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November 09, 2019
A recent trip to Freetown highlights what's new in town since the 90's.
It's been ages and ages since I was in Freetown and it has certainly changed.
On arrival at Lungi Airport, our transfer was handled by Sea Coach Express which for $40.00 per passenger offers a very good service from Lungi to Aberdeen. From Aberdeen we organized a ride to our hotel, however you can now use a local version of Uber to organize your own transport. Flash Vehicles is available at the touch of an app button and we were very pleased with the service.
A ton of construction is underway to build roads, Lumley Beach is now very built up with new units springing up wall to wall "to let" as restaurants and cafes.
We made a point of visiting sites that were not a part of life before, including the gorgeous beaches at River No. 2 and Tokeh; the highest point in Freetown (Leicester Peak), the Banana Islands, specifically Dublin Island and the City Centre markets of King Jimmy and Big Makit.
A trip to the compact National Museum revealed interesting nuggets of information such as the patchwork Kamajor clothing used by Civilian fighters during the war as a protective vest, antique Nomoli figures, ceremonial dancing figure costumes of recent vintage and some of the story of Sierra Leone's beginnings.
Our base was the lovely Mamba Point at Aberdeen. Dining out offered up some of the tastiest fare we've had in ages at Balmaya Restaurant, Lagoonda and the Swan at Home Suites Hotel.
It was remarkable to get a sense of the history of Sierra Leone and we were well guided by the folks at Visit Sierra Leone and by our trusty guide Chris Renner who provided immeasurable help with his expertise on all things Sierra Leone. We even leant that the original name of Freetown was the Temne word Romorong (meaning Land of Tears). Local lore has it that Freetown was so named by the people of the region across the Sierra Leone River. It is said that many lost loved ones who drowned while crossing the river from Port Lolo to Freetown.
Can't wait to return; hope you enjoy our photos and if you can, Visit Sierra Leone!!
1. Abandoned anchor from a slave slip found near Dublin, Banana Islands
2. Fisher boat at Tokeh
3. Bringing in the catch at Tokeh Beach
4. Bus graphics in town
5. Banana Island flora
6. Camping at Bofa Resort (Banana Island) Contact VisitSL for details
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