The Banana Islands are a group of islands that lie off the coast south west of the Freetown Peninsula in the Western Area Sierra Leone. The three islands that made up the Banana Islands are two Dublin, Ricketts and Mes-Meheux. Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. Dublin Island is known for its beaches, while Ricketts Island is best known for its forests. Mes-Meheux is the uninhabited third island of the Banana Islands. They are accessible by boat or helicopter.
Ricketts and Dublin
Dublin and Ricketts Islands have a combined population of about 900 people. The two Islands are connected by a spit of sand that is underwater at high tide. A stone bridge connects the path between the two islands' villages of Dublin and Ricketts, located on the coast facing the Western Peninsula.
The islands were visited in the 17th century and perhaps earlier by Portuguese sailors. They were settled in the late 18th and 19th centuries by freed slaves, mostly from the Americas. Their descendants make up most of the population of the islands today.
During the late 1700s disputes broke into deep violence between the Clevelands of Banana Islands and the Caulkers on Plaintain Islands, this led into the 1800s when finally the Caulkers succeeded in taking both sets of islands.
Shipwrecks lie off the coast and in one can be found canons amongst the ruin and coral. On the northern tip of Dublin Island the ruins of an 1881 church as well as an old slave dock can be found. It is advised that visitors should pay their respects to the tribal chief before wandering around the islands.
Tourist infrastructure exists only in the northern part of the island. “Daltons Banana Guest House” or the “Banana Island Chalets” can arrange transportation to the islands from Kent.
- Manson K. & Knight J. (2009)Sierra Leone Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides
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