Sierra Leone is located in West Africa on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. While many are aware of the country’s long slave history, not many know that it is home to pristine sandy beaches, unspoiled rainforests and an abundance of wildlife. Along with its diverse native culture bearing a tinge of British influences, Sierra Leone is one of West Africa’s most fascinating offbeat destinations.
The capital Freetown is known for its fine beaches and historical significance. King’s Yard Gate and the 500 year old Cotton Tree landmark are reminders of the slave trade history, which can be understood better by visiting the Sierra Leone National Museum. St John’s Maroon Church and Old Fourah Bay College are good examples of Freetown’s heritage. The nearby Western Area National Park houses the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary which is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for endangered chimpanzees.
The Tiwai island is home to the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the country’s most visited natural reserve. The sanctuary is best known for numerous species of primates, over 100 species of birds and the endangered pygmy hippopotamus. The Outamba-Kilimi National Park in northwestern Sierra Leone comprises a diverse terrain of dense rainforests, flood plains, rolling hills and vast stretches of savannah. The park is popular for birdwatching, canoeing and spotting primates.
The Banana islands, located south west of the Freetown Peninsula are a group of three islands popular for water sports like kayaking, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. Bureh beach which is perfect for surfing, the lively River No. 2 beach and the calm Tokeh beach are the most popular beaches in the country.
Sierra Leone is an excellent eco-tourism destination, perfect for those who seek offbeat locations. Its pristine environment and rich wildlife will be a delight for nature lovers.
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for endangered chimpanzees.