(Last updated on: 02/04/2020)
There are plenty of eco lodges in Gambia. Whilst the country might be better known for its Gambia beach holidays and sex tourism in The Gambia, it does also have a thriving eco tourism scene. In fact, the government have been trying to have a push in sustainable tourism practices in order to diversify the tourism industry and to bring a new, more conscious, image to The Gambia.
A more conscious approach
As more and more of us start to look at our impact on the earth and environment, governments and businesses have taken note. Travelling can, of course, have a huge impact on our the environment. To combat that, there are certain things you can do!
Easy swaps like taking your own water bottle on a trip, and using public transport rather than taxis, are obvious. Many of us have already implemented those, too. However, there are bigger steps you can take if you want to be more eco-conscious when booking your next holiday. And that’s where eco lodges come in…
What is an eco lodge?
An eco lodge, also known as an eco hotel or green hotel, can be summed up as an environmentally sustainable hotel/accommodation. Particularly, one which has made improvements to minimise its impact on nature and the surrounding environment. They allow travellers to contribute to the local economy, bask in nature and enjoy travelling responsibly.
Eco lodges use renewable energy sources, and they focus heavily on recycling and reusing whatever they can. Eco lodges in Gambia are no different – owners help visitors to the country reduce their carbon footprint, while preserving their own environment for themselves and for future tourists. It’s a win-win situation!
Why are eco lodges so popular in Gambia?
Gambia is such a biodiverse country. There is so much nature and wildlife to see and explore, that it is no wonder eco lodges in Gambia are such a popular place to stay. The Gambian people are keen to preserve the beauty of their homeland. And the fact that it is so well preserved is a major pull for tourists and travellers!
Eco lodges in Gambia offer visitors the chance to stay somewhere off the beaten track. They allow you to be immersed in the wonderful Gambian culture, get involved with community projects and spend time with local people!
Below you’ll find some of the best eco lodges in Gambia. While it might be a different style of holiday than you’re typically used to, you’ll be able to make some fantastic memories in a beautiful country while minimising your impact on this planet.
The best eco lodges in Gambia
There are currently twenty eco lodges in Gambia. These are scattered throughout the country and are in rural areas. I have extensively read the reviews of each eco lodge in Gambia and come up with the top three options.
You can read about the best eco lodges in Gambia below….
Footsteps Eco Lodge, South Kombo Region
On my first trip to Gambia I planned a multi-centre holiday. We started off in the resort of Kololi, where we enjoyed some well-deserved r&r by the beach. We then travelled inland to Footsteps Eco Lodge.
Located next to Kufoong Forest Park, Footsteps is an eco lodge in the south of Gambia. Recommended for families with children aged 12+, groups of friends and individual travellers, the lodge offers a range of activities. These include birdwatching, yoga, fishing, photography, various sports and discovering local culture. But there’s no pressure! You can do as much or as little as you like, which is what makes Footsteps one of the best eco lodges in Gambia.
The lodge has roundhouses, cabins and one private house a few hundred metres away. All are en suite and the cabins/house are self-catering. The composting toilets are odourless and the showers are heated by sunlight – there are so many benefits for the environment.
The lodge has a kitchen, bar and restaurant as well as plenty of outdoor seating. There is even an on-site dog, who is particularly friendly. There is free WiFi and parking at the lodge, and you can bring your own pets too if they’re travelling with you.
Footsteps Eco Lodge has won various awards over the years for and is the most famous and well-regarded eco lodge in Gambia. You can learn more about the lodge in the video below.
We LOVED our stay at Footsteps Eco Lodge. It was very relaxing, enabled us to have a unique experience and our holiday was environmentally friendly. What more can you ask for?
Halahin Eco Lodge, Folonko
Slap bang in the middle of nature, you’ll find Halahin Lodge. Located along the Halahin River (which makes up the border between Gambia and Senegal) and not far from the village of Kartong, the lodge has so much to offer and beautiful views too. There is a restaurant and beach bar, plenty of space to sunbathe and various activities to enjoy. You can visit a snake farm, try some traditional Gambian dancing or enjoy a massage at the lodge itself.
The river is home to crocodiles, oysters and birds. There are so many different species of plants and trees for nature-lovers to admire! All of the stunning scenery makes this one of the best eco lodges in Gambia!
The lodge has free parking, a shared bathroom and various single/family rooms available. Traditional decor and outdoor seating – as well as hammocks – make for the perfect Gambian adventure. Electricity comes from solar power, and the lodge gets its water from a well.
Evergreen Eco Lodge Retreat, Tujerung
Not far from Tujerung Beach lies Evergreen Eco Lodge Retreat – set in lush greenery with year-round tropical weather, it’s one of the best eco lodges in Gambia. Perfect for bird watching and fishing holidays as well as family trips and romantic getaways, this slice of African countryside is ideal in so many ways. Activities include yoga, visiting nearby markets and nature reserves as well as relaxing on the beach.
There are four individual round houses, all with en-suite facilities including composting toilets – the entire lodge is solar powered, too. Wellness facilities are available on site, and there is free parking as well as low-cost internet should you need either of these. The on-site restaurant offers vegetarian options and can cater to other dietary requirements. You can hire bikes and fishing equipment from the lodge, and free transport to the nearby beach is offered.
Eco lodges are a great idea if you’re looking for a holiday that allows you to be more carbon neutral in your travel. They are also better for the local economy! If you are someone who loves nature, culture and tranquility then have a look at the best ecolodges in Gambia as shown above. One of them is bound to be perfect for your African adventure.