Western Area National Park, UNESCO, Sierra Leone
The Western Area Peninsula National Park, occupying the centre of the peninsula, covers about 17,000 hectares of closed forest. The beauty and natural significance of WAP-NP is still well preserved. Hosting a range of hills with a highest peak at 971 meters, the forest vegetation can be described as still 60% pristine and has a manifold wildlife bordering directly to the coastline, making WAP-NP truly unique in West Africa.
The Reserve is one of the eight biodiversity hot-spots of the country and hosts 80-90% of Sierra Leone’s terrestrial biodiversity. Being a non-hunting reserve, rare animals are found such as Jenkins duikers and chimpanzees. Furthermore, to its crucial role as a biodiversity hot spot, the peninsula creates an inspiring image as the ocean meets the mountainous forest. Beaches in shining white colour are an attraction for national and international visitors.
In addition to the natural significance the Western Area Peninsula has also been host to a dynamic and interesting human history when Freetown, Sierra Leone’s present day capital city, was founded there as a settlement for blackmen freed from slavery in England and America. The Western Area Peninsula holds many tangible and intangible cultural resources around this history.
Epic Sierra Leon Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound