Kenema, Sierra Leone

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kenema, Sierra Leone

Region: Kenema District

Geographic Coordinates: 7.875800, -11.190800
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal tropical climate with high precipitation and humidity throughout the year, with two rainy seasons from May to July and September to November.
Population: 188463
Language: English

Kenema is a city in the eastern province of Sierra Leone, West Africa. It is the fourth largest city in the country with an estimated population of over 200, 000 people. The city is situated on the banks of the Moa River and surrounded by lush green forests, Making it one of Sierra Leone’s most beautiful cities. The economy of Kenema relies heavily on agriculture, With crops such as rice, Cassava, Cocoa, Coffee, Palm oil and vegetables being sold both locally and internationally.

Kenema has a rich cultural heritage with various ethnic groups residing in this city including Mende, Kono and Sherbro people. The Mende people are known for their traditional music which includes drums and dancing that can be seen during festivals such as Poro Society initiation ceremonies. Kenema also has a diamond mining industry which contributes to Sierra Leone’s economy. The Koidu diamond mine located just outside Kenema produces some of the world’s finest diamonds.

During the Ebola outbreak that struck West Africa between 2014-2016, Kenema played a significant role in containing EVD outbreak by setting up an isolation unit where patients could receive treatment without spreading infection further into communities. Tourism wise there are several places worth visiting while exploring kenama including Gola Rainforest National Park , Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary , Huntingdon Beach , Bunce Island Slave Fort among others . In conclusion, Kenama offers visitors an opportunity to experience authentic African culture through its music, Dance, Festivals, Mining industry among other things .

This coupled with its natural beauty makes it one of Sierra Leone’s must visit destinations.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Kenema is known for its fertile land and is a major producer of crops such as rice, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and cassava.
  2. Mining: The city has several mining sites for diamonds and gold.
  3. Trade: Kenema has a bustling market where traders sell various goods such as food items, clothing, electronics, and household items.
  4. Health services: The city has several hospitals and clinics that provide healthcare services to the local population.
  5. Education: There are several primary schools and secondary schools in Kenema that offer education to children in the area.
  6. Transportation: The city has a well-developed transportation system with taxis, buses, and motorcycles providing transport services to residents.
  7. Tourism: Kenema is home to several tourist attractions such as nature reserves like the Gola Forest Reserve which attracts visitors from around the world.

Noteable History

  1. The establishment of Kenema as a British colonial outpost in the late 19th century.
  2. The role of Kenema as a center for diamond mining during the early 20th century.
  3. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Kenema in May 2014, which claimed many lives and had a devastating impact on the local community.
  4. Notable people from Kenema include former Sierra Leonean president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who was born in nearby Pendembu; musician S.E Rogie; and footballer Mohamed Kallon.
  5. During the civil war that plagued Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002, Kenema was one of the areas most affected by violence and displacement.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Kenema Museum – this small museum showcases the history and culture of the local people.
  2. Bunumbu Teachers College – this historic institution has trained many teachers in Sierra Leone.
  3. The Old Market – a bustling market where visitors can buy locally made crafts and food.
  4. The Kambui Hills Forest Reserve – a beautiful nature reserve with hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  5. The Kailahun District Council Hall – a historic building that once served as the seat of government for Kailahun district.
  6. The Siaka Stevens Stadium – one of the largest stadiums in Sierra Leone located in Kenema city center
  7. Gola Rainforest National Park – located about 25 km from Kenema city center
  8. Kenema Central Mosque – one of the largest mosques in Sierra Leone located at Yengema Road

Sports Teams


Kenema is a city in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province with a rich history of sports, particularly football.

Notable Football Teams:

  1. Kamboi Eagles FC
  2. Diamond Stars FC
  3. Eastern Tigers FC
  4. Mighty Blackpool FC

Other Sports Played in Kenema:

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Cricket

However, these sports are not as popular as football.

