The Juffureh or Juffure Village in Gambia is one of the more interesting places you can visit when in Africa. The place gained fame for the book “Roots”, but there are several points of interest in and around the village.
The village is in the Upper Niumi District. You can reach the village by organized boat trips. Banjul’s Denton Bridge offers private boats for rent. You can also take the ferry from Banjul to Barra and then ride a taxi.
What to See
There are many interesting places to see here. One of them is the Juffure Museum where you can find artifacts, relics and information about the village. There is also the National Museum of the North Bank.
The Mandinka and Serer tribal villages are usually included in a Roots tour, as is James island. A visit to James Island is usually included in tours of Juffure Village in Gambia. The island contains ruins of a slavery station.
Albreda is 30 km upstream in the Upper Niumi District. It is separate from Juffure by 500 meters at the bank of the river. This village is worth visiting due to the Slavery Museum. This was opened in the Maurel Freres building in 1996. Information and artifacts related to slavery can be seen here. Some of the items you can see here are yokes, foot-locks and chain neck-locks.
This village became well known in the 1970s after the TV version of the book “Roots” came out. The book was written by African-American Alex Haley. Haley was a descendant of Kunta Kinte, who lived in the village and made a slave in the US.
Legends state the village of Juffureh was established by Samba Taal. When Taal went to Gambia in the early 1500s, he discovered the Portuguese had already settled there. By 1661, the village’s economy was tied up to James Island.
The local Mandingos and colonialists established good relations. The Niumi ruler allowed British Major Robert Holmes to make gardens and set up a trade post at ‘Jillifrey’. This was used in case the fort was unusable.
A budget of 30 USD will do for a backpacking traveler.
Another interesting place is the San Domingo “chapel”, which would later be called Sandi Munko Joyo. Not far from it is the CFAO trading post and the ruins of Maurel Freres.
If you are visiting the Juffure Village in Gambia, make sure to try the offerings at the Rising Sun Restaurant. There are also some hotels and lodging places nearby.