Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

My journey to Senegal and the Gambia included lots of moving around. I was out here on the #MSMLostLuggage Challenge, without any backpacks or luggage on a lunatic mission by Money Supermarket.com. For my last two nights in the Gambia, I stayed in an excellent enclosed apartment complex right in the middle of a traditional African village called Brufut.

Banana Lodge Apartments Gambia2

My apartment at Banana Lodge, Brufut, Gambia

After a ridiculous trip across a border that people told me was closed, a few days days of pure luxury by the Atlantic Ocean and then I was collected by my driver Zacariah and brought to the cool Banana Lodge Apartments to chill out.

Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

This was a swanky apartment complex hidden brilliantly within the outskirts of a traditional Gambian village. I could mingle with the locals and still feel like a total tourist in harmony during my two nights here. Rosemary organised my stay and the owner, Mustapha welcomed me to yet another brilliant pad during my crazy #MSMLostLuggage trip in Senegal and Gambia.

Relaxing in Brufut with a beer

Relaxing in Brufut with a beer

Here are five of the best reasons to stay at Banana Lodge when you tour Gambia.

1.Private and Secure
It’s a private and secure complex off a small street in a local neighbourhood. There is room for parking and the complex is safe, private, tranquil and secure.

Private and secure complex at Banana Lodge

Private and secure complex at Banana Lodge

2.Local Area
What I loved about Banana Lodge Apartments is that it is situated in the heart of a Gambian village neighbourhood. On the streets outside, kids play football, mothers wash clothes and local entrepreneurs have businesses such as Deco, who is a barber.

Deco and I at his barbers

Deco and I at his barbers

I met lots of the locals but the highlight was definitely playing football with the children until the sun went down. It was brilliant, just brilliant and I was so emotional saying goodbye to them. Thanks, everyone!

Jonny Blair playing football with kids in Africa

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Local streets near Banana Lodge Apartments

Local streets near Banana Lodge Apartments

3.Self Catering
I had my own apartment here at Banana Lodge, so I had all the self catering things I needed. A full working kitchen with all the utensils and accessories as well as a fridge. At night I had Wi-Fi on my phone and TV to watch once the sun had sank it was time for some beers and a good night sleep.

Self catering kitchen at Banana Lodge

Self catering kitchen at Banana Lodge

Self catering kitchen at Banana Lodge

Self catering kitchen at Banana Lodge

Beer and TV at my apartment in Banana Lodge

Beer and TV at my apartment in Banana Lodge

4.Swimming Pool
To cool out from the heat and get some exercise, relax in the pool, or in the hammocks next to it. It’s a great place to relax here at Banana Apartments.

Swimming pool time at Banana Lodge Apartments

Swimming pool time at Banana Lodge Apartments

Swimming pool time at Banana Lodge Apartments

Swimming pool time at Banana Lodge Apartments

Hammocks at Banana Lodge Apartments

Hammocks at Banana Lodge Apartments

5. Brufut Village and Local Bars/Restaurants
A short walk out through Brufut village onto the main road and you can find a local supermarket to buy your food, or eat out at the restaurants and bars. I tried Domodah in the Chossan Restaurant as well as the juice of the Baobab tree.

Main road at Brufut

Main road at Brufut

Neil's Bar at Brufut

Neil’s Bar at Brufut

Local supermarket

Local supermarket

Chosaan Restaurant

Chosaan Restaurant

Domodah at Chosaan Restaurant

Domodah at Chosaan Restaurant

My local pub, Neil’s Bar served me cold JulBrew beers for 35 Dalasi (55 pence).

55 pence beer at Neil's Bar and Wee Kitchen

55 pence beer at Neil’s Bar and Wee Kitchen

I also toured a lot when I was in the Gambia, I got two ferries, did the overland crossing to Senegal at Karang and I stroked awake undrugged crocodiles at Kachikally. I also hung out on the beach at the Atlantic Ocean Coast (gorgeous) and whackpacked the sights of Banjul, the country’s capital! Here are some more photos from the complex at Banana Lodge, as you can tell I loved it. Mustapha is a great host and my driver Zakariah was a cool guy.

