The Slave Port Of Bimbia

Bimbia is located on the shores of the Atlantic, not far from Limbe. The forest of Bimbia Banadikombo preserves vestiges of the Negro trade discovered about twenty years ago, during earthworks of the site of the church dedicated to the memory of Alfred Saker. Despite this unprecedented discovery and its historical interest, the site remains too little known.

There were few sites where slave trade was practised. Most of the time, they were islands very close to the mainland that had deep waters accessible by merchant ships without fear of running aground. This is the case of Nicholls island whose southern coast ensures a minimum of 6 meters of draught. As the island was only 600 metres from the mainland, it was easy to transport the slaves of the continent by canoe in order to wait for their boarding. If the boat was not full, it would stop at Fernando Po or off the coast of Senegal to load other slaves.

One can see on the site of the old utensils used by the slave merchants: the bells and bracelets are still solid while the padlock is no more than an empty hull all rusted. Although in poor condition and chipped, the pots resisted time. But the greatest curiosity is the heavy chains of some two meters long. The visitor can easily imagine the excruciating suffering endured by those in chains.

One can still see and follow the path followed by the enslaved slaves to the beach of Bonangombé.

UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization launched in 1995 in Accra, In Ghana, the Cultural Tourism on the Road to Slavery programme to take stock of the sites and places of memory related to trafficking and to study their rehabilitation and tourist development. A total of 118 sites were surveyed in 11 African countries, including 10 French-speaking countries. Bimbia is one of them. The project also focuses on training cultural tourism stakeholders.

To get there: From Limbé, take the road to Man O’War Bay (Warship Bay) recently paved. After 2km, just before arriving in the hamlet of Bimbia take the track on the left. It is a 30 minute drive from Limbé. The 4 x 4 is essential to access Bimbia and the beach, especially in the rainy season. Inquire at the village for a guided tour.

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