blog home

Secret Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is one of those unique destinations you can’t even begin to formulate expectations for. Venturing into the previously war-torn region of West Africa is like charting a new course on the ever-expanding tourist trail

by Rachel Wasser Posted on 25 August 2013

[caption id="attachment_13734" align="alignnone" width="620"]See what you've been missing? Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone See what you've been missing?
Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone[/caption]

Sierra Leone is one of those unique destinations you can't even begin to formulate expectations for. Venturing into the previously war-torn region of West Africa is like charting a new course on the ever-expanding tourist trail. Sierra Leone is set up to succeed at reopening its doors to a host of travellers seeking something different, something meaningful. It has that ?elusive combination of cultural experiences, wildlife-viewing opportunities, stunning white-sand beaches and warm, friendly locals. With the country stable and safe, now is the time to meet the people of Sierra Leone and help them build their tourist infrastructure in a sustainable way, helping preserve history, cultures and natural resources for future generations of locals and travellers alike.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]River No 2 2.27_0 White sand hugs the serene River No. 2.
Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone[/caption]

River No 2 is in the Peninsula Region of Western Sierra Leone- white-sand beaches, red hibiscus flowers and golden sunsets come standard. The resort in here is community-run and the proceeds from your visit support the village. This is a quintessential beach town complete with a beach bar and evening bonfire.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Children (Tiwai) 2.1_0 Some village kids hanging out on Tiwai Island.
Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone[/caption]

This area is perfect for hiking in the rainforest and spotting monkeys, chimps and birds. The Tiwai Island Wildlife Reserve is a community conservation program. All funds raised go towards running the project and supporting the Community Development Fund to help finance community initiatives. Tiwai has one of the highest concentrations and diversity of primates in the world including rare monkeys and chimps.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]John Obey Beach hut - credit TribeWanted Can't get much closer to the beach than this!
Photo courtesy of TribeWanted[/caption]

This is one of the huts that's part of the TribeWanted sustainable tourism project in John Obey Beach. It's an eco-hotel that produces its own food in a "green" building run by the community. The community is on 6 acres of land adjacent to a fishing village. There is an open kitchen where visitors can get involved with food prep or just hang out with the locals. Activities in the area include canoeing, fishing, cooking, trekking, swimming and hammock-sitting.

[caption id="attachment_13738" align="alignnone" width="620"]See what's happening beyond the beach. Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone See what's happening beyond the beach in Freetown.
Photo courtesy of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone[/caption]

After visiting the natural highlights, wildlife and welcoming people of the country, head back to Freetown, the capital city. The city is filled with landmarks linking West Africa with African-Americans, liberated African slaves and West Indians. Spend some time learning the history of this country as well as enjoying its modern day sights.

Related Trips