Bakotu is a delightful, family-run small hotel which is particularly popular with ornithologists and nature lovers due to the tropical gardens and nature walk beside Kotu stream.
The Bakotu Hotel has its own unique charm and, as a result, has been a firm favourite of our guests and BBC presenter Chris Packham for many years, We also mustn't forget the warm welcome the long-serving staff provide and the fantastic birdwatching opportunities available within the hotel's lush gardens. It is also in a good location close to the beach and there are a couple of other hotels, small restaurants, beach bars as well as a craft market nearby.
The hotel provides a peaceful sanctuary for those looking for a quiet relaxing holiday, with no loud music or organised pool games to disturb the tranquillity, except for an occasional visit from local cultural entertainers. There is also a birdwatching deck overlooking Kotu stream which is a perfect location to spot a wide variety of birdlife, enjoyable even for amateur twitchers!
The simple yet comfortably furnished and airy rooms are located in single storey bungalows throughout the lovingly tended, mature tropical gardens; here you will find ongoing improvements and the decor varies from room to room. Family rooms, several with bunk beds for the children, are available and a limited number of standard rooms have air-conditioning which is available at a supplement; these can be booked in advance exclusively by Gambia Experience guests to ensure availability.
Once again, we have arranged for your choice of cooked breakfast or other hot dish from the à la carte breakfast menu to be included in the price of your holiday, in addition to the basic continental breakfast provided. For dinner Captain's Table, the hotel's à la carte restaurant, is very popular and enjoys a good reputation for evening food, especially its shrimp specials. There is also a pool bar, plus a second restaurant on their hotel frontage adding to the increased choice of places to eat and drink in the area. If you choose the half board option this offers a flexible dining package: based on dinner in the Baobab restaurant, you also have the option to swap for lunch or to dine in Boss Lady Gambian restaurant. In addition, dinner comprising one main course is included at Captain's Table a la carte restaurant each week if you so choose.
The hotel also has its own mini-market for your convenience. With the Kombo Beach and Bungalow Beach hotels nearby, plus a couple of further beach bars, Kotu is becoming a busier area during the day and evening but remains quiet in comparison to the nearby resort of Kololi. Although Bakotu is not directly on the beach in order to retain its tranquil atmosphere, the welcoming sand is only 100 metres away and can be reached by strolling through the craft market. The time this takes will depend on the amount of bartering and shopping undertaken en route!
Bakotu has been chosen by BBC presenter and ornithologist Chris Packham as the base for his birdwatching tours for several years, and the hotel is a real treat for nature lovers with its visiting monkeys and monitor lizards, plus the resident giant tortoise and her offspring wandering around the lush gardens. To quote Chris: 'I love Bakotu because it feels like a home from home - the friendly, family atmosphere, the wonderful lush gardens so good for birdwatching, the excellent restaurant... Essentially, its the perfect place for me and my family and I wouldn't think of going anywhere else'. Chris will be returning to Bakotu in February 2016 and places on his tours are proving very popular once again.