Today is World Tourism Day, a day set aside by the United Nations in 1980 to increase awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic values both locally and internationally.
Sierra Leone is joining other countries in the world to commemorate this day and the impact of the tourism industry on the socio-economic growth of the country.
Hence, Sierra Leone is one of the countries across the world that gets thousands of tourists, who come here to explore its landscape, wildlife reserves, culture, tradition, and other tourist attractions.
If you are coming to Sierra Leone here are 6 places to visit so you can learn about the country’s history, culture, tradition, landscape, etc.
1. Bunce Island: is an island situated in the Freetown Harbour, around the estuary of the Rokel River and Port Loko Creek. The island houses a castle that was built in c.1670 by the Royal Africa Company, where tens of thousands of Africans were transported m to North America and Georgia for slavery.
2. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary: located in the outskirts of Freetown, in the Western Area Peninsula National Park. Tacugama is caring for over 100 chimpanzees on-site and it’s an eco-tourism hub for Freetown, having 6 eco-lodges and a variety of activities for tourists.
3. Gola Rainforest National Park: located in Kenema District and is Sierra Leone’s second national park. Gola Rainforest has over 71,070 hectares, it’s home to more than 330 bird species, 650 butterfly species and 49 mammal species.
4. Outamba Kilimi National Park: located in the northwest of Sierra Leone near the border of Guinea. The Park is the oldest and first wildlife reserve in Sierra Leone. It has an area of 110,900 hectares of land and it’s the home of hippos in Sierra Leone. The park is named after its highest peak in one part Mount Outamba and its longest river in the other end, River Kilimi.
5. Tiwai Island: meaning “Big Island,” it’s a wildlife sanctuary and tourist site in Sierra Leone. The island is run by a non-governmental organization Environmental Foundation for Africa. Tiwai is 12 square kilometres in area and located in the Moa River in the Southern Province, it’s one of the largest inland islands in the country.
6. Banana Islands: a group of islands that lie off the coast of Yawri Bay, southwest of Freetown Peninsula in the Western Area of Sierra Leone. The three islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third Mes-Meheux is a privately owned island and used as an adventure tourism destination. Dublin Island is known for its beaches, while Ricketts Island is also known for its forests. The major industries in Banana Islands are fishing and tourism.