Welcome to Footsteps Eco-lodge
Located in a serene, natural forest setting, a short walk away from a quiet beach, Footsteps offers the ideal blend of nature, cultural immersion, comfortable accommodations, and tasty culinary delights for your Gambia Holidays. We take pride in offering an exclusively adult-only experience, guaranteeing a truly tranquil and rejuvenating vacation for our valued guests. With a range of activities and excursions available to suit all tastes, guests can spend the day exploring this wonderfully friendly country, or relax at the lodge by our fresh-water pool or on the raised sun deck.
In the evening, guests usually dine together at our friendship table. Seating 12 people in the round, It’s a chance to chink glasses with your fellow travellers and share stories of the fascinating experiences you’ve enjoyed during the day. Romantics amongst you needn’t worry. Candlelit single tables are also available, for a quiet evening under the stars. At least once a week you will be treated to a delicious barbecue around the fire, with a cultural performance from a local musician, a drumming group or a traditional storyteller.
Making the most of your holiday in Gambia
You will find plenty of things to do in the local area. Whether you like to roam independently or prefer to go with a guide, you will never be bored.
Within the grounds of the lodge, we are proud to have a number of local crafters working with us who not only have items for sale but also offer activity workshops for guests who would like to learn a local skill. Ousman is an accomplished tailor, making top-quality African clothes from local fabrics. Malang is one of Gambia’s finest wood-carvers and Bai Sering is a skilled silversmith still using the traditional methods and techniques that he learnt from his father.
Within walking distance, you can enjoy a deserted beach and maybe try your hand at a spot of fishing, see monkeys and amazing birdlife on a nature walk, visit a local market and even a local compound. With a bicycle, you can be at Kartong Snake Farm to learn more about the local reptile population, enjoy an afternoon at Sanyang Beach or relax at Kartong Riverside and enjoy great seafood whilst looking across the Halahin River to Senegal.
Within an hour’s drive, you can reach many Gambia tourist attractions such as Senegambia, Kololi, Kotu, and Gambia’s capital city, Banjul. Explore the well-known Albert Market, where you can find crafts and fabrics. Additionally, visit the National Museum and enjoy the stunning views from Arch 22. On your way back, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by Bakau’s fish market and meet Charlie the Crocodile at Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool. Footsteps is a preferred choice for activities such as birdwatching, yoga, crafts, and fishing enthusiasts. We gladly accommodate group bookings, so please visit our activities page or contact us to organize a trip for your group.
If you prefer just to kick back and relax in our Eco-lodge, we have a fresh-water pool, table-tennis table and all the peace and quiet you need.
Our rooms are crafted with utmost attention to comfort, while adorned in pristine, refreshing hues, ensuring a great night’s sleep.
Each and every one of our roundhouses is equipped with en-suite bathrooms, powered by solar electricity and solar hot water 24 hours a day. Additionally, our rooms are equipped with room fans and composting toilets, which are both odour-free and environmentally friendly.
For those who prefer more independent accommodations, we offer three exquisite self-catered holiday homes. These delightful dwellings boast the same range of exceptional amenities, including private gardens, a steady supply of hot water, and fully equipped kitchens.
Perfect for groups or older families seeking a personalised getaway experience.
Footsteps’ kitchen team are highly experienced and passionate about providing tasty food from our open-view kitchen. We have four chefs who love to combine fresh seafood from the local fishing village with fresh, seasonal produce from our own organic garden. With such great produce on hand, they also enjoy creating imaginative and delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Our menu features a range of local and international dishes. Breakfast offerings range from fresh fruit salad with yoghurt and local honey to a hearty full English.
Lunchtime is a chance to try a Gambian classic dish with rice or one of our European daily specials. Gambian food recipes are typically rich and spicy but can be cooked to European tastes. Whether it’s Domoda (thick and tasty peanut sauce), Benechin (flavoursome savoury rice with fish or meat) or Yassa (Onion sauce with a lemony kick), you are sure of a delicious, authentic treat. One of our specials is Soso beans, black-eyed peas in a rich tomato garlic chilli sauce.
Each evening we offer a three-course menu of exciting, innovative European and local options. Some of our favourites are vegetarian Yassa (pictured above) or Tiger Prawns in a zingy lime butter sauce. My personal favourite (pictured below) is deep-fried Calamari served inside one of our homegrown avocados.
