevalle, and Large Guitar Fish. The entrée is followed by finger-licking deserts and fruit platters. For those interested in a night-cap, the bar is always well-stocked.
Adding even more beauty to these pristine, isolated beaches, is a plethora of exotic birds. The island has both migratory and resident species, like the Senegalese Parrot which showed up on my veranda each morning. The lodge provides binoculars and bird encyclopedias for the eager bird spotter, which surprisingly became quite an addictive sport.
The welcoming, yet low-key staff will leave it up to you how you spend your time. You can go off alone, meditate or practice the art of doing nothing. However, if you prefer a more active trip, the staff will gladly organize a variety of activities for you such as fishing, beach biking, bush safaris, or village visits.