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Sierra Leone Holidays

For the best surfing experiences in truly isolated beaches, for the most incredible encounters with idyllic, undeveloped landscapes and for the irresistibly charming encounters with rural life and friendly locals, Sierra Leone is the unexplored paradise you've been longing for.

Sierra Leone

Forget about its sad connection with the civil war of the 90s and you have a blossoming, peaceful nation that's a delight to visit and discover. The Sierra Leone of today packs a wonderful array of experiences, from engaging wildlife encounters to amazing rural areas where the friendly attitude of the locals and a vibrant culture are sure to charm you. Stretch out on the pristine white sands of completely deserted beaches that humankind has barely touched. Get there now before Sierra Leone becomes developed enough to become one of Europe's top package beach holiday destinations and these once isolated sands become packed with tourists. See it and experience it without delay, in full blossom, slowly developing and slowly opening itself to outsiders.

An Introduction

While at first the name of Sierra Leone may evoke mental pictures of war atrocities, the country's war stricken past is well and truly behind, nothing more than a distant memory now after over a decade of peace and ongoing efforts to restore economic stability.

Things have dramatically changed and the country has blossomed, proudly standing today as one of the safest holiday destinations in western Africa. Investors are slowly arriving, reconstruction continues in many areas and in the meantime, visitors can feel as though they have the country's beaches all too themselves.

Charming city life in Freetown, secluded beaches in Banana and Turtle Islands

Just outside Sierra Leone's capital city you can enjoy the fantastic surf of Burreh Beach, where a new surf club has recently been born. With only a few travellers having ever surfed here or ventured to Sierra Leone, there is a lot of virtually coastline to be explored.

To experience city life and nightlife, Freetown is a must-stop and especially after a long day in the sun, the country's capital offers everything you need for a memorable night out. As the country's largest city and financial, educational, cultural and political centre, Freetown is one of the few places in Sierra Leone where you can experience a touch of urban life. Bursting with energy, vibrancy, colour and a somewhat chaotic allure, Freetown is calm one minute with the serenity of its quite beach and the next it's chatty and friendly as you sample a tasty dish of soup and rice.

While you're not going to find much infrastructure to go around, as Sierra Leone is still a largely undeveloped and poor country, some find its actual beauty lies in the rawness of it all, a place where the natural beauty shines without an ounce of make up. And Freetown is one of those places where upon arrival you'll find yourself amidst a backdrop of mountains, swaying palm trees and idyllic beaches – so dreamy in fact you'll pinch yourself to check it's all real.

Away from the capital you have the remote and idyllic Banana Islands and Turtle Islands, both made up of humble fishing communities. Here you can forget about every worldly trouble and all about modern living, go back to basics and either stay at the basic Conservation Society guesthouse or pitch up a tent.

or a more developed beach scene, head to Tokeh Sands Beach Resort, a retreat where you can fully absorb the untouched beauty of a private stretch of beach while enjoying some of the modern comforts you're used to. Likewise, the Lakka Beach Resort Hotel is a private island haven where you can stay at a selection of eight recently refurbished bungalows offering every modern amenity.

Amazing wildlife – Outamba-Kilimi National Park and Gola Forest Reserve

If you're a nature and animal lover, then Sierra Leone has some breathtaking sights you shouldn't miss.

For starters, the Outamba-Kilimi National Park in Norhtern Sierra Leone is home to an abundance of animal species, with numerous elephant watering holes, hippo-infested rivers and nine different species of primates. Found some 300 kilometres north of the capital, this bewildering park looks like a piece of East Africa copied and pasted here rather than an authentic a western treasure. Even when much of the park facilities were savagely destroyed during the war years, most of it is being slowly rebuilt. Until then you can pay a small entrance fee and have a guide take you through the beautiful trails, where you could even spot a leopard or pymgy hippo!

If more vibrant nature is what you seek you'll find it in abundance at the Gola Forest Reserve, home to a varied array of creatures big and small. From forest elephants looking for their herd to rare butterfly species, this beautiful reserve runs from the southern Tiwai Island to the rocky northern Malema hills.

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Sierra Leone Holidays

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Bureh Surf Club highlights Sierra Leone as top surfing destination

Africa is famous for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife and but it's not very often though of as leading destination for surfing. However, this could soon change thanks to the opening of a surf club in a small fishing town in Sierra Leone that unites the community while offering a future for young surfing enthusiasts.