Lovers of history will be spoilt for choice in Freetown, established as a new home for freed slaves several centuries ago.
Reminders of their journey can be seen dotted across the capital, from the majestic 300-year-old cotton tree which sits at the city’s centre to the ruins of Old Fourah Bay College, the first European-style university in West Africa.
See the Old Wharf Steps and Guard House, St John’s Maroon Church, one of the city’s oldest places ofworship dating from 1820, and the Gateway to the King’s Yard, through which almost all rescued slaves passed on their return to Africa.
The Sierra Leone National Railway Museum is a wonderful stop for railway enthusiasts with a fine collection of historical locomotives and coaches. Guided tours are also available offering insights into the development of Sierra Leone’s rail network and even the visit to Sierra Leone of Queen Elizabeth II.
A must-stop for any visitors is the Sierra Leone National Museum which houses an important collection of national artefacts and artworks. Guided tours reveal Sierra Leone’s history even before it became a slave trading hub, its colonial past and its modern-day history, including its independence from Britain in 1961. Most notable is its collection of Secret Society costumes and masks.
To learn more about visiting these historic sites visit http://www.sierraleoneheritage.org/