Travelling from Dakar to Fathala Wildlife Reserve is an adventure itself. Fathala is situated 5km from the Gambian border on the National Road. Despite the condition of the road, the journey guarantees an ever-changing view of the country and everyday life in Senegal. Villages are alive with donkey-carts serving as transportation and children playing around. Water wells overwhelmed with women pulling the water supply for the day while men have a social gathering under a mango tree, brewing a fresh cup of tea discussing last night’s football match. Farmlands are still being ploughed by an ox while an Abyssinian Ground Hornbill walks close by. This West African French speaking country is a true ambassador for the African continent, revealing a simple and happy life, undisturbed and genuinely unique. Arriving at Fathala Wildlife Reserve, you are welcomed by an oasis of lush green grass surrounding the Day Visitors Center. A lot of tourists from the Gambia visit Fathala on a daily basis, with the country bordering so close. Day Visitors can either join a guided game drive through the reserve or an hour long walk with African Lions.
Nestled away under the huge canopies of the majestic African mahogany surrounded by nature and all its essence lays the Fathala Lodge, exceeding all your expectations. With the opening in March 2014, the Fathala Lodge with 20 Luxurious Tented Suites became the first of its kind in Senegal. Fathala is a word borrowed from the Mandinka language, meaning 'do not touch', and seems to be a perfect fit for the lodge. Nothing can touch the beauty and tranquility Fathala has to offer.
The air-conditioned tents are luxuriously decorated in a colonial African theme for ultimate comfort including a deep bath, an open-air shower, a delicious coffee-station and all the necessary amenities for your comfort. The Lodge is designed in an open plan setting to keep you close to nature, sitting at the Boabab Bar with a delicious cocktail or enjoying a delicious meal from the lodge restaurant, you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery the lodge has to offer.
The Mahogany restaurant and lounge at the Fathala lodge offers an exquisite dining experience for all. The chefs provide a variety of delicious local cuisines while you enjoy the view of the water hole and Senegalese oasis. Enjoy a buffet style breakfast every morning to get your day started and enjoy delicious pizza prepared in a wood fired oven for lunch. Then in the evenings enjoy the many seafood and other dishes galore that will tempt your taste buds!
Guests staying at the Fathala lodge will leave their vehicles in the parking and will be taken by an open game viewer to the lodge. The drive to the lodge takes you through the reserve and from the start you will be amazed by the beauty of the bush. Taking you further into the bush and farther away from society (civilization), one has no idea what to expect.
There are lots of activities on offer for guests staying at the lodge including guided game drives, walking with lions, fishing in the mangroves, sun downer trips on the mangroves, Island tours and a visit to a local fishing village, tours to the local markets in the village to learn more about the culture, food and lifestyle of the local people and lastly a bush-walk and birding safari.
The lion walk is a very exclusive activity the only of its kind in West Africa. You will join young lions on an hour long walk through the bush, no collars or leashes. There are plenty of photo opportunities and this is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
An Afroria experience with loads of WOW moments.... Bienvenu!
Fathala Wildlife Reserve is the perfect place to fall back into a complete state of relaxation, to sit on the porch of your tent and listen to the chatter of the parrots and parakeets while monkeys jump playful from branch to branch or relax with a cocktail in the swimming pool and smell the dust settling down while the sun sets over the horizon of West Africa in the distance. This perfect destination will make any visit worthwhile as you enjoy the most beautiful luxurious wildlife experiences of your life in this Senegalese paradise.
Fathala Wildlife Reserve is a destination that must be experienced.
Photo Credit: Fathala Wildlife Reserve