Fort James on Kunta Kinteh Eiland (St. James Island)

Kunta Kinteh Island is a very impressive island to visit. The island lies in the Gambia River about 40 kilometers from Banjul. At the time of slavery, the island was used as a collection point for the slaves who were taken captive on the African mainland. On the island the slaves were jailed several weeks to prepare them for the big trip overseas to various plantations in the United States, the Antilles and Suriname.

This happened in a very inhuman way, they tried to suppress the prisoners mentally and physically so that there would be no rebellion on board of the vessels. The ruin of the English built, Fort James, is still on the island and is a silent witness of the horrors that took place. Unfortunately Kunta Kinteh Island is deteriorating by the influence of the water, so don't wait too long to visit one of the last known slave stations.

In the village of Juffureh, on the mainland at the pier for the pirogues (canoes) in the direction of Kunta Kinteh Island, is a museum with objects, stories and paintings from the African Holocaust time. It is well worth the effort.

The famous story of Kunta Kinteh of Alex Haley's story "Roots" will here find its origin. Nowadays descendants of slaves from America often come here to find their roots. The museum has the original ship books with the original tribal names, so these descendants might find their African family name.