Sierra Leone Welcomes Jane Goodall, Plans Tourism Renewal

Chimpanzee in Sierra Leone

Jane Goodall is traveling to Sierra Leone to celebrate the anniversary of a journey she took there 27 years ago and also to help kick off a new tourism initiative in the country.

During her three day visit to Sierra Leone February 27 to March 1, 2019, Goodall will visit the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which she played an instrumental role in founding.

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The sanctuary plays a broad role in conservation within Sierra Leone, going much farther than just protecting the chimpanzee population, benefiting the people with jobs, wildlife protection, environmental education, ecotourism, research and health initiatives. Goodall still actively participates in the sanctuary providing guidance and inspiration.

“We look forward to welcoming back Dr. Jane Goodall,” said Her Excellency Fatima Bio, the First Lady of Sierra Leone. “Her visit allows us to share Sierra Leone’s story with the world and to revitalize the international image of our country, which is critical for the development of sustainable tourism, conservation, and economic development. The beauty of our natural diversity, wildlife and culture is also a story that we want to share.”

World travelers are more intrigued than ever by destinations that are devoted to conservation and sustainability and Goodall’s visit will showcase Sierra Leone’s sustainable tourism offerings and the success story behind the conservation efforts of the country that protects the critically endangered chimpanzees and their natural habitat.

Before embarking on her journey to the country, Goodall said: “I’m looking forward to my visit to Sierra Leone and proud of the impact the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary has had on saving the country’s remaining chimpanzees while providing needed jobs for local people. I am particularly excited to meet the children of Sierra Leone and share with them my Roots and Shoots program. They are our future hope.”

While conservation and sustainability will be center stage of Goodall’s visit, the country also hopes to reposition itself in the minds of travelers and overcome its troubled past.

Beautiful beaches in Sierra Leone.

“We are excited to show our “only-in-Sierra Leone” offerings, many of which will surprise world travelers,” said Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism, Sierra Leone. “Sierra Leone offers world-class beaches, stunning endemic wildlife, rich culture and historical sites, adventure travel, exquisite local cuisine, and a warm and welcoming people, that make our country one of Africa’s most promising new tourism destinations.”

Sierra Leone is home to one of the highest densities of chimpanzees in the wild in the world as well as other endangered species, such as the Diana monkey, found in the forests of Tiwai Island on the Moa river, and colobus monkeys, rare birds and pygmy hippos.

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In Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city, there is a new Tourist Information Office. There is also a new Tourism In-Flight Traveltainment Magazine and investment in infrastructure.

To document Goodall’s visit, Michaela Guzy, Executive Producer, Director, Writer, Influencer and On-Air Talent for OTPYM (Oh The People You Meet), will create a film, which will be shown at a special screening in New York City in early spring and set the state for Sierra Leone’s tourism debut in 2020.

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