Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
Getting In and Around
Be sure your passport is valid for an additional six months past your last day in Sierra Leone.
We recommend obtaining your visa before you depart for Sierra Leone. You can purchase a one-month single-entry visa, a six-month multiple-entry visa, or a one-year multiple-entry visa. If you are in Sierra Leone and need to extend your visa, you will have to visit the Department of Immigration, located in Freetown.
You must have a yellow fever vaccination card to enter Sierra Leone.
Getting to/from Sierra Leone: If you’re flying into Sierra Leone, you will likely arrive at Freetown-Lungi International Airport. You will be greeted by throngs of porters once you arrive at the airport, so be prepared for chaos. The Sierra Leone River separates the airport from Freetown. If your flight arrives at night, you’d do well to stay over at the Lungi Airport Hotel. Wh
en you are ready to enter Freetown, you can take a ferry, a water taxi, or even a helicopter. All are readily available at the airport.
Within Sierra Leone:
You have a number of options for transportation within the country, depending on your budget. The most convenient and expensive way to get around the cities and the country is to hire a private car service. Rates can vary, so check with your hotel or travel agent for their recommendations for a reputable service.
You can take public buses to travel within and between the major cities. Make sure you confirm the destination of the bus with the driver before departing on your trip. We recommend asking your hotel staff for their insights on the best bus to take.
Taxis are available within all the major cities and can be a very affordable way to travel.
There are also minibuses called Poda Podas, which have set routes and operate between the major cities. Be prepared for a squeeze because the Poda Poda drivers like to cram a lot of passengers into their vehicles.
The most practical way to use a mobile phone in Sierra Leone is with a SIM card–enabled phone. You can purchase a cheap one in the country or take one with you, as long as it is unlocked before you arrive.
Safety and Security
The U.S. Department of State’s consular website has a great deal of information about safety and security in Sierra Leone
It can’t be repeated often enough: be sensible when you travel. Crime rates vary within Sierra Leone, so be alert and aware of your surroundings. Always keep important items like passports and excess cash in a safe place.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has created a security ratings system called the Ibrahim Index
, wherein scores are based on each country’s quality of government. Before traveling to Sierra Leone or anywhere on the continent, check the index and do your research.