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.
TACUGAMA CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY
Tacugama was established in 1995 to help enforce law and rehabilitate confiscated, orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees with the aim to release back them into their natural habitat. The sanctuary focuses on the protection and conservation of chimpanzees and since 1995, it has been caring for over 100 chimpanzees in several forested enclosures.
The sanctuary has two daily tours (10.30am & 4pm) when you will have the opportunity to chimpanzees close-up during feeding time and also see the work being carried out by the sanctuary. If you want a quiet time at the sanctuary, I would highly recommend spending a night or two at one of their eco-lodges. Basic but classy, they are the best eco-lodges in the country.
ROGBONKO VILLAGE RETREAT
The Rogbonko Village Retreat is an easily accessible retreat for those looking to get out of town. Rogbonko Mathaka (meaning the Place in the Forest) gives an insight to individuals seeking a new experience and adventure life in the countryside. One of its greatest aspects is providing unique and comfortable traditional houses piled with the best traditional beds as well as eating local food followed by the everyday life in the villages of Sierra Leone. Rogbonko aims to give visitors a chance to experience life in a Sierra Leonean village but with somewhat more convenience. If you feel like venturing out you can take a day trip to see the Bumbuna Falls.
FREETOWN PENINSULA: The Place Resort, Tokeh Sands and River Number Two and York Village
Let’s face it. You’d sleep on the sand at Tokeh and still have a lovely time. You add The Place Resort to that and well, paradise regained. Built on the lovely white sands of Tokeh Beach, The Place Beach Resort is among the newest hotels that provide comfort, privacy and elegance with a romantic view of the Atlantic Ocean as well as a distant view of the great Banana Island. Next to The Place Resort is Tokeh Sands, another hotel in the idyllic Tokeh setting. There are various activities that you can arrange from Tokeh Sands, jet skis, boat rides etc. You can head out to The Place or Tokeh Sands for a day although to really experience the beauty of these places you need to spend at least one night. From Tokeh you can walk to River Number two (about 20-30 minutes) for lunch or just to chill out with the community at what is arguably Freetown’s most beautiful beach. Another alternative is to do a tour of York Village.
About 20 minutes boat ride from Kent and about an hour ride form the great Number 2 River, lies the sleepy but very charming Banana Islands. Apart of its historic significance in Sierra Leone, Banana Island offers good opportunities for snorkeling, fishing or a canoe trip around the Island. The accommodation on the island is pretty basic but you do get the feeling of being in a faraway island which is ideal for those looking for a quiet getaway. The Banana Island Guest House and Dalton’s Guest House are two well-known accommodation facilities on the island. If you are looking to getaway for a day, then join our excursion on the 26th of April 2014 (click here fore more on this).
Founded around 1670, Bunce Island used to be the largest British slave castle on the rice coast of West Africa. From the castle, tens of thousands of African captives were exported to North America and the West Indies until the British Parliament finally closed it down in 1808. It is now a National Monument for Sierra Leone’s heritage. No one live on Bunce Island so no hotels or museums here but trips there provide an insightful look into this chapter in Sierra Leone’s history. Our next schedule trip to Bunce Island is on the 21st April (click here for more on this)
Wildcard: Turtle Islands
A total of eight small Islands off the Southwest peninsular inhabited mostly by fishing communities, Turtle Islands are very remote and hard (and potentially expensive) to get to. Once you get there, there is nothing like it in terms of the raw beauty of the place. We recommend swimming and fishing with the local fishermen since the water and air is very clean and fresh which makes swimming a truly pleasurable experience.