In an unspoilt location, set back from a palm-fringed expanse of white sandy beach in the south of The Gambia, the Sandele Bay Eco-Retreat offers beautifully designed accommodation in relaxed and tranquil surroundings.
The key word at Sandele is 'relaxation' - indeed, given that you have a deserted beach right on your doorstep and are miles from the hustle and bustle of the main resort areas, you might say it was something of a requirement.
The first phase of the Eco-Retreat opened in November 2007, and was built by local craftsmen using sustainable and eco-friendly construction techniques, and materials sourced from the surrounding area. It is run by a British couple, Geri and Maurice, in conjunction with the local community of Kartong who will personally benefit from the development of the resort, and will assume complete ownership the future. It is possible to see how the mud bricks are made during your stay, or visit the village of Kartong located approximately 4 kilometres from Sandele.
Nestled amongst the trees, about 100m from the untouched sandy beach below, which is reached by natural sandy trails, are the 4 airy, spacious unique suites, each benefiting from a private roof terrace and sunbathing area. Whilst there is no swimming pool, there is a plunge pool for every two suites. The circular rooms are light, airy and spacious, complemented by comfortable, rustic furnishings under a high, domed ceiling. The rooms are kept cool with the use of a fan. In keeping with the eco philosophy of Sandele, the well-equipped bathrooms come complete with a vanity unit, shower and composting toilet. With only a maximum of 8 guests staying in the suites at any one time, you can enjoy a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and get a real feel for life in the African bush, yet with a high standard of accommodation in a beach location. Alternatively, a number of spacious, sea-facing guestrooms built on 2 floors are especially popular with small groups, and are located a short walk from the suites and main restaurant. These share a narrow terrace with sunbeds, some with views of the ocean in the distance. They do not have a plunge pool and are available at a reduction, and share the restaurant and bar area with guests staying in the suites.
Our guests are accommodated on a Half Board basis with the option to upgrade to Full Board, which we would recommend due to the property's location away from tourist bars and restaurants. Meals are taken at the central restaurant, which has a rooftop terrace and bar on both levels and offers healthy cuisine with the emphasis on using fresh, local produce. The varied menu, as well as having an international flavour, also features local and vegetarian dishes and these may be tailored to individual needs.
At Sandele, as well as enjoying the total peace and natural beauty of the area, you can occupy yourself with one of the varied activities on offer including birdwatching, yoga, fishing and bush walks or you can explore the area with trips available into the village where you may be able to see local artisans at work and learn their skills. The small turtle nesting project set up in 2014 is well worth investigating - turtles hatch out between July and November.
With the busier resorts only a 45-60 minute drive away along the main coastal road, Sandele Bay Eco-Retreat offers you the chance to relax and unwind in a quiet, unspoilt location, whilst realising the importance of protecting the environment and working with the local community. It can be taken as a stand-alone holiday or 3 or 4 night add-ons can be combined with another resort hotel for a multi-centre stay.
Please note we would not recommend this property to customers with walking difficulties. Our standard excursion programme is not available from Sandele Eco-Retreat, however alternatives can be arranged locally for a charge.