Sierra Leone is located on the West Coast of Africa, sharing its borders with the Republic of Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the east and southeast, while the Atlantic Ocean is to the west and south.
The country boasts 402km of coastline, and the Freetown peninsula, the star attraction of this country’s industry is 40km long and 17km wide with a mountainous belt.
If you’re longing for nature, look no further than the Banana Island, offering natural beauty unlike anywhere in the world and a bunch of underwater and water activities.
Sierra Leone is naturally both rich and diverse.
Visit some of its gorgeous beaches that boast a rare colonial heritage and offer a fantastic scenery, climb its mountainous region, or walk along the Freetown peninsula’s deserted and splendid coastline, with beaches so perfect they could be described as world-class – but you will probably be most enchanted by this country’s warm and welcoming people that are known for doing the impossible just to make tourists feel comfortable.
Warnings & Dangers in Sierra Leone
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Though many say it is the friendliest African country, the government of this country stands by their attitude that Sierra Leona is not the safest country to visit. It has extremely high crime rates, of both violent and petty crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of something wrong happening.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Transportation in Sierra Leone is not too safe, due to poor maintenance of roads, and getting to and from Freetown in one piece is a serious success! Buses aren't reliable and though they cost less than taxis, they're far slower. Be wary of pickpockets in public transport.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
There is an extreme threat of petty crimen since the poverty in Sierra Leone is extreme. Pickpockets are an everyday occurrence, so you should be extremely careful when handling your valuables and never carry your money in a purse or a pocket. Never carry all your money in the same place, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Sierra Leone is susceptible to flooding and mudslides. The most recent one took about 200 lives and left massive material damage behind. There are also diseases and epidemic outbreaks: in 2014 there was a tragic Ebola outbreak in this country.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Mugging is also an issue in Sierra Leone though it's not as common as petty crime. Still, be extremely vigilant when it comes to handling money and valuables, and avoid walking alone at night.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There haven't been any recent terrorist attacks in Sierra Leone's recent history, but they shouldn't be ruled out since Sierra Leone contributes to the UN peacekeeping initiative in Mali. This may lead to it being targeted by Al-Qaida and its associated groups.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
As in any country, there's a risk of getting scammed. Be wary of people trying to distract you in order to steal from you and of taxi drivers overcharging you for a ride. We advise you to be extremely careful when handling money and around ATMs.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Sierra Leone isn't the safest place for a woman to be visiting alone. If you do, be sure to avoid remote streets, both during day and night, and do not flash your belongings or handle money in public. Stay out of the streets at night and be vigilant for any possible dangers at all times.
So... How Safe Is Sierra Leone Really?
Sierra Leone is, according to some, the friendliest place in Africa, yet according to the government warnings, it’s a country riddled with crime, corruption and is dangerously unregulated.
However, what definitely is true, is that it’s one of the poorest nations on earth, not just in Africa, and until recently was being slowly destructed by raging civil war.
It is only now starting to see signs of economic growth.
As expected, where there’s poverty, there are also high levels of crime, so you have to be very cautious when traveling to this country and bear in mind that going here is more of an adventure than a holiday experience.
Keep in mind that traveling anywhere outside Freetown is dangerous since the roads are extremely bad, poorly maintained and ridden with potholes, and the other drivers don’t help much – they mostly drive vehicles that aren’t in driving condition and the roads are filled with bandits.
Also during the rainy season that lasts from May until October, the rural roads can be extremely difficult to use, even if you’re driving a car suitable for travel on badly-rutted, unmade roads.
Another issue to keep in mind when it comes to traffic is that sometimes you may encounter illegal roadblocks put up by youths, who sometimes ask for a small “donation” in order to mend the road, all the while carrying weapons.
How Does Sierra Leone Compare?
- Visas - Most countries do need a visa to enter Sierra Leone, but it is easy to acquire one online. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the time of your visa application. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Sierra Leonean leone is the official currency in Sierra Leone. ATMs and moneychangers are available throughout Freetown and other larger towns.
- Weather - Sierra Leone has a tropical climate characterized by hot weather all year round. The weather is dry during winter and wet during the rainy season caused by the African monsoon. The rainy season lasts from May until November in the north, and from April until November in the south.
- Airports - Freetown International Airport, locally referred to as Lungi International Airport, is the only international airport serving Sierra Leone. It is located in the coastal town of Lungi and separated from Freetown, the country's capital city by the Sierra Leone River.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Sierra Leone, since it covers not only the costs medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Sierra Leone Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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33 Reviews on Sierra Leone
A LOT of misinformation here. When was this written?
