Freetown


Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone’s major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre. The city’s economy revolves largely around its harbour, which occupies a part of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River in one of the world’s largest natural deep water harbours. The population of Freetown is ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. The city is home to a significant population of virtually all of Sierra Leone’s ethnic groups, with no single ethnic group forming a majority of the city’s population. As in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone.
The city of Freetown was founded on March 11, 1792 by Lieutenant John Clarkson and African American ex-slaves and free people called the Nova Scotian Settlers, who were transported to Sierra Leone by the Sierra Leone Company in 1792. The city of Freetown was a haven for free-born and freed African American, Liberated African and Caribbean settlers; and their descendants are known as the Creole people. Freetown is the oldest capital to be founded by African Americans, having been founded thirty years before Monrovia, Liberia and is noted for its unique Creole architecture reflecting American and Caribbean influences.


Area: 81.48 km²
Population: 802,639

Languages


The Krio language is Freetown’s primary language of communication and is by far the most widely spoken language in the city.

Climate

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Freetown has a tropical climate with a rainy season from May through to October; the balance of the year represents the dry season. The beginning and end of the rainy season is marked by strong thunderstorms. Under the Köppen climate classification, Freetown has a tropical monsoon climate primarily due to the heavy amount of precipitation it receives during the rainy season.
Freetown’s high humidity is somewhat relieved November through to February by the famous Harmattan, a wind blowing from the Sahara Desert affording Freetown its coolest period of the year. Temperature extremes recorded in Freetown are from 15 °C (59 °F) to 38 °C (100 °F) all year. The average annual temperature is around 28 °C (82 °F).

Education

Freetown (as the rest of Sierra Leone) has an education system with six years of primary school (Classes 1 to 6), and six years of secondary school (Forms 1 to 6). Secondary schools are further divided into Junior secondary school (Forms 1 to 3) and Senior secondary school (Forms 4 to 6). This system is known as the 6-3-3-4 education system, which means: 6 years of Primary, 3 years of Junior Secondary, 3 years of Senior Secondary, and 4 years of University.
Primary school pupils are usually aged 6 to 12, and secondary schools are usually aged 13 to 18. Primary Education is free and compulsory in government-sponsored public schools. Freetown is home to one of the country’s two main universities, the Fourah Bay College, the oldest university in West Africa, founded in 1827.


Sports


football is the most popular sport in Freetown. The Sierra Leone national football team, popularly known as the Leone Stars plays all their home games at Freetown’s National Stadium, the largest stadium in Sierra Leone.
Eight of the fifteen clubs in the Sierra Leone National Premier League are from Freetown, including two of Sierra Leone’s biggest and most successful football clubs, East End Lions, and Mighty Blackpool. A match between these two teams is the biggest domestic-football clash in Sierra Leone. A Notable Sierra Leonian footballer is Kei Kamara, who currently plays for New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.

Economy

Freetown is the economic and financial centre of Sierra Leone. The country’s state television and radio station, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, is primarily based in Freetown. They have regional headquarters in the country’s other primary cities of Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, Koidu Town, Magburaka and Makeni. The other national broadcasters, such as Capital Radio, are also based in Freetown. Many of the country’s largest corporations locate their headquarters’ home offices in Freetown as well as the majority of international companies.
The city’s economy revolves largely around its final natural harbour, which is the largest natural harbour on the continent of Africa. Queen Elizabeth II Quay is capable of receiving oceangoing vessels and handles Sierra Leone’s main exports.
Industries include food and beverage processing, fish packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, shoes, and beer. the Fula and Sierra Leonean-Lebanese play a major role in local trade in the city.
The city is served by the Lungi International Airport, located in the city of Lungi, across the river estuary from Freetown.


Safety

Since the end of civil war in 2002, Freetown has had an increase in robberies and violent crime: murders, home invasion, and assault. This effect is most pronounced in the East End of Freetown. But crime levels (especially violent crime) are comparatively low by regional and international standards.
Petty crime is common – take care of possessions and be wary of leaving valuables in rooms.
There are currently many pickpocket operating in the neighbourhood of “Town Hill”and “Magazine” (an area where there are many street money changers), they are very active.
Be careful when changing money as it’s opening many opportunities to trick you. A small exchange shop is much safer than the street.
Gold dust/diamond scammer are active and targeting foreigners in Freetown, stay away from anyone claiming to own or manage a gold/diamond mine.
Thefts from luggage at the airport on the way out of Sierra Leone are quite common. Do not leave valuable items in luggage.


Accommodation

      
   


Car rentals

       


Things to do in Freetown

 

Cape Sierra Leone Lighthouse was built in 1812 by the Portuguese. It is in very good condition (it has been refurbished in 2010). There are some stunning views of the Atlantic ocean. If you are lucky, the local staff will show you around.

Fourah Bay College is a public university in the neighborhood of Mount Aureol in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Founded on 18 February 1827, is the oldest university in West Africa and the first western-style university built in West Africa.

Tacugama was established in 1995 to enforce the law and rehabilitate confiscated, orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees with the aim to release back them into their natural habitat. The sanctuary now cares for about 75 chimpanzees…

The Turtle Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, located west of Sherbro Island in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone.

Hill Station Club is a gentleman’s club, dating from colonial times.

 

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