Bureh, Sierra Leone
Who we are
Bureh Town is a beach community well on its way to becoming the kind of place a tourist never wants to leave. Our beach is pristine and we boast the best surfing along the coast. Flop on the sand or in one of our beach shelters, tread water in the warm Atlantic, watch surfers ride the waves or ride the waves yourself!
We’re even busy developing a surf centre!
Ask for fresh fruit! Someone will scoot up a coconut tree for you, find you fresh mangoes, grill you a breadfruit or slice you a star-fruit (we call them karambula).
We support ourselves through tourism-related activities, small scale fishing (crab, lobster, shrimp and different varieties of fish such as snapper and barracuda), coal burning, woodcutting, gardening, farming, palm wine tapping and sand mining. Like a number of other communities along the coast, some of us are also in the business of harvesting sea cucumbers (for mostly Chinese clients).
We are predominantly Sherbro followed by Temne and Mende.
In the past we made local gin called Omoley (you can still ask for it along the coast and someone is sure to find it for you).
Bureh has an interesting history. Our ancestors first settled in Wonpor, then moved to Triben (meaning “old town”) along the Bureh beach (Triben is now the site of our burial ground). Eventually our ancestors made their way across the river encouraged by Pa Bureh, the founder of the village in its present location.
Local heroes: Pa Say Say and Pa Davies gave land for our school which was built by Lebanese Sierra Leoneans in exchange for touristic investment here in Bureh (though this development has still not taken place). Dave Douglas donated land for the church and was supportive of our youth.