Attractions of Sierra Leone

Cotton Tree in Freetown

According to legend in 1792 the first returned slaves from the United States gathered under this tree and held a thanksgiving. This majestic tree with a girth of over 12 metres stands in the centre of the oldest part in Freetown and is the most visible landmark in the city. Though its exact age is unknown it has undisputedly stood here for over 200 years.

Yagala Old Town

Yagala Old Town is a town that was built using stone and mud on a hilltop as a refuge from slave traders in the 18th century, 216 kilometres from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. It was gradually deserted for more accessible places during the first part of the twentieth century.

Banana Islands

The Banana Islands located 40 kilometres from Freetown are a prime location for unguided walking tours through the pristine forest, scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. The island has rich history as the first European settlement in the region. It is a popular choice for daytrips and overnight excursions.

Loma Mountains

Located 277 kilometres from Freetown, Loma Mountains are the largest area of montane forest in the country. The Loma Mountain range has a rich bird fauna and ten species of primates and several other large mammal species including among these are threatened primates such as Western Chimpanzee, Red Colobus monkey, Black-and-White Colobus Monkey, Sooty Mangabey and Diana Monkey. The highest peak in the country, Bintimani at 1,948 m is found among these ranges.

Lake Sonfon

Lake Sonfon is a mountainous lake (about 850 metres above sea level) found in the Diang Chiefdom about 350 kilometres northeast of Freetown. Lake Sonfon is Sierra Leone’s largest inland lake. There are 115 species of birds commonly Herons and egrets and a variety of mammal species including the threatened Savanna Buffalo. There is artisanal gold mining near Lake Sonfon.

Outamba-Kilimi National Park

Outamba-Kilimi, found in the extreme north about 296 km north of Freetown is the only extensive area of savanna woodland and grass savanna, which has any protection in Sierra Leone. It is home to Western Chimpanzee, Red Colobus Monkey, Black and White Colobus Monkey, Sooty Mangabey, Western Elephant, Leopards, Pigmy Hippopotamus, Water Chevrotain, Maxwell Duiker, Savanna Buffalo and Over 150 bird species

The Wharf Steps and Old Guard House

The Wharf steps are a flight of stone steps leading down from Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown. The steps were completed in 1818 and the Guard House at the top of the steps was built in 1819. They are often being referred to as the “Portuguese steps”, which is quite erroneous as they were built centuries after the Portuguese had left this part of Africa.

St Charles’ Church, Regent

Built in 1816 to cater for the the spiritual welfare of the emerging communities as the Liberated African Villages grew, St Charles’ Church was the first stone church to be built in West Africa and it was named after Charles MacCarthy, the then governor. It is also the third oldest church in Africa. St Charles’ Church, Regent is found just outside Freetown.

Bunce Island

Bunce Island was one of about 40 slave castles, or fortified trading posts, that European merchants built along the coast of West Africa during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. Bunce Island is the most important historic site in Africa for the United States and it is located 24 kilometres from Freetown.

Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Tiwai Island is Sierra Leone’s first and only community conservation programme found 323 kilometres from Freetown. The island has one of the highest concentration and diversity of primates in the world. There are 11 primate species; some of them are rare and endangered including the colobus monkeys (black & white, red and olive) and the Diana monkey. It is also home to wild chimpanzees, pygmy hippopotamus and over 135 different bird species

Maroon Church

St John’s Maroon Church is a small white painted Church with big windows and quaint architecture built around 1820 by returned slaves from Jamaica. It is a historical building standing at the middle point of Siaka Steven Street in Freetown. Maroon Church is one of the oldest places of worship in the City

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, only 11 kilometres from Freetown was established in 1995 with an aim of conserving chimpanzees to release back them into their natural habitat. There are now over 100 chimpanzees.

 

About The Author

John Muhaise-Bikalemesa (JMB), is the founder of Muhaise.com blog and bigdrumassociates.com company. Learn more about him here and connect with him on his social medias below

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