Sierra Leone Tours

Sierra Leone
Population - 7,980,700
Language - English
Currency - Sierra Leonean Leone
Time Zone - GMT
Capital - Freetown

A stunningly beautiful country with wonderfully welcoming locals, Sierra Leone meaning Lion Mountains has enjoyed almost two decades of peace since the civil unrest in the 1990’s and that’s exactly how Sierra Leoneans intend to continue.

Gaining independence in 1961 and becoming a republic ten years later, Sierra Leone played an important part in upholding the abolition of the slave trade in the 19th century when Britain established a naval base here to patrol the West Africa coast intercepting illegal slave ships. Its capital Freetown which was formerly known as Freedom and known earlier as Romarong meaning “place of wailers” is a vibrant, busy, and exciting city. More than 50,000 freed slaves settled in Freetown creating a multi-ethnic community. Sixteen ethnic groups are found in modern day Sierra Leone with the largest being Mende, followed by Temne, Limba and Kono all contributing to the wonderful cultural diversity which adds so much to the inquisitive travellers’ experience. Beautiful white sand beaches, exceptional birding and wildlife, stunning upper guinea rainforests and an intriguing historical past collectively make Sierra Leone the perfect location for a West African adventure.

Zoom in to see where your trip will take you in Sierra Leone

Our tours of Sierra Leone operate year-round, however the dry season here in Sierra Leone is from November to May which is the most popular time to travel. July to September, we experience our heaviest rains and depending on your tour type it may still be possible to travel during these months.

Sierra Leone Tours

Discover Sierra Leone with Ashanti African Tours

Our Price Promise

If you receive cheaper quotes from other legitimate companies, we will try to match or improve the price for the exact same tour package offered.

Sierra Leone Tours

Award-winning Local Guides

Our passion is to create the best overall experience for our guests during their time touring with us.

One of the key components to achieving this is the local expert guide assigned to lead your tour. Here at Ashanti we are lucky to have highly educated, passionate, personable, fun, friendly and professional local award-winning guides working with us on a full-time basis. Local guides with personal connections to the locations you visit, opens doors and experiences that add so much more to your overall experience during your time with us. Our team are excited to welcome you to West Africa.

For more information on our Award-winning Local Tour Guides

Discover Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Cultural and Historical Tours

Freetown is a wonderful unique capital city to start our adventure, from the boat ride from the airport to its bustling markets and vibrant nightlife.

Visiting the National Museum, St Georges Cathedral and Railway Museum is a wonderful start before heading to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and seeing the wonderful work being done to protect this species. Fort Thornton, Maroon Church and the Peace Monument are also of much interest. Heading out on private boat to Bunce Island to see the now decaying largest British fort built in 1670 that kept thousands of slave’s captives before sending them to the Americas is an emotional experience for many. Tasso Island has so much to offer and our tour takes us on a journey through its colonial past. Banana Island is a wonderful day trip to experience rural life in a beautiful setting here in Sierra Leone. Our tours travel to all corners of this fascinating country and our experienced team are excited to design customized tailor-made tours ensuring you have the best experience during your time with us.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Sierra Leone Cultural and Historical Tours

Our small group all-inclusive scheduled tours operate year-round, alternatively we can design private customized tours for individuals, couples, families, small or large groups

Explore Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Wildlife and Nature Tours

For such a small country Sierra Leone has an abundance of wildlife to enjoy during your time here, spread across varied habitats and protected by some excellent conservation initiatives.

Gola National Park the largest remaining lowland forest in Sierra Leone is a birdwatchers paradise and also protects some wonderful wildlife like the endangered Western Red Colobus, Diana Monkey, Sooty Mangabey, Western Pied Colobus, endangered Western Chimpanzee and near mythical Pygmy Hippopotamus which occurs along the Mano/ Moro River. Over 750 butterfly species have been recorded in Sierra Leone and other excellent locations to enjoy nature include Tiwai Island, Outamba Kilimi National Park and Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Tours can be customized around specific target species and to include other areas of interest. Contact our experienced team and let us get started on designing that perfect trip of a lifetime.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Sierra Leone Wildlife and Nature Tours

Experience Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Birding and Nature Tours

Sierra Leone is a birdwatcher’s paradise with so many Upper Guinea endemic species on offer for the dedicated birder to experience.

