- The Online Guide to Travel Discover Sierra Leone - Uncover the Best of West Africa

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Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Africa - Sierra Leone Travel Notes.

Sierra Leone Travel Notes

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Sierra Leone Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Explore the treasures of Sierra Leone. From pristine beaches to lush rainforests and welcoming people, there's much to discover in this gem of West Africa.

About Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a beautiful travel destination with vast potential for tourism. The country boasts of unspoiled beaches, rich wildlife, and warm, friendly people.

Countries neighbouring Sierra Leone: Guinea and Guinea.

Travel Map Mapping Sierra Leone (Lion Mountains)

Map of Sierra Leone

Map of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, a former British colony, gained independence on April 27th, 1961.

Sierra Leone Overview

Sierra Leone is a country located on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Guinea to the south-east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south-west.

Capital and Major Cities

The capital city of Sierra Leone is Freetown, which is also the largest city in the country.

Other major cities include Bo, Kenema, and Makeni.


Sierra Leone faces numerous challenges, including poverty, high unemployment rates, inadequate healthcare and education systems, and environmental degradation.

The country also grapples with issues such as political instability, corruption, and the aftermath of the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014-2016.


Sierra Leone is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups, each with its own languages, traditions, and cultural practices.

The two largest ethnic groups are the Temne and the Mende, but there are also significant populations of Limba, Krio, and others.

The country has a rich cultural heritage, expressed through music, dance, and art.


Sierra Leone's economy relies heavily on agriculture, with the majority of the population engaged in subsistence farming.

The country is rich in mineral resources, including diamonds, gold, and bauxite, but economic development has been hindered by factors such as corruption, poor infrastructure, and the legacy of conflict.


Sierra Leone has a diverse geography, ranging from coastal plains to plateaus and mountains; with the highest point Mount Bintumani standing at 1,948 metres above sea level.

The country is also known for its beautiful beaches and lush rainforests.


Sierra Leone has a complex history, marked by periods of indigenous tribal rule, European colonisation, the transatlantic slave trade, and civil war.

It was a British colony until it gained independence in 1961.

Sierra Leone suffered a brutal civil war from 1991 to 2002, which left lasting scars on its society and infrastructure.


Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a multi-party political system.

The President serves as both the head of state and the head of government.

The country has made strides towards democratic governance since the end of the civil war, but political tensions and challenges remain.

Despite its challenges, Sierra Leone is home to resilient and vibrant communities, with ongoing efforts to rebuild and develop the country for a better future.

Visiting Sierra Leone

If you're considering visiting Sierra Leone, there are several aspects to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

By taking these factors into account and planning your trip thoughtfully, you can have a memorable and rewarding experience exploring the natural beauty and rich culture of Sierra Leone.


There are various accommodation options in Sierra Leone, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels.

It's advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.


Sierra Leone offers diverse attractions for visitors, including stunning beaches along the coastline, national parks teeming with wildlife, and cultural sites such as the historic Bunce Island and the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and water sports are also popular.


English is the official language of Sierra Leone, making it relatively easy for English-speaking travellers to communicate.

However, learning a few basic phrases in Krio, the widely spoken Creole language, can enhance your interactions with locals.

Health Precautions

Sierra Leone is a tropical country, so it's important to take precautions against mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria.

Consult with a healthcare professional before your trip about necessary vaccinations and medications.

Responsible Tourism

Respect local customs and traditions, and strive to minimise your environmental impact during your visit to Sierra Leone.

Support local businesses and artisans by purchasing souvenirs and products made in Sierra Leone where you can.


While Sierra Leone has made significant progress in terms of security since the end of the civil war, it's essential to stay informed about the current situation and any travel advisories issued by your government.

Exercise caution, particularly in urban areas, and be mindful of your surroundings.


Transportation infrastructure in Sierra Leone is still developing, so be prepared for road conditions that may vary in quality.

Public transportation options include buses, taxis, and motorbike taxis (known as 'okadas').

Domestic flights are also available to certain destinations within the country.

Travel Requirements

Check the entry requirements for Sierra Leone, including visa requirements and any health regulations such as vaccinations.

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.

Travel in Sierra Leone

To Pedro da Cintra, the Portuguese explorer who visited the coast in 1460, the coastal mountains looked like lion's teeth - so he named the country Lion Mountains; Sierra Leone, in Portuguese.


There are no longer railways in Sierra Leone, except for a line between Marampa and the port of Pepel; for the transportation of minerals.

Airlines and Airports:
Sierra Leone Airlines is the national carrier, and several foreign airlines also fly into Lungi International Airport; to the north of Freetown.


The official language of Sierra Leone is English, while Mende and Temne are the most widely spoken of the African languages.

Krio, is the English patois spoken in and around the capital.


The capital of Sierra Leone is situated on the Cape Sierra Leone peninsula.

Map of Freetown

Map of Freetown

The settlement of Freetown was founded in 1787, to accommodate slaves in transit across the Atlantic, who were freed by the British navy.

The Anglican St George's Cathedral dates from 1828.

There are some long sandy beaches near Freetown, and it's a long way from being a drastic tourist destination.

Hotels in Freetown.

Sierra Leone Maps and Travel Guides

Sierra Leone (Bradt Travel Guides) Lonely Planet West Africa (Travel Guide)

Sierra Leone Travel - Sierra Leone Maps.

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