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The Homecoming – Passport Accession

Visit Sierra Leone (VSL Travel), Freetown, Sierra Leone
Not Rated

Duration

13 Days

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

Please note that the program below is not fixed – some of the day’s events can be changed based on the government requirements/plans. If your root is traced to an ethnic group that is neither Mende nor Temne, then you could join either group for the ‘Naming & Robing Ceremony’ or we could organise a separate trip(at an additional cost).

The cost includes visa, a round trip airport transfers, accommodation, a guided tour, transportation (except for the ‘Free days’), activities, Passport fee, Heritage or Civic Education workshop, and meals as indicated in the itinerary.

Itinerary

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November 24 - Thursday

Arrival in Freetown, transfer to hotel

Arrive to Freetown’s Lungi International Airport, which is one of the world’s most uniquely-situated airports, located on the northern coast of the Freetown Estuary. On arrival, disembark and enter the arrivals hall for baggage reclaim. You will be met by a representative from VSL TRAVEL who will have a signboard with your name on it after customs. He will be available to deal with any immediate questions then get you on your private vehicle for transfer to the dock from where you take the 30 minute boat ride and make a charismatic entry to the city catching a glimpse of the towering hills over Freetown. Once in Aberdeen, you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Similar

November 25 - Friday

Heritage/ Civic Education and Business/ Investment Workshop
After breakfast, your driver will take you to the venue for the Heritage/Civic Education and Business/Investment Workshop

Filling of Passport Application Forms
After the workshop, you will be assisted by the Immigration Officers to complete your passport application form.
In the late afternoon or evening, you're transferred to your hotel.

Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

November 26 - Saturday

Freetown Historical Tour

Today we start the day by having our first look around the vibrant city and make a sweep through its historical core. With the car and guide at your disposal you will visit sites such as the Railway Museum, St. Georges Cathedral, National Museum, Peace Monument, the Maroon Church, the Cotton Tree, The Gateway to the Old King's Yard and Fort Thornton (where the Presidential State House now stands).

Arrive at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
After lunch (not included unless otherwise stated), you will head for Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

You will see the amazing work being done by Bala and his team. Chimpanzees are often cruelly or ignorantly kept as pets, or sometimes hunted for their meat. Today however, more than 100 primates find haven at Tacugama, swinging from branches, hooting with happiness, throwing things at passers-by with the petulance of children, nuzzling each other with tenderness of mothers attending to newborns, and picking bugs out of each other furs with the attention of Madonna’s manicurist, even the least animal-friendly of visitors gets sucked into the magic within the moments.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Apart from the Sanctuary there are other attraction sites available in this area to occupy your time among which is the viewing of over 100 bird species that have been identified in and around the Tacugama Forest Reserve. After the Chimps tour, you will make a short stop at Leicester Peak before being transferred to your hotel.

November 27 - Sunday

Bunce Island, Tasso Island
This morning we go to Bunce Island with a private speedboat, viewing the city from the coast as you go by. Bunce Island was the largest British slave castle on the Rice Coast of West Africa. Founded around 1670, it exported tens of thousands of African captives to North America and the West Indies until the British Parliament finally closed it down in 1808. Bunce Island is left to decay, and although this raises questions of preservation, it does have a certain charm. It is authentic, raw - a painful history that is burying itself under layers of greenery.

After spending a couple of hours exploring the substantial ruins on the island, including the factory house, fortification, slave prison, watchtowers, dormitories, storerooms, and power magazine, you will pour a libation in honor of our forefathers before being transferred to Tasso Island where you could have lunch. After lunch and a bit of rest, you are transferred to Freetown.

Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

November 28 - Monday

Immigration Day
This day, you will spend most of your time at the Immigration Department to ensure all immigration requirements are met, including doing your biometrics.

