Sierra Leone Safari Tours & Holidays

Sierra Leon is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for the white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula. The capital city, Freetown, commemorates the nation’s slave-trade history with the Cotton Tree landmark and King’s Yard Gate. Both were known as places of refuge for returned slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nearby Bunce Island was a key departure point during the slave trade.

Tucking into a lobster on a beach besides lapping waves, under a lazy, hazy sun: it’s about as picture-postcard perfect a holiday moment as many could imagine.

The tiny West African country might attract only 4,000 visitors a year at present, but there’s plenty for them to get up to. Just south of the capital Freetown, founded in 1787 as a home for freed slaves, a swathe of the swim-perfect sea stretches out for 40 kilometers along the peninsula coast, each cove offering up a hidden beach with its own distinctive qualities. For example, while John Obey’s beach is home to thick ochre sand, River No 2’s sands are fine white, York beach is lead-grey and the sweep at Bureh reveals a mountain-backed crescent beside the Atlantic. Almost all are united by their very emptiness.

How to get to Sierra Leone

Lungi International, Freetown’s airport, is across a sea estuary from Freetown. You can go the long way round over land, but the quickest and safest airport transfer is by boat. For US$40, the Sea Coach or the Sea-Bird will carry you and your bags to Freetown’s west end, covering the 17-mile distance in less than half an hour. The Sea Coach offers free Wi-Fi and a bottle of water, as well as ‘soothing music’ (Celine Dion is a popular choice). Alternatives include a government-run ferry or a long drive—but shell out for the speedboat for the convenience, and to enjoy the city’s mountainous backdrop.

Passport, Visa, and Entry requirements for Sierra Leone

All persons entering Sierra Leone must have a valid passport or travel document. Citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) do not require a visa to enter the country.

Visas are issued at Sierra Leone’s overseas missions or you can have a look at our online visa service page to find out how we can facilitate this for you in 2 to 3 business days. Even for countries where the visa fee is waived, you still a visa to enter.

The health sector of Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone health care system is organized into two tiers of care: Peripheral Healthcare Units (PHUs) with an extended community health program and secondary care which includes 21 district and three referral hospitals; there are also 45 private clinics and 27 private hospitals, mostly in the Freetown area and the health care system may not insure international travelers so please you purchase travel insurance before traveling to Sierra Leone.

Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for Sierra Leone

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers. There is no vaccination for Malaria; you will need to take Antimalarial tablets as it is a high-risk area. We recommend you have a consultation with our expert Travel Nurses to talk through your Antimalarial medication options.

The currency of Sierra Leone

The Leone is the currency of Sierra Leone. The Leone was introduced on 4 August 1964. It replaced with the British West African Pound.

Official Language of Sierra Leone

Although English, as the official language, is spoken in schools, government administration, and the media, Krio is widely spoken as a lingua franca. As of 2005, approximately 97% of the population speak the Krio language (either natively, or as a second or third language).

Best time to travel to Sierra Leone

The best time to go to Sierra Leone is in the dry season, which runs from October to May. January and February tend to be the hottest months. Birders will find December or January most rewarding. Travel is possible in June and late September, although there will be heavy downpours and rural roads, can become very muddy.

What to wear in Sierra Leone

Most Sierra Leoneans will wear dress slacks and a colorful African shirt. The country is 60% Muslim so it is not uncommon for those at a business meeting to be dressed in traditional Muslim clothing and there are no strict dressing code rules but we recommend if you’re going to public places in Freetown you dress decently.

What to bring while traveling to Sierra Leone

Even if you plan to lounge on the beach and do nothing else, there are some basic items you want to include in your beach packing list.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit
  • A good book
  • Sandals
  • Tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Hat
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Conditioner
  • Soap

Car hire and driving in Sierra Leone

After many years when it was virtually impossible to rent a self-drive car in Sierra Leone, Europcar now has a branch in Freetown and does seem to offer self-drive but we don’t recommend self-driving in sierra Leone.

Accommodation in Sierra Leone

There are accommodation facilities throughout Sierra Leone but an advance booking may be required as they may be limited in a particular attraction or destination.

Local food of Sierra Leone

Stews are a fundamental part of Sierra Leone’s cuisine, with cassava leaves having been called the country’s national dish. Stew is often served simultaneously with jollof rice, white rice, or snacks such as plantain, Akara, yam, or cassava.

Tipping while Travelling in Sierra Leone

Like anywhere in the world tipping is key for service staff and free to tip in while in sierra Leone and we recommend anything between 10-15 US dollars for activities and more for the main Guide at the end of the safari.

Further information for Sierra Leone

We recommend booking tailor-made safaris to sierra Leone to avoid the hustle and missing out on top safari destinations.

Safety of Sierra Leon

The official warnings say Sierra Leone is a high-crime nation, with a significant risk of pickpocketing and theft. This is not the place to flash lots of cash or expensive phones. Certain places are to be avoided or treated with caution.


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