This country houses the most amazing natural resources that you could ever imagine. The Loma Mountains, Tiwai Island, Lake Sonfon and Tingi Hills Forest reserve are just a few of the main attractions in Sierra Leone that will leave you in awe. Another National Park, which is named Outamba-Kilimi has the most beautiful jungle and the diversity and multitude of wildlife primates such as colobus monkeys and chimpanzees that you cannot see elsewhere. Once you have your fill of nature, and wanted to see how the nightlife goes in this country, you may visit Freetown where you get to experience how to be a local in Sierra Leone.
Important and Interesting Facts about Sierra Leone
- Sierra Leone,in West Africa, is a country flanked by Guinea in the North,Liberia in the Southeast and the Atlantic Ocean in the Southwest.
- It covers a total area of 71,740 km. and has an estimated population of 5.2 to 6 million.
- Sierra Leone, a former British Colony, is now a Constitutional republic comprising of the provinces, with its western area divided further into 14 districts.
- Sierra Leone is blessed with tropical climate and diverse environment ranging from the savannah to the rainforest.
- The largest city and economic center of the country , Freetown is also its capital.
- Sierra Leone is rich in mineral resources, has since long relied on mining,especially of diamonds, for its economic sustenance.
- Sierra Leone, also known as “the little jewel” in West Africa is blessed with a fusion of different cultures, religions and races.
- Sierra Leone is a home to to around 16 ethnic groups.
- River Rokel is the longest river in Sierra Leone.
- Mangrove swamps lie along the coast, with wooded hills and a plateau in the interior. The eastern region is mountainous.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Sierra Leone
- One of the top 10 diamond producing nations in the world, it also earns a lot of foreign currency from minerals.
- Sierra Leone is famou for “blood diamonds” that were mined and sold during teh civil war to raise money for weapons.
- The modern state of Sierra Leone is one of Africa’s smallest republics and the 118th largest country of the world.
- With coastal rainfall reaching 495 cm. (195 inches) annually,a it is one of Western Africa’s wettest places.
- It is not unusual for a child growing up to learn four different languages—that of their parent’s ethnic group, a neighboring group, Krio, and English.
- It is often hard for outsiders to grasp the centrality of rice to daily existence in Sierra Leone. Mende people, for example, have over 20 different words to describe rice in its variant forms, such as separate words for “sweet rice,” “pounded rice,” and “the rice that sticks to the bottom of a pot upon cooking.”
- For almost all Sierra Leoneans, rice is the staple food, consumed at virtually every meal. A Sierra Leonean will often say, without any exaggeration, “If I haven’t eaten rice today, then I haven’t eaten!”
- Bones, particularly chicken bones, are a delicacy.
- Sierra Leonean society is in some ways a stratified one. The traditional elite families are those who can trace descent (usually through the father’s line) to a warrior or hunter who first settled in the area.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Sierra Leone
- Sierra Leone has been inhabited now for at least 2,500 years by settlers from various parts of Africa.
- Agriculture has also been practiced here since 1000 AD especially by coastal tribes.
- Sierra Leone gained its independence from Freat Britain on April 27th, 1961.
- Sierra Leone is one of the world’s youngest democracies since 2007.
- On February 14,1972, the country made headlines when the world’s third-largest gem quality diamond- called the “Star of Sierra Leone”- was discovered in Koidu.
- The Sierra Leone Police, established by the British in 1894, is one of the oldest police forces in West Africa.
- The two largest and most dominant ethnic groups of Sierra Leone are teh Menda and Temne.
- The palm tree and the rice grain are the national symbols par excellence, immortalized in currency, song, and folklore, and valued for their central and staple contributions to everyday life. Different species of palms contribute to cooking oil, thatch roofs, fermented wine, soap, fruits, and nuts.
- National identity has been influenced by several factors. Besides the common experiences shared under colonialism or since independence, one of the most important has been the development of the regional lingua franca Krio, a language that unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other.
- Real food is rice, prepared numerous ways, and topped with a variety of sauces made from some combination of potato leaves, cassava leaves, hot peppers, peanuts, beans, okra, fish, beef, chicken, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes.
- Almost all ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funerals, initiations, and memorial services demand the preparation of large platters of rice, distributed to guests until they are full.
- For all Sierra Leoneans, marriage is a mark of adult maturity and brings considerable prestige to both bride and groom. Specific customs vary by ethnic group and socioeconomic status, but usually begin when a man is able to assemble enough brideprice (often a mixture of money and fine cloth) to give to the prospective bride and her family. He may be able to amass this himself, but often has to ask his father and his father’s brothers for support. Almost all marriages used to be arranged between families, sometimes while the girl was still quite young. Increasingly, “love marriages” are more common, especially among those who have been to school.