Sandele Bay Eco-Retreat

Unique   The Unique Collection

The Gambia  |  Kartong

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 four 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 eight 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 two 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.


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Hotel Facilities

  • Deserted beach with sun beds
  • Restaurant & bar with rooftop terrace (vegetarian/vegan options available)
  • Birdwatching, fishing and bush walk excursions (payable locally)
  • Yoga sessions on request
  • Airport transfer: 50 minutes
  • 20 rooms including 4 suites

Room Facilities

  • Double or twin beds with mosquito nets
  • Bathroom with shower & composting toilet
  • Shared plunge pool & sun-beds (Suites)
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Solar lighting & 3 pin sockets
  • No energy-sapping air-conditioning or fridge/mini bar

Cuisine Information

Made specifically to suit your tastes, the open-air restaurant offers a three course menu with a variety of freshly made Gambian dishes. For a special occasion, your meal can also be served in the privacy of your suite or in the shade of the wooden beachside terrace (on request).

Sandele Turtle Project

In 2014 Sandele Eco-Retreat set up a small, highly successful turtle conservation centre. Over 4,000 eggs were collected and more that 2,000 baby turtles were released to the sea last year. The baby turtles hatch between late July and November and guests are encouraged to visit the hatchery and witness the progressions of the turtles to the sea (local charge to contribute towards the ongoing success of this project).

100% of customers rated this hotel as good or excellent. Based on 6 reviews.

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Rooms at Sandele Bay Eco-Retreat


Sleeps up to 3 


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Guest Room

Sleeps up to 3 


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Hotel & Local Restaurants

Opening dates are subject to change and beyond our control.


Informal lunchtime dining

Pakaya Restaurant and Bar

International Cuisine


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About the Local Area (Kartong)

Kartong is one of the oldest and most unspoilt coastal villages in The Gambia and is located at the southern most tip of the Kombo Coastal Road. Set very close to the Senegalese border it homes the only sand mine in Gambia plus a fishing centre.

Kartong, however, is possibly better known for its festival usually held in February hosting the very best of music and dance in West Africa.


Further south along the Atlantic coast you can be assured of some secluded and deserted beaches. The sand is golden with varying widths as you travel along the coast , although primarily used by local fishermen to land their boats. Be sure to find a secluded spot if wearing swimwear to avoid offending the locals.