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8 Days Vinyasa Yoga Retreat in Gambia

  • Footsteps Eco Lodge, South Kombo Region, Gunjur, Gambia

Overview

Yoga Retreat Gambia

Experience a yoga retreat at a peaceful, serene, natural sanctuary. This retreat is an ideal place to relax, unwind, and connect with nature. You will be joining classes in a warm and friendly environment with the tranquil sound of bird song in the background. You will be surrounded by fruiting trees, flowers, mature trees, and an abundance of bird life. True tranquility, ideal for a yoga holiday.

Highlights

  • 2 daily yoga classes
  • 1 evening beach yoga sunset
  • Relax, unwind, and connect with nature
  • Complimentary use of lodge facilities
  • Daily healthy breakfast and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 18.

  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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Footsteps Eco-Lodge is a peaceful, serene, natural sanctuary. This makes it an ideal place to relax, unwind, and connect with nature. In just under an acre of its own grounds, the center is filled with fruiting trees (oranges, bananas, avocado, grapefruit, and lemons), flowers, mature trees, and an abundance of bird life.

The composting toilets are odorless and uses no water. The showers use sunlight to warm the water from mid-morning to early evening, helping you to play your part in caring for the environment.

Cabins

For the family visitors, the lodge offers two self-contained authentic wooden cabins named kaira kunda and kaira bunga, both of which are self-catering and have dedicated water and power supplies. The cabins are situated in the garden on the outskirts of the lodge.

House

For a real touch of elegance, try sunbird house. Situated 200 meters away in its own mature gardens, it offers spacious luxury and privacy, while still having all the facilities and benefits of the Footsteps lodge just a short five-minute stroll away.

Roundhouses

The lodge has nine detached en-suite roundhouses which surrounds its center piece eco-pool and the open view kitchen, bar, and restaurant. All roundhouses have their own fruiting trees which supply shade, privacy, and of course fruits.

Yoga Retreats Middle East cover a wide range of yoga styles. They have holidays suitable for all grades of practitioners, from beginners to those more experienced and advanced. A seven-day yoga holiday offers at least two yoga sessions a day in the purpose built yoga.

This is a traditional African bantaba (open thatched building) and it can cater for up to 18 people. They also provide yoga mats, blocks, and towels. All classes during your yoga holiday are led by internationally trained, inspiring, and friendly teachers. You will also have at least one evening beach yoga sunset session.

  • Sue Marshall

    Sue has always been fascinated with yoga since she was a child. She used to play around doing some of the poses, and this desire to discover more spurred her on to take this further. Movement has been key in her life, from gymnastics as a child, to studying dance at Laban, and then also a diploma in fitness therapy so that she could learn more about the body and how moving can be healing in many different ways.

Footsteps Eco-Lodge is a small Gambian accommodation situated at Gunjur, in the bush and by the beach, where you will find hundreds of birds and some of the most stunning scenery in Gambia, while providing you with a ‘home away from home‘.

Nearby places

  • Africmed, 20 kilometers
  • Banjul International Airport (BJL) - 1 hour
Activities
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
General
  • Beach
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Lounge
  • Yoga shala
Services
  • Bicycle rental
  • Internet access
  • Laundry
  • Local market
  • Medical assistance
  • Tour assistance

The price of this retreat includes breakfast and a three-course vegetarian dinner. Meat and fish dishes are available for additional costs.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

Birding

Pack your walking shoes and binoculars to see the hundreds of species that live in Gambia.

Charity

Help local people while enjoying yourself.

Culture

Experience a holiday like a local and discover Gambia’s cultural and historic hidden treasures.

Cycling, walking, and sports

Energize during your holiday with everything the active traveler needs.

Fishing

Catch more than a golden tan on your fishing days and have it cooked for you back at the lodge.

Nature and wildlife

Get up close and personal with Gambia’s beautiful flora and fauna.

Photography

Be in the right place at the right time and grab your camera to focus on Gambia though a lens.

Relaxing

Slow down and refuel your body and mind.

  • 2 yoga sessions per day
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily 3-course vegetarian dinner
  • Daily healthy breakfast
  • Use of lodge facilities
  • Yoga facilities (shala, blocks, mats, and towels)
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Excursions
  • Insurance
  • Lunch and drinks

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Banjul International Airport (BJL). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Airport transfers are charged at 20 GBP each way for up to four persons and the drive takes approximately one hour.

