Discover Magical Holidays In Gambia

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.

Lunch by The Alahein River

Visit Dodou's bar

Take a trip on the river in a dugout canoe, or have a lovely seafood lunch while watching the daily life on the river!

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Gambia’s capital city, Banjul

Take a trip to Gambia's capital

Visit Banjul and see Albert market or one of many Victorian buildings such as The Royal Victoria Training Hospital.

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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

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.

Our kitchen

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.

Food in The Gambia

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.

Gambian cuisine

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.

Gambias wildlife

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.

Gambia holiday - Fishing village life

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.

Broad-billed-Roller
Wildlife in Gambia- Chameleon

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

together

Details & Pricing for your Gambia holidays!

Roundhouse interior

Available as single, double, twin, or triple occupancy, all rooms have a fan, wall safe, A/C 2 & 3 pin electricity, open wardrobe and local art painted by Cotton Trail Art

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Self-Catered

Self-catered Villas £90 per night

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Birdwatching from £50 a day.

Let our experienced guides show you the best of Gambia's birdlife

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Fishing

Enjoy 4 hrs beach fishing fr £30

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Yoga from £10 an hr

In our purpose-built Shala

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Things to do on holiday!

There is so much to see and do in The Gambia, from a local cookery workshop to kayaking through mangroves!

