Imagine waking up in a little treehouse perched on top of a baobab tree with the sun gently soaking through the curtains. You look out the window and see nothing but the baby-blue water of the mangrove lagoon. Sounds magical? Well, in Les Collines de Niassam, an eco-lodge complex in Palmarin, this magic happens every day.
The baobab lodge is most certainly real. It consists of three levels: a double bed on top, a terrace with a hammock and a table in the middle, and a bathroom nestled among the large tree roots at the bottom. There are also other equally beautiful lodges. On a nearby island, you will find wooden huts suspended above the shallow water of the salt plains. From the terrace, you can watch local wildlife or admire the view, serene and unobstructed all the way up to the horizon.
And finally, there is a straw-roofed lodge in the rustling bush with a sun terrace flooded by light and the birds chirping away in the background.
All lodges have their own bathrooms and big comfy beds, but the interiors are straightforward. The main event is most certainly the view that creeps up on you wherever you turn. There are no closed-off spaces – the surrounding nature becomes an extension of your lodge through the balconies, terraces, and big windows.
The whole complex is one with nature. It’s powered by solar panels, and almost all of the food served is either grown in the hotel or sources locally. The lodges were built and furnished using mainly natural materials from the region.
Should you ever get bored of the tranquil beauty of the surroundings, Les Collines de Niassam offers many activities. You can explore the mangrove lagoon from a canoe, bake mangrove oysters over a bonfire and try your luck in fishing. Or you can head to the nearby village to watch the Serer people’s traditional wrestling accompanied by the drums. Or relax by the pool and let that peaceful feeling sink in…