This study established an analytical method based on manganese ferrite based magnetic dispersive solid phase extraction (MDSPE) before cold vapor generation–atomic absorption spectrometry (CVG-AAS) for the determination of cadmium at trace levels in lake water samples collected from Horseshoe Island, Antarctica. Manganese ferrite nanoparticles were synthesized to be used as an adsorbent in the MDSPE method. Different MDSPE and CVG parameters were fixed to their optimum values after univariate optimization approach. Under the optimum conditions, analytical performance of the developed MDSPE-CVG-AAS method was evaluated and its applicability/accuracy was determined by recovery experiments. Twelve different lake water samples collected from Horseshoe Island, Antarctica were analyzed. Matrix matching calibration strategy was used to eliminate possible matrix effects arising from the lake water samples. Good recovery results (93.2–112.5%) were obtained from the spiked samples that indicated the method suitability to real samples.