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Rural Location Close To Established Ecolodge



Updated: 11-Sep-2016
Thatched Eco-house in Gunjur, Southern Gambia - Bird-watching, Fishing, Walking Distance To Sandy Beaches

Surrounded by farmland and African bush, and set in its own tropical garden, the house provides a peaceful retreat, but with all the amenities of a small eco-lodge (Footsteps) a 2 minute walk away. It's a half hour stroll or 10 min bike ride to miles of deserted beach and less than a mile from the main road and local village with its colourful market. With its high roof and shuttered windows, the house is relatively cool. It is fronted by a shady verandah (ideal for breakfast or an evening drink) and beyond this is a thatched seating area (bantaba) with hammocks and sunloungers. All services are ecological. Gunjur village is 1 hr from the airport but a world away from the tourist areas. Local transport is by walking, cycling, donkey or bush taxi, but driver and car can easily be arranged. With its rural location, we like to think that our house will help you recharge your batteries, and by facilitating contact with local people, will give you a more genuine taste of Gambian life.

ADDENDUM JUNE 2015. Footsteps Eco-Lodge which provides our supporting facilities is closed until the end of October for refurbishment but it would still be possible to stay at our house. You could either cook entirely for yourselves, or we could arrange for someone to come and cook meals for you. Things will be back to normal from the beginning of November, but if you would be interested in a stay between now and then, please get in touch with us and we can discuss it.

More Details
  • Sleeps 4
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Swimming pool
  • Internet
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

Ken is a retired doctor and practicing psychoanalyst, Alice a retired RGN. We enjoy foreign travel but prefer independent holidays in quiet and interesting locations. We enjoy meeting people from different cultures and the moments of connection that transcend language barriers. We love beautiful and unspoiled scenery and closeness to nature is part of what we look for when we go away. As we've got older, we've enjoyed the feeling of making a home from home, while using the materials and idiom of the local culture. We enjoy the feeling of returning to these domains and renewing the friendships we've made.

ADDENDUM JUNE 2015. For the past 2 years we have been supporting a little nursery school in a nearby village. If you would be interested in visiting to see what we are doing, please let us know.

Call Owner
Speaks English, French, Italian

Guestbook comments from the owner

The best self-catering we’ve ever stayed in and a really spacious house... The grounds are a delight with fruit trees, a multitude of beautiful birds and a cool, refreshing pool, a perfect depth for children. The staff were wonderful - we simply unwound and enjoyed the slow pace of life. We would thoroughly recommend this lovely house and its location. The photos do not do it justice. (Family of 4: Jan 2012)

"What disappointed us the most was the fact that we had to come home! We had a fantastic time and the holiday turned out to be everything and more that we hoped for." (Mother and daughter, Nov 2010).

"What a fantastic time! The house is beautiful and exceeded our expectations. Staff, including guides and drivers, were really helpful... we were impressed with how effortless it was to arrange things. Food was so good we ate at the lodge almost every night... We will certainly be recommending your house to friends." (Couple, March 2011).
Feb 2010
  • 1 of 1

4 Reviews

based on 4 holidaymaker reviews


Delightful accommodation in bird paradise

  • 5 of 5

This house outweighed our expectations. It was located in beautiful gardens virtually concealed from view as it is surrounded by bourgainvillea. There are bird feeders just outside the door giving you the luxury of watching the birds close up every morning. Many types of birds visit and it is easy to photograph them whilst sitting on the veranda.

The facilities in the house are adequate for basic living which we thought was all part of the fun. Hot (solar powered) showers when required and the gas fridge enabled us to keep drinks cool. The compost loo is a feature!

We went to Nemasu Lodge on the bikes and stopped at a juice bar just before the lodge where we met some lovely young Gambians. We went fishing at Kartong (Scala tours) and caught a sting ray. Walked to Gunjur to buy food (it may be worth going with a guide for your first visit so you know where everything is). All the staff at Footsteps were really helpful especially Modu and Sarani.

We will definitely be returning to this little piece of paradise!

  • Review Submitted: Apr 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're so glad you both enjoyed your stay in our house. The bird feeders were new this year and it's been amazing to see the variety of birds that visit. We're impressed by how quickly you found your feet with local shopping and think your suggestion of getting someone to take you the first time is spot on. We'll look forward to hosting you again next year! Best wishes from us both.
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Maidstone, Kent

An Amazing holiday!