After going through immigration, you will have the rest of the day to explore on your own.
Meal(s): Breakfast

November 29 - Tuesday

Tribesmen Connection, Naming Ceremony

On this day, we will divide the group into two based on your tribe lineage - the Mendes will be going to Senehun-Gola, and the Temnes will be going to Rogbonko.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Senehun-Ngola - Mende, Overnight in Bo
(Senehun Ngola is chosen for a special reason. Please Google ‘The Language You Cry In’ which documents the experiences of a Gullah Family who were able to trace their roots to Sierra Leone through a Five-Line Mende song believed to be the longest text in an African Language preserved by a black family in the United States. The Moran family of Harris Neck Georgia made a historic Homecoming to Sierra Leone in 1998 and visited Baindu jabati a Mende woman in Sehehun Ngola whose family had likewise preserved a similar song in Sierra Leone.

Cultural Experience: Visitors can take part in a Naming and Robing Ceremony at a place where history has demonstrated that women were captured from and taken to Georgia who then took the Five-Line song with them. The song is a funeral song and it was re-enacted for the Moran Homecoming (this can be arranged if desired).

Overnight at Dohas Hotel, Bo

Rogbonko Village Retreat - Temne, Overnight in Makeni
Today we will pick you up for the trip to Robgbonko Village Retreat which will take around 3 hours. You will stop in Makeni
with your guide to have a look around this provincial town after which you will have lunch before setting off for the final hour to Rogbonko via Magburuka.

Rogbonko Mathaka (meaning "The Place in The Forest"), is located 30 mins from Magburaka Junction. With no electricity, running water, telephones and little contact from the outside world, you will be meeting the villagers, witnessing their culture and sharing their daily lives. An outstanding aspect of Rogbonko experience is the basket weaving. The basket woven at Rogbonko is closely similar to the sweetgrass basket woven by the Gullah/Geeche and this skill is widely believed to have been retained by enslaved Africans from West Africa but especially Sierra Leone.

You will take part in a Naming & Robing Ceremony.
Overnight at Wusum Hotel, Makeni

November 30 - Wednesday

Banana Islands
This morning, we head to Kent Village on the Freetown peninsula to catch a boat to Banana Island, for a chance to explore this scenic paradise. Three islands make up the Banana Islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third Mes-Meheux is uninhabited. We will be going to Dublin, with its backyard gardens, big breadfruit trees and rare and delightful butterflies. You will be welcome by the sleepy but friendly community and go on a tour of this quiet paradise.

These pristine islands are a wonderful place to experience laid-back Sierra Leone and there will be various optional activities available for everyone, including hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and or a scenic boat trip around the island. This is an opportunity to have an insightful land tour of the island and set aside some time to explore on our own around this virtually unknown area of West Africa. Lunch will consist of locally-caught fresh fish, prawns and lobsters (all subject to availability)

Overnight at Bafa Resort or similar.

Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

December 1 - Thursday

After breakfast, depart Banana Island for a tour of the Peninsula beaches - arguably the best in the sub region. You will stop at Bureh Beach to talk to the guys at Bureh Beach surf club, York, Tokeh beach and River Number 2 beach. You can have lunch at any beach of your choice. In the evening, you are transferred to town.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast

December 2 - Friday

Free Day

You have the whole day to explore and do whatever interests you.

Meal(s): Breakfast

December 3 - Saturday

Free Day

You have the whole day to explore and do whatever interests you.

Meal(s): Breakfast

December 4 - Sunday

(Tentative) Citizenship Conferment Day

On this day, you will join the Citizenship Conferment ceremony hosted by His Excellency the President of the Republic of
Sierra Leone at the State House.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Celebration Evening
You will join the Reception and Social evening hosted by the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Monument and Relics. The event will take place at the National Museum.

December 5 - Monday

Today, you are on your own to explore and do whatever interests you.

Meal(s): Breakfast

December 6 - Tuesday

Farewell

This morning you can do some last-minute shopping at one of Freetown’s craft markets for gifts and souvenirs before being
transferred to the airport for your trip home!

Included/Excluded

  • Visa
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Guided tour
  • Transportation (except for the 'Free days')
  • Activities
  • Passport fee
  • Heritage or Civic Education workshop
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Transportation on "Free Days"

Durations

Multi day

Tour's Location

Visit Sierra Leone (VSL Travel), Freetown, Sierra Leone
from $3.150,00

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