Activities such as birding, fishing and yoga are just some of the things to do in Gambia. We understand you won’t want to leave once you’re here. But take our word for it, a walk of only 20 minutes away you’ll find an unspoilt deserted sandy beach and the thriving local village of Gunjur.
Whether you want to stay in or wander far, relax, be creative, stay fit, spot birds or go sightseeing, our lodge is sure to provide lots of things to do and all of them benefit the local community as much as possible.
Nearby points of interest:
Tailor-made things to do in Gambia.
You can book our activities in advance or when you are here. Can’t find what you are looking for? Don’t worry. The options are too numerous to include them all on our website and all trips can be tailored to your specific wishes.
Guided or not?
Most activities going out include a guide. We advise you to take a guide with you so you can get the most out of your trip. There are tours you can do without a guide and when in doubt we will gladly advise you.
Like a local?
Most activities going out include a private taxi, though some trips can be done by bush taxi. Depending on the route you can use this local means of transport. If available, the price mentioned includes the bush taxi instead of a private taxi.
All activities can be pre-paid online when you book or when you’re at our lodge.
Things to do inside the lodge
Cooking with Mary
Every day you can see Mary preparing a traditional Gambian dish for our team, but if you really like cooking, you might want to join in and get your hands dirty.
Well, you can! Mary is happy to teach you how to make the delicious Benachin, Yassa or Domoda yourself.
N.B. The full price goes to the ingredients and the staff.
Malang, our resident woodcarver, will help you create your own art. How about a local style chair to take home with you? You can have any design you want on there and it packs flat. Watch Malang work, buy one of his gorgeous creations or collaborate with him to create your own unique wood carving every day.
You can read more about Malang in our featured spotlight blog series.
Crafted while you watch, in a time-honoured tradition using only fire, goatskin bellows, hammer on an anvil and of course a piece of silver.
Bai Serin has over 35 years of experience in making silver jewellery. See him every Saturday.
You can read more about Bai in our featured spotlight blog series.
Weaving workshop with Ousman
Spend an hour or two with Ousman and actually make your own cotton product ( or some of it, it takes him an average of 7 hours to make one scarf ) You can read more about Ousman in our featured spotlight blog series.
Handmade by our tailor
Many people are impressed by the colourful and flattering clothes the Gambians wear and now you won’t have to leave Footsteps to have them custom made for you. Of course, our tailor can make you other things as well.
The girls would be happy to take you shopping for the fabrics you like, or you let Anta create some tie & dye fabric for you.
Prices depend on the fabric and your wishes.
Learn to play Kora with Jeli Yankuba
How about mastering the 21 strings of the kora? We know some very skilled people who would be happy to teach you.
Learn how to play the Djembe drum with Mani
Shake it on the dance floor?
One of the best things to do in Gambia is dance!
Let Anceli, Fatou and Awa show you those Gambian moves.
Massage & pamper
1 hr massage £15
When you’re on holiday, you want to relax, right? Seeing new sights, going on adventures and chilling on the beach or by the pool…
At Footsteps we take relaxing seriously. Not only do we offer you a lounge area where you can recharge your camera and your own battery, you can also get massages and beauty treatments at the lodge.
In our gardens, you’ll find a secluded, cool and peaceful house for these treatments.
You’re on holiday so go ahead and let yourself be pampered!
N.B. All suggested prices go to the staff
Things to do outside the lodge
Abuko & Tanji
Transport, guide, lunch, and admission fees inc. approx £36
Abuko Forest Reserve is The Gambia’s oldest nature reserve. The nature reserve covers around 107 hectares, much of it is dense forest and bushes, plenty of room for the three primate species found here: vervet, red colobus, and patas monkeys.
As many as 270 bird species were recorded in this forest area as well as numerous butterflies and reptiles too.
After lunch it’s on to Tanji Village Museum, The Gambia’s first private museum, and a great place for learning about Gambian flora and fauna, history and crafts, as well as hearing local musicians.
