Jon & Eleanor’s Gambia experience!

Jon and Eleanor’s Gambia experience was one they will never forget. They are proper serious runners in The Uk. Usually for charity and always for fun.

When they wrote about their Gambia experience I wanted to try and bring it to life. I hope you like this new format and find it fun!

Gambian craftsmen can make anything

The range and skill of the craftspeople in The Gambia will have you mesmerised.
A simple piece of wood can be made into a very sturdy chair, with an authentic design.
I bought this one and it now sits proudly in place in the lounge at home. Not just woodcraft but also a simple piece of material, made into a vibrant shirt and a small bit of metal – becomes a stunning ring.

Gambia experience
Malang, with our chair!

Our Gambia experience “All this to ourselves”

the best Gambia experience ever
That jump for joy moment!

Jon – normally a mild-mannered individual, reacts to the fact that there are hardly any other people on the beach for miles.
This creates a “Yippee no one else for miles moment”.
……. Captured by a passing Heron.

Cool cotton


“The re-energising of the Cotton trade for The Gambia – a new Era awaits”.
Getting involved with the material crafts at Footsteps –  visiting local handmade looms, Tye & Dye, Batik and creating wonderful new colours using leaves from trees and bushes – we wish we could stay longer – Footsteps Gambia the cotton trade heroes!

Tie n Dye
We made this 😀

Team works

Jon n elenor with staff
Jon, the team and I at 👣

The lifeblood of Footsteps is the staff. More than just staff they become your best friends.
Nothing is too much for them to make your stay fantastic!
Their support and commitment to the guests was worth the flight and the short journey from the airport, looking forward to our return.

Man’s best friends


“Yoga? Yes, Seven… do you want to go and find some of the humans to play with…
Naw they are as chilled as we are, that’s the magic of Gambia, you may arrive slightly off tilt, but when you leave, you are so relaxed.
“I heard one human say another one slid under the door when they got home, they were so laid back”

The Footsteps Dogs
Chilled canines!

Xmas greetings!

Jon n elenor at xmas
We loved our time in Gambia & can’t wait to return!

What a memorable Christmas we had – Grapefruits, Local Entertainment, Christmas Jumpers, legs out in the warm and of course funny Hats

Happy Christmas Footsteps in the Gambia style.


Not your normal Foot Stepper, more of a runner

When my wife who is a massive Eco-warrior looking to save where possible, eat well, experience a different approach to life as well as living by the 5 R’s “Re-use, Refuse, Review, Recycle & Rot said about going to this place in The Gambia with composting loo’s, I must admit I was a bit dubious.

We have been compared to Tom and Barbara from the good life so going to a different place for a holiday, seemed right up our street.

Well, what a pleasant surprise, every aspect of the holiday was awesome (Even if the loo was a bit high for me)

Not a birder or a botanist

I am not your normal person for Footsteps in The Gambia experience, not being a bird watcher or a botanist, I do however love immersing myself in the local culture and meeting the local community.

Our daily run became a learning experience running through the villages and trying our best at saying hello in their language (we did master it quite quickly). In time the people would look out for us and wave as we went by.

What was fascinating were the onsite craftsmen who made awesome things out of wood, metal and local cloth. We now have some really, really, well-made Gambian style clothes.

We are foodies though!

The food, ah what a pleasure, my wife is Vegan and the choice available to her was super tasty and breakfast made me run back faster. As has been said before, the local trips are very enjoyable and no need to travel far to get to them, some you can even walk to.

Basically, I think we floated back to the airport on the return journey as we were so laid back. Jerre Jeff and Abaraka aka Thank you “Footsteps in the Gambia” until we next return.

Eleanor & Jon Vamplew

Here’s a few more of our favourite memories!

  • Searching for hippos
  • Our dogs have never been so fit!
  • Tops on tour
  • Bring me sunshine
  • 40 winks
  • New dress made by tailor lamin
  • Dont worry be happy
  • Cooling down after a run
  • Happy feet
  • Fresh local juices
  • Arts & crafts

Blog post written by Jon and Eleanor, special effects by David…..