À propos de ce logement
Away from the tourist strip and set in own tropical garden, this wooden eco-house provides a peaceful retreat close to amenities of a small eco-lodge (Footsteps). Half hour stroll to deserted beaches. 1 mile from local village and colourful market.
Although only an hour from Banjul airport, this very unusual wood and thatch house is refreshingly far from the hassle of the Gambian tourist strip. You fall asleep to the distant roar of the ocean and wake to the strange dawn chorus of tropical birds. All services are ecological. We have our own bore hole for water, solar power for electricity and the toilets are non-flush self-composting. The house is tall and airy with mesh windows and a shady verandah runs the length of the house. In addition, there is a separate shaded seating area ('bantaba') with sunloungers and hammocks. The house is fully self catering with its own kitchen area and 3-ring gas hob but all meals and refreshments are available at the excellent eco-lodge restaurant a two minute walk away. Transport is by bicycles (we provide two free of charge), bush taxi or car and driver which are easily arranged on an ad hoc daily basis. The house is private, though for practical purposes (daily cleaning and 24 hour security) is under the umbrella of Footsteps Eco-lodge with its genuinely friendly and helpful staff.
The house has a large open plan living area with kitchen at one end and comfortable seating at the other. Leading off, there are two double bedrooms with king size beds and a bathroom with gravity shower (hot and cold), wash basin and self-composting toilet.
Power supply is solar and runs off batteries. This is sufficient for lighting, fans, and for charging mobile phones, laptops etc., but it will not support power-hungry appliances such as hair-dryers, electric shavers etc.
Accès des voyageurs
Guests have exclusive access to the whole house, the private garden and 'bantaba' with sun-loungers and hammocks. They also have free access to all the amenities of Footsteps Eco-Lodge, including bar, restaurant, fresh water plunge pool, bird hides, table tennis, badminton, beauty and massage parlour, and organisational facilities (arrangement of activities, transport and trips). BUT PLEASE NOTE: THE LODGE IS CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT FROM JUN - OCT 2015 BUT SELF-CATERING IS STILL POSSIBLE, STAFF ARE STILL IN ATTENDANCE AND A PERSONAL COOK COULD BE ARRANGED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE LET US KNOW.
Échanges avec les voyageurs
We are not present ourselves but all our guests are treated as though they are guests of the eco-lodge and have the same access to facilities and staff. Guests are met at the airport (£20 each way per party of 4). FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS WE HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING A SMALL NURSERY SCHOOL IN A NEARBY VILLAGE AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VISIT, WE CAN EASILY ARRANGE IT.
We love: the feeling of being in the middle of the African countryside yet with all amenities close at hand; the proximity of deserted ocean beaches (walking and swimming); strolling to the beach to watch the amazing sunsets; the friendliness of staff and locals contrasted with the endless harassment of the tourist areas; the stimulation of meeting other guests if you want it, the privacy of your own place if you don't; the vibrancy and colour of African life, but only as much as you want; sitting on the verandah in the evening with a cold drink; learning about African life - visiting schools and hospitals (we support, and try and raise money for a local nursery school in Sambuyang village); generally chilling out.
If you feel more active and adventurous: you can hire fishing equipment from the lodge and fish from the beach; you can take boat trips into Senegal; you can visit the 'reptile farm' and handle pythons; have drumming lessons; learn to tie-dye batiks; take guided nature walks and make cultural visits (e.g. go to a naming ceremony); visit craft centres; learn about Gambian cooking; the possibilities are endless.
We provide two bikes for use of guests and others can be hired. Otherwise bush taxis run pretty much everywhere - they are cheap but often crowded. We think best option is hiring a car and driver (approx. £20 a day). This can be arranged at the lodge or we can provide phone numbers.
Guests are asked not to smoke in the house.
House is suitable for children, though under fives would need close supervision.
POWER SUPPLY IS SOLAR AND DOES NOT SUPPORT POWER HUNGRY APPLIANCES SUCH AS HAIRDRYERS, TOASTERS OR ELECTRIC KETTLES.
Internet access available at the lodge, not available in the house.
2 mountain bikes provided for free use of guests (good for cycling round the sandy lanes and to the beach).
No smoking in house (obvious fire risk)
Si vous annulez jusqu'à 7 jours avant le voyage, vous recevez un remboursement à hauteur de 50 % et les frais de service vous sont remboursés intégralement.
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I am a practicing psychoanalyst and retired psychiatrist and write about psychoanalysis and the arts. My partner and I have two houses, one in Tuscany, Italy, and another in the Gambia. We chose the Italian house because of its location - the incredible views, the comfortable isolation and the friendliness of the local people. When we first saw it, the house was half ruined and hidden in undergrowth, but we always knew it would be alright and we've turned it around and given it a new kind of life. The garden has been a special delight and we've slowly helped it to realise its potential. Everything is changed, of course, from the old smallholding with a well in the middle of what is now the dining room floor, and a place for the animals in what is now our 'utility room', but nevertheless we've tried to create a structure in harmony with its surroundings in which everything is made from the stone in the mountain and the wood of the local chestnut trees. If you appreciate these thoughts, we think you'll enjoy your stay. If you're looking for the bright lights, you'll be disappointed because here there are only the fireflies.
We chose the Gambian house for somewhat similar reasons but the initial impulse to go to the Gambia was the proximity of winter sunshine - only a 6 hour flight from the UK. However, we quickly fell in love with the warm and friendly Gambians and after several years have become quite involved with the local community. You cannot go to the Gambia and not be touched by the resilience and friendliness of the people in the face of pervasive poverty - many people feel they want to help in some way. It is easy, however, to get taken for a ride, and in general we would advise that if you do want to help, you do so through a project that is already up and running. Footsteps Eco-Lodge is involved with various school projects in Gunjur, and we are currently supporting a nursery school In nearby Sambuyang village. It is called Kenali Nursery school (we couldn't stop them naming it after us!) and we can arrange for you to visit the school if you wish. We have a trustworthy Gambian 'man on the ground', Omar, who will be happy to take you there and tell you what has been happening.