We get asked two questions more than any other. Is Gambia a safe country for tourists? And what can I do while I’m there?
Is The Gambia a safe country?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! Gambia is a very safe and welcoming destination for tourists. It has a low crime rate and the local people are renowned for their hospitality.
What is there to do in the Gambia?
For guests that just want to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of our beautiful lodge, we offer an exciting and varied range of in-house activities, from local cooking lessons to making your very own African dress or traditional jewellery.
For those who want to explore the local area, we have wide open sandy beaches, nature trails and the thriving local village of Gunjur, all within a short walk.
For those who like to get out and about will enjoy one or more of our day trips to visit some of The Gambia’s most famous and interesting sites, such as the UNESCO-recognised Kunta Kinteh Island. We also cater for specialist interests such as Bird Watching, Fishing, Yoga and Photography.
Whether you’re a nature lover, or a history enthusiast simply looking forward to a peaceful getaway, The Gambia has something to offer everyone and all benefit the local community as much as possible!
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, although 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.
Workshops & things to do at 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 and you get to eat it too!
£10 per person
Ps. See some of our Gambian food recipes here
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’s 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.
Prices by arrangement with Mallang.
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.
Prices by arrangement with Bai.
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.
Massage & pamper
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, but 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!
Price for massage - 1 hr £15
Manicure & pedicure also available at £10 each
Things to do outside the lodge
Gambia tourism attractions
- Rainbow Beach Bar:
- Gunjur fishing centre
- Lemonfish art gallery
- Bird observatory/snake farm
- Airport 28 km from Footsteps
Kayaking in Tanji
Abuko & Tanji
Abuko Forest Reserve is one of the oldest nature reserves and tourist attractions in Gambia. The nature reserve covers around 107 hectares, much of which is dense forest and bushes, with 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.
Transport, guide, lunch, and admission fees inc. approx £36 each
Spend a day in Banjul and see the nation's capital. Feel the hustle and bustle and experience Albert Market and all it has to offer, everything from spices to fine materials.
Visit its museum and history from when The Gambia was ruled as a British colony
Price £30 per person.
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, and 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.
Transport, guide, lunch and admission fees inc.£30 per person
Fishing village & school
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.
Transport, guide, lunch inc – approx £25
Snakes & reptiles
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 and 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.
Transport, lunch & admission fees inc – £22
See the Gambia 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 country’s most beautiful scenery and birds galore.
Transportation & Guide inc – £30
Lamin’s walk n talk
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 safari in Gambia is a fascinating experience and a great opportunity to learn more about the local people and their culture and traditions as well as gather information about the area around Gunjur Village in general.
You can read more about Lamin in our featured spotlight blog series.
Your expert guide inc – £15
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.
Spend a morning or afternoon creating a lifelong memory from clay with Abdoulie Saine.
The price is 1000 Dalasi ( £14 ) for 4 hours, and you will make 2 items of pottery which are yours to keep.
Add 500 Dalasi ( £7 ) and enjoy lunch with Abdoulie and his family 😉
Beach clean-up day
Join us on the beach to clean it and have some fun too playing volleyball and enjoy some drinks!
Beach cleaning is not only a responsible act that helps protect our oceans and marine life, but it can also be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Armed with gloves and trash bags, you embark on a mission to rid the beach of litter. As you bend down to pick up debris, you may encounter interesting and unexpected treasures like seashells or driftwood. Working alongside like-minded individuals, you can bond, share stories, and create lasting memories. With each piece of trash you collect, you positively impact the environment, making beach cleaning a rewarding and fulfilling activity that brings joy and satisfaction to all involved.
The Roots Trip
For this full-day trip, we use one of our preferred tour operator partners, contact us for more information
Start your day early by heading to Banjul harbour at 8:00 am. Hop on a boat for a 25km trip upriver to Albreda, Juffureh, and Kunta Kinteh Island (formerly Fort James Island). This tour will take you back in time to learn about the transatlantic slave trade, meet the descendants of Kunta Kinteh from the famous book and film "ROOTS," and explore a museum dedicated to the memory of the slaves who were held on the island. After a break for an all-inclusive lunch, we'll visit Fort James on Kunta Kinteh Island before heading back.
A full 12 hours trip
£80 per person
These are just some of the things to do in Gambia. If you have special requests or would like to create a tailor-made trip, we can help with that too!
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!