  • Review by a traveler from Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "This lodge is set in beautiful surroundings, plenty of birdlife. David is an excellent host. We thoroughly enjoyed our 1 night stay at Footsteps Eco Lodge, only downside is that it wasn't long enough. The staff were so friendly and helpful and the food was amazing. Best chips that we've had in the Gambia. You will not be disappointed if you book a stay here."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by A traveler from United Kingdom

    "This Lodge is set in beautiful surroundings, plenty of birdlife. David is an excellent host. We thoroughly enjoyed our 1 night stay at Footsteps Eco Lodge, only downside is that it wasn't long enough. The staff were so friendly & helpful and the food was amazing. Best chips that we've had in the Gambia. You will not be disappointed if you book a stay here. "

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Caithness, Scotland
    10 out of 10

    "Footsteps Eco Lodge is situated some distance away from any tarmac road and busy tourist beaches. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay that is nicely fitted out, safe and with friendly staff, you need look no further. Should you want to laze on a beach or do a spot of beach fishing there is a quiet beach roughly 30 minutes walk away."

    "During my stay the staff made me feel welcome and special. Nothing was too much trouble and they made every effort to please. If you are looking for things to do you can book local and more distant tours with lodge staff as guides, at reasonable rates. "

    "Accommodation is basic but comfortable and very clean. Each round-house includes a toilet and shower. The toilets are of the "Composting" style and hot water is provided by a solar heating device. A rechargeable fan is available in the room for use by guests. Electricity is provided by solar panels and battery storage. There are no power points in the room but electronic items can be charged using the British style three pin plug sockets in the main building. A small pool is available for use by guests and there are ample loungers and sunbeds, along with a couple of hammocks by the poolside. Various activities and games are available free of charge throughout the season. "

    "Breakfast is usually included in the price of your round-house (see your terms and conditions) and snacks are available throughout the day. Evening meal is usually served on a communal table at around 8PM. At Ds395/495/595 (Plus 15% tax) for mains and Ds 200 (Plus 15% tax) for starters or dessert, I thought that the evening meals were a bit pricey for what they were but nonetheless, They were of a good standard."

    "One point that any guest should note is that if taking a trip, be sure to fix the price of the taxi BEFORE getting in. On a couple of occasions I was asked far too much by one particular driver."

    "This part of The Gambia is very safe and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who would like to get away from busy tourist areas."

    "Finally, if you feel the need to do a bit of shopping, check out "Caddy's". Caddy is a lady from Doncaster who owns the local grocery store about 15 mins walk from Footsteps."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by A traveler

    "Footsteps eco lodge is situated some distance away from any tarmac road and busy tourist beaches. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay that is nicely fitted out, safe and with friendly staff, you need look no further. Should you want to laze on a beach or do a spot of beach fishing there is a quiet beach roughly 30 minutes walk away. During my stay the staff made me feel welcome and special. Nothing was too much trouble and they made every effort to please. If you are looking for things to do you can book local and more distant tours with lodge staff as guides, at reasonable rates. Accommodation is basic but comfortable and very clean. Each round-house includes a toilet and shower. The toilets are of the "Composting" style and hot water is provided by a solar heating device. A rechargeable fan is available in the room for use by guests. Electricity is provided by solar panels and battery storage. There are no power points in the room but electronic items can be charged using the British style three pin plug sockets in the main building. A small pool is available for use by guests and there are ample loungers and sunbeds, along with a couple of hammocks by the poolside. Various activities and games are available free of charge throughout the season. Breakfast is usually included in the price of your round-house (See your terms and conditions) and snacks are available throughout the day. Evening meal is usually served on a communal table at around 8PM. At Ds395/495/595 (Plus 15% tax) for mains and Ds 200 (Plus 15% tax) for starters or dessert, I thought that the evening meals were a bit pricey for what they were but nonetheless, They were of a good standard. One point that any guest should note is that if taking a trip, be sure to fix the price of the taxi before getting in. On a couple of occasions I was asked far too much by one particular driver. This part of The Gambia is very safe and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who would like to get away from busy tourist areas. Finally, if you feel the need to do a bit of shopping, check out "Caddy's". Caddy is a lady from Doncaster who owns the local grocery store about 15 minutes walk from Footsteps. "

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by John S from Lancaster, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "An adventure in Africa, Footsteps Eco Lodge is unique! An amazing place, staff, food, and facilities to enjoy Gambia from! Fantastic, fun, educational, excellent food, and superb wildlife on your doorstep, Footsteps provides a tranquil, comfortable and inspirational environment from which to enjoy Gambia. David, Linda, and all the staff work hard and succeed in making this such a lovely place to stay. The Round house was delightful! If you want hotels, bars, and night life stay away!"

