Sierre Leone is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast.
Freetown is the capital and largest city in Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Sierra Leone National Museum has two galleries. One is home to a collection of cultural and historical artifacts and the other has temporary exhibitions that include a collection of photos and documents which detail the colonial past of the city. A well-trained staff guides visitors through the exhibits.
Visit Lumley Beach for some sand and sun. Especially on weekends, this is where families come to play and relax.
The National Railway Museum can be enjoyed by everyone not just fans of the rails. There is an amazing collection of restored locomotives among them one that was once commissioned for the Queen of England in 1961. Visitors enjoy the displays of model trains and interesting photos of the glory days of the Sierra Leone railway. Take the time to look into the small gift shop.
Up on Tower Hill is the State House, overlooking the downtown area. The area is a fine example of Freetown’s old Krio architecture featuring brightly washed buildings and unusual window frames. The building itself incorporates the bastions and lion gate from Fort Thornton built at the turn of the 19th century.
Even though the Old Fourah Bay College was gutted by fire in 1999 and only a shell remains it is still an interesting 1848 building to take a look at. The World Monuments Fund lists this building as one of the world’s 100 most-endangered historic sites.
St. John’s Maroon Church was built around 1820. It is a good example of Krio architecture and was built by returned slaves from Jamaica.
Take a look at the impressive Law Courts which have been beautifully restored.
The ancestors of almost all present-day Krios passed through King’s Yard Gate, atop Tower Hill is the strategic military Martello Tower, dating from 1805.
Today this is the site of Connaught Hospital. This is where the British brought rescued slaves so they could start new lives and they passed through the gate to get medical care by the British. Many of the new arrivals climbed up the nearby Old Wharf Steps which sometimes are mistakenly called the Portuguese Steps.
The stones of the Old Wharf Steps were set in 1818.
One of the most famous landmarks in Freetown is the fat Cotton Tree, looming over the buildings of central Freetown. This tree is supposedly hundreds of years old. It played a key role in the history of the city when poor black settlers rested beneath the tree after landing in Freetown in 1787. At times it is home to a huge colony of bats.
St. George’s Cathedral was built in the early 1800s. This is a grand cathedral where you can get a look into the city’s colonial history.
The 19th-century Aberdeen Lighthouse was refurbished in 2010.
The impressive mosque in Freetown is the largest in the country.
At the intersection of some of Freetown’s busiest streets, you’ll the interesting clock tower dating from the 19th century.
Exploring Sierra Leone
The Banana Islands are a group of islands just off the coast of Yawri Bay, southwest of the Freetown Peninsula. They are made up of three islands two of which Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. Here you’ll find shimmering beaches and lush rainforest.
Close to Freetown is the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary located in the Western Area Peninsula National Park. The lovely rainforest protects the capital’s primary watershed. The sanctuary was established in 1995 to protect chimpanzees. Here are about 75 chimpanzees in several forested enclosures.
Chimpanzees are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources or IUCN. Sierra Leone is home to the Western Chimpanzee subspecies and holds the third highest population after Guinea and Liberia. Here visitors can see chimpanzees up close in forested enclosures. For overnight stays the tranquil eco-lodges can give visitors time to relax in the rainforest.
Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary with the weaving, winding capillaries of the Moa River. The river is the main channel that splits in two in the heart of Sierra Leone’s southern province. This island is one of the most famous conservation spots in the country. It is home to some of the last remaining virgin rainforests in Sierra Leone. Here you can see Diana monkeys, pygmy hippos, chimpanzees, and pangolins.
The Turtle Islands is a wonderful tropical paradise lying by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are palms and mangroves. You can enjoy white-sand beaches. There are bamboo-built villages, fishing skiffs, and campsites along the shore.
Tokeh Beach greets visitors with bamboo parasols, Atlantic breezes, and golden sand. The shore is lined with palm trees. The Western Area Rural District has many luxury hotels and guesthouses.
Gola Forest Reserve is a favorite place for nature lovers and conservationists. It has a large population of chimpanzees. There are old woodlands with colorful butterflies, forest elephants, pygmy hippos, and more.
Bo Town is officially known as Bo. It is Sierra Leone’s second city sitting deep in the Southern Province. It is known for diamond prospecting and mining. It is a lively place due to the students at Njala University.
If you’re interested in seeing chimpanzees at play and swinging mangabeys visit the Outamba Kilimi National Park. The park borders with the Republic of Guinea. It has savannah and woodland groves. This is the right place for ecotourism and you can take safaris to see hippos in the muddy waters of the Kilimi River, elephants in the forests, bongo antelopes on the ridges, and chimpanzees.
Sierra Leone’s third-largest city Kenema can be found deep in the middle of the Eastern Province, among the ridges of the Kambui Hills where they head down to meet the Moa River. Kenema has a colorful clock tower. It is the gateway to the chimp and colobus monkey home in the South Kambui Hills Forest Reserve.