Welcome to the Garden Guesthouse


Welcome to the Garden Guest House. Here we will explain as much as possible about our holidays in The Gambia, on the smiling coast of West Africa. We offer you an ecologically sound alternative to the usual hotel or 'luxury safari' rip-offs. We are first and foremost about 'reality' and are not stuffy, nor pretentious. We believe in giving you real value for money and a genuine experience of this country, it's culture and it's wonderful people. The 'Real Gambia' experience.

Unlike what the hotels here do, we do not try to pass off on you any pseudo culture. We always offer you access to the real thing. Here you will easily make new friends with local people. Our caretaker / host, Haruna, will be your best friend and advise you about other people you meet. Even if you happen to be here on your own you'll never feel lonely; neighbours and friends of ours will look after you and keep you company.

When I write here of  'we' & 'us' I am generally meaning all the people that contribute to the Real Africa experience. Haruna your host / caretaker, Modou our handyman / landlord, plus Nyima our cook, as well as others like tutors, friends and neighbours and Paul [me] webmaster / booking agent. When I slip into speaking from the first person singular [Me or I] then I mean Paul.

This is a not for profit endeavour: we are here to promote cultural exchange and foster friendships with people in other countries. No one is taking any money out of this enterprise, except local people employed to maintain the buildings, cook, clean, and the power utilities, local taxes etc.. Obviously we have expenses looking after guests, but our prices are structured so that most of what guests give us covers their expenses, whilst with us, and a little goes towards recouping the capital expenses of land purchase and construction.

We offer you the opportunity to live in a normal house, much like any other house
in the area. Living in with the local community, amongst the people; you will not be 
divorced from them, as you would be enclosed in a typical hotel that looks the same anywhere 
on the planet.  With us you still have a very secure and happy environment.

The Gambians still live in the extended family and call their home a 'kunda' or
compound. Our neighbours the Ceesay family live in the Ceesay kunda. We live in
the Garden Guesthouse, and all the people staying with us here, mirror the 
extended families around us, we live 'kinda' like them, in our own 'kunda'.

We have been in business connected to West Africa since the late 80's and have
been running holidays here since 1994. We have a wealth of experience and have 
all the right contacts to make sure you have an excellent holiday here.
We are offering you a package that allows you to have your own unique
experience, exploring this country and it's culture, whilst being quietly and 
expertly looked after in the background.       

       Folk music trio pop in     
        Map of our end of The Gambia                                                                                                                                                                                  


Download all the holiday info [as an easy to print PDF] here: This is our brochure. We don't waste trees printing them, willy nilly, but you will want a copy, to  refer to, as and when you like, without going online. However the photos may look better online, especially if your printer is not very good. A short version is available here, as you may want to save paper too. You can open both files online to look through and then decide which one you may want to print.

This website is geared to what most people want, most of the time; a 2 week half board holiday. However, we can be very flexible about lengths of stay and other details as is explained on the Prices page.

First of all, take some time to explore our website.  To find your way around think of the list of pages on the top left of the screen as the main sections of this website and then under each of these main sections are subsections that have their titles across the top of each page, just under the banner photo. For instance this main section page, that you are now reading, has subsection titles called :

So you can click on a subsection title at the top of the page to take you to that subsection. Maybe you could click on 'Eco Tourism' to go to that subsection and read what is there. When you do, you will notice that there are subsection titles on that page too. In this way you can navigate around the site.

You'll find lots of information about the guest house and Real Africa holidays, about  Bakau [our town],  about the country of The Gambia, its nature and the West African peoples.  The site features photo galleries,  live music recordings and video clips as well as a link to The Gambia Echo* for the latest uncensored Gambian news, plus links to other information of interest.  And if you still want to know more, just email or call us.
*The Echo is an online publication not available in The Gambia as a news sheet. It is a bit anti government, being written by Gambians in exile. Maybe it is a bit more revealing of the political reality in Gambia, but maybe it's just biased in its own way. You decide for yourself. Holidaying with us you will not need to concern yourself about local politics, other than to know this to be a safe place for you to relax.