  • 5 of 5

This has been one of the best holidays ever. We decided on The Gambia this year as a bit of a gamble. We booked Ken & Alice's house as we like to be independent but the closeness to Footsteps Eco Lodge gave us comfort that things would not be too wild! We had a fabulous time. The house is beautiful, surrounded by lovely gardens tended to by Mohammed who brought us bread every morning and kept the bikes in good shape for us. Rose, the maid kept the house in ship shape for us. The loungers and hammocks in the bantaba were great and we spent many hours outside just enjoying the lovely climate and listening to the many different birds. We cooked for ourselves occasionally but ate main meals at Footsteps most days. The staff at Footsteps are all so friendly and helpful.. The two bikes available were a real bonus and allowed to cycle for miles along the empty beaches. We used bush taxis to travel to local towns, what an experience! We also had some guided tours of the local area and also the nature reserves. The local people are all so friendly and will stop and chat, we were humbled by their happiness despite having so little. If we go again we will stuff our cases with old clothes to give to the the locals who appreciated our few bits so much when we left. (This also meant we had more room in our cases to bring gifts home!) If you decide to go the following are a must.....

- A visit to the infant school at Sambuyang which is being sponsored by Ken & Alice with Omar who is a lovely young chap.

- A stop for fresh fruit juice from Haruna as you walk to and from the Lodge.

- A visit to The Gunjur fishing village (you can cycle along the beach).

- A guided walk with Lamin who is a bird and nature expert and also to see his museum which he is starting.

- A visit to the nature reserve to see the birds and monkeys. We didn't go to see the crocs and reptiles though!

- A boat trip through the mangroves to see the women harvesting the oysters.

- A bush taxi to Brikama to get lost in the huge markets and, a little out of the town, the craft market where you can watch the skills of the carvers and the amazing value of their artifacts (after haggling of course!)

- Finally a Sunday pm visit to Sanyang to see the wrestling anfd listen to the drummers.

Sorry to ramble on but we had such a great time.

John & June Fahy

  • Review Submitted: Apr 8, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear John and June, We're so glad your holiday went well. You obviously managed to get below the surface and your review highlights what a different sort of break you can have when you get away from the main tourist areas. Your descriptions are really evocative and make us want to go back, not least to see how the school is going. Yes, Omar is a great guy -basically he is our man on the spot who organises and oversees the work that we are doing at the school with the help of our generous sponsors. Definitely couldn't do without him - nor Mohammed for that matter, and all the staff at Footsteps as well! Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. With best wishes, Ken and Alice
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Great Place

  • 5 of 5

We are just back from spending almost four weeks in The Gambia. We used Ken & Alice’s house as a base for our travelling and it was absolutely the best choice for us. We had the best of both worlds - independence and space in the house (with its beautifully maintained gardens by Mohammed) and access to Footsteps wonderful food & fabulous staff. We spent a couple of nights in various places (nothing compared) and it was always great to come back to the friendly environment. We could have stayed another month! We will be back and highly recommend your house to anyone thinking of visiting the Gambia. Thank you!

  • Review Submitted: Feb 17, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so glad you enjoyed our house and had such a happy stay. Mohammed is a splendid chap and certainly does look after the garden! We can't help but agree with what you say about Footsteps - the staff definitely are special and thanks to them the experience is more than just an ordinary holiday let. Finally, we'd like to say thank you for the support you gave to the Sambuyang nursery school we are sponsoring - it has helped us to fund the building of school toilets. Finally, thank you for staying in our house and we do hope you'll be back another year. With best wishes, Ken and Alice
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United Kingdom

A Little Gem!

  • 5 of 5

Dear Ken,

We returned late last night after having a great time in The Gambia. Lovely accommodation, great location and a ‘Team’ at Footsteps who couldn’t be more helpful and willing. Daily fresh produce, professionally cooked and beautifully presented at a reasonable price. What more could we ask for? We can see no reason at this time not to return. However, it is important for prospective visitors to read the detail described on your website as it is a unique property in an unusual and beautiful environment. Thank you for allowing us to share your lovely home.

