Slave Island is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located directly south of the Fort area of Colombo. The name Slave Island was given during the period of British occupation and administration, and refers to the situation under Portuguese and Dutch administration when slaves were held there, most of them from Africa. Most of the slaves later returned to Africa. However, a very small group of African descendants are scattered throughout Sri Lanka and are collectively known as Sri Lankan Kaffirs. The suburb contains Beira Lake, a large lake and its esplanade is visited by many for recreation. Slave Island is mostly a commercial area with hotels and shopping centres.