Wim van Heeswijk
+220 7588387

Lodge and Cultural Centre Berending - The Gambia


Far away from mass tourism SOFORAL Lodge is situated in the authentic Diola village Berending in the South-West of Gambia. SOFORAL is located in a rural area, not far from the Atlantic coast. Palm trees surround the Lodge and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere is all around. Everything shows that this concept is the work of an artist. The architecture of the buildings, the construction of the terrain as well as the many artistic details.

The guest house is inspired by a traditional Diola dwelling, a so called impluvium dwelling. The rooms surround the social centre of the guest house with a garden in the middle. This centre catches the sun (and in rain time it gathers the water) from above. It is an excellent place to read a book or to just muse. There are ten rooms each provided with two separate single beds with a good mattress and a mosquito net. The nights are extraordinarily quiet and the starry firmament is breathtaking. In the morning flocking birds sing to wake and lure the guests out of their beds to behold the sunrise through the palm trees.

The restaurant allows you a free view of its rich natural environment. The kitchen serves traditional Gambian food with vegetables from our own garden (as far as possible) and fresh fish from the nearby fish market. In 'the Blue bar' a simple assortment of beverages is available. You can also find a limited amount of tasteful souvenirs, like woodcarvings and handmade batiks here. In Berending village no free-flowing water is available. This is also true for SOFORAL. Clear water to wash and water the plants is supplied by our well. Cooled bottled mineral water is available for drinking. The Lodge has European toilets and a number of showers (which can be locked) to wash while enjoying the morning sun.

Throughout the terrain comfortable areas are created with seats, benches and hammocks where one can seclude to rest or, for instance, read or update a diary. SOFORAL is on walking distance of Berending village. It is very easy to get in contact with the local people and you will be surprised about the spontaneity of children and adults. The local hospital and school highly welcome interested visitors. A walk along the beautiful paths through nature to the beach and Atlantic ocean is really recommended! The SOFORAL team is very hospitable and will be pleased to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The team is acquainted with the area and the local habits and will (if requested) gladly accompany you on your tour. They can also guide you on a variety of excursions.