Kind regards.

John & Jill B

  • Review Submitted: Nov 24, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear John and Jill, We are so pleased you enjoyed your Gambian holiday and found the Footsteps staff so supportive. They have always made our own visits comfortable and enjoyable and its lovely to hear that they haven't lost their touch! Many thanks for taking the trouble to respond - we certainly hope you'll return on another occasion. With best wishes, Ken Wright and Alice Banks
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From the Owner

We first visited the Gambia in December 2008 and didn't really know what to expect. We went on an organised trip with 'Hidden Gambia' and discovered from this that we infinitely preferred the more remote places. We also discovered the warmth and friendliness of the Gambian people where this had not been spoiled by hustling and greed. We loved the brilliant colours, and dishevelled naturalness of African life and of course we flourished in the warm climate and unbroken sunshine. By a twist of chance, we finished up at 'Footsteps' and soon were drawn into its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. When somebody mentioned that a house was for sale, we took a light-hearted look. But the idea developed its own momentum and in March 2009 we returned and agreed to buy.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Banjul at 21 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : At Footsteps Eco-Lodge at 100 Metres Nearest Restaurant : At Footsteps Eco-Lodge at 100 Metres Nearest Beach : Atlantic coast at 1500 Metres


The house is a mile from the sea by sandy track - 25 min walk or 10 min bike ride. The unspoiled beach stretches for miles in both directions and can be cycled at low tide. Beach-combing and swimming are a real delight - swimming is safest when the tide is out - and fishing from the beach, including equipment hire, can be arranged at the lodge. A short taxi ride will take you to other beaches, some with simple amenities. Gunjur fishing village with its colourful pirogues is also nearby.


The house is approx 1 hour from Banjul International Airport and guests are met at the airport by a driver from Footsteps Eco-Lodge. Car hire is possible but not to be recommended - it is safer and more relaxing to hire a car and driver when you need one and this can be arranged at the lodge.


Travel is quite slow in Gambia and 'distances' are best given as travel times.

Banjul International Airport, 1 hr.

Senegambia Tourist Area: banks, ATM's, larger shops, supermarkets, 45mins.

Bakau (most attractive of the tourist areas with established villagey feel), 1 hr.

Brikama (busy town with market, craft market and many small interesting shops), 30 mins.

Kartong (last village before border with Senegal), 20 mins (1 hour by bike)

Tanjy (market and fishing village), 30 mins

Further Details:

Activities and guided trips can be organised through Footsteps Ecolodge. These include: Day trips to places of interest: Banjul and Brikama craft markets; Bakau: lovely batik and fabric shops near African Village hotel, and below hotel on beach; Senegambia: monkey park and tourist hotels; Lamin Lodge: birdwatching and good restaurant; Mama Africa art centre near Brufut.

Local activities include: Bird watching trips with experienced guide;

Fishing from beach (lessons and equipment from Footsteps); Drumming lessons; Tour of Gunjur village and visits to local families.

More informal activities including: Trips to beach. Walking to local village on foot or cycle. Visits to local schools. Cycling through the bush to the village at first light (about 7am) to buy fresh bread (you can buy it from the lodge but it's less fun). Walking to the beach to watch the sunset (just time to get home before dark if you leave as it dips below the horizon!)

Bike or car trips in Gunjur/Kartong area: Gunjur village; Gunjur fishing village to watch the fishing boats and selling of the catch; Reptile farm to see Gambian snakes and other reptiles; Sacred crocodile pool; Lemon Tree art gallery. Kartong Village and Hallahein river (boundary with Senegal): Try the Gambian-Italian pizzeria with veranda on the water's edge. Combine with pirogue trip with Amadou through the mangroves or a longer trip to Senegal for lunch.

Eating out: If you want a change from Footsteps, try lunch or dinner at Farakunku Lodges, Tujering or visit Senegambia where you'll be spoiled for choice.

Longer trips: Combine a week at our house with a trip up-river or a stay on Jinack Island.

Climate and Health. Sub-tropical, with two seasons: Nov - May hot and dry with cooler nights; Jun - Oct hot and humid but beautifully green. Malaria is endemic and antimalarial should always be taken.


