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.
Our Expert Opinion
"Stepping from the main street into Bakotu is like stepping into a tranquil oasis. You're surrounded by nature and the birdwatching platform offers unobstructed views of Kotu creek."
- Alice, Commercial
What we love
- The nature walk and bird deck that overlooks Kotu Stream.
- The variety of food and restaurants, from simple Gambian cuisine at Boss Lady, to à la carte dining experiences at Captain’s Table.
Good to know
- Chris Packham uses the hotel as a base for his birdwatching tours every February. He says: ‘Bakotu is my second home. Small, quiet, friendly, with good restaurants in and around, it also has lovely gardens which are full of bird and mammal life. It’s the perfect place to stay and connect with The Gambia’s wonderful wildlife.’
Wildlife on your doorstep
Blessed by its own quiet charm and defined by tranquillity and a friendly atmosphere, Bakotu is a firm favourite of our guests, offering a haven in the heart of bustling Kotu. While the hotel is a well-kept secret to many, Chris Packham has certainly discovered the serenity that Bakotu is characterised by, and stays here whenever he visits The Gambia.
The emphasis at this hotel is on relaxation, and you won’t find any loud music or organised pool games here. It is set back from the golden sands of Kotu Beach, which is easily accessible for those seeking to feel the sand between their toes, but still enjoys beautiful natural surroundings. At the back of the hotel you’ll discover a large decked area set beneath towering trees and overlooking Kotu Stream, and here you can observe vervet monkeys, monitor lizards and upwards of 50 species of bird.
Guest rooms amongst the gardens
The simply furnished yet comfortable rooms are located in largely single-storey bungalows throughout the lovingly tended, mature tropical gardens. Décor varies from room to room 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.
Dining at Bakotu
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. For those booking half board, the package is flexible with the option to dine at Boss Lady serving Gambian specials, plus a weekly meal at Captain’s Table restaurant in addition to the standard buffet dinners.
Explore the local area
Kombo Beach and Bungalow Beach hotels are nearby, plus a couple of further beach bars, and although Kotu is becoming a busier area, it remains quiet in comparison to the nearby resort of Kololi. There’s a small craft market across the road selling all manner of traditional handmade souvenirs, which also leads through to the sandy beach.
How about some birdwatching?
Chris Packham will be returning to Bakotu in February 2019, and places on his tours are proving very popular once again. Alternatively, why not book a private day out spotting a host of bird life with our recommended local guide. Find out more about our Birdwatching Holidays.
Official local hotel rating: 1 star (we are confident of our own 3 grade rating)