Key Country Facts
Rice is a huge part of dietary culture. Almost all occasions including weddings, funerals, imitations, and the like require large platters of rice to be prepared for all in attendance. It’s not a real meal until there’s rice!
Kilimi, Tiwai Island, Tacugama Chimp Reserve
The capital of Sierra Leone is Freetown. There are approximately 6 million people living here. The official language is English, with Mende spoken in the South, Temne spoken in the North, and Krio spoken in the capital. The majority of Sierra Leoneans practice Islam. The time zone is 4 hours ahead of EST. Major exports of Sierra Leone include iron ore, diamonds, textile, cocoa, coffee, and fish.
Sierra Leone is known for its diverse wildlife, scenic national parks and islands. Named after the country’s highest peak, Mount Outamba, and its longest river, Kilimi, Outamba Kilimi National Park is breathtaking. Visitors to the park can expect to see everything from primates like the sooty mangabey to hippos, to antelopes and over a hundred species of birds! Also of interest is Tiwai Island. This wildlife sanctuary, also known as ‘Big Island’ is located on the Moa River and is used as a game reserve, ecological research center, and forest and wildlife conservatory and is a breathtaking sight for tourists as well!
Sierra Leone named by Portuguese explorer Pedro De Sintra in 1462, who thought that mountain range boarding Freetown looked like a Lion’s head and that the thunder in the sky sounded like lions were roaring.
*check out this video to hear how the capital gets its name and its history*
The highlight of my time in Sierra Leone was visiting the Tacugama Chimp Reserve. Founded in 1992 by a local and a chimp expert, Jane Goodall, this wonderful place to visit. This 100 acre sanctuary looks after 75 chimps which have been confiscated from hunters and others who has illegally possessed them.