From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Resort and town
Wanica resorts.png
Map showing resorts in Wanica District.
Coordinates: 5°42′06″N 55°14′00″W / 5.70167°N 55.23333°W / 5.70167; -55.23333Coordinates: 5°42′06″N 55°14′00″W / 5.70167°N 55.23333°W / 5.70167; -55.23333
Country Suriname
DistrictWanica District
 • Total149 km2 (58 sq mi)
9 m (30 ft)
 • Total18,663
 • Density130/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-3 (AST)

Lelydorp is the capital city of Wanica District, located in Suriname. With a population of 18,663 (2012), it is the second largest city in Suriname, after Paramaribo.[1]


It was originally called Kofi Djompo but was renamed by Cornelis Lely (the Dutch governor of Suriname in 1905) and since then it is known as Lelydorp.[2] Lely was responsible for many large water construction projects in the Netherlands.

The original name Kofi Djompo is said to refer to a maroon rebel leader called Kofi, who escaped by jumping over creek.[3] Kofi means "born on Friday" (Kofi Annan, for example, was born on a Friday). Djompo means "jump".[4] The hamlet started to grow when the Lawa Railway was constructed,[5] but was mainly dependent on agriculture with cassave and asparagus beans as the main crops.[6]

Lelydorp is more like a big village instead of a city. Wanica has a population of about 118,000 and an area of about 440 km2.[7] With a population of this size, Wanica is one of Suriname's most populated and most urbanised districts. Lelydorp is the main village of the district with many shops, offices, and businesses, but still needs a clear city structure and has many agricultural areas close to the centre and neighbourhoods.[8]

Lelydorp is also the most important halfway stopping point between Paramaribo and Zanderij, where the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport is located. Its population consists of a mixture of Javanese, East Indian, Creoles, and Europeans.[9] Between 1890-1939 many people from Java settled into the area. Names of roads and streets in Lelydorp, like Celebesweg and Tawangsarieweg, are typical original names from Indonesia.[10] The Saramacca River divides Lelydorp from Saramacca.

Lelydorp is home to the "Caribbean Centre", a conference center founded by Bhai.[11] On 16 July 2010, the Neotropical Butterfly Park opened.[12] On 7 February 2020, the Regional Hospital Wanica opened in Lelydorp.[13]

Notable people[edit]

Twin city[edit]

Lelydorp maintains international relations with the twin city of Lelystad.

See also[edit]

  • Santigron, a Maroon village in the Lelydorp resort.


  1. ^ "World Gazetteer/ Suriname".[dead link]
  2. ^ "Wanica". Suriname View (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Geschiedenis Lelydorp ǀ Villa Lelydorp Apartments". Villa Lelydorp (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Woensdag – Het belang van namen (van de dagen) in Suriname". Suriname Holidays (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch West-Indië - Page 448 - Lelydorp" (PDF). Digital Library for Dutch Literature (in Dutch). 1916. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Sranan. Cultuur in Suriname page 53". Digital Library for Dutch Literature. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Districts of Suriname". Statoids. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  8. ^ "STRUCTUUR ANALYSE DISTRICTEN 2009-2013" (PDF). Planning Office Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Census 2012" (PDF). Stang Makandra. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Lelydorp, Suriname". Indische Buurten.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Cultuurkenner James Ramlall is niet meer". Star Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Feestelijke opening Neotropical Butterfly Park" (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Regionaal Ziekenhuis Wanica gaat eerste fase in". Star Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Ressortvergadering te Lelydorp". VHP Nederlands (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.

External links[edit]