I've been lucky enough to stay at the Gambia Bird Lodge in Tanji three times since 2011. I absolutely love it there.
The accommodation is a beautiful traditional lodge with internal palm trunk columns and thatched roof, its super comfy, cool, well equipped and secure. The refreshing private pool is perfect for cooling off in the reliable African sun and the wonderful garden is an oasis to relax in and watch the wildlife. On my last visit in Feb 2016 there were three pairs of nesting birds within yards of the lodge veranda (Hornbills, Thick Knees and Black Kites), the volume, variety and proximity of the bird life is something very special in the mornings and early evenings and at night bats swoop and drink from the pool.
The lodge is impeccably maintained and serviced; the team of locals who keep it clean and running are not only friendly and efficient but are a fantastic source of local knowledge and stories and an inexhaustible help. Special mention for me must go to Lamin and Yaya who have gone out of their way to set up some fantastic adventures and experiences including unforgettable overland trips to Jinak and Dakar.
Staying in Tanji, away from the main Sennegambia tourist strip (a 10-15 min drive/taxi), is a genuine privilege; grinning kids play on the streets outside, locals go about their daily business and the hypnotic drumming rhythm of tribal ceremonies and events can often be heard rolling over the rooftops. Within walking distance is the aptly named paradise beach where you'll find endless golden deserted sand and Tanji fish market is a daily experience not to be missed. I highly recommend the butterfish with hot sauce!
Tanji Bird Lodge is the perfect haven from which to base your Gambian adventure and if, like us, your plans to go out are routinely delayed as you enjoy one more local Julbrew under the mango tree, that’s ok its GMT (Gambia Maybe Time ).
(Visited Feb 2011, Jan 2014, Feb 2016)
I’ve stayed at Gambia Bird Lodge twice, and am looking forward to my next visit. The Lodge is located in Tanji, a coastal village away from the main tourist areas – although these are still easily and cheaply reached in a local taxi. We had a great time exploring both the north and the south coasts using the local minibuses, as well as the village itself where everyone is very welcoming – it has a couple of great places to watch football - and the local fish market.
The house itself, built in the traditional style, is beautifully appointed and very spacious. And it is set within stunning gardens which are full of colour and birdlife – sitting on the veranda, or by the pool, and watching all the activity in the garden is one of the Lodge’s great pleasures. The staff are very welcoming, attentive and happy to help or provide advice with anything you need.
I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
From waking to the sound of birdsong in the morning to watching the stars in the garden at dusk, a stay at the Gambia Lodge in Tanji will provide you with memories of an unforgettable trip to The Gambia. Whilst the Lodge itself provides great comfort with its spacious open plan kitchen and living areas, the maturing garden provides a haven for local wildlife with its majestic trees and lush ground cover planting, and you are guaranteed many an unexpected winged visitor throughout the day.
Tanji village is itself an authentic African village, and its bustling fish market is a must. Just nip back to the compound in a bush taxi with your purchases and treat yourself to fresh BBQ’d butterfish as the sun sets.
Gambia Bird Lodge is a wonderful place to stay, I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday there. Being located in a village, you get a very real sense of authentic Africa, a pleasant change from the ubiquitous western style 'anywhere' hotels!
The lovely lodge is light, spacious and airy and the large, enclosed gardens are full of colour and interest and attract a wide range of birds.
Sitting on the patio, either by day or in the evening, is a wonderful experience with so many sights and sounds and the clear sky at night is great for just gazing at the stars
The staff are friendly and either self catering or eating out is easy although transport will be needed but local taxis are cheap or there is car hire
I can thoroughly recommend the lodge as an alternative style of holiday to the 'anywhere hotels'.
My wife and I have visited The Gambia many times in the last 30 years. In 2011, we discovered Gambia Bird Lodge and we instantly fell in love with the place. The garden is a haven for birds, we normally see 40-50 species, from the diminutive Pygmy Kingfisher to Hooded Vultures. However, the swimming pool does have to be shared with a pair of Paradise Flycatchers who like to dive in for a drink and a freshen up.
In total we have had five wonderful holidays at The Lodge, we would not stay anywhere else. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal area, set in a tranquil walled garden, The Lodge is an ideal place to stay.
Roy and Margaret Goldsmith Norfolk Uk
Roy and Margaret Goldsmith
We have been holidaying at Gambia Bird Lodge Tanji for four years now and every time is a great experience.
The gardens are well established and are full of beautiful trees, plants and birds. Sometimes we have seen more birds in the garden than on organised trips. The pool is extremely well maintained at all times as is the garden.
It is the most relaxing place we have ever been to and is one of our most favourite holiday experiences.
The staff are very friendly. They are attentive towards us but leave us alone when we need to chill out. Nothing is too much trouble for them. They have become great friends of ours.
The village is a very safe and friendly place to be and the local fish market is a wonder in itself.
We hope to continue to holiday at the lodge for as long as possible.