The Homecoming Tour – Passport Accession





Please note that the program below is not fixed – some of the day’s events can be changed based on the government requirements/plans.

If your root is traced to an ethnic group that is neither Mende nor Temne, then you could join either group for the ‘Naming & Robing Ceremony’ or we could organise a separate trip(at an additional cost).

The cost includes visa, a round trip airport transfers, accommodation, a guided tour, transportation (except for the ‘Free days’), activities, Passport fee, Heritage or Civic Education workshop, and meals as indicated in the itinerary.


  • Visa
  • Airport transfers
  • Securipass Fee ($25 per person)
  • Accommodation
  • Guided tour
  • Transportation (except for the 'Free days')
  • Activities
  • Passport fee
  • Heritage or Civic Education workshop
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Flights
  • Transportation on "Free Days"

Tour Plan

Arrive to Freetown’s Lungi International Airport, which is one of the world’s most uniquely-situated airports, located on the northern coast of the Freetown Estuary. On arrival, disembark and enter the arrivals hall for baggage reclaim. You will be met by a representative from VSL TRAVEL who will have a signboard with your name on it after customs. He will be available to deal with any immediate questions then get you on your private vehicle for transfer to the dock from where you take the 30 minute boat ride and make a charismatic entry to the city catching a glimpse of the towering hills over Freetown. Once in Murray Town, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel
Today we start the day by having our first look around the vibrant city and make a sweep through its historical core. With the car and guide at your disposal you will visit sites such as the Railway Museum, St. Georges Cathedral, National Museum, Peace Monument, the Maroon Church, the Cotton Tree, The Gateway to the Old King's Yard and Fort Thornton (where the Presidential State House now stands).

Arrive at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

After the city tour, you will see the amazing work being done by Bala and his team. Chimpanzees are often cruelly or ignorantly kept as pets, or sometimes hunted for their meat. Today however, more than 100 primates find haven at Tacugama, swinging from branches, hooting with happiness, throwing things at passers-by with the petulance of children, nuzzling each other with tenderness of mothers attending to newborns, and picking bugs out of each other furs with the attention of Madonna’s manicurist, even the least animal-friendly of visitors gets sucked into the magic within the moments. Apart from the Sanctuary there are other attraction sites available in this area to occupy your time among which is the viewing of over 100 bird species that have been identified in and around the Tacugama Forest Reserve. After the Chimps tour, you will make a short stop at Leicester Peak before being transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel
This morning we go to Bunce Island with a private speedboat, viewing the city from the coast as you go by. Bunce Island was the largest British slave castle on the Rice Coast of West Africa. Founded around 1670, it exported tens of thousands of African captives to North America and the West Indies until the British Parliament finally closed it down in 1808. Bunce Island is left to decay, and although this raises questions of preservation, it does have a certain charm. It is authentic, raw - a painful history that is burying itself under layers of greenery. After spending a couple of hours exploring the substantial ruins on the island, including the factory house, fortification, slave prison, watchtowers, dormitories, storerooms, and power magazine, you will pour a libation in honor of our forefathers before being transferred to Tasso Island where you could have lunch. After lunch and a bit of rest, you are transferred to Freetown. Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Cooking Class

After the Bunce & Tasso Islands trip, you will join a local chef for a cooking class after which in the evening, you are transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel
After breakfast, your driver will take you to the venue for the Heritage/Civic Education and Business/Investment Workshop Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Filling of Passport Application Forms

After the workshop, you will be assisted by the Immigration Officers to complete your passport application form. In the late afternoon or evening, you're transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel
You have the day to do whatever interests you. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel Meal(s): Breakfast
On this day, we will divide the group into two based on your tribe lineage - the Mendes will be going to Bo, and the Temnes will be going to Makeni Meal(s): Breakfast

