Our Sierra Leone holidays and tours show you vibrant coastal cities full of the colours of West Africa, and follow roads deep into the forests to look for unique wildlife found in few other places.

Sierra Leone and its neighbour Liberia are an often forgotten part of West Africa, associated with brutal civil wars and the illicit diamond trade. The wars are long finished and both countries are emerging from the shadows to offer intrepid Africa enthusiasts the chance to see a side of the continent that’s been hidden for many years.

On our Sierra Leone holidays and tours you can discover the intriguing tribal cultures of traditional ethnic groups. And you can get up close to chimpanzees and search for pygmy hippos. Wander through atmospheric towns, meet friendly local people and enjoy the sense of forging new paths through a little visited part of the world. Here locals are as curious about you as you may be about them. Forget what you think you know about these much-maligned countries and discover the charming reality for yourself on our Sierra Leone holidays.

Top highlights on Sierra Leone holidays and tours

  • Enjoy the hustle and bustle and busy markets of Freetown – the lively and chaotic capital of Sierra Leone
  • Take a boat out to the Banana Islands and explore fishermen’s villages and remnants of the old slave trade
  • Check out Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, home to chimps that have either been orphaned or rescued from captivity
  • Visit the ancient rainforest of Tiwai Island – with rich and exciting biodiversity, it holds a great number of flora and fauna species and wildlife and what better way to view it than from a boat trip on the river!

Culture

Much like its neighbouring counterparts, Sierra Leone, specifically Freetown, is home to a vibrant nightlife, traditional dancing and many cultural celebrations. The Big Market in Freetown is open all year round. It houses a plethora of stalls brimming with homemade items such as jewellery, African prints, costumes, bedspreads and rugs – all homespun!

Despite being a small country, it is home to a rich cultural and ethnic diversity, housing at least 16 different groups. The Krios are highly influential and were predominantly responsible for building Freetown, dominating professional occupations in Sierra Leone. The Mende account for a third of the population. They struggle to integrate with other communities and enjoy being a distinct, dominant and spiritual unit. They traditionally believe in ancestral spirits.

In Sierra Leone, a little over half the population is Muslim, and Christians and Muslims live in harmonic co-existence. There are significant numbers of people who practice traditional beliefs, where the belief in magic is strong and complex and fascinating. Traditional ceremonies are not to be missed. Indigenous beliefs are still widely practised – old traditions die hard here.

The official language is English, although Krio – a pidgin version of English – tends to be more widely spoken and acts as a bridge between the numerous indigenous groups, who all have their own languages.

When to go on holiday to Sierra Leone

This region experiences two distinct seasons. The dry season runs from October until April, and the wet season from May until September. These can change by a few weeks either side depending on climate variations. Although most people choose to visit in the dry season, it’s also feasible to visit in the wet season – the rains, although heavy, does not last the whole day and usually occurs in short, sharp bursts. Saying this, some roads can be difficult to navigate and travel through during the wet season.

Start planning your Sierra Leone tour

Check out our small group tour to Sierra Leone: Guinea and Sierra Leone – The Fouta Djalon and Beyond. While many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger groups. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made Sierra Leone holidays or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Sierra Leone Holidays and Tours

Sierra Leone

Good for:Tribal Cultures, Wildlife & Historic Sites