Banana Island

Walkng around Banana Island with Mr David Jones, one of its charismatic school teachers, is both entertaining and fascinating. Clearly in love with his island, Mr Jones leads you to the historic sites giving an impromptu, knowledgeable account of the days when the island was a slave trade post.  Mr Jones’ discourse is both insightful and entertaining, even when bringing real depth to the terrible things that happened on the island in the past when it was a post for the slave trade. 

He shows off the oldest church on the Island built for the slave traders and muses about the irony that people involved in such an abhorent abuse of human beings could simultaneously require that they had their god’s approval. Mr Jones is an ordained minister as well as a teacher and he preaches in that same church now.

Mr Jones’ tour of the island includes a visit to sites of natural beauty that are so breathtaking that they defy superlatives to describe them adequately. He will tell any visitor that this is the most beautiful island in the world and he has convincing facts, figures and physical demonstrations to back up this claim. Certainly looking around the rich variety of flora and fauna and hearing and seeing evidence of abundant wildlife, it is hard to disagree.

Following a visit to Banana Island overwhelming impressions left on the mind  include:

hundreds of butterflies fluttering around in the dappled sunlight filtering through the tall, tall trees,

the sound of the honey bees being the noisiest thing on the island (That means it is between 3.00 and 4.00 o’clock Mr Jones said informatively),

the most gorgious swimming and snorkelling bays with the waters teaming with marine life,

friendly, friendly people with time to meet and greet a visitor, (“one love” said an elderly woman after an exchange of greetings),

a strong  and intellegent headwoman determined to develope the village community for the benefit of the future generations,

peace and tranquility, there are no motor vehicles on the island there isn’t even a bycicle,

a history that spans the horrors of the slave trade, the abolition of that trade and the triumphant return and settlement of former slaves who had survived American slavery and a war (the slaves were promised freedom if they fought for the British against the American revolutionaries), British slavery in Jamaica, and several harsh winters and a treacherous winter  passage home by ship, to Africa .

Facitilties on the island include a restaurant, bar and chalet accommodation on the island run by the Banan Island Youth Association. Check out their website at