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Rae C from London, England, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I've just returned from a week at Footsteps and have enjoyed my experience throughout. Airport collection was smooth and without fuss, my welcome was warm and friendly and was quickly shown to my roundhouse and given a welcome drink."

    "I'm not an "eco-tourist" so the whole experience to me was something different, the roundhouses themselves although basic (as expected) were surprisingly clean, comfortable, cool during the day, yet still private. They are ensuite and fitted with a sink and shower with hot running water and the compost toilets were simple to use and not at all smelly as I had expected. "

    "All staff were very friendly and throughout just a week you are able to become very familiar with quite a large staff team for a small place. The manager Dodou is very helpful and was able to accommodate my requests even with the shortest notice. Everyone made extra effort to ensure that I felt safe travelling on my own and was accompanied to the nearby beach and for walks by other staff too. I did pack in a lot of outside activities which can be booked onsite, but was still able to really relax and enjoy the sun deck for tanning. Although not a bird watcher I found the bird hide to be a perfect quiet reading spot."

    "Dinner is usually at 7:30 and is held at a round table, I found this a nice feature for travellers to get to know each other, and people like myself travelling solo not being left out."

    "David is very hands on and visible and is quite happy to share the story of Footsteps which was interesting to find out. Everything seems very transparent and guests are made to feel part of the team."

    "The food is good and I enjoyed the unusual food combinations. The food is also locally sourced and vegetables grown on site."

    "I had a chance to trial Footsteps yoga and found it to be a very peaceful area, also being a near novice to yoga felt very welcomed in. I can see it being a great addition and I've even taken home a few breathing and relaxation techniques."

    "I think what I liked more is that I felt this was a good place to see the real Gambia and not just the main tourist spots. I couldn't thank the team enough, I will definitely be back."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Baddesley Ensor, Atherstone, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Footsteps is a wonderful place where you can wander in the gardens and watch the birds and even go for many walks locally and not feel threatened. The people who do stop to talk are just being very friendly as all The Gambian people seem to be - even though they don't have a lot. The walk to the beach is around 30 minutes depending on how fast you walk - there is sand mining just before the beach but this doesn't detract from the beauty of the endless sandy beach which is always empty and you can walk for miles. Lots of trips can be arranged at the Lodge for a reasonable price but agree that this is the total price before you book. The meals are lovely and all freshly cooked and lots of fruit and veg are grown in the Lodge Gardens. You can help yourself to grapefruit and oranges straight from the tree. Although Footsteps is a beautiful place, your are not close to any other bars or restaurants unless you want to book a car to Gunjur. We didn't mind that as we were up very early so early to bed. The staff and the chefs are fabulous they can't do enough for you. We had a fantastic barbeque with a local drumming group and another night we had a very well known okra player and a fellow guest joined in with him. We also enjoyed the table tennis and played every day although we could never beat David!! Footsteps is a UNIQUE place to get away from it all and see the real Gambia. We made lots of friends at Footsteps and will definitely return to see them again. "

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Wrexham, United Kingdom
    8 out of 10

    "It was a nice change from previous visits to Gambia, secluded and quiet. The rooms are stand alone circular huts with fly screened door and glassless windows. The bed was comfy and a fan was provided if it got too hot. The bathroom comprised a composting toilet, a very small sink and a shower fed directly from the solar heated water tanks so the pressure wasn't strong. There are no toiletries provided, so bring your own, but there is toilet paper. Apart from some low energy lighting there is no electricity supply to the huts, but there are sockets available for phone charging in the communal area. The pool is just a plunge pool really and is very slippery so didn't use it much. There are many tours available from here, not particularly cheap and often there were extras to pay for, like the guide's lunch and of course tips, tips for everyone! There are activities on site, ping pong etc and there is a well stocked paperback library. Food is pretty good, breakfast is included and there is a good choice. Lunch, again a good choice and the daily lunch special is usually about £5. Dinner is served around 8 pm at a large communal table with three choices of main course priced from £8-10 with starters and pudding at about £4-5 so not particularly cheap, but very good. The nearest alternative restaurant is a good twenty minutes walk away and of course once it's dark, it's is really, really dark for the walk back! Bar prices again, a bit steep compared to other places in the area but they do a fantastic smoothie at around £2:50. Staff are great although I did hear some other guests complain about the quality of the cleaning, but I didn't have a problem. The manager and the waiting staff are great and the owner is very visible."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Lincolnshire, England
    10 out of 10

    "Since our last visit there have been a number of improvements at Footsteps the most welcome being a reliable and consistent supply of hot water! There is now hot water available for showers at any time during the day."