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Low season
1 May 2016 - 31 Oct 2016
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Mid season
1 Nov 2016 - 14 Dec 2016
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
High season
15 Dec 2016 - 28 Feb 2017
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Mid season
1 Mar 2017 - 30 Apr 2017
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
Check availability calendar and contact us. We will hold reservation while you check flights. Booking is secured with a £100 deposit payable in sterling. Balance is due 8 weeks before departure. Please note that at Christmas and New Year, extra charges apply for meals and entertainment at the lodge (see notes on prices).

Changeover Day:
Changeover days are flexible to fit in with flight schedules.

Notes on prices:
Please note:
1. Airport Transfers arranged on booking unless otherwise requested. £20 each way per party of 4 or less, plus £5 for each extra person, and payable at Footsteps Eco-Lodge.
2. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve at the Lodge: On each of these days, the normal evening meal is replaced by a festive meal and entertainment. Cost is £25, £30 and £25 per person respectively, payable at Lodge, but must be ordered when booking.

£100 on booking; remainder due 8 weeks before arrival. We accept cheques or bank transfers.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Updated: 11-Sep-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

We've now had the house for 4 years and have done a lot of work on the property. The garden is now beautiful (things grow quickly) and we've got a new roof, new built in kitchen and new bathroom. It's sometimes been frustrating getting things done at Gambian pace but overall a rewarding experience. We love the people - their genuine warmth - and been humbled by their acceptance of the little they've got. We've now some good Gambian friends. The proximity of 'Footsteps' has been vital to the whole experience - we can't imagine being in a holiday development or ex-pat enclave - and we value the feeling of support and integration it provides. At the same time, we have our own space and privacy, and believe that our position just beyond the lodge's perimeter gives us the best of both worlds.

Property Type

  • house


  • Internet
  • Living Room ...


  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob

Pool / Spa

  • Communal Pool

Location Type

  • beach
  • near the sea
  • rural


  • forests

Leisure Activities

  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • massage therapist

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • fishing
  • bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming


  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Large bathroom with shower, washbasin and self-composting toilet (reached by 3 steps). Storage cupboards with shelves. Bathroom doubles as laundry room though full laundry service available at the lodge. Hot water from solar water heater.


  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1
  • Bedroom 2
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 4 (2 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with double bed. Bedroom 2 with double bed. Both bedrooms have wardrobes and 'table' at head of bed. Windows are mesh-protected and beds mosquito-netted. Power points supporting bedside lights or fans.

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website


  • Notes on accommodation: Guests are asked not to smoke in the house. The house is suitable for children though under fives would need close supervision. An extra bed can be provided for £25 per week. Power supply is adequate but does not permit use of power-greedy appliances such as hairdryers, toasters and electric kettles. It does support computers, battery chargers, radios, ipods etc. There is hot and cold water but system is gravity fed (we hope later to add a solar pump) so please do not expect the kind of pressure you get in Europe. Internet access is not available in the house but can be requested at the lodge. 2 mountain bikes are provided for free use of guests. Outside: The house lies in a 40m x 40m plot and the nearest dwelling is 50m distant. The garden is planted with flowering shrubs and fruit trees (banana, mango and citrus). The surrounding area is lush with vegetation and tropical bush is a mere stone's throw away. The place is full of birds, many of them brightly coloured, with good bird-watching, especially at dawn and dusk. There is even the occasional monkey. Thatched seating area (bantaba) with sunloungers and hammocks; also communal facilities by the pool at the lodge. Footsteps Ecolodge is a low impact development run on ecological lines. Our house is independent of the lodge, though benefits from all its facilities and we have good relations with owner and staff. With guests seldom exceeding a dozen at a time the atmosphere is easy-going. Meals are as private or sociable as you want - you can even have them brought to the house. Finally, the fresh water reed-filtered pool is a real pleasure and you often have it to yourself. Utility Room: See bathroom. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: The house is cleaned daily at no extra charge. Bedlinen and towels are changed weekly and twice weekly respectively. We ask guests to bring their own beach towels. Other: Outside is a thatched seating area and a further roundhouse (shed) which is kept locked and used to store garden furniture and bikes when not in use. 2 bikes are provided for guests free of charge. Please lock them in the shed when you are not using them.

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