Footsteps timeline, celebrate 20 yrs with us!

In the Footsteps timeline, it hardly seems possible that in January 2022 we will have been in business for 20 yrs.

It seems like just yesterday I was making plans to open an accommodation in The Gambia.

Principles that start with its team and end with them too. Looking back over 20yrs I’m proud of what we have achieved and look forward to the challenges of the next 20yrs.

20 Years | Footsteps timeline

Footsteps timeline

Click on the arrows to move left/right and click on the date to read more about that Footsteps timeline 😉

Footsteps Timeline

Arrive in The Gambia

Our very first time in a country we would come to know as home

Beach Gambia

Begin to make a business plan

Just a few months had passed and our business plan was taking shape

Lodge plan Footsteps eco-lodge

looking for land

David returned to The Gambia to buy land in Gunjur.

Land at footsteps

start building

David and his local workforce started building Footsteps. The project begins.


A family business

Davids father-in-law and friend Len joined the Footsteps project.

We open

We opened Footsteps to the public!


Our first lodge dog and what a beauty. We found her on the beach in 2002, her mum was dead as were all but one of her brothers & sisters. We kept Annie and Sankule beach took the other. Annie remained with us until 2014 😀



On the 24th of February 2007, we fell victim to a horrendous bushfire.



To our deep sorrow, our partner and friend Len passed away. May he rest in peace.



We began clearing up and rebuilding with the help of the local village and an extremely nice Dutchman called Gijs


Grand re-opening

Footsteps rises from the ashes with a grand re-opening of the new and improved sustainable lodge.Phoenix

Kaira Kunda

We built Kaira Kunda, our first log cabin.

Kaira bunga gardens

Kaira Bunga

We built Kaira Bungo, our second log cabin.

Kaira bunga

Sunbird House

We build our luxury accommodation Sunbird House

Sunbird House

Travelife Gold Award

We were assessed by Travelife and received their Gold Award for sustainable tourism

.Travelife gold award


Our second lodge dog, we decided to get Seven as company for Annie who by this time was 11 years old. Seven lived until 2021


Travelife Gold Award

We were assessed by Travelife and received their Gold Award for sustainable tourism

.Travelife gold award

TripAdvisor Award

Suzi and I stayed in March 2013 during our backpacking trip around the Gambia. My lasting impression of Footsteps was that of perfection. The site is truly beautiful and extremely peaceful. During our stay, David and his team did a fantastic job and really made us feel extremely welcome.

Although we were only there for a few days we managed to cram in a load of activities. On the first day, David took us beach fishing which was brilliant! After a great day’s fishing we were rewarded with a good size butterfish which David’s team very kindly cooked for us – easily the tastiest fish I have ever eaten! On the second day, Serani (who is an excellent guide) took us on a great tour of the local area which included an extremely welcoming visit to his house.

We were really sad to leave and can’t wait until we go again! We strongly recommend a visit!!

Oli & Suzi

Read all reviews on Tripadvisor



We opened our brand new bird hide.


Travelife Gold award

We were assessed by Travelife and received their Gold Award for sustainable tourism.

Footsteps Eco-lodge - Travelife Gold Award

TripAdvisor Award
shhh – Gambian secret!!
Hesitant about writing this review as I want it to remain our secret!!
Have just spent an incredible week at Footsteps – absolutely fantastic. David and all the lovely staff did us proud – amazing food, comfortable airy huts, exotic, well-tended colourful gardens (not to mention the birdlife), local music and entertainment of an evening – what more could anyone want?
Oh, and the incredible beaches are just a glorious 20 minutes of ‘footsteps’ away!
Fallen for the Gambia – will be back! Jan W


World Responsible tourism Award

We were awarded Silver at The World Responsible Travel Awards at London’s WTM in the category ‘Best for engaging people & culture’!World responsible tourism award 2014

Our new logo

Santa brought us a new logo for Christmas 🙂Our new logo

Travelife Gold Award

We were assessed by Travelife and received their Gold Award for sustainable tourism

.Footsteps Eco-lodge - Travelife Gold Award


Even though The Gambia remained Ebola-free many tourists stayed away during the 2014-2015 season epidemic. Footsteps also had a rough season, but not as bad as others did. We made it through and decided to do better than ever next season!Ebola

TripAdvisor Award
Alastair & Jenny McNee

What a special place! Our first family visit to The Gambia. We stayed in the spacious and well equipped Sunbird House and the birdsong at sunrise was a highlight of our stay.

All food was freshly cooked/prepared and delicious. The pastries (amazing pastry chef!) would grace any patisserie in Inverness. The soso beans and veggie burgers are a must! We tried a wide variety of dishes…all excellent. Clean plates spoke volumes!

We were warmly welcomed by all staff. Such generous and kind hospitality. Nothing was too much trouble and we made some good friendships.

The stunning beach was only a 15/20 min walk away…and apart from a polite young man who wanted us to visit his beach bar for a drink…we were all alone.

The birding was great. (102 bird species seen) Some birds seemed “painted by numbers”. The large lodge hide was the go-to place at sunrise and sunset and many times in between. A trip with the resident birder Lamin to local reserves etc proved an interesting and informative day. That was fun.

Thank you to David and all the staff for helping make our adventure a memorable one, for all the right reasons. Would we recommend Footsteps? Definitely!

Tripadvisor 2015

Eco Tropical resorts

We were awarded a perfect eco-rating by eco-tropical resorts!

A new website

To kick off a season dedicated to creating an even better experience for our guests, we launched our new website created by the lovely Kristel.