Gambia Holidays offer more!
Gambia is the smallest and friendliest country in Africa. On its West coast is the Atlantic Ocean and it is surrounded on three sides by Senegal. Running all the way through the centre of the country is the beautiful River Gambia, home to dolphins, manatees and hippos. The forest areas offer the chance to see chimpanzees, baboons and other primates including the globally endangered Red Colobus monkeys. It is extremely popular with bird watchers, who appreciate the wide diversity of species to be found in such a small area.
Known as ‘The Smiling Coast ‘, the people are great hosts and always happy to have a chat and share a glass of green tea.
Having been a British colony, English is widely spoken in all but the most rural communities and the country has a fascinating history that can be explored on day trips from the lodge. Gambia and especially its river played a key role, firstly in the movement of enslaved people and then in the abolition of the trade.
Gunjur itself is one of Gambia’s larger villages, with a vibrant daily market and lots of local shops selling everything from meat pies to mobile phones. 10 minutes drive away is Gunjur fishing village, which is a great place to take a stroll and watch the local fisherman at work.
Want to see wildlife in the wild?
The Gambia is best known as a paradise for birdwatchers, offering a huge diversity of species within a small area. Despite being the smallest country on mainland Africa, habitats range from saltwater wetlands, through gallery forests to savannah plains and ricefields.
More than 540 species have been recorded in the Gambia, including some of the birders’ favourites such as Egyptian Plovers, African Finfoots, Pel’s Fishing Owl and different Kingfishers such as the Shining Blue and the Pygmy.
Footsteps Eco-lodge is ideally located for birders to visit the best of the birding in the West Coast Region. Our expert guide, Lamin Bojang has vast knowledge of the local flora and fauna and over 20 years of experience taking guests to the best sites including Abuko Nature Reserve, Tanji fishing centre and bird reserve, Darsalami Woods and Mandinaba shrimp farm. See our Birding page for full details of what is on offer.
However, in terms of wildlife, The Gambia has much more to offer than just superb birding. One of its highlights is to see the chimpanzees at the River Gambia National Park, but the chimps are just one of six species of primate to be found here. You can also hope to see four other species, including Guinea Baboons, Green Vervets, Patas monkeys and Red Colobus monkeys. Bush babies are also here but are much harder to find. Nature lovers might want to travel upriver to visit the fascinating Communities for Red Colobus (C4RC) project, where you will meet and learn more about this globally endangered species.
Aside from the primates, if you know where to look you can expect to find two types of dolphins, hippos, turtles, crocodiles, hyenas, warthogs, monitor lizards and mongoose. More elusive are the manatees, antelope, wildcats, clawless otters and porcupines.
Recharge your batteries
Sustainability is at the heart of what we do here at Footsteps and we are proud of our social and environmental record.
All of the buildings were designed to minimise the use of cement and other unsustainable materials and the lodge is fully equipped with solar electric and solar hot water. We no longer use any single-use plastics and offer our guests free water refills from our Berkey water filter, so that they too can keep things green. Most of our vegetables are grown in our on-site organic garden, and other produce is, as far as possible from local ethical suppliers. Even our pool is chemical-free, being fresh-water filtered through a reed bed and filter gravel system – the only one in The Gambia and indeed West Africa. It’s a popular place with guests and local birdlife alike.
We recognise that without our wonderfully talented and hard-working team and members of the local community, Footsteps would not be what it is. All of our team benefit from fair wages all year round and we have supported a number of community initiatives, including the Gunjur Village Museum and Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.
While holidaying at our eco-lodge, you are assured of staying in one of Gambia’s best Eco-hotels and one of the most beautiful, natural environments West Africa has to offer.
All of this means that you can relax and enjoy your holiday secure in the knowledge that your visit is bringing benefits to the local people that you meet along the way.
Let’s discover Gambia
Details & Pricing for your Gambia holidays!
A/ We won’t be beaten on price.
B/ If you find a better deal, we’ll price match & discount it by 5%.
C/ Book your next Gambia vacation today with no deposit, nothing to pay until one month before travel & a full refund guarantee up to 2 weeks before travel.
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Each year from May 31st until November 1st, Footsteps closes its doors to conduct essential maintenance and for our staff to receive some well-earned time off, ensuring high-quality Gambia holidays each year for our guests.
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