"Bunce Island" Sierra Leone Off The Beaten Path Tip by Lariumboy

Sierra Leone Off The Beaten Path: 8 reviews and 14 photos

  slave holding cellar, Bunce Island
by Lariumboy

Formerly a specialized slave trading center during the 1700 and 1800's. Approximately 50,000 slaves were sold there during that time. Now you can tour the island with a guide as he explains about the ruined fort and its buildings.

In order to visit the island you must first go to Pepel and get permission from the curator in charge who also acts as your tour guide.

Having seen Steven Spielberg's movie "Amistad" about the capture and treatment of Sierra Leoneans sent to be slaves in the Americas, I found just walking around and listening to the history of Bunce Island to be very powerful and moving.

There are two ways in getting there: 1st option drive along the Port Loko road to Pepel. It is the long way around and the road is terrible. Once you arrive in Pepel hire a boat to cross you over the Rokel River to Bunce Island.

2nd option (the one we took) hire a boat called a "Pon Pon" from Tagrin, where the main ferry leaves for Freetown. The pon pon will take you up the Rokel River to Bunce Island and you'll have a lovely scenic trip in the process.

While on Pepel, check out the abandoned iron ore mines and machinery that used to be run by the Marampa Mines company.

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  • Written May 16, 2004
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