10 Reasons to Make Sierra Leone Your Next Destination

April 28, 2022

Freetown Sierra Leone

As I reflect on all of my travels, I can confidently say that Sierra Leone was the highlight of my trips. I've been quite a few times and every time I visit, I'm in awe. I know it may not be on everyone's radar, but trust me, this West African gem is a must-visit destination. Here are just ten reasons why:

1. Beaches

The coastal region of Sierra Leone boasts a range of beautiful and unique beaches, each with their own individual style and character. From the pristine sands to the quality of the waves, these beaches cater to even the most discerning beachgoer, with new stretches of paradise to explore. What's more, unlike other overdeveloped beach destinations, the beaches in Sierra Leone are still relatively untouched by mass tourism, offering spacious and wild surroundings that are a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. John Obey offers picture-perfect views, River Number Two is ideal for swimming, Turtle Islands offer remote relaxation, Bureh is a surfing paradise, Lumley Beach is great for atmosphere, and Banana Island offers aquatic activities and stunning moon-gazing opportunities. My favourite beach will always be Africa point beach. If you're looking for an eco-friendly beach retreat with a local touch, Africa Point Beach Resort is your go-to place. The resort a family-owned business with beautiful wildlife and natural surroundings. You'll feel like you're in the amazon once you take a short boat ride to the eco resorts. And oh the views... to die for!

Sierra Leone Beaches

Sierra Leone Beaches

2. Bunce Island

If you're an African history buff like me, you simply cannot miss the Bunce Island Tour! This place used to be the largest British slave castle on the Rice Coast of West Africa, and it's truly a captivating experience. With its long and complex history, you'll be moved by the stories that this place has to offer.This small island, located just a short boat ride from Freetown. Visitors can tour the island with a knowledgeable guide, who will provide insight into the island's dark past.

Bunce Island

3. Gorilla Sanctuary

Sierra Leone is home to a population of endangered Western Lowland Gorillas, and the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Located just outside Freetown, the sanctuary is home to over 100 chimpanzees and a small group of gorillas. The Gorillas had sass and really looked at home climbing up trees and doing mating rituals. What's more, the baby gorillas are just the cutest.

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary Sierra Leone

4. People

As someone who has deep roots in Sierra Leone, I can tell you firsthand that the people here are some of the most friendly and hospitable you'll ever meet. It's not uncommon to be stopped on the street and offered a warm smile or a helping hand. And if you happen to visit someone's home, you'll be welcomed with open arms and treated like family. Trust me, you won't want to leave.

5. Food

Oh, and let's not forget about the food - from the savory flavors of cassava leaves to the sweet taste of mangoes, your taste buds will be in for a treat. Sierra Leone's cuisine is a delicious blend of West African and European influences. From spicy Jollof rice to delicious seafood dishes, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to try the local street food, such as Akara and jelly coconuts.

Shopping in Sierra Leone

6. Parties

If there's one thing Sierra Leoneans know how to do, it's how to have a good time. As soon as the sun goes down in Freetown, the city comes alive with music, laughter and the smell of grilled fish. I remember going out with my cousins and friends and dancing the night away to the beat of live music, feeling the rhythm in my soul. The bars and clubs are always packed with people ready to have a good time, and the atmosphere is contagious. And don't even get me started on the delicious local beers and cocktails! Trust me, if you want to experience the true spirit of Sierra Leone, you have to check out the nightlife in Freetown.

Sierra Leonean Parties

7. Outamba-Kilimi National Park

Located in northern Sierra Leone, this stunning national park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, monkeys, and rare birds. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park, which includes a visit to the beautiful Kabba River. I didn't manage to make this one on my last visit but it's definitely on my bucket list for next time.

Sierra Leonean Beaches

8. Shopping

Let me tell you about shopping in Sierra Leone! You'll find some of the most vibrant and colourful African fabrics around, perfect for making unique outfits or home decor. And if you're like me and love to haggle for a good deal, you're in luck because bargaining is a way of life here. Just don't be surprised if you end up buying more than you intended because the sellers can be quite persuasive. But hey, it's all part of the fun!

9. Waterfalls

If you're looking for a natural oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of Freetown, then the waterfalls of Sierra Leone are a must-see.  They're hidden in some of the most beautiful parts of the country, so you get the added bonus of a scenic trek to get there. But let me warn you, the hike isn't for the faint of heart. You'll definitely break a sweat. But trust me, it's worth it. When you finally arrive at the falls, the rush of the water is so powerful that you can feel it in your bones. And if you're brave enough, you can even take a dip in the natural pools at the base of the falls. With crystal clear water cascading over smooth rocks and surrounded by lush greenery, it's the perfect spot for a refreshing dip and to capture some beautiful memories.

10. Culture

Let me tell you about my home country, Sierra Leone! We've got such a diverse cultural heritage, with all kinds of influences from the Mende, Temne, Krio people, and even European. You'll never get bored in Freetown because there's always something new to discover. Whether it's traditional drumming and dancing, or contemporary art and music, you'll find it all. And, if you want to learn more about our history, the Sierra Leone National Museum is a must-visit spot. It's full of interesting artifacts and exhibits that offer a fascinating glimpse into our past and present. If you ever get the chance to go and visit, I say do it. Trust me, you won't regret it!

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