Mendes, Overnight in Bo

Today, we depart Freetown at 11 AM for Bo which is the second city in Sierra Leone, and home to the Mende, the largest tribe in Sierra Leone. It is quieter, cleaner, more tranquil and hotter than Freetown, with less options in terms of lodging and eating. At a first glance, Bo seems more like a large town with not much going on. But don't be fooled by its initial sleepiness; Bo has some hidden gems and activities that make it a place worth exploring whilst visiting Sierra Leone. You will visit the Bo National Stadium, visit the Bo School which was established in 1906 by the Sierra Leonean Government. The campus, located on a spacious and green plot of land, is not only a beautiful sight, but also contains a rich history which has large elements of Sierra Leone's colonial past. Traditionally, the Bo School was for sons of paramount chiefs, who wished for a high quality and elitist education for their sons. Now, the campus is open to all boys and our current president, Julius Maada Bio, was a former student of this school. Overnight at Dohas Hotel

Temnes, Overnight in Makeni

This morning we head North to the city of Makeni, a medium sized town in the Bombali district in central Sierra Leone that is mainly inhabited by the Temne tribe. Many students live in the city as they attend the University of Makeni. The annual international Sierra Leone Marathon (by Street Child) also kicks off in Makeni. Explore the communities around Makeni - while there are not many activities in Makeni you could go second-hand shopping or hike to the Wusum Hills. Overnight in Wusum Hotel

Moyamba - Mendes

Take an early breakfast and depart Bo at 8 AM for a 1.5 hour drive to Moyamba town where the naming ceremony will be held. Moyamba was the first district head quarter town for the southern region, and also produced the first female Paramount Chief in Sierra Leone.

Rogbonko Village - Temnes

Take an early breakfast and depart Makeni at 8 AM for a 1 hour drive to Rogbonko Village where the naming ceremony will be held. Rogbonko Mathaka (meaning "The Place in The Forest"), is located 30 mins from Magburaka Junction. With no electricity, running water, telephones and little contact from the outside world, you will be meeting the villagers, witnessing their culture and sharing their daily lives. An outstanding aspect of Rogbonko experience is the basket weaving. The basket woven at Rogbonko is closely similar to the sweetgrass basket woven by the Gullah/Geeche and this skill is widely believed to have been retained by enslaved Africans from West Africa but especially Sierra Leone. Cultural Experience: You will take part in a Naming and Robing Ceremony. After the ceremony and being reconnected with your family, you're transferred to Freetown. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel Meal(s): Breakfast
Today, you have the whole day to do whatever interests you. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel Meal(s): Breakfast
On this day, you will join the Citizenship Conferment ceremony hosted by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone at the State House. Meal(s): Breakfast

Celebration Evening

You will join the Reception and Social evening hosted by the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Monument and Relics. The event will take place at the National Museum. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel
This morning, we head to Kent Village on the Freetown peninsula to catch a boat to Banana Island, for a chance to explore this scenic paradise. Three islands make up the Banana Islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third Mes-Meheux is uninhabited. We will be going to Dublin, with its backyard gardens, big breadfruit trees and rare and delightful butterflies. You will be welcome by the sleepy but friendly community and go on a tour of this quiet paradise. These pristine islands are a wonderful place to experience laid-back Sierra Leone and there will be various optional activities available for everyone, including hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and or a scenic boat trip around the island. This is an opportunity to have an insightful land tour of the island and set aside some time to explore on our own around this virtually unknown area of West Africa. Lunch will consist of locally-caught fresh fish, prawns and lobsters (all subject to availability) Overnight at Bafa Resort or similar. See below the link for more details about this Island:
After breakfast, depart Banana Island for a tour of the Peninsula beaches - arguably the best in the sub region. You will stop at Bureh Beach to talk to the guys at Bureh Beach surf club, York, Tokeh beach and River Number 2 beach. You can have lunch at any beach of your choice. In the evening, you are transferred to town. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel Meal(s): Breakfast
Today, you have most of the day to do whatever interests you. In the late afternoon, you'll join the VSL family dinner. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel or Atlantic Lumley Hotel Meal(s): Breakfast


This morning you can do some last-minute shopping at one of Freetown’s craft markets for gifts and souvenirs before being transferred to the airport for your trip home!

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