Touring the sights of Banjul, the capital city

Touring the sights of Banjul, the capital city

Mango at Banana Lodge

Mango at Banana Lodge

My bathroom at Banana Lodge

My bathroom at Banana Lodge

Touching a crocodile at Kachikally

Touching a crocodile at Kachikally

My apartment at Banana Lodge

My apartment at Banana Lodge

My bedroom at Banana Lodge

My bedroom at Banana Lodge

On the Senegal to Gambia border trip

On the Senegal to Gambia border trip

Zakariah and I

Zakariah and I

Here are the details for booking Banana Lodge:

Banana Lodge, The Gambia

Call In The Gambia
Rosemary 00220 7888321
Mustapha 00220 7510288
Email enquiries@bananalodgeapartments.com

 

 

 

Here is a video of Banana Lodge apartments:

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10 thoughts on “Staying at the Banana Lodge Apartments in Brufut Village, The Gambia

  • How do you determine when you want to stay at an apartment versus a B&B/Hotel/Hostel? It seems like when you are in tropical climates, like the Gambia, Costa Rica or Suriname, that you stay mainly in apartment style accommodations. I am not sure if that is just pure coincidence or intentional (i.e. do you find that tropical countries offer an abundance of apartment style lodgings instead of hostels?).

    In the past, I have mainly gotten budget hotel rooms, but have been considering hostels a bit more in recently when I can as a result of following DSL. This is yet another stunning place you have stayed at, so just curious as to when you consider this type of accommodation as I would definitely like to try it myself in the future.

  • Thanks for these Gambia posts Jonny. I was interested to see how you got on, as I was out there a few years ago.

    How did you find the hassle level around Banjul & the Senegambia strip? I found it off the scale in those tourist areas. You couldn’t do anything without attracting an entourage. I lost the head with the bumsters a few times I must confess. They just wouldn’t feck off.

    That said, down in Gunjur, which wasn’t on the main tourist strip, was completely different and upriver at Georgetown as well. Like two different countries.

    And maybe it’s different travelling as a couple as well. I went with my now wife who stayed on after I’d left to do her medical elective in the hospital in Banjul. On her own, she stayed in modest digs and travelled around and worked without any hassle at all.

  • Hi Ray, basically in the Gambia and Senegal there are no hostels of note – no backpacker hostels. I was sponsored on this trip by Money Supermarket therefore I could up the budget a bit to stay in excellent resorts and felt happy with that. This one came up as I found it online as an option away from the capital city (Banjul) and away from the touristy part (Serrakunda) and plus I saw that it was in a local neighbourhood. The football was by chance though and I’m a bit lazy for self catering to be honest as I always want to work or write about restaurants and cafes etc. I loved Banana Apartments though – brilliant option. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Owen, thanks for the comment. Generally out of all the continents I have visited, I always find African countries to be the most intrusive, although India is by far the place where I have had most hassle from locals. The two areas in the Gambia you mentioned were no different although when you class Banjul as touristy, that confused me as I was the only tourist or even white person I saw while in Banjul itself. Serrekunda and Senegambia certainly had more foreigners, but these days Banjul you won’t see any. I got hassled a lot more in downtown Dakar, Senegal and at the Gambia to Senegal border. However I never listen or pay any attention to people hassling me when I travel, I just get on with my travelling as if they don’t exist. They sense that from me and rarely bother me, but it’s still happening in most parts of Africa if you are white. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Johnny, do you have the contact details for the driver mentioned above as I would like to make a booking with him ton show me around for the day. thanks!

  • Hi Luke – yes sure – just google the Banana Lodge Apartments and email them in advance. Mustafa is my contact there – a really good guy! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Thanks for these Gambia posts Jonny. I was interested to see how you got on, as I was out there a few years ago.

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