Gambia Eco-lodge

A new sundeck

With the help of Paul and Jo Heath, we replaced the roof of the pool with a sundeck. We also rebuilt the bantaba, upgraded the kitchen, bar and upstairs sitting area and topped that off with a new look and comfy furniture.Sundeck


Yoga came via Ben who owns the yoga shala on the edge of our land. She still belongs to Ben but she spends all her time with Seven at the lodge. I guess she and Seven are very close and mostly you find them together.😀

Yoga on beach

TripAdvisor Award
So relaxing
Footsteps is a great place to chill out. You are well away from the tourist culture. The staff are really friendly and go out of their way. The food is excellent and local and some may be grown on-site. Fish dishes are from artisanal fisheries (pirogues) or occasionally what has been caught by guests on the nearby beach. When I arrived last November, a bit later than expected, the chef had saved me food from the communal bbq, the beer was cold and the company warm. Because of the wildlife-friendly policies you never know what is going to appear, all harmless I hasten to add. I will be back, thank you team Footsteps.

Footsteps eco-lodge Gambia | Tripadvisor 2016 certificate of excellence

Hotels combined Award

We were awarded the 2017 recognition of excellence by HotelsCombined!We received the HotelsCombined 2017 recognition of excellence with a 9.3 rated by guests

Election in Gambia

General election and our president of more than 20 years is defeated by Adama Barrow. Jammeh subsequently refused to step down effectively killing the season from the end of January onwards.


               #Gambia Has Decided

TripAdvisor Award
So relaxed did not want to leave.
There were times when I could not be any more relaxed, really enjoyed the experience, not your typical hotel aimed at people looking for a unique relaxed experience, catching up with real-time and chilling, also integrating with the local community and eating some awesome food.


TripAdvisor Award
beautiful serenity
I’ve just got home to Uk from a week at footsteps- a great place. David the owner is open and friendly with great ethical and environmental values- The food was consistently good- the staff all friendly and helpful. For anyone who hasn’t experienced West Africa its a great place to start. It is more attractive to bird watchers but even as a non-bird watcher it is truly amazing to see the wonderful nature of the country- I’ll definitely go back, also, I went by myself and felt welcome and safe by the people of the lodge and Gambia too 🙂

Tripadvisor 2018

TripAdvisor Award
Best place to stay!!
We have just returned from The Gambia, for the third time, and each time we have stayed at Footsteps. The location is quiet, a pleasant walk to the beach, which is mostly empty with a fabulous sea to swim in.
The accommodation is in Individual eco huts. They are cool by the round design of the buildings and are en-suite with eco-friendly composting toilets. All the power is from solar, which means there are no power cuts!
The food is superb, a selection of local and western food.
David, the owner, is mostly on-site and has a wealth of local knowledge.
I am not a birder, but we now know quite a few beautiful species. They can be seen visiting the dipping pool, and from the bird hide at the edge of the property.
Several excellent local bird experts can take you on tours.
We started our holiday this year with an amazing 4-day trip upriver, arranged by Linda, David’s partner. She has her own travel tour business, We saw things not normally seen on tours and now have a whole new understanding of the country.
The staff are so friendly and helpful. They feel almost like family now. We will return. Read our guest blog post here.


Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook announces they are ceasing operations.

Banjul International airport


On the 23rd March 2020 Gambia was officially not receiving holidaymakers. This meant our season had been cut short once again and little did we know but we were not to have the following season either.Covid policy

TripAdvisor Award
Review on Footstep ecolodge
Absolutely enjoying and feeling free in the Footstep Ecolodge in the Gambia.
Enormous hospitality given by the host David and kind personnel, nothing you ask is too much. Even at a moment of global crisis, their door was still open. The lodge has got a beautiful garden with a lot of beautiful birds, flowers and geckos.
The lodge is only a 20-minute walk to the beach, and 60 minutes walking to Gunjur centre. Gunjur is a village with kind people, in case you would like to get to know any locals.For some relaxing or cultural activities in the lodge area or on the beach, you can talk to David. Beautiful African cabins, always clean.An excellent place to come for a relaxing holiday! Sabrina Asselman

Tripadvisor Traveller Choice 2020

2020/21 season is cancelled

Covid19 has been devastating for everyone without exception. We hoped and prayed we would be able to salvage any part of our season, but it wasn’t safe and it wasn’t to be.


save this date 🥳🥳

We have supported all our full-time staff from March 23rd 2020 until now and we are so excited about the prospect of welcoming visitors once more. We are ready, we have covid guidelines in place, the team are trained in different operating procedures and we just cant wait to see you all again in The Gambia.Making plans

To celebrate 20 yrs of looking after the very best guests any lodge/hotel could hope for. We will be giving each and every guest that stays with us in the upcoming 2021/22 season a birthday gift from us. By becoming a member, which is free by the way, you can choose from the following list of presents. Yours to enjoy while staying at Footsteps.

A double celebration

Incredible as it may seem, several members of our team have also been with us for 20 yrs. Dodou Touray ( General manager ), Buba Low ( Driver ), Karamo Touray ( Eco-pool maintenance ), Buba Manneh ( Waiter ), Lamin Camera ( Waiter ). Meet the entire team.

We will be dedicating several of our entertainment evenings ( socially distanced & outdoors ) to celebrating our wonderful Footsteps family. Live music with Jeli Yankuba and Katus, The voice of Mariama, local drumming with Mani, BBQ’s and much more!

Start looking forward

To some sunshine, beaming smiles, sandy beaches, and seeing old friends. The entire team is hoping you will make it to our 20th birthday celebrations. They start October 15th, 2021, and end on the 15th June 2022, See you there 🥳

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