Immerse yourself in the culture, become a part of the local community, and make memories and connections that will last a lifetime
A brief history of Freetown, Sierra Leone
In the late 1790s to 1800s, various North American, British and other European black and white slavery abolitionist groups began to advocate for the end of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and mass groups of freed or escapee slaves were resettling around the Global North and on the African continent.
Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, was founded by freed American slaves in 1792 who arrived from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. They were a mixed group of Londoners, Nova Scotians, and Jamaican maroons who intermarried to create what was known as the Creole (presently referred to as Krio) population. When they arrived in Freetown they first settled around a massive tree known as the Cotton Tree and threw a party! They sang praises and hymns of finally reaching a free land. The Cotton Tree still stands today in the center of Freetown’s downtown commercial district separating shops, restaurants and banks from Government buildings. Several national events happen around the Cotton Tree till this day.
Although the Freetownians were overjoyed to reach a “free land” they soon discovered that Freetown was part of Sierra Leone – an African nation inhabitted by a multitude of ethnic groups, and controlled by the English under United Kingdom colonial administration. They would have to fight once again, for independence.
In the meantime the city and country melted into a cultural and commercial hub of West African tribes with strong practices around academia, art, trade, food and more. As a chief port city of Sierra Leone, Freetown was (and still is) a commercial center for trade in rutile, bauxite, platinum, gold, and diamonds. It is also known as the home of Fourah Bay College, established in 1827 as the first Western-influenced college in West Africa. Through the 19th Century, Fourah Bay College attracted students from across the continent.
Sierra Leone gained independence in 1961 after Sierra Leoneans along with the entirety of West Africa led fierce anti-colonial wars, boycotts and protests against the economic exploitation and racial, social and political injustices of colonialism. Colonialism became too expensive for the British to maintain given all the riots and wars.
Once Sierra Leone gained independence, Freetown like most capitals of newly created African nations, received thousands of migrants in search of employment – further expanding the multicultural melting pot that is Sierra Leone as a whole. This legacy is reflected in the multiple (16) languages, tribes, and cultures of Sierra Leoneans today. And they all lived in harmony and peace for sometime.
Unfortunately, Sierra Leone’s ability to avoid political unrest ended in 1991 when a civil war broke out. The war was largely a result of political power mongering on the part of the country’s political elite who had come to view politics as a means to enrich themselves via corruption, while leaving the populace to fend for themselves. The war destroyed much of the city’s infrastructure and economy before ending in 2002.
Since 2002, Freetown has come quite a way in rebuilding its political, economic, and social sectors. The city currently has a full functioning and peaceful democracy, and budding economic sectors (mining, telecoms, agro-processing, fishing, hospitality/tourism and fast moving consumer goods). The majority of Freetown and Sierra Leone’s potential to be an economic powerhouse remains untapped and the city is ripe for lucrative investment opportunities.
We'll work with you to customize a trip that meets your needs
Take care of business in a state of the art co-working space, centrally located with strong WIFI, an in-house juice bar, and a coffee lounge
Visit historical landmarks and learn from experts about the history of the country, including its connections to the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Volunteer with local community organizations and give back in a way that is aligned with your skills and interests
Lounge on beautiful beaches, trek to see natural wonders, enjoy local cuisine, listen to live music, and party until the sun comes up
We'll provide everything you need so that you can safely and comfortably enjoy Freetown
Centrally located, apartment or hotel-style accommodations
24/7 Access to a centrally located co-working space with strong WIFI
We'll meet you at the airport and provide a transport to your accommodation
A Community of like-minded people to meet and explore with
Leader & Local Team
On-site staff to manage logistics and facilitate local experiences
5 included Community Experiences to get you comfortable in a new city.
Meet one of our Community Leaders
Moses "Kinny" Koroma
A true nature-aficionado, with a heart for helping people, Community Leader Eddie is truly one of a kind. When he’s not busy hiking or skiing on mountain tops, Eddie spends his time learning new languages (he’s fluent in Spanish). During your month in Dakar, you will have a Community Leader, like Eddie, to support you, and a dedicated City Team who will be your insider source for the best local tips in town!
Our waterfront studio apartments are located in a
Wake up to the sound of the waves crashing against rocks and fishermen
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