Footsteps Eco-Lodge, The Gambia

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compoundHighResLocated in the South Kombo Region of The Gambia, close to the village of Gunjur, Footsteps Eco-Lodge (http://www. footstepsinthegambia.com) is a traditional African Village compound, with 9 large huts and 2 cabins all with en-suite facilities and a veranda. Footsteps Eco-Lodge is the recipient of the Travelife Gold Award, a certification awarded for dedication to achieving sustainable practices within the tourism industry. It is also the winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2012 for excellence in customer review ratings. Footsteps Eco-Lodge was founded in 2003 by British national David White, after his visit to The Gambia on holiday way back in November 1999. He was motivated to create a tourism business which benefitted the local people while giving the visitors an authentic experience. Footsteps Eco-Lodge – Mission Statement  Footsteps Eco-Lodge is dedicated to improve The Gambia’s trade in responsible tourism and thereby encourage sustainable employment within the country. Its mission is to encourage greater numbers of tourists to visit The Gambia, whilst helping improve the ecology of the country. It educates other tourist-based businesses on how they can reduce the ecological impact of their trade on the delicate ecosystem of The Gambia.

We work closely with The Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia and The Gambia School of Business Management encouraging future generations to embrace and understand the need for sustainable, profitable and socially responsible tourism.

The Footsteps Eco-Lodge features in our Green Showcase, as it embodies the values and core principles of sustainability. Sustainability features

  • Only local materials and labour force were utilised in the building and subsequent rebuilding of Footsteps in 2007
  • The guest suites are domed roundels and have fruiting trees and bushes positioned around them giving shade meaning the bedrooms are cool by intelligent design
  • The lodge has a fresh water pool that is filtered through reed beds and powered by solar; it is the only working pool of its kind in The Gambia
  • There are twin chamber waterless composting toilets in every guest suite; these are completely odourless; they eventually replenish the soil along with the organic recycled kitchen resource
  • Solar powered energy system throughout entire lodge; solar water heating throughout guest rooms and kitchen
  • Footsteps produces 100% of its energy consumption requirements; it operates entirely on solar – its fridges , freezers and lighting needs are met by storing power from the sun in batteries for use later in the day and evening
  • It has its own permaculture gardens
29 David

David White, Founder of Footsteps Eco-Lodge

Social and Green practices

  • Footsteps employ only from the local village of Gunjur and boasts that 81% of its staff have been continuously employed with the lodge since its day of opening in January 2003
  • Each member of staff has a non contributory pension, life cover, sick pay and 18 days holiday each year from inception rising to 21 days over 5 years.
  • All staff can plan for their futures either through small saving plans or through a micro loan system for those unexpected emergencies such as roof repair
  • No pesticides are used to grow garden produce
  • The lodge has a policy to buy local
  • The water from the showers and wash basins are fed through grey water recycling which provides all water for garden irrigation
  • Recycling of lodge resource (Footsteps never uses the word Waste)