Tropical Island Adventure
Conservation Eco Adventure Destination
*We are now taking bookings
The Island: Ile de Mes-Meheux
Ile de Mes-Meheux is the smallest of the three Banana Islands that are found off the coast of Sierra Leone. The journey from Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, takes around 90 minutes via car and boat.
This beautiful tropical island has a wide-ranging abundance of natural plant and animal life and it is no exaggeration to say that Ile de Mes-Meheux is an explorer’s dream.
We can offer you and your group full and exclusive access to this beautiful uninhabited tropical Island, found in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
This is your chance to live out your vacation dreams.
Journey along our narrow forest paths and open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of the tropical jungle that is all around you.
We have a dedicated team who are always on hand to help and guide before and during your stay. Experts in their field, they know just about everything when it comes to surviving and thriving in a tropical island environment from building shelters, finding natural food and water to keeping safe.
There are plenty of natural materials on the island from which you can construct your own shelter and camp, or you can use one of our campsites. We can of course supply you with provisions if you need anything from tents, food, water, or you can choose to rough it alone. You will have a wonderful time.
Fish in the warm waters for an array of tropical fish such as Barracuda, Grouper, and Snapper. Relax, and cook the fish on the fire, as sun sets on the Atlantic Ocean.
We can take care of all your needs from picking your group up from Lungi International Airport, provide luxury accommodation and transportation and can arrange further tours of Sierra Leone – please see our itinerary example.
We are passionate about the environment and are all too aware of how the climate crisis has had such a negative effect and impact to our wonderful world. Many in the travel and tourism industry are predicting the future of travel will be determined by our own carbon footprints and how we, as a collective, all have a responsibility to this beautiful earth. We are therefore fully committed to having a positive environmental impact in everything we do. Adventure travel done in an ecological way.
Sierra Leone is stunningly beautiful both in terms of its people and scenery, we feel so lucky to be blessed to live here. However, it is true to say that logging, in some areas, has had a negative impact in some parts of the country. We therefore feel duty bound to make the most of our own little tropical island and see it as our primary duty to preserve the wonderful natural world and environment that is found here.
We pledge that we will plant a tree on the mainland for each visitor to our gorgeous tropical island – maybe you could even be there and help us do it? There are of course many other ways your visit will help environmentally and ecologically. Here are a few examples as to how:
All the trees and animals are protected on the island which means you will experience a true tropical island adventure as to ‘how nature intended’.
The island is off grid and there are no roads – just small natural paths for walking.
Money spent with us goes back to the local community:
If you require food from us for your stay, all is sourced from local farms and we have an initiative with a local charity helping vulnerable Sierra Leonian women who farm much of the produce.
We employ local Islanders to help maintain the paths and the coast.
We use small boats to transfer you to and from the island. This helps the local community and villagers on the mainland who we use to transport you.
We want to share our island with as many people as possible and we cannot wait for you to visit. In coming to us the local communities will benefit greatly and you will be able to see how both the flora and fauna can thrive in such a beautiful and natural way. ‘Tropical Island Adventure’ is not just a great challenge and life-changing experience it is also an education as to how the natural world can survive and thrive and a lesson to us all.
A short history of the Banana Islands
Mes-Meheux is the smallest of this chain of three islands, and the only one with no permanent population bar the animals and plants endemic here, including several species now found on Mes-Meheux and Mes-Meheux alone.
It is unclear exactly where the name of the Banana Islands comes from, with Plantain Island further along the coast believed to be named after a Captain John Plantain rather than the cooking variety of the banana which is so widely-consumed in the region. The name may just describe the gentle curving shape of the islands, together with their long thin form. What is clear is that the islands have had an important, centuries-old role to play in the history of Sierra Leone.
The largest of the Banana Islands goes by the name of its only village, Dublin. Located at the islands’ northernmost point, facing back towards the mainland at Kent, Dublin has a population of around 50 households, largely made up of Krio fishermen and their families. Unusual in that the homes follow a spacious street plan complete with small gardens, it has been seen as an attractive destination since even before the arrival of the British in the early 1800s thanks to the healthiness of its air.
Once the personal property of chiefs belonging to the native Cleveland and Caulker families, they were persuaded to hand the islands over to the British in return for an annual rent. Soon Royal Navy vessels were based at Dublin’s Big Wharf and King Wharf, first to counter piracy, and later to combat the slave trade, a trade that itself has a long history on the islands.
Though considered separate islands, Dublin and Ricketts are joined even at high tide by a causeway of loose stone perhaps two hundred metres long, and reputed to have been constructed by the slaves that were once held captive on the islands before their transfer across the Atlantic. Close to the causeway (generally called the bridge), visitors are also able to explore a bat cave, from which fruit bats silently depart each evening at sundown in search of food back on the mainland.
Ricketts is roughly half the length of Dublin island. In a small bay at the southern end of Ricketts island is the village after which the island is named. Originally inhabited by members of the Sherbro tribe, the modern village was officially founded in 1830 by Henry Ricketts, a British soldier and administrator, as a settlement for freed slaves returning from the Americas and Caribbean. Like Dublin, Ricketts has some survivors from the British period, in the form of elegant cast iron lampposts, as well as the fine clapboard-built St Luke’s Church that is one of the region’s finest examples of authentic Krio architecture.
By contrast, Mes-Meheux was named after a Frenchman, called Jean Meheux, a trader who spent much time in the region and took a local wife. The only uninhabited island of the chain, this C-shaped island is also the furthest from the mainland and the most pristine in environment. Despite the presence of a now thoughtfully-renovated eighteenth-century lighthouse near its highest point, species have managed to survive here that have vanished from Dublin, Ricketts, and the coastal reaches of the Freetown Peninsula, making it one of the only places on the coast to catch sight of an African civet cat or monitor lizard (called iguana on the island), alongside fine ocean and island vistas.
When to Visit
We are open all year round and visitors like to come and enjoy Tropical Island Adventure on Mes-Meheux in both wet and dry conditions. We tend to find our more hardy guests enjoy the challenge and thrill of the wet season however to visit anytime is a dream adventure experience.
Mes Meheux has a tropical climate all year round with hot and humid conditions, The sea breeze around the island helps cool down the conditions although the interior of the island does have a humid tropical jungle feel.
The dry season generally runs from early November through to May with very little rainfall and the rainy season comes in June to October, although the rain can be rather heavy at times in these months there is still plenty of sunshine to be had and various fruits thrive during this time and are ripe for picking and eating.
With many different types of tropical foliage available on the island a waterproof shelter can be easily made to keep out the rain but rest assured we have shelter on hand if needed especially if your homemade camp is not quite waterproof enough!
Early booking discounts now available. Please ask for pricing
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