Friday, October 28, 2022

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Flag

Why visit Sierra Leone?
For the experienced self-sufficient adventurous traveling seeking to enjoy beaches, birdwatching, diamond mines, game reserves, and tribal culture.

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Colorful fabrics, leather products, sandals, straw baskets, weavings, and wood carvings.
  • Local Drink to Try: Poyo (wine). Star Beer.

Fun Facts
  • Divided into 5 administrative regions, and subdivided into 16 districts.
  • Home to the largest natural harbor amongst Africa.
  • Rich deposits of diamonds and gold.
  • Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary (Freetown) has a collection of endangered and rare chimpanzees.
  • Lumley-Aberdeen Beach stretches from Cape Sierra Leone to Lumley. 
  • First dialysis machine was donated by Israel.
  • Practice polygamy marriages.

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Lantern Festival, (March) Ballanta Music Festival, Sierra Leone International Film Festival, (April) Sierra Leone Fashion Week (SLFW), (June) Kiln Sierra Leone Marathon, (November) ECOFEST, (December) Ma Dengn Beach Festival, and
    Tangains Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Armed Forces Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Korite, Tabaski, and Mawlid.

Good to Know
  • Considered the least developed and livable country in the world.
  • Lacks infrastructure.
  • English is the official language.
  • Avoid the Liberia border.
  • Power outages are common.
  • Avoid tumba fly lesions by ironing or machine dry laundry. 
  • Sun is very strong, apply sunscreen regularly.
  • Avoid traveling solo after dark.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Dengue, Malaria, Typhoid, Rabies, and Yellow Fever. 
  • Medical facilities and services are very limited.
  • Crime is widespread.
  • Do not photograph airports, bridges, government buildings, or the U.S. Embassy.
  • Avoid tap water consumption.
  • Cities are prone to air pollution issues.
  • Exporting diamonds and/or gold requires a license to do so.
  • Tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and inspections do not commonly occur. 
  • Port cities: Bonthe, Freetown, Pepel, and Sherbro Island.
  • Land mines are scattered throughout the country.
  • Rainy Season is May - November.
  • Popular beaches include: Bureh Beach, Laka Beach, Mama Beach, River Number 2 Beach, and Tokeh Beach.
  • Internet access is limited.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination required. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry: $10,000USD.

Photo Credit: Muhammad Shah Jaman/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: December - May
  • Coolest Month: July - October
  • Hottest Months: March - May
  • Peak Season: October - November

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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.   

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