    "They have also erected a sundeck over the fresh water plunge pool. This not only serves as a sunbathing area but is also a great vantage point for birdwatching and photography. It has not made the plunge pool any less attractive to wildlife either as it is still regularly visited by a host of birds including African Pygmy Kingfisher and Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers."

    "The food in the restaurant is also up with the best in Gambia; they even employ a pastry chef! I had my birthday at footsteps and David and the staff organized a wonderful party which I will never forget."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Lyon, France
    10 out of 10

    "Footsteps is a great place to chill out. You are well away from the tourist culture. The staff are really friendly and go out of their way. The food is excellent and local and some may be grown on site. Fish dishes are from artisanal fisheries (pirogues) or occasionally what has been caught by guests on the nearby beach. When I arrived last November, a bit later than expected, the chef had saved me food from the communal bbq, the beer was cold and the company warm. Because of the wildlife friendly policies you never know what is going to appear, all harmless I hasten to add. I will be back, thank you team Footsteps."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Anita C from Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I swore that I would never again return to Gambia some 13 years ago after staying on "The Strip" in Senegambia and Banjul, with its jostling, and nuisance bumsters, bothering all - but particularly the lone woman traveller. I sent David of Footsteps an email prior to my booking (and this only because 10 days prior to my flight to Sharm El Sheik, it was cancelled) who confirmed that there was no pool for swimming , but there was a freshwater plunge pool, that there was internet, and most importantly NO BUMSTERS (though he did say that I may come across the odd curious local). In the end, I had to actually go looking for the local people and was ably assisted by Serano, the guide who took me to the local village to see indigenous life. There was a birdwatching guide (something I'd never even considered before) and wonderful staff all too eager to help. The transfer from the airport was about 40 minutes and cost £20 - pretty reasonable comparison with local prices. The rooms are named after animals (I was in Monkey - a twin bedded room) and I believe that other rooms may have double beds and there are family rooms too. Monkey was situated quite far away (about 1 minute walk from the main dining area). Don't forget your head-torch! Dinind was around 7.30 pm each evening with around 3 choices of starter, main and pudding for around £10 (maybe a little expensive in comparison to local eateries - which are, incidentally, scarce) but the quality of the food is second to none and as the seating arrangements were all around one large round table - this was fantastic for the lone traveller as the other guests were as diverse as they come. I consider that this was the first of many visits to Footsteps (and maybe other lodges too) and David and the staff deserve every success. There were no sockets in the rooms (fans were re-chargeable) but this was just in keeping with the whole ethos of winding down. It was early to bed and early to rise for me - the birds woke me every morning and there were a couple of bird-hides where we all stood with our binoculors every morning - something I would never have dreamt doing before. I am converted! a total break (with internet access for checking mails of course) with wonderful people."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Sam R
    10 out of 10

    "Great place for a relaxing few days. Staff were friendly, rooms were great, and the setting was lovely. The lodge had a really nice atmosphere and everything was well maintained. Good choice for nature lovers!"

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Bryan C from Malton, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "We were able to do as much or as little as we wanted. The layout is a delight and we spent several hours wandering around the gardens always finding new treats or spotting birds or other creatures. The birds of the Gambia are wonderful and our guide, Sarani, gave us a truly memorable time. The food was good; the only suggestion I have would be to improve on the dry cake."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Vicky F
    10 out of 10

    "We were very impressed with Footsteps, and would love to return. A peaceful and beautiful setting, with plenty of local walks, a stunning beach within walking distance and lovely welcoming staff - nothing was too much trouble and they helped us to arrange some great trips out. Sunshine, cold beer, great birdwatching, simple relaxing rooms, and some great eco-innovations in practice to boot. We were with a group of friends, and had a really fun week but would recommend to anyone, families, couples, or people travelling solo - a warm welcome awaits."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Bristol, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Wicked time as you can see. We had 3 weeks in the Gambia, loved every minute of it. Hot shower, charge your phones from the solar system, staff are very polite, and will help if you want to know anything."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Cor K from Atyrau Province, Kazakhstan
    10 out of 10

