Sierra Leone is undoubtedly a great eco-tourism potential but this still needs to be developed in a structured and responsible manner for the most economic visit for communities in the area.
There is so much to enjoy when it comes to nature and wildlife in Sierra Leone. Unfortunately some of these sites are also threatened by human influences such as logging, mining, agriculture, fishing and hunting.
Kambui Hills Forest Reserve
The Kambui Hills Forest Reserve is situated in the southeast of Sierra Leone about 300 km south-east of Freetown. Kambui forest is in itself a production forest reserve for the supply of timber to local and international markets. The reserve is situated on the north and south of Kenema town.
The reserve covers sections of the Nongowa, Bambara, Dama and Koya Chiefdoms of the Kenema District, Eastern Province. The two sections of the reserve (Kambui North 20,348 ha and Kambui South 880 ha) are separated by the main highway leading to Kenema town.
The forest reserve includes areas encompassing the highest peak in the southern sector of the country, which stands at 645m. The reserve supports catchment areas for a number of reservoirs that supply water to Kenema and surrounding communities.
Kangari Hills Forest Reserve
This reserve is located in the Kunike and Bonkolenken Chiefdoms in the Tonkolili District, Northern Province and the Valunia Chiefdom in the Bo District, Southern Province. It occurs about 210 km east of Freetown. The forest at Kangari is part of a range of hills, the highest being Kang-ari, which is outside the reserve.
The forest reserve at Kangari Hills is home to an important forest wildlife community, including forest and savanna dependent birds, chimpanzees and elephants.
The hills are drained by a number of rivers and the valleys support swamps suitable for agriculture. The region is the source of two main rivers passing through the centre of the country – The Pampana River to the northeast and the Moa River to the southwest.
Western Area Peninsula Forest
This forest reserve is located on the hills of the Western Area Peninsula, on the extreme western edge of the country, about 5 km south of the capital Freetown.Western Area Peninsula Forest WAPF is probably the westernmost remnant of West African rain forest.
Its fauna and flora are rich and are more affected by seasonal changes than those of the lowland forests in the east. Its situation close to Freetown presents particular threats, but also great opportunities for education and ecotourism
The WAPF occupies a narrow chain of hills approximately 37 km long and 14 km wide, with a range of peaks, the highest being Picket Hill in the south, which rises to about 900m. A thin coastal strip lines the peninsula to the north, west and south.
Tingi Hills Forest Reserve
Tingi Hills Forest Reserve is located close to Sierra Leone’s eastern border with the Republic of Guinea. It occurs between the Nieya Chiefdom, Koinadugu District, Northern Province and the Sando and Lei Chiefdoms in the Kono District, Eastern Province, about 470 km east of Freetown.
The forest reserve includes areas encompassing the massif called Sankan Birriwa, which has two peaks separated by a narrow gorge. Both peaks stand over 1800m, but the northernmost which is 1850m high, is the second highest in Sierra Leone.
The terrain is generally rocky, with numerous streams, which have their sources from the massif. These streams are the tributaries of two major rivers in the country; the Mano River, which runs along the border with the Republic of Liberia and Sewa River.