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This island, formerly named James Island was an English slave fort on the mouth of the Gambia river. Today it’s a powerful reminder of the evils of the slave trade, and particularly of Britain’s role.
Kunta Kinteh Island is located near Jufureh, the birthplace of Kunta Kinteh, an ancestor of Alex Haley and subject of the early part of his book Roots.
The island, part of a UNESCO world heritage site, used to have numerous beads formally worn by young female captives. Apparently these beads had an important role in marriages and the captives, realising their fate, would throw them away in despair. Unfortunately over the years these have been stolen by tourists and very few remain.
Know Before You Go
A visit here is probably best if it follows a visit to the Gambia National Cultural museum in Banjul.