I have lived for years in Sierra Leone travelling all around the country and have not once see youths with ‘weapons’ or ‘bandits’. The civil war ended 19 years ago (the median age is only 19!)
The roads going from Freetown to the other major towns are generally quite good. And the idea of Sierra Leone being targeted by Al-Qaeda is quite ridiculous.
This is utter rubbish..
Bad roads linking Freetown
Women not safe in the streets at night
Who the he’ll wrote this rubbish man..
Hey James , hope you’re safe n sound,been a while, link up budfy
Sierra Leone the richest country
Sierra Leone is a richest country but selfish Ness is so much for people in times of work and their lives so this country should be one of the developing countries for their rich because they have demon, boxside, minerals so that is I can say for this country lack of security to be a safe travel agent
I believe the blogger completely! Everything I’ve ever read about SL confirms it. One of scariest places on earth.
Hidden Gem of Africa
Lol. It totally depends on where you stayed. Like any place in the world you have the affluent and not so wealthy areas. If you just rocked -up to the country with no proper plan on accommodation or living arrangements, then yes you’ll be exposed to the elements (crime, mosquitoes,sanitation), especially if you don’t blend in… It’s not named The hidden-gem of Africa without a reason- It’s one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. Most natives speak English to a good standard and they are
Quite friendly if they want to be again like anywhere in the world. I would agree with the pick-pocketing, as I experienced it 1st hand.
I’m Planning A Trip To Sierra Leone And I’ve Heard How Nice It Is I Wonder If I Can Plan A Trip All Around Africa
Sierra Leone is safe and this piece here is so full of misinformation. In my youthful days i used to go clubbing alone on frequent basis and it was safe. It is still generally safe out there for women or anybody for that matter. I am 37 now so my youthful days are not too long ago. The roads are generally in good conditions once you are travelling from Freetown to other parts of the
country. Show me one country in Africa that doesn’t have pickpockets. I need to relocate.
This stuff you wrote is nonesense.
This blogger has never visited Sierra Leone. My country is one of the crime free country in Africa. I wonder where he get his information from. The roads to the country interior are good and the civil war ended the decades ago.
Firstly this writer must be sued for misinforming the public about Sierra Leone, maybe this article was written ages ago and it only got published now
Sierra Leone is one of the safest country to travel to
The writer needs to check the facts before posting something like this for the world to see
Am reporting this article and I’ll definitely get other people to report it
When I read this article, I find it difficult to reconcile your story with the reality that prevails in Sierra Leone. This is so unrepresentative of the picture of Sierra Leone.
I have travelled around West Africa and the World and I can safely say Sierra Leoneans are one of the friendliest people you can find.
Your article does not do justice to Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is, safe and peaceful.
This is a complete rubbish. I have lived in Sierra Leone for over 36 years… nothing is quite related to what the writer says about Sierra Leone.
It is unfortunate that people can write and post without getting their fact right. How long have you been in Sierra Leone? Which Nationality are you? How can your assumption lead you to right such nasty article about a nation that you know nothing about.
Regrettably, your article is completely biased and lack substance and you should be ashamed of yourself. Come to Sierra Leone and experience a complete opposite of the writer’s thought.
Not the Sierra Leone I know
Whoever wrote this piece must have missed the name of the country s/he has written about. Please cross-check your note to figure out which country you have mistakenly replaced Sierra Leone with as this description does not in any way fit the Sierra Leone I know. Sierra Leone is one of the safest places on earth. The country enjoys peace and tranquility. People are free to move in and out of Freetown without any issues. All then roads leading to big towns and cities are tarmac roads. No one touches women without their consent. Tourists are free to walk about both day and night. There are no bandits or youths with weapons to attack unsuspecting members of the public. Visit Sierra Leone today to enjoy the best in hospitality.
Very Good Country To Visit
The writer of this blog is a liar, sierra Leone is safe and good country to travel to. this writer must have been paid by foreign or bad evil forces that are not happy with sierra Leone gains over the past two year in tourism, just three month back sierra Leone welcome more than seven hundreds of tourist from Budapest Hungary and more than three hundred tourist from Denmark and more than two thousand from UK and more that Six hundred from USA.
please dont buy that cheap lies please visit and see how lovely sierra Leone is with it lovely hotels, Beach, and friendly people
Baseless and untrue
Oh please! If you’re going to write a review of a country, at least be sure to visit it first rather than base it on a newspaper report that’s 20 years old.
You’ve just completely ruined any sense of authenticity or trust in your whole site.
