Sierra Leone is located along the western coast of the African continent. It was a former slave country that saw many of the locals being sold by the colonialist to the different parts of the world. Although the remnants of the save trade business can still be seen in the country from the museums and the different towns that were the focal point of the trade, today Sierra Leone has tried to rise above their past to become one of the top tourist destination countries on the African continent. The official language spoken in Sierra Leone is English and therefore communication will be easy for you and the local people.
Tourist attractions in Sierra Leone
There are several tourist attractions that are located in the different parts of the country and some of the top tourist destinations in Sierra Leone that you should not miss out on have been listed below.
The Lakka Beach
The Lakka Beach is located in the Lakka town which is just a few miles away from Freetown. The Beach is easily accessible and the ambiance surrounding it makes it a good place for tourists who want to go away for a romantic and quiet day. The main activity that is carried out here is fishing and while there you can also join the locals as they fish in their locally made boats. The Lakka beach has also been named the most romantic beach at the coast, so why not visit it to test the theory of it having a romantic feeling.
The cotton tree
The cotton tree is located in Freetown and although at first glance it looks like an ordinary tree, to the locals that live in the country the cotton tree is a symbol of freedom from the slavery that was experienced in the country during the colonial times. When the slaves were given freedom, this was their first stop from where they praised God for their freedom and till today, the locals gather at the tree in order to remember the day they were set free.
The Mountain Bintumani
Mountain Bintumani is the tallest Mountain in Sierra Leone and one of the top tourist attraction sites in the country. It is famous for its hike routes and as you get to the peak of the Mountain, you will have a great view of the town below. The Bintumani Mountain rises to a height of 1945 meters above sea level and with the lush vegetation that surrounds it, it is one place that you should check out while in Sierra Leone.
The Islands of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone has nine beautiful islands that you can check out while in the country and while some of these Islands are occupied, others have never seen human settlement leaving them with their untouched natural beauty. Some of the Islands that you should check out while in Sierra Leone include the following:
- The Bounce Island
The Bounce Island was a former slave trade town for the British who came to the country in 1670 and started carrying out slave trade. The Island being the center of the slavery still has a few monuments that show the slave trade and for all those that want to know more about the trade, this is the right place for you to visit while in Sierra Leone.
- The Banana Island
The Banana Island is located near Freetown in the West Peninsular Area. The Banana Island is also a former slave trade area and a visit there will show you the different docks where the slaves were sold from, the old churches in the area and the good news is that it is a water sport area where you get to engage in numerous activities like snorkeling and diving.
- The Turtle Island
This is located in the south eastern peninsular in Sierra Leone and a top destination for tourists. It is just three hours away from the capital city and is known to have the largest number of turtles in the whole country. The only way to get to the Island is by speedboat and on your way you can get to enjoy the cool breeze and the watch out for the aqua species that are found on the Island.
Tiwali Island wildlife sanctuary
The Tiwali wildlife sanctuary is a top destination site for all tourists who visit Sierra Leone. The sanctuary is a home to a large number of hippos and it is a one stop Centre for tourists who want to try out camping in the wild as they enjoy all that it has to offer like the bird species and lush vegetation in the sanctuary. And when you are done are done exploring the sanctuary you can still go around the Island and try to engage in other activities that are carried out on the Island.
Tacugama chimpanzee sanctuary
The Tacugama chimpanzee sanctuary is located in the capital city of Sierra Leone Freetown and is one of the most amazing places that you should try out while in the country. It is just 40 minutes away from the city Centre and is a home to quite a number of chimpanzees. While within the Sanctuary, you can trek to the waterfalls that are found in the sanctuary and you can also have a picnic at the falls.
Things to do in Sierra Leone
Known to be a country with a diverse culture and lots of activities that can be carried out in the different parts of the country. Some of the top things that you should engage in include:
Relax at the beaches in Sierra Leone
The strategic location of Sierra Leone at the Western coast of the African continent has made it the perfect destination for tourists who want to relax due to the presence of some of the best beaches in Africa and you can also get to join in the numerous water sports like surfing, diving and snorkeling while at the beaches.
