Also known as the lion mountain, this country’s interesting history and negative history has overshadowed the country. But having been to Freetown I can attest that the country, just like it’s the main export, shines likes a diamond. Sierra Leone is situated on the coast of West Africa. Its neighbouring countries are Guinea and Liberia. The capital is Freetown and the local currency used is Leones (SLL).

Fun Fact: The country has the world’s largest natural harbour (Queen Elizabeth II Qua)!

If you’d like to know more interesting facts about this African country, click here.

So lets break this country up into PARTS.


The largest ethnic groups are the Temne, Mende, Limba and Fullah. There are also a lot of Europeans, Asians and Lebanese dependants. Though the official language is English, a pidgin dialect is more commonly spoken. But the country has 23 other languages with ‘Krio’ being their second language. But the country has 23 other languages with ‘Krio’ being their second language.


The cotton tree. Located at the heart of the capital this tree is a monumental symbol of the country’s freedom.

Loma Mansa. Located in the Loma Mountains, this is the country’s highest peak.

The National museum close to the cotton tree is a museum that shows the history, culture, and artwork of Sierra Leoneans.

Craft Market: the most popular street market sells everything a traveller could desire.

Travelling to Freetown? Read our ultimate guide!

Tacugama Chimpanzee sanctuary. These forests protect nearly 100 chimpanzees from hunters and poachers. Why not visit the sanctuary to contribute to its upkeep.

Lumley beach: this lovely beach in Freetown is a local favourite. Why not join in on the various beach games or relax to soak up the sun.

Though the tourism industry may be lacking compared to some other African countries, Sierra Leoneans sure do make up for it in parties. Testing out the country’s nightlife is a must. With lavish parties bringing international artists and people. Make sure you check online and social media to find out about these lavish parties.

Rituals and Culture

Around 80% of the country are Muslim, then followed by Christianity and other African religions. I took comfort in knowing the country was safe at night and women were free to wear what they pleased.

Football is a big deal here. With restaurants and bars often being packed with fans of the game, whether big league or little league matches, Sierra Leoneans can’t get enough of the sport! It often feels like the city has been put on hold for the game. You can bet that all that cheering really works up an appetite. Rice and cassava are some of the county’s staple. With local specialties being jollof rice (Rice cooked with tomato sauce and red palm oil), plantain and fufu (pounded and doughed cassava typically served with a stew)


– You must haggle, if not expect to pay premium prices. Most times prices of transport are set but most other things, markets etc you can haggle

– If you will take the government boat, be very weary of pickpockets, beggars, luggage porters (I’ve heard stories of luggage porters running away with people’s luggage)


Although sharing a border with Gambia, there were no direct buses/coaches from Banjul to Freetown on the date of my departure.

Instead I took a 1-hour plane ride (20 minutes of which were actually in the air).

Once at Freetown airport I did not realise that I had to now take a boat to the city. Me being the cheapskate I am refused to pay for the $50 boat which is typically what all the foreigners pay.

I instead payed about $1 to get a shared taxi to the government ship where I paid around $5 more to get onto the boat.

I assumed again that there were set times for boat departures but oh no, we left once the boat was full which was about 1.5 hours after I got on, so, if you’re thinking about going onto this route, be prepared for the wait!

We were squashed in, Being on this ship made me think about how much space sardines must have in a tin, whatever it was it was more than what I had anyways.

Once we arrived onto the other side it was manic, people rushed out, cars were trying to back out, people on the shore rushed in, I had my suitcase taken off me before I had a second to think. Luckily by a luggage porter.

Once I found my taxi driver, we hopped into the car and braved the inevitable traffic from the port.

I won’t lie I feel asleep for most of the car ride to my Airbnb but the little clips of the country I did get was paradise. I couldn’t wait to explore more of this country.

The people in Sierra Leone are what really made the country for me. I never knew how similar Nigerian and Sierra Leone until I visited the national museum. I met the manager who was intrigued when I told her my name.

She invited me to her office and she told me about sierra Leonean history. She told me the country meant lion mountain and Freetown was founded when freed slaves settled.

From Jamaica to Nigeria, their cultures are rich, mixed and diverse with other cultures. It was funny to hear that my name was quite common in the country too.

After the African art museum, I took a stroll to the craft market, in an abandoned railroad station.

The market was beautiful and honestly one of the most organised markets I had seen in Africa and yet, there were little to no customers at all. I could tell by the way all the vendors glued to me.

Sierra Leonean art was a mix, I saw the usual vibrant west African colours, shapes and patterns on fabrics, but also came across a lot of pan African and Caribbean flags and colours.

The country truly encompassed all the different cultures.

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