    "We had to go somewhere and by chance came across Gambia as an option. We didn't fancy a 5-star party holiday and found Footsteps . Amazing place, great staff, good food and clean rooms with good beds. Early nights and waking up by the sound of birds, few coffees and a good book on the patio whilst the world wake up, very, very relaxing. The eco concept is sound, is a good feeling to live with power provided by the sun and draw very little on water resources waste segregation and composting toilets as well, loved the latter. David, Brit who runs the place, is very hospitable and is always prepared to answer questions. He loves his fishing should however take advice from, even more gifted, fishermen, and get his trousers wet when casting. On a last note, birdlife is spectacular, especially during sunsets sipping a drink in the bird observatory when chatting troops of parrots pass by to settle for the night. Great time to think and/or debate world problems, purpose of life, living in the now etc. Will be back soon. Thank you Footsteps for adding a great lasting memory."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "This place is amazing, from tranquility, bird watching, and private beach. The hammocks around the fresh water pool just stunning. David, the owner, is so friendly. All the staff were very professional. The huts are first class, but lights out after everyone has had their dinner, and it's bed time at 9.30 pm. It's shut down time, so the nights are very boring. But enjoyed our stay through the day."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Allison N from Tenterden, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Footsteps is a very special place, you just need to go to find out why. The staff could not be more helpful, nothing is too much trouble. There is plenty to do, but we did very little and loved it. The birdwatching is really special; take binoculars."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Oxford, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "We visited for a Christmas break and some sunshine not quite knowing what to expect and were delighted."

    "David has created a wonderfully relaxing environment in which one can simply 'hang out' or use as a base for exploring places of local interest. The local beach (about a 20-30 minute walk) is absolutely beautiful, with very few people (during our visit) and with miles of walking and safe wave jumping and body surfing. Along the path to the beach are a couple of charming 'beach huts' for stops for freshly pressed fruit juice."

    "There are resident guides for walks to the local village (Gunjur) and nature resorts nearby as well as a small group of local craftspeople including a woodcarver and silversmith and David and his team have just completed a wonderfully situated building for yoga sessions."

    "The Christmas Eve buffet was delightful followed by entertainment by a local Kora player (a 21 string instrument which looks formidably difficult to play) and after dinner on Christmas Day evening there was entertainment round a large open fire with a team of local drummers and dancers - great fun."

    "David's team have almost all been with him for more than a decade and it shows in their warmth and attention to detail. The physical construction of the lodge and its open architecture make it very easy to mingle with other guests."

    "Most of the people we met are trying hard to generate income by starting their own small businesses. It seems that a common approach in The Gambia is for people to seek sponsors for support and, as with any country where annual incomes are pitifully low by Western European standards, one needs to decide ahead of time how best to deal with this to avoid it becoming a 'pressure' at a time when one is seeking to relax 'away from it all'. It's the same issue that one encounters in Asia, elsewhere in Africa and many other places so isn't unique to The Gambia."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from London, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I loved the remoteness of this place, but maybe it wouldn't suit everyone. We made many friends and met many locals. Serani took us to his village where we met his wife and children. So make the effort and you will be rewarded. Take clothes that you no longer need so you can give them away and don't forget pens, pencils, and exercise books, in fact anything and everything would be very welcome. They have little, so appreciate whatever you can do for them."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Crawley, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "From the moment that we were collected from the airport to the minute that we departed from footsteps we couldn't have been made more welcome. David and his staff couldn't have done any more for us if they'd tried. The location was ideal for us it was lovely and quiet and you could wander outside the grounds without any bother. If you needed to go further afield, you only had to ask and it was all sorted out for you nothing was too much bother. The room was perfectly comfortable although a little warm at night mainly due to the unusually high humidity. Having said that David has recently acquired fans which helps the situation. The food was very fresh and beautifully prepared and cooked, and being vegetarian wasn't any problem at all. As I've said all the staff were wonderful and we left feeling that we'd left friends behind. All in all a superb holiday at a wonderful place."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Jenny M
    10 out of 10

    "What a special place! Our first family visit to the Gambia. We stayed in the spacious and well equipped Sunbird House and the birdsong at sunrise was a highlight of our stay. "

    "All food was freshly cooked/prepared and delicious. The pastries (amazing pastry chef!) would grace any patisserie in Inverness. The soso beans and veggie burgers are a must! We tried a wide variety of dishes...all excellent. Clean plates spoke volumes! "

    "We were warmly welcomed by all staff. Such generous and kind hospitality. Nothing was too much trouble and we made some good friendships. "

    "The stunning beach was only 15/20 min walk away...and apart from a polite young man who wanted us to visit his beach bar for a drink...we were all alone. "

    "The birding was great. (102 bird species seen) Some birds seemed "painted by numbers". The large lodge hide was the go-to place at sunrise and sunset and any times in between. A trip with the resident birder Lamin to local reserves etc proved an interesting and informative day. That was fun. "

    "Thank you to David and all the staff for helping make our adventure a memorable one, for all the right reasons. Would we recommend Footsteps? Definitely!"

    Trip Advisor, edited