After visiting the museum, you can continue to see Tanji’s bustling fish market.
Enjoy the art and culture of The Gambia with a trip to the Lemonfish Art Gallery, located in the unspoilt fishing village of Kartong near the border with Senegal.
The idea behind the project was to provide artists of all types with a forum to both exhibit and sell their works. The gallery also provides a number of workshops and courses in batik, pottery and modelling in clay. You can find out more about these activities on their website. Lemonfish Art
Transport, guide, lunch inc – approx £30
This day is designed to give you a real feel for the culture of The Gambia.
Visit Gambia’s capital city of Banjul and/or get to know the local village of Gunjur and see the market, mosque and fishing centre.
Whatever your choice you are guaranteed a day you will remember always.
Our itinerary is designed to put you where the pictures are and this holiday will provide you with stunning photographs and timeless memories.
Transport, guide, lunch and admission fees inc. approx £28
Spend a day at ‘My Farm’, a charitable foundation based in Norway.
Their mission is to improve livelihoods in The Gambia through education in agricultural innovation, environmental protection and entrepreneurship.
Learn how they make handmade soaps, real Mango fruit jams, Bamboo butter body creams and try their rejuvenating Moringa teas.
Have lunch cooked using solar cookers and buy their unique products as gifts for your loved ones back home.
Fishing village & school
Transport, guide, lunch inc – approx £22
Visit a nearby fishing village and capture the colourful boats returning with their catch and the fishermen mending the nets.
Then to a local school to meet the children and teachers of The Gunjur Upper Basic School.
Our itinerary is designed to put you where the pictures are, this holiday will provide you with stunning photographs and timeless memories.
Snakes & reptiles
Transport, lunch & admission fees inc – approx £22
Inside a well-preserved forest near Kartong, you will find a collection of Gambian reptiles. Snakes, chameleons, turtles, lizards and other animals.
Some are extremely dangerous, others like the Python are not dangerous and have been tamed. These can be handled if you wish.
All the reptiles are presented by an experienced herpetologist during a one hour tour who will answer any questions you ask.
Sunrise & sunset
Transportation & guide inc – approx £30
See the Gambia sunrise/sunset by riverboat – one of the many things to do in the Gambia and, perhaps, one of the most beautiful and relaxing. You leave from the fishing village of Kartong and spend the morning/afternoon in a dugout on the Alahein River, having breakfast/lunch in a Senegalese river camp.
It’s a lovely way to spend a morning/afternoon and a big favourite with our guests. Meander down a small river estuary and cross to Senegal. On the way, you’ll see some of the most beautiful scenery in the country as well as birds galore.
Lamin’s walk n talk
Your expert guide inc – approx £10
Lamin will describe and talk about just about anything and everything you may see or hear along the way. This could be a bird, a monkey, a deer or even a snake, and will most certainly include trees and shrubs, many of which have religious or medicinal uses.
The walk and talk is a fascinating experience and a great opportunity to learn more about the local people and their culture and traditions as well as gathering information about the area around Gunjur Village in general.
You can read more about Lamin in our featured spotlight blog series.
Ninki Nanka Encounters.
is a small, new Gambian charity, supported by a UK community interest company (CIC), working towards the responsible development of the Ninki Nanka Trail as a community-based tourist destination.
We work on projects with communities, tourism businesses and local government to develop experiences, products and community-based tourism designed to create inspiring, cultural interaction between tourists and local people, and use tourism to create livelihood opportunities for host communities along The River Gambia.
Our activities also include responsible tourism education, preserving Ninki Nanka stories and intangible heritage, conservation and experiential and cultural immersion tours for small educational and special interest groups.
Maybe you just want to relax or enjoy some local food within a few minutes walk of our lodge.
If these local trips are not adventurous enough for you, take a look at these Gambia excursions.
These are just some of the things to do in Gambia. If you have special requests we can help with that too!