Cultural Events

  1. Kenema Cultural Festival is an annual event that celebrates the culture and traditions of the people of Kenema. The festival features music, dance, food, and traditional ceremonies.
  2. Sierra Leone Independence Day is celebrated on April 27th every year to commemorate Sierra Leone’s independence from British colonial rule in 1961.
  3. Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan fasting and is celebrated with prayers, feasting, and giving to charity.
  4. Christmas Day is a Christian holiday celebrated on December 25th every year to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
  5. New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st every year to mark the beginning of a new year with fireworks displays and parties.
  6. National Youth Day is celebrated on May 24th every year to recognize the contributions of young people to society and promote youth empowerment.
  7. International Women’s Day is observed on March 8th every year to celebrate women’s achievements in various fields and promote gender equality.
  8. Freetown Marathon attracts athletes from across Africa who compete in full or half marathon races through Freetown’s streets while raising money for charity projects across Sierra Leone including those based in Kenema district too!


  • Cassava leaves with rice: This is a popular dish made with cassava leaves cooked in palm oil and served with rice.
  • Groundnut soup: A soup made from groundnuts (peanuts) and served with rice or fufu.
  • Jollof rice: A spicy tomato-based rice dish that is a staple in West African cuisine.
  • Poyo (palm wine): A traditional alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees.
  • Fatima’s Kitchen: This restaurant serves traditional Sierra Leonean dishes such as cassava leaves, groundnut soup, and jollof rice.
  • The Kenema Grill House: This restaurant offers grilled meats such as chicken and beef along with sides like plantains and fries.
  • Kona Lodge Restaurant & Bar: This establishment serves both local dishes like cassava leaves as well as international fare like pizza.
  • Mama Yira Restaurant & Bar: Another popular spot for traditional Sierra Leonean food including jollof rice, groundnut soup, and cassava leaves.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Kenema Central Park is a popular spot for picnics, jogging, and outdoor activities.
    2. Dama Road Recreation Ground offers a variety of sports facilities including football, basketball, and volleyball courts.
    3. Kenema Golf Club is a golf course located in the city of Kenema that offers golfing opportunities for enthusiasts.
    4. Gola Forest Reserve is a natural reserve located near Kenema that offers hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities.
    5. Moa River Game Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in the outskirts of Kenema that offers visitors the opportunity to see various species of wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, and birds.
    6. Yengema Beach Resort is a beach resort located near Kenema that provides visitors with an opportunity to relax on the beach or take part in water sports like swimming or boating.
    7. Bintumani Mountain Range National Park is located about 60 miles from Kenema and it’s home to rare flora and fauna species as well as beautiful scenery for hiking enthusiasts to explore.


    Experience Life

Explore more:

Daiwanishi, Japan

Reading Time: 6 minutes Daiwanishi, Japan Region: Aichi Prefecture Geographic Coordinates: 34.833300, 135.417000 Population: 155165 Language: Japanese Daiwanishi is a charming town located in the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan. Nestled in the foothills of the Southern Japanese Alps, It boasts breathtaking views of lush

Read More »

Zrenjanin, Serbia

Reading Time: 8 minutes Zrenjanin, Serbia Region: Vojvodina Geographic Coordinates: 45.383300, 20.389400 Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Zrenjanin, Serbia vary throughout the year. Population: 76511 Language: Serbian Zrenjanin, Also known as the City of Good Beer, Is a vibrant and historic city located

Read More »

Bāgh-e Malek, Iran

Reading Time: 4 minutes Bāgh-e Malek, Iran Region: Khuzestan Geographic Coordinates: 31.523100, 49.886100 Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F) Climate: Dry and hot summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall. Population: 114343 Language: Persian Bāgh-e Malek, Also known as the Malek Garden, Is

Read More »

Marondera, Zimbabwe

Reading Time: 8 minutes Marondera, Zimbabwe Region: Marondera Geographic Coordinates: -18.189700, 31.546700 Climate: Seasonal climate and weather patterns in Marondera, Zimbabwe? Population: 52283 Language: Shona Marondera is a vibrant town nestled in the heart of Zimbabwe, Located approximately 72 kilometers east of the capital

Read More »

Pakokku, Myanmar

Reading Time: 5 minutes Pakokku, Myanmar Region: Magway Region Geographic Coordinates: 21.332000, 95.086600 Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F) Climate: Dry and hot climate with a monsoon season from May to October. Population: 126938 Language: Burmese Pakokku is a charming town located

Read More »

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Reading Time: 5 minutes Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Region: Riyadh Geographic Coordinates: 24.633300, 46.716700 Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 45.0°C (50°F to 113°F) Climate: Desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. Population: 7237000 Language: Arabic Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia,

Read More »