The Cotton Tree is a historic symbol of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone.
In 1792 former African American slaves, who gained their freedom fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. On landing, they held a Thanksgiving service at the tree. The Cotton Tree remains an important symbol with locals still visiting to pray and make offerings to their ancestors for peace and prosperity.
The Cotton Tree is a Ceiba pentandra species of tree. It is estimated to be around 500 years old.
The tree is located in the centre of Freetown, near the State House and Supreme Court building. Given the sensitive nature of these locations, and political turbulence of the country, allow for plenty of lead time to get offical permits processed. On a normal day the location is very busy with traffic, street traders, and people moving about. As such, shoots that require exclusive use of the space, require extra time to permit.
As an alternative, there are also a number of other large cotton trees around Freetown, located within fields or residential areas. These are easier to permit with faster turnaround times.
Aerial filming of the Cotton Tree is possible. For aerial filming there is a Phantom 4 Pro available locally. On the ground there is a Sony FS7 and Sony A7rii. Additional gear can easily be brought in.
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