Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. Sierra Leone is a Constitutional Republic with a directly elected president and a Unicameral Legislature. The country has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. The country covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and with an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United Nations estimate).
- Visa is required for all US Passport Holders for stays of up to 90 days, if you are not a US Passport holder; please consult the embassy in your region.
- Proof of immunization (Yellow Fever)
Embassy of Sierra Leone
Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington, DC.
Weather: Sierra Leone Weather
Communications: Dial 011 followed by country code 232
Heavy Rain Season: July-September average daily high temperature above 67°F.
Warm Season: November-April average daily high temperature above 76°F.
Sites of Interest
Western Area Peninsula National Park
The Western Area Peninsula and the adjacent Banana Islands have lush rainforest, pristine beaches, and breath-taking, steep mountains, a unique and long-standing culture and great history. The Western Area Peninsula, which is part of the Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem, is located on the west coast of the country and is home to roughly 1 to 1. 5 million people (20% of the country’s total population).
Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiwai Island has lush rainforest, unique and rich biodiversity, and a high concentration of endemic species. It is currently a protected area and eco-tourism destination supported by the local community, the Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA) and other local and regional stakeholders. Although EFA has helped preserve Tiwai Island over the previous decade, long term, sustainable preservation is only possible through increased global awareness and funding from sources previously unaware of its presence. The recognition of Tiwai Island as an UNESCO World Heritage site would provide the impetus for EFA to further its goal of environmental protection and restoration in Western Africa.
Old Fourah Bay College Building
The Original Fourah Bay College building is located in the east end of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Fourah Bay College opened in 1827 as the first institution of higher learning in modern sub-Saharan Africa after the collapse of the one at Timbuktu. Until the Second War Fourah Bay College offered the only alternative to Europe and America for British colony West Africans who wanted a university degree. The Original Fourah Bay College is a four-story structure built of dressed blocks of laterite. Sierra Leone’s first coloured Governor, Staff Sergeant Major William Fergusson laid the building’s foundation stone when its construction started in 1845. The building construction was supervised by the African American Reverend Edward Jones, who became the institution’s first principal. The Old Fourah Bay College is perhaps the single most influential institution in Africa in accounting for the penetration and acceleration of the spread of Western education on the continent.
Bunce is a 1600 feet uninhabitted island lying approximately 20 miles up the Sierra Leone River from Freetown, the Capital city of Sierra Leone. Bunce Island was established as a slave trading station in 1670. From 1670 to 1728 two companies- the Gambia Adventurers and the Royal African Company of England ran Bunce Island one after the other. Bunce Island’s prosperity ran from 1744 to 1807 during private management by a consortium of London firms. At their slave trading heights British traders shipped tens of thousands of African slaves to the Americas from this place. The trading fort was subjected to attacks a number of times by other Europeans. Slave trading ceased on the island with the abolition of slace trade in 1808. It was however in the 1840 that the Bunce Island fort was finally abandoned. Bunce Island was declared a National Monument in 1948.
The Gateway to the Old King’s Yards
The Gateway to the Old King’s Yard is situated at one of the entrances to the city of Freetown’s main government hospital. It was the entrance to the compound where men and women freed from slavery were temporarily housed for documentation and minor medical attention before dispersal to settlements that came to constitute a British Colony. With the total suppression of the slave trade the Old King’s Yards ceased to be in use. In 1880, it was converted to the “Colonial Hospital”; which was further developed into today’s central government hospital. The Gateway to the Old King’s Yard now leading to a part of the central government hospital called Connaught Hospital records the purpose of the King’s Yard on a slab over the arch dated 1819. It reads:
Gola Rainforest National Park
The Gola Forest is the largest remaining area of Upper Guinea tropical forest in Sierra Leone. It shows a high variety of different forest habitats in different stages (pristine to disturbed, and various succession stages) and is home to many species, many of them being endemic to the Upper Guinean forests, and even to smaller areas in the region.