Note: 1 star for your terrible review (because it won’t let me say 0). 4.5 stars for country safety
Sierra Leone is very peaceful
The negative description given by this blogger is unfortunate. Sierra Leone is a very peaceful country with happy people. What’s really the intention of this blogger to write such about my country. We have good roads, friendly people,,low crime rate , beautiful beaches. You’re welcome to come over to Sierra Leone and experience the warmness of Sierra Leoneans.
This blog is hugely misleading, inaccurate and outdated. The country is a superb tourism destination that few have visited. I love it and it’s important that it is presented fairly and honestly!
This is really a misleading blog!
has the writer ever been to sierra leone?
I’ve lived in and traveled to sierra leone off and on since 2006. I wonder if the author of this review has ever been there. yeah the roads aren’t great in a lot of places but it’s generally a safe and exceedingly friendly place to go.
This is completely misleading to say the least, and utterly far from the truth. The blogger ought to take this rubbish down!
It’s really unfortunate for some of u blog who don’t want to take their time to investigate or visit the country you want to write about before doing your write up…Sierra Leone is not in any way close to all you’ve said… kindly take this down and do a better research next time.
Land that we Love 🇸🇱🇸🇱🇸🇱
I love to be in Sierra Leone have had a lot about it
Wow this words of yours high me
Absolute and utter drivel. I currently live in Sierra Leone and have not come across the rubbish this writer is spewing.
Lots of rubbish and misinformation. Where do you get these information on risks.
The country is on an edge.
Our President recently declared the opposition terrorists, in an effort to blame them for civil unrests, caused by his poor economic performance, and poor Democratic credentials.
There are no kids at roadblocks with weapons.
But corruption is at its highest, and because everything has now been politicised by the new government, the security situation is extremely volatile.
A once safe country, Sierra Leone is now also being divided along tribal lines because of a reckless government, and it is geared that a Rwandan-styled tribal conflict could be the outcome.
This article has been truly inspirational. It’s great to know that you can author a travel piece from the comfort of your own sofa. I’d always assumed that you needed to have actually visited the country. You’ve opened my eyes up to a whole new employment opportunity.
7 out of 10 for the entertainment factor
Still not found a job yet Sheka. I hear bald blokes are coming back into fashion again.
All the best to the family.
Except the act of terrorism is boiling underground and that the president himself has said it, pointing to a political party, or that they themselves, “the leading greeds” are the terrorists, as it appears but if this act of terrorism is associated to the suffering masses, I take exception.
We the suffering masses no longer believe on evil for evil. For it is written ” Vengeance is mine I will repay” say the Lord. Payday will one day come to pey every one according to his or her work.
For now our country is not safe political international is the problem now
Am presently in Sierra Leone
The writer does not know Sierra Leone. He/she is ill informed and should bury his/head in shame. Our country is not only very beautiful it is peaceful. You are more likely to be mugged in New York or shot dead in Detroit than Sierra Leone.
SIERRA LEONE IS ONE OF THE BEST AND RICHEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.IF NOT SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STEALING OUR RESOURCES AND SELLING IT ABROAD AND KEEPING THE MONEY FOR THEIR OWN FAMILIES..THEN SOME OF THE PEOPLE OVERSEAS ARE HELPING THEM TO STEAL OUR RESOURCES.IT IS A SAFE COUNTRY TO TRAVEL TO.
I wonder why you people act as if you know my country better.. it’s not fair.. Do your research thoroughly ok..
Not recommended for women traveling alone
While most people are friendly in Sierra Leone, many of their cities have certain areas that are very dangerous and there are also criminals walking the streets day and night searching for prey. This is such a beautiful country but because the police are powerless to protect people from the many criminals, you constantly feel like something bad will happen. This is not a place for a single woman to come! No way! You can get beaten, robbed or even raped here if you are alone so don’t do it.
I partially agree with some of the comments on this page and acknowledge that there are great places, safe places in the country. But I would not say this country is safe, as a whole. I didn’t feel safe while I was here and I have talked to others (women and men) that felt the same way. I’m not saying this is a bad country, not at all. Like I said, there are many, many wonderful people. It’s just that I would never recommend it for women traveling alone. If you come here with a group of friends (men and women) things should be ok. Take good precautions like not walking alone at night, staying out of the really bad areas, staying on the tourists paths and things will be ok.
Pickpockets are present just like in any other country or major city. This is not a surprise. They are active in crowded areas, in buses, etc. Just pay attention and you will be fine.
But there are so many beautiful places to visit here and if you do your research before coming here you can make the most out of your time spent here. Sierra Leone might have its dangers but it can also offer magical moments if you go to the right spots.