The forests are rich in West African specialities that include the prehistoric White-necked Rockfowl, much sought after Gola Malimbe and elusive White-breasted Guineafowl. Other species possible include Rufous and Pel’s Fishing Owl, Olive Ibis, Sierra Leone Prinia, Black-headed Rufous Warbler, Crimson Seedcracker, Timneh Parrot, Emerald Starling and the recently seen but difficult Western-wattled Cuckooshrike amongst many others. Our tours take you through closed canopy and gallery forests, coastal mangroves, lowland forest, and farm bush and rolling hills and mountains, no wonder 640 species have been recorded with 14 of these restricted range species. All of our birding tours in Sierra Leone are customized to your preferred duration and can be tailored to give you the best chance of seeing your main target species.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Sierra Leone Birding and Nature Tours

Booking a tour with us makes you an important part of our positive impact conservation and community projects, having the option to visit the rainforests and communities your trip helps protect is a special moment for many of our participants

Sierra Leone Tours

Sierra Leone Hiking and Walking Tours

If you are a keen experienced hiker or someone who enjoys a more relaxed pace walking holiday Sierra Leone has an abundance of walking trails and excursions to choose from.

Tours for all fitness levels and that can incorporate other areas of interest in addition to hiking. From the challenging hikes of Bintumani (Loma) Mountains where camping is the norm to the more relaxed heritage trails of Tiwai Island where comfort is waiting after our daily walks. Excursions to enjoy the difficult steep climbs of Len Konke Mountains or the easier hikes of Gbawuria Hill offering outstanding views across to the Wara Wara Mountains. Challenging hikes to Pickett Hill across the Peninsula enjoying nature with each step and we can even explore the amazing flora and fauna of Gola and Outamba Kilimi National Parks choosing walks and hikes to suit your fitness level. Customized tours led by local guides opens doors leading to exceptional experiences not possible if travelling alone.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Sierra Leone Hiking and Walking Tours

Sierra Leone and Liberia Tours

Sierra Leone and Liberia Tours

A journey of discovery as we immerse ourselves into the cultural traditions and daily way of life for the many ethnic groups we encounter during our fantastic Sierra Leone and Liberia Tours.

Explore Liberia’s hectic, energised, and sophisticated capital Monrovia, visiting its markets, bars, museums and enjoying the atmosphere surrounded by the now fading edifices of 19th century townhouses. Take in the beauty of Banana and Tasso Islands and the dark past of Bruce Fort in Sierra Leone on our way by private boat to Robertsport beach for some surfing lessons in Liberia. Cross the border through Gola National Park that continues into the Lofa Mano National Park in Liberia in search of birds, butterflies, and primates. The list of places and things to do are endless as we experience more during our time in this part of West Africa.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Sierra Leone and Liberia Tours

Sierra Leone Tours

Customized Tailor-made Sierra Leone Tours

Ashanti’s strength is designing customized tailor-made tours incorporating any areas of interest you may have.

If you are a researcher, solo traveller, couple, family, friends, small or large group or even a travel agent arranging a private group then allow our experienced team to design that perfect trip focused on the exact areas important to you. Organizing specific wildlife and birding excursions, voluntary work, research trips, specific target species trips or incorporating personal locations of interest, nothing is beyond our capabilities as this is an area, we are highly experienced in. Having so many local guides experts in such a wide range of areas enables us to offer a varied tour portfolio. Tours of any duration and to fit all budgets ensuring the perfect combination for you.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Customized Tailor-made Sierra Leone Tours

Exceptional West African travel experiences that have a real sustainable impact in the locations and communities we visit

Travel Tips for Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Visas

All nationalities, except Sierra Leoneans and members of the ECOWAS community, need a visa for entry into Sierra Leone. Visa fees and requirements often change without the travel industