By Mohamed Faray Kargbo
It is not often that one has the opportunity to go to distant places and meet new acquaintances. So whenever such circumstances present themselves, one must do everything humanly possible to grasp and hold it firmly.
I first met Nyangai on Saturday 6th October, 2018 when the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Monuments and Relics Commission and the National Tourist Board made a visit to Bonthe Sherbro Island to assess the touristic potentials of the district with a view to exploiting it for national advancement.
The two hour watercraft ride from Bonthe Island to the Turtle Islands meant nothing to me considering the beauty of this God-given nature. For once, I couldn’t convince myself that the likes of Nyangai existed in Sierra Leone.
The palm trees, foliage and shrub on this tiny island are systematically positioned such that one is forced to love her at first sight. The pristine, white and shiny beaches connived with the huts, local boats, freshwater and ocean to produce a compelling spectacle. One hasn’t got an option but to love Nyangai.
Nyangai like the rest of the islands that constitute the Turtle Islands is extremely beautiful.
It was not long enough that I realized that each of the turtle-shaped islands is unique in their own way. The twin islands of Nyangai and Nyankai marry on low tides only to divorce on high tides.
“Whoooosh……….Whooosh” The calming sounds of the waves and the friendliness of the few inhabitants compete to steal our attention. Coconut was served even before we could alight the boat. This was why I fell in love with Nyangai.
Arguably some of the most pristine beaches in the world, the turtle-shaped islands offer an unparalleled opportunity for human beings to interact with nature.
Strategically located in the South-western coastal areas of Sierra Leone, this group of islands lie unexplored.
Due to its gritty sand, cool salty water, gentle wind, soft scratch of waves overlooking the blue sky; I reluctantly left the Cheppu beach which stretches to neighbouring Liberia.
Although, frequently exploited by foreign tourists, the communities, mostly poor people, sit on treasures that could easily transform their socio-economic status.
From Hoong to Sei, Baki to Moti, the islands are sights-to-behold, beautiful, pristine, clean and breath-taking.
They offer an enviable opportunity for tarpon or game-fishing, bird watching and expedition.
Any tourist investor who explores the Bonthe Sherbro Islands is sure to show interest in that area. Once attractive tourist investment areas, the challenging period of Sierra Leone’s history led to the decline in touristic activities in those areas.
The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board must speedily continue the process already initiated. Bonthe Island can boom the economy of this country.
“For far too long Bonthe Sherbro Island has been neglected, under the new Direction we cannot allow that to continue.” concluded Memunatu Pratt, the country’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister.
As I conclude this piece, one thing is clear, that my love for Nyangai remains intact.
Education and Outreach Unit
Monuments and Relics Commission
23 Pultney Street