Freetown Commonwealth Walkway

Sierra Leone / Africa

Sierra Leone is a country situated in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. The countries name derives from the 15th-century Portuguese pioneer. Ge was the first European to spot this country and site Freetown Harbour. Sierra Leone’s original Portuguese name is Serra Lyoa meaning “lion mountains. This is in relation to the rand of hills that surround the harbour. Sierra Leone is known for its agriculture and white-sand beaches along the Freetown Peninsula. Almost most of Sierra Leone’s population make an income through agriculture or mining. It lands yields gold, diamonds, rutile and bauxite. That being said, Sierra Leone’s reputation is ruined by the internal conflict that crippled the country in the 1980s. It accumulated to a civil war which lasted from 1991 to 2002. Since then, the country has been involved in the arduous tax of rebuilding and reconciling. The conflict was mainly a result of ethnic complexity. Sierra Leone is composed of 18 different ethnic groups which all share similar cultural features and farming methods. The Mende are found in the east and south, and the Temne are found in the centre. These groups are the largest in Sierra Leone. Moreover, the official language in Sierra Leone is Krio. Krio is derived from English and a variety of African languages. Also, about two-thirds of the population is Muslim, while about one-fourth are Christians. Capital The Capital City and port of Sierra Leone is Freetown. It is known for its beaches and historical involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The old town’s centuries-old Cotton Tree is a symbol of emancipation. Furthermore, the nearby Bruce Island was a significant departure point during the slave trade. The Sierra Leone National Museum portrays this history and is worth a visit. The stilted houses in Freetown also stand as a reminder of when freed slaves from the Caribbean were resettled here. 
  • Rice is the staple food of Sierra Leone with most local citizens eating it as part of almost every meal.
  • Sierra Leone is home to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary located in the rain forest of the Western Area National Park which comprises an area of some 100 acres of land.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Qua in Sierra Leone is the world’s third-largest natural harbour.

1.5 miles / 2.5 kilometres

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