Sierra Leone Facts

Sierra Leone Facts
Sierra Leone is a West African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the south-west, Liberia in the south-east, and Guinea in the north. The country's official name is the Republic of Sierra Leone. Evidence found by archaeologists suggests that Sierra Leone's region has been inhabited for at least 2500 years, but it wasn't until 1462 that a European explorer mapped part of the region and gave a name to a hilly area in Sierra Leone, calling it 'Serra de Leoa'. As European traders began to frequent Sierra Leone they built a fort, and then a British colony. It eventually it became a place to re-settle freed slaves that had been liberated from other countries, including North America. Since then Sierra Leone has been the site of military coups, civil war, and after finally reaching peace in the country, an Ebola outbreak.
Interesting Sierra Leone Facts:
Pedro de Sintra was the first European to give a name to Sierra Leone's region, calling the area around current-day Freetown Harbour - 'Serra de Leoa', which means 'lioness Mountains' in Portuguese.
Sierra Leone encompasses an area of 27,699 square miles.
The population of Sierra Leone in 2013 was estimated at 6,290,280.
Sierra Leone gained its independence from the United Kingdom on April 27th, 1961.
Sierra Leone declared itself the Republic of Sierra Leone on April 19th, 1971.
Sierra Leone's climate is tropical, with humid, hot summers. The rainy season is from May to December and the winter, dry season is from December to April.
Sierra Leone's terrain includes wooded hilly country, upland plateaus, mountainous regions in the east, and mangrove swamps along the coast.
Sierra Leone's natural resources include chromite, gold, iron ore, bauxite, titanium ore, and diamonds.
Sierra Leone is subject to a variety of natural hazards including sandstorms, dust storms, drought, and strong Saharan winds from December to February.
The main ethnic groups in Sierra Leone include the Temne, Mende, Limba, Kono, Kriole, Mandingo, and Loko.
While English is the official language, literacy is not high and therefore the languages most commonly used include the ethnic languages in their respective regions.
It is estimated that approximately 60% of the population in Sierra Leone are Muslim, followed by 10% Christian, and 30% who follow their indigenous beliefs.
There are several infectious diseases considered to be of high risk in Sierra Leone including rabies, schistosomiasis, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and the Ebola virus that broke out in 2014, killing more than 1660 people.
The government system in Sierra Leone is a constitutional democracy.
Mammals commonly found in Sierra Leone include the African bush elephant, gorillas, bongo antelopes, roan antelopes, African forest buffalos, Diana monkeys, African leopards, olive baboons, and the hippopotamus.
Sierra Leone is home to a giant snail called the Ghana Snail. It usually reaches 7 inches in length and 3.5 inches in width. The largest on record have reached 12 inches in length and 6 inches in width.
There are several forest reserves in Sierra Leone including the Kangari Hills Forest Reserve, the Kambui Hills Forest Reserve, and the Tingi Hills Forest Reserve.

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