WHERE & WHAT TO VISIT

Sierra Leone has an interesting and varied choice of things to see and do. From the historic slave fort of Bunce Island, to the Tacaguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary, natural waterfalls to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

HISTORICAL SITE:

The National Monuments and Relics Commission has 18 declared sites to visit.

Bunce Island

Built in the 17th century, it captures the past in the present. It is at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River, 18km from Freetown. Its major attraction is the ruined fortress. The island was notorious to be the major collection points for slaves destined for Europe and the Americas. The Gullah people of South Carolina are thought to have come from here. A walk along the old fort wall or through the slave quarters, the ruined fort, ancillary buildings, gravesites, slave quarters, and canons will make a visit to the island worth exploring.

Mountain Villages

These villages such as Regent, Bathurst, Leicester and Gloucester are along the hills overlooking the city. They have several interesting krio-style houses, some dating from the early 19th century. From Regent you can walk through krio villages to Charlotte Falls or climb Sugar Loaf Mountain, one of the highest points on the peninsula. The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone can assist with planning hiking routes and elsewhere on the peninsula.

Other areas worth visiting are the Victoria Park, the original Fourah Bay College ruins, Big Market, The Cotton Tree, The National Museum etc. are all historical sites to explore on your visit to Sierra Leone. Villages in the provinces are also perfect settings for visitors to discover the country’s rich culture and tradition intersper with modern civilization. A visit will give you a feel and insight of the history and culture of its people.

The Railway Museum at Cline Town in Freetown

Beyer-Garratt 66-ton steam locomotive, built in Manchester in 1955. The largest locomotive ever built for the 2ft 6in gange system, and pride of the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum.

Water Falls

Charlotte Falls is a perfect place for frolicking in the cool pools or to enjoy a picnic. Bumbuna Falls in the Northern Province; home to the hydroelectric dam is also famous for eco tourism activities. Guma Valley Dam is also renowned as a picnic spot. Whether looking for a picnic site or wanting to discover the tranquil ambience of the eco – system, venture out to these exotic places.

TACAGUMA CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY

A sanctuary for orphaned and captured chimps is located at Regent Village only 30 minutes drive from Freetown. Established to rescue orphaned and captured chimps, the facilities expanded to encompass two large reserves. Come and watch Bruno the king of the sanctuary display the animal form of territorial chief among it subordinates in his natural habitat.

WILDLIFE

The wildlife in Sierra Leone is diverse with 21 protected areas. Some of the interesting areas worth visiting are:

Outamba Kilimi National Park

Found in the northeast of Kamakwie in the Bombali district is a magic place embedded between the rivers Little Scarcies, Lolo and Mongo. Look out for some of the rare elephants and buffaloes and find evidences of them following their paths through the dense bush. See the Hippos relaxing in their pools or listen to the songs of the rich bird life and the alarm calls of the various primates while silently paddling along the river in a canoe.

Mamunta Mayoso

It is a small reserve (20 sq km) that protects the wetland area, 30km south of Makeni, and provides a refuge for many species of birds and small mammals, and the rare short-nosed crocodiles.

Tiwai Island

Tiwai is a beautiful reserve 50km south of Kenema on a small island (13 sp km) in the Moa River. The forest environment is virtually pristine with a high though increasingly threatened concentration of primates. You can hike on tracks all over the island; with careful stalking, you can see chimpanzee, several types of monkeys including the colobus and the beautiful Diana monkey (the symbol of the park), pygmy hippopotamus, crocodile, and more than 120 bird species including hornbill, kingfisher and the rare white-breasted guinea fowl. Tiwai Island is also home to bats, bush babies and hundreds of butterflies.

The easiest way to reach Tiwai is via Potoru by Jeep from Bo

Gola Forest Reserve

Some 40km east of Kenema are the Gola Hills, a pocket of lowland tropical rain forest originally part of the larger forest that once covered much of West Africa’s coastal region. It also hosts several unique species of birds and animals. To get here, head southeast on the Monrovia road to Joru, then 10km east to Lalehun. The Conservation Department in the Forestry Division offices on Maxwell St in Kenema has all information needed.

ISLANDS

Camp out or just explore Banana Island or Turtle Island. Experience the Natural Konakridee-Yeliboya Wetlands or ask your guide for other interesting exotic islands.

Mountain and Hills

Sierra Leone is also known for its mountains and hills. Climb Bintumani Mountain or take a Dip in Lake Sonfon. Tingi Hills is popular for mountain climbing. The Bumbuna Falls offers a special place in the middle of the wilderness.

There are many other interesting and fascinating places to see up country. Ask your Host, Hotel, and Handling Agent or contact the National Tourist Board to arrange something exciting and adventurous.

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