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Explore Tasso Island, one of the most unique tourist destinations the continent has to offer. With its touching colonial history, outdoor activities that leave your heart pumping, and stunning views of ocean and tropical forest, Tasso Island has gained the interest of a myriad of travellers, historians and preservationists.
Up to a few years ago, Tasso Island remained a hidden gem, visited only sporadically by the most adventurous tourists. Lack of tourist infrastructure, lodging and general facilities made the island virtually inaccessible. Now in 2019, Tasso Island has become one of the most appealing eco-tourism attractions in Sierra Leone. Visitors can enjoy bird watching tours, forest hikes, local fishing trips, and guided tours exploring the colonial past of Tasso Island. Before Bunce Island became the main slave trading centre in Sierra Leone, the English had established three settlements on the island. Due to its relatively large size and close proximity to the mainland, slaves escaped frequently, and the island was abandoned by the traders. Due to lack of preservation, little is left of these historic structures. However, efforts are being made to ensure Sierra Leone doesn’t lose the visual proof of its past.
Facilities- Tasso Island offers beautifully decorated timber eco-lodges with basic amenities. For food, visitors can indulge in freshly caught seafood, tropical fruits and vegetables and chilled beverages to each his own.
After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel to catch the boat to Tasso Island.
This previously forgotten island now has a tourist camp run by the Tasso Ecotourism Project, which aims to bring new jobs and livelihoods to the 5,000 islanders who currently rely entirely on fishing.
The boat ride takes approximately one hour and offers you a stunning view of the Western Area Peninsula. Upon arrival, the tour providers will offer you a variety of dishes to choose from for your lunch. You can spend the rest of the day and evening exploring the tropical island. Options include canoeing, bird watching, nature study, guided tours, volunteering, meeting local people or studying colonial history. Of course, you can also just relax, bask in the sun or go for a quiet stroll.
You will spend the night in one of the locally decorated wooden, beach-side chalets each with: a double bed, mosquito net, en suite shower and composting toilet.
Awake to the sounds of the waves, tropical birds and gentle sea breeze. Ready to continue your explorations after a freshly prepared breakfast? The staff will help you navigate the island and ensure that you can make the most out of your visit.
You can take a forest hike with one of the local guides, or test your water skills by canoeing around the island. Or help out the community by engaging in some volunteering; the choices are plentiful, and can heighten your experience into an unforgettable one.
Lunch and dinner will be tailored towards your needs and preferences. The cooks will happily prepare tasty dishes made with tropical island flavours. Spend the in peace and quiet and gaze at the stars, or seek company and engage in conversations with the island locals. They will be happy to share their experiences and stories and help you understand their culture.
After breakfast you can spend the rest of the morning on Tasso Island. You will return back to Freetown in the ‘gladi-gladi’, a beautiful hand-crafted boat, straight after lunch.