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Angele V
19 February 2024
Verified
A Warm and wonderful stay in the most beautiful environment Footsteps is a fantastic natural place where David and Linda and their staff welcome you with warmth and care. All praise! Sitting in front of your roundhouse you will see many birds, but you can also take bird walks and walk towards the beach and wetlands from the lodge. The food is delicious and fresh. For us, the shared dinner was an addition. Lots of beautiful stories and encounters. We will definitely come back! recommended!
Dave H
18 February 2024
Verified
Bliss What an amazing experience. Set in beautiful and peaceful surroundings, with wildlife on your doorstep. The staff could not have been more friendly and accommodating, and such lovely food. Would very happily visit again. Thank you all..
paula G
18 February 2024
Verified
Great place to feel cared for and retreat from busy lives We spent 3 nights in one of the roundhouses and had a really good break. The accommodation is quiet, clean and comfortable. The food and service is excellent. Meals are served 'en famille' style which was a lovely sociable experience and we met lots of interesting people. The beach is a 30-40 minute walk away. We only went once because there was plenty to see and do on site. The grounds are quite extensive and are divided into beautiful garden, growing, service and relaxation areas. We pre-booked yoga and a massage on site - both of which were great. We also enjoyed a kayaking trip. We were there for the kayaking and scenery, rather than the bird watching, but got the full birding guide too. The transport is not included in the trips off site. If you need to book this, make sure you have the driver's number and arrange a time for collection well in advance of your expected finish time. There are very talented craftspeople working within the Footsteps grounds. This was a bonus for me because I teach and practise various craftwork in the UK. Will definitely be going back if I get the chance.
John
17 February 2024
Verified
Footsteps een parel in Gambia. Ik heb een uitstekend verblijf gehad in een roundhouse van Footsteps. David en Linda en hun staf zorgen voor een zeer goede sfeer. Door de vele vogels op het terrein kun je van kortbij genieten van de geweldige natuur. Het eten is voortreffelijk. Zeker in dit deel van Gambia zijn de mensen zeer vriendelijk en behulpzaam. Op 20 minuten lopen ligt een flink strand met wat ligbedjes met parasols en juicebars. Doordat er weinig toeristen zijn heb je altijd plek. Onderweg naar het strand kom langs de zgn. Wetlands. Hier wemelt het van de vogels. Ter plaatse zijn allerlei leuke natuurtrips te boeken. Ook behoort vissen tot de mogelijkheden. Wij komen zeker terug.
Lynne S
16 February 2024
Verified
A fabulous week at Footsteps We loved our time at Footsteps. Sunbird House worked well for us. It was spacious and comfortable. One tip we’d like to recommend is for there to be some written guidance in the house re do’s, don’ts and what’s available. The staff were really welcoming and helpful and we loved engaging with (and spending money!) with the craftsmen and women. We can recommend the Black & White drumming team. They created a great last night for us with our many Gambian friends. I’m sure we’ll be back 🙂
Clarareist
12 February 2024
Verified
Gambias schönste Küste Ein traumhafter Ort, mitten in der Natur, der Strand ist fußläufig zu erreichen und einer der wenigen sauberen Strände Gambias. Sehr nettes Personal! Das Rundhaus gemütlich und sauber. Essen vor Ort top! Haben nette Menschen kennengelernt. Wir kommen wieder!
Kathryn J
10 February 2024
Verified
A truly special place Footsteps is a truly special place. We had the most incredible stay. Everything was wonderful. The staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly, the accommodation was beautiful, comfortable and clean, the food was fantastic and the grounds were really peaceful and well cared for. The bird song all around was spectacular each day and the walk to the beach was lovely. We had an unforgettable time there. It was wonderful to meet the local craftsman working on site and be able to support their work. I’ve never met such friendly and open people ! Footsteps really has everything you need for a great holiday in The Gambia. We arranged bird watching trips with an extremely knowledgeable guide, as well as having Djembe lessons locally and a really good massage on site. We left feeling really grateful for such a special time. I celebrated my birthday whilst there and it was the best birthday ever!! Thank you David and all the team at Footsteps. We’ll be back !!!
Esther
10 February 2024
Verified
Fijne vakantie! Het is een simpel kamp in een prachtige omgeving. Simpel is niet negatief bedoeld, maar geeft aan dat er geen grote luxe aanwezig is. Onze kamer werd uitstekend schoongehouden en bestond uit een tweepersoonsbed, 1 stoel en 1 klein kastje. En een eigen douche (meestal geen warm water, maar dat was niet erg) en toilet. Het terrasje voor ons appartement had geen stoel. Wij hadden een heel goedkoop onderkomen, er zijn ook duurdere (en gezelligere) huisjes beschikbaar. Wat wij nog misten was een goede hor. Er waren weinig muskieten, maar ze waren er wel. Wat ons erg opviel was de hele plezierige sfeer waarbij om grote tafels werd gezeten en werd gegeten. Mensen uit allerlei landen (veel Engelsen) leren elkaar kennen en wisselen ervaringen uit. Tijdens ons verblijf was het erg heet (gemiddeld 38 graden op het heetst van de dag), maar dat was voor ons dragelijk vanwege de schaduw die de grote bomen op het perceel geven. Er is een hoog terras gecreëerd met ondermeer wat strandstoelen. Er is geen groot zwembad, maar een soort poedelbad waarin je kunt afkoelen. De nachten en ochtenden waren aangenaam. De keuken is prima. Wij hebben vooral van de vis en vegetarische gerechten genoten. Het fruitaanbod was eenzijdig. Het personeel vonden wij geweldig vrolijk en behulpzaam. Ze zijn geïnstrueerd om het de mensen zo veel mogelijk naar de zin te maken en daar handelen ze ook naar. Op het terrein zijn goede handwerklieden aanwezig, bijvoorbeeld een zilversmid, kleermaker en wever met in onze ogen mooie producten. Er zijn meerdere excursies toe boeken. Ter plekke kun je ook van alles regelen. De individuele uitstapjes met de vogelgids vonden wij leuk, maar wel wat prijzig. In de directe omgeving zijn weinig uitgaansgelegenheden of eethuizen. Wel een aantal juicebars. Er worden af en toe wandelingen langs het strand georganiseerd naar dorpjes waar dan gezamenlijk kan worden geluncht. Wij zijn enthousiast en proberen terug te komen. Wij raden dit adres aan aan natuurliefhebbers. We hebben een eindeloze hoeveelheid prachtige vogels gezien. David, de eigenaar en uitbater is een hele charmante man die stimuleert dat mensen elkaar leren kennen. Hij is altijd bereid om te helpen als dat nodig is. Wij hebben een heerlijke en gezellige vakantie gehad!
Justine L
10 February 2024
Verified
Great place Very nice, friendly and social place. Travelling solo, I felt very welcome in the lodge and with the other guests. Good birdwatching! And the local people are well paid and looked after, big difference with most hotels/lodges. I enjoyed my stay and recommend Footsteps heartily.

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.

"Simple as ABC", start planning your holiday today with Footsteps Eco-lodge!

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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.

Explore our website, check out our Gambia holiday deals & see why our guests become friends😀

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