Podas podas: Vehicles of cultural meaning

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Poda PodaAll over sub Saharan Africa from East to West, mini buses have a special name. In Kenya it is Matatu, in Nigeria – Danfor, Ghana – Tro-tro, Guinea – Magbana and in Sierra Leone – Poda poda.

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Lumley Beach Arts & Crafts Market

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Arts & Craft MarketEven though Big Markit is one of the more popular arts markets, The Lumley Arts and Craft market, situated along the Lumley beach road just behind the office of the National Tourist Board - is one of the largest arts and craft market in the country whic mostly stocks purely Sierra Leonean arts.

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Maambena Fest 2014

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MaambenaThe Maambena Fest Literacy and Cultural Festival founded in 2011 by Usifu Jalloh under the flagship of the Aruna Jalloh foundation is the only festival in Sierra Leone that prides itself in celebrating both literacy and culture on the same platform. For the past three years

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Places to check out this Easter

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The Place 

Everybody loves a long weekend, and we are no differents so we've put together some ideas just for you. We have suggested, spots at the Freetown Peninsula, Rogbonko, Tacugama, Banana Island & Bunce Island with turtle Islands as a wildcard. You could also settle for drinking palm wine in a village somewhere.

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VSL Boat Launch

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vsl-boat

Visit Sierra Leone is proud to announce the launch of our boat "VSL 01". This comes after months of construction. The boat will be available for excursions to the Islands (Banana, Bunce, Turtle, Shenge and Sherbro) as well as peninsula beach trips. Contact us if you have a group or need ideas for a special day out. Click here for more pictures and information.

 

Kabala Festival 2013

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Kabala Festival, Sierra Leone

For decades, the people of Kabala have celebrated New years in a very unique way. To them, New Year is a way of bringing together the different chiefdoms and tribes in the region to showcase their traditions and culture. This is often accompanied with magical display of the arts, traditional dresses which even though are no longer used but are known to have some significance in the region, other great magical performances and an outing on the top of the tallest mountain in the region. Click here for complete information and photos (3 parts).

 

Adventures in Sierra Leone

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Adventures in Sierra LeoneIt might have been a box-office hit, but Leo di Caprio’s Blood Diamonds cut a deep scar on Sierra Leone’s international reputation. The savage civil war ended 10 years ago and the country is still associated with unethical diamond mining and child soldiers.
As a result, tourists have stayed away – last year the country had just 4,000 international visitors compared to about 100,000 in nearby Gambia.

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Letters from America - 2

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Ahmed KoromaSuba Ranka picked up his cutlass, wiped the blood with his fingers and smiled. He had killed again. Only this time, the victim was a goat. He meticulously picked his nose and looked around. He was getting really good at this; chasing goats and chickens around the barre and killing them one after another.

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Letters from America - 1

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Ahmed KoromaI remember walking into my old friend’s living room in the Grassfield area of Lumley way back in 1990. Like many homes then on a Sunday afternoon, you could hear the BBC radio station blasting from a far distance. As I walked in and sat down next to my old friend – I called him my old friend for a good reason and you will see a lot of references to many of my old friends in my letters – he motioned to the radio that was strategically placed on top of the credenza adjacent to a bookshelf on the far end of the room.

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Our trip to Banana Island

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IMG 7249From the moment we stepped off the boat we felt welcome at The Banana Island Guesthouse. We were met by Osman, who was to look after us for the evening. After taking our lunch orders we were taken to our rooms. We had been camping for 4 days so the rooms were absolute luxury as we enjoyed the showers and clean sheets.

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Christmas in Bonthe

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IMG_7612-miniWhen I mentioned to people in Freetown,  and even Sierra Leoenans in London that I had been to Bonthe,  the first reaction is ‘You nor dae frade de wata?’. I cannot understand this fear of the sea from a people who were mostly born within the sound of the waves of the sea.  There must be a physiological reason for this.  Although Bonthe can be reached by a long and not too comfortable road,  yet the easiest way is by boat,  and we choose a speed boat.
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Sierra Paradise Resort - Lungi: Not just for airports anymore

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IMG 9212In three years, I’ve probably passed through Lungi 18 times. On 17 occasions, I ventured no further than the airport, helipad, hovercraft launch, or ferry terminal. Once, I spent six hours in the Lungi Airport Hotel before my 5 a.m. Royal Air Maroc flight. Never did I consider exploring beyond that.

But now I know: Lungi has treasures of its own.

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The beautiful and restful reserve that is Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

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IMG 7828A natural rope hammock, high on the wooden porch of a treehouse eco-lodge, overlooking a lush green valley and the mountains beyond…

A morning mist blanketing the tropical forest terrain…The sounds of birds and insects, and the occasional call of a chimpanzee…Fresh air without the slightest trace of exhaust fumes or burning garbage or the various other smells of urban centres…

Could I really be just 20 minutes from Freetown? Yes...

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