Go camping in Sierra Leone
One of the best ways in which you can get to enjoy Sierra Leone is by going out and camping around the different camping sites that are majorly found in the wildlife sanctuaries found in the country. Get to enjoy a bonfire and gaze up at the stars while in the wild part of Sierra Leone.
Enjoy some local dishes
One of the enjoyable things that you should try out is the food that is sold on the different streets of Sierra Leone. One of the types of street that you should really try out is the Kankankan which is goats grilled meat but in a way that will see you going back for more.
Go hiking in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone has some of the best Mountains in Africa which offer a good place for all the adrenaline junkies who want to go hiking. The hiking trails that are located in the different parts of the country are clearly marked making your hiking experience worthwhile.
Relax at Islands
Sierra Leone has nine beautiful Islands that are found in the different parts of the country. Some of these have been explored while others are a beautiful undiscovered part of Sierra that awaits to be discovered by the tourist who visit sierra. Get to meet the locals who stay on some of the Islands and get to learn more about their day to day life.
Explore the western area peninsular
The Western Area peninsular is a home to the krio ethnic group that is believed to have descended from the slavery that was done by the colonialists. These cover about 2% of the total population in Sierra Leone and a visit to the peninsular will give you a clear insight into how the Krio people live, the historical sites in the village and their unique culture.
Go shopping for souvenirs
Sierra Leone is a country that produces its own clothes locally using the finest cotton that they grow. Commonly known as the country cloth, it is designed using tie and dye and it comes in different bright colors which gives it a Sierra Leone touch making it the perfect souvenir to take back to your friends after your trip.
Enjoy some of the festivals in the country
There is no country in the western part of Africa that loves partying like the people in Sierra Leone. The locals in Sierra Leone will find a reason to celebrate all the good things that comes their way. Some of the festivities that you can join in include festivals prepared to appease the spirits, Christmas, Easter and other cultural festivities. This is one way in which you can actually relate to the locals in Sierra Leone.
Where to stay in Sierra Leone
When it comes to accommodation facilities for tourists, Sierra Leone has quite a number of them in that they cannot all be named here but the best type of accommodation facilities that you can use are hotels, campsites and Bed and bed breakfast accommodation facilities.
There are several hotel facilities in the country that offer essential services and these fall under three categories that the Luxurious hotels most of which are located in the west peninsular at the Tokay and the Lakka, the mid-range hotels some of which are owned by the government and budget friendly hotels although these have some facilities which are shared by the tourists. When it comes to hotels it is much better if you book in advance and get a hotel that fits into your budget and your comfort.
The camps that are found in Sierra Leone are set up in the wildlife sanctuary that is located within the Sierra Leone. The camps in the sanctuary offer bed and breakfast to the visitors and if you are interested in outside camping, they also offer tents but you will need to carry extra warm clothes if you are to use the camps. You can also camp in the different communities around the country but only after you have asked for permission to camp there.
Bed and breakfast
There are several bed and breakfast that are individually owned and these are found in close proximity of the different of the different tourist destinations in the country. Most of the Bed and breakfast accommodation facilities are located in Freetown and unlike the hotels in the country, these are a little bit cheaper and comfortable.
Best time to visit Sierra Leone
The best time to visit Sierra Leone is during the dry season which runs from the month of October to April and this is because you will hardly see roads being blocked due to floods which is a common occurrence during the wet season which is experienced majorly between December and January.
How safe is Sierra Leone?
Sierra Leone is extremely safe when it comes to political matters the only problem that it gets are the weather tides which normally happen during December and the bad roads in the country.
What do I need to know about Sierra Leone?
Sierra Leone is located in the western coast of the African continent and before you travel you should get anti-malarial drugs, make sure that you are safe from Ebola and park appropriately.
How do I get to Sierra Leone and how is the transportation in the country?
This is very easy all you need to know is that you fly into the country because there are several flights that fly to and fro Sierra Leone. When you get to the country, there are several taxis that you can get at the airport and these can take you around or you can use the tour vans to get around the country.
What is Sierra Leone known for?
Sierra Leone is best known for a being a country that was filled with slaves in its capital city Freetown and at the moment has risen from the Slavery to become a top tourist destination in Africa.