Want to make your African vacation even more special? Then it’s time to take a trip to Sierra Leone. This famed nation in West Africa is renowned for its incredible beaches and fantastic natural scenery. Without a doubt, it’s one of the top places to visit and a great destination for both you and your kids. In this guide, we’ll go over ten of the best things to do while you’re there so you can better plan your vacation for the whole family! And if you are into mom-alone or even dad-alone traveling, Sierra Leone is rated as one of our safest countries to visit for solo travelers.
1. Go to the Beach
Sierra Leone is home to some of the best beaches in the world! From Bureh Beach just an hour and a half outside of Freetown to River Number 2, one of the most celebrated natural beaches in the world, the nation is full of incredible vacation spots.
Surf, swim, and play a variety of water sports with the kids in front of an impressive backdrop of lush green mountains and crystal clear water. A trip to the beaches of Sierra Leone is fun for the whole family, so make sure you don’t miss out on it on your next trip!
2. Eat World-Famous Street Food
It’s as simple as this: you want to make sure that whatever destination you are traveling to has good food. Luckily, Sierra Leone boasts some of the best food in all of Africa. In fact, its street food has become somewhat of a national treasure. Make sure to try oleleh while you’re there. The dish, made out of ground black-eyed peas, onions, palm oil, and a variety of other seasonings, will have you wishing you never had to leave. Your children will love experiencing the diverse tastes of Sierra Leone, epitomized in the nation’s one-of-a-kind street food.
3. Go Camping
How about a bit of camping to make your trip even more special? Located outside of Freetown, Guma Dam is a great camping spot that even comes with a freshwater supply for the whole family.
Spend a day in the beautiful Sierra Leone wilderness and take in all the fantastic sights and sounds that go along with it. Not too many people can say they’ve been camping in this West African jewel, so make sure you do so and give your kids something truly special to remember!
4. Visit a Museum
You don’t want to visit Sierra Leone without a trip to any one of its fantastic museums. The nation is home to some of the best exhibits in Africa. For starters, you can check out the Sierra Leone National Museum, which opened in 1957 when the nation gained independence. When you’re done, make sure to check out the National Railway Museum, a unique museum that showcases the nation’s rail history and has become a top tourist destination.
5. See Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
What’s cuter than a chimpanzee? Take your kids to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary to see over eighty of these fantastic animals firsthand! The sanctuary is only thirty minutes outside of Freetown and serves as a home to illegally-captured
and otherwise orphaned chimpanzees. Make sure to go on one of the two daily guided tours so that you and your kids can see this sanctuary and the animals it holds in all their glory!
6. Take a Trip to Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary has everything you want for that unforgettable wildlife experience. With over 700 plant species, eleven primate species, and pygmy hippos, the island is renowned for its incredible wildlife diversity. Your kids will love interacting with all the various species and seeing the fantastic scenes unique to the island. While you’re there, you may even decide to visit the Gola Forest National Park, a scenic park with some of the best views in all of Sierra Leone.
7. Climb Mount Bintumani
If your children are a little older, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to climb Mount Bintumani. The nation’s highest peak, it stands an impressive 6,400 feet tall and towers over the beautiful Sierra Leone landscape.
You’ll have to cross a series of plains, rope bridges, craggy cliffs to get there, though, so you’ll want to take all safety precautions. This could be the family adventure you’ve been looking for! Surely, this unique Sierra Leone experience can serve as the highlight of any trip to the incredible West African nation.
8. Visit Outamba-Kilimi National Park
This is one national park you don’t want to miss out on because of its one-of-a-kind mix of human and animal heritage and diversity. Home to ancestral Su-su tribe graves, Outamba-Kilimi National Park is also the land of the pygmy hippo, African elephant, and other incredible species. With all this in mind, you want to make sure to take your kids to see this fantastic park firsthand. Outamba-Kilimi National Park is Sierra Leone at its finest and should be on anyone’s travel list!
9. Interact with the Rogbonko Village Retreat
Of course, you’ll want to interact with the local culture to get a true feel for Sierra Leone. At the Rogbonko Village Retreat, you’ll be able to interact with local tribes and see how the people of small villages in the nation truly live.
This has all the makings of a perfect educational opportunity for you and your children and can be a great lesson of how different cultures around the world live and exist. Affordable and fun, this chance to see some of Sierra Leone’s native tribes is one of the best things to do as you vacation the country. For this reason, make sure to put it on your bucket list today!
10. Visit Old Fourah Bay West College
Old Fourah Bay West College is one of the oldest academic sites in Africa. Perhaps more importantly, it’s been listed as one of the one hundred most endangered historic sites in the world. Damaged in a fire, the building, which was built in 1848, is truly a relic to the history of Africa and Sierra Leone. Take your children to witness this incredible history for themselves! You’ll want to go quickly, though, because there’s no guarantee this endangered building will be there for future generations.