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#Sierra Leone

dynamicafrica:

In Pictures: Surfing culture breaking ground in Sierra Leone.

About a year or a two ago, I came across an article somewhere on the web that talked about how Sierra Leone locals were trying to revive their country’s tourism industry after it had been marred by years of a terrible civil war. In particular, part of these efforts were being channeled into building up both a culture and industry around surfing, a sport originally developed by the native Polynesians in Hawai’i, as the western coast of Sierra Leone is home to a number of beaches that make for some pretty good surf locations.

Whilst not on the level of more mature surf industries and primary surf locations, there are at least four beaches in Sierra Leone that those who visit the country can venture on to with their surfboards in tow: River No.2 beach, Aberdeen beach, Bureh beach and Sulima beach

Out of the four listed above, Bureh beach seems to be gaining the highest level of popularity, probably due in part to the Bureh Beach Surf Club (BBSC) of which some of its members are pictured above as part of a photographic essay by Sierra Leone-based photographer Tommy Trenchard.

The BBSC was set up in 2011 as a non-profit organization in and is the country’s first and only surf club. Bureh is a small fishing village that is about an hour and 30 minutes drive from the capital Freetown.

So if you were thinking of visiting Sierra Leone, or looking for a place to vacation in Africa, these spots are definitely areas to consider. For those who possess ECOWAS passports, you can get passport stamped upon arrival if all your documents are intact. But be sure to check with the Sierra Leonean embassy where you live before departing. Non-ECOWAS passport holders will need visas upon arrival into Sierra Leone.

Last week Friday, I covered a concert by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars for This is Africa.

Short blurb about it here.

Photos from the show here.

I also interviewed the bandleader, Reuben Koroma last month. If you don’t know anything about the band, they were formed in refugee camps in Guinea after escaping the Civil War in Sierra Leone. He spoke to me about his experiences in refugee camps, how the band got together, his musical influences, what he listens to, and the band’s experiences opening for Aerosmith and appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show. Click here to read the interview.