What is the capital of Sierra Leone
Kush (pronounced koo-sheh), welcome to Sierra Leone, the land of the Lion Mountains!
Sierra Leone is a paradise for explorers, as many rare animal species live here. For Africans, Sierra Leone is a vacation paradise, because a wide variety of recreational sports are offered here. You can also watch chimpanzees. You can find where exactly below.
Location and landscapes
Sierra Leone is a small country on the west coast of Africa. It borders the Republic of Guinea to the north and Liberia to the southeast. In the south is the Atlantic Ocean.
An approximately 100 km wide plain stretches along the Atlantic coast. Some long sandbanks stretch off the coast. The Guinea Highlands rise behind the coastal plain. The Niger, the largest river in West Africa, has its source here. The Sierra Lyoa Mountains rise on the Freetown Peninsula. The range of hills is reminiscent of a sleeping lion. The capital Freetown is also located here.
The country takes its name from the almost 1,000 meter high "Lion Mountains". Sierra Leone's beaches and river banks are lined with mangrove swamps.
The hilly country is covered by tropical rainforest, some of which extends to the coast. Unfortunately, much of the original rainforest has disappeared. Arable land was created from it by slash and burn. Today we are much more aware of the importance of the rainforests than a few decades ago. To protect the original forests, the entire area of the Freetown Peninsula has been declared a protected area.
Climate: The climate in Sierra Leone is tropical and humid. The year is divided into a rainy and a dry season. The rainy season begins in mid-May with thunderstorms and rains, after which it rains almost continuously. The dry season begins in mid-October. The dusty Harmattan wind blows from the Sahara from December to January. From February it will be very hot with temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees.
More about Niger
Freetown - the "City of the Free"
The capital of Sierra Leone is located on the northwest tip of the Freetown Peninsula, a peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 830,000, Freetown is the largest city in Sierra Leone. Thickly forested hills surround the historic port city. Fine sandy beaches line the coast. One of the most famous sights of the city is the Cotton Tree, the "cotton tree". It is in the middle of the city center. This is also where the Sierra Leone National Museum is located, the only museum in the small country.
Fourah Bay College is the oldest university in West Africa. Because of this university, Freetown is also known as the “Athens of West Africa” because it is a magnet for educated people from all over West Africa. The King Jimmy Market is also worth a visit. The market used to be a center of the slave trade, today craftsmen and artists display their goods there. There is an international airport in Freetown. Unfortunately, public transport is not well developed. That is why most of the residents travel by scooter or in shared taxis.
Peoples and languages
Many different peoples live in Sierra Leone. The different cultures make for a colorful street scene in the cities. The largest population groups are the Mende and the Tenne. Creoles and the descendants of former slaves who returned to Africa after the abolition of slavery and settled here also live here.
English is the official language of the former British colony, but most people speak Krio, a mixture of African languages and English. The directions of the gods are as diverse as the peoples. More than half of the population are followers of Islam. A minority belong to the Christian denominations. But almost all of them maintain their African faith. There are still many secret societies that maintain the old customs and perform mask dances. Unfortunately, one of the old rites is the circumcision of girls. But now there are more and more people who advocate the abolition of circumcision.
Celebrations and celebrations
No party without them Dancing devil, they belong to a secret society that is everywhere in Sierra Leone. They appear on Independence Day and Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. The secret societies then march through the city with magnificently masked dancers. In Freetown they are accompanied by music groups with flutes and drums. As in a love parade, huge sound systems are mounted on magnificently decorated floats, from which the latest hits are booming. These are followed by handcarts with schnapps and other drinks. The moves are not entirely free. With wild gestures the dancers urge the audience to "give money to the devil". The girl in the photo on the left is dancing the Koindu dance at an African harvest festival.
Sierra Leone has hardly any historical sights. The long sandy beaches and the large animal protection parks have a lot of variety to offer. That's in the hills outside Freetown Tacaguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Nowhere is it better to observe our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. They are among divers Banana Islands an insider tip off the Freetown Peninsula. During the holiday season, the sandy beaches are densely populated, because the species-rich underwater world is a paradise for snorkelers.
You can find more sights in the afrika-junior travel guide
school and education
How can you go to school when there are no school buildings? Over a thousand schools were destroyed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. After that, classes were canceled for most of the children. Even today only a small part of the schools has been rebuilt. There is a lack of teachers and school materials. The government wants to introduce compulsory schooling. But that can take time because there is a lack of money. That is why today two thirds of adults are illiterate, the majority of course women. Girls are encouraged to help in the household or in the fields from an early age. In general, child labor is very high in Sierra Leone. Half of all children between the ages of 5 and 14 have to do heavy work. The ruins in the photo on the left used to be a school! More about schools in Africa
Economy and Natural Resources
The majority of the people live from agriculture. Coffee, cocoa, ginger, cassava, rice, millet, corn, peanuts, palm oil and rubber. Unfortunately, many farms in the hinterland are not yet being managed again. There is a lack of building material to rebuild the villages. Many cannot afford agricultural implements and seeds, so most of them switch to fishing. The rivers and coastal areas are rich in fish, especially herrings and tuna.
Sierra Leone is rich in natural resources. Diamonds, gold, bauxite and rutile are found in the soils. There is a lot of mining going on. The downside of mining is the high level of water pollution. It poses serious problems for the population. Because children in particular get sick from the polluted water. The term "blood diamonds" comes from the civil war in Sierra Leone. Rebels captured diamonds and used them to buy weapons for the cruel civil war that crippled the country for many years. Unfortunately, even today, the income from the mineral resources does not benefit the population.
The Outamba Kilimi National Park in the north is one of the last refuge for large animal species in West Africa. The rare pygmy hippos live here. You can also see chimpanzees, elephants, Cape buffalo, bongos, giraffes and lions. The small antelopes roam the woods. The national park is also a paradise for birds. More than 220 species of birds have been counted here.
The emerald cuckoo with its emerald green plumage is considered to be the most beautiful bird in Africa. Despite the conspicuous plumage, the males are also difficult to make out in the wild. They move inconspicuously in the dense foliage. Emerald cuckoos are notable for their frequent calls. The typical call is a loud one chi-wu chu chi. European settlers interpret his call as a hel-lo geor-gy or hel-lo ju-ly translated. It has disappeared everywhere, only a few specimens are left in Sierra Leone.
Already knew? Tacugama is a conservation project in Sierra Leone. It is the largest chimpanzee conservation project in Africa. More than 100 chimpanzees are released and protected here. Above all, it is about the reintroduction of former "pet" chimpanzees.
More about the animals of the savannah
People lived in the caves in the rocky mountains of Sierra Leone even in the early days. They were expelled by the immigrating Bantu peoples in the 15th century. Around that time, the Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra reached the coast of the area. He called the country "Lion Mountains". Sierra Leone is associated with a second personality from Europe: the English lawyer Granville Sharp. The human rights activist was one of the founders of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery. He bought land in Sierra Leone to create a new home for freed slaves.
More about the history of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Today
Today Sierra Leone is a presidential republic. The president has a lot of power. He doesn't have to deal with criticism. Because only one party sits in parliament. Nevertheless, the country is on the way to a democracy, thanks to the many women who rule today. You never want war again. You are committed to a better life, freedom and better educational opportunities.
Children's rights in Sierra Leona
Children's rights are a project for the future. Some of the women in Sierra Leone raise their children alone. You are pragmatic. They know that they cannot meet all the conditions for growing up under optimal conditions. First of all, they want their children to no longer have to toil for a dollar a day like they once did. Unfortunately, child labor is common in Sierra Leone. In the photo on the top left you can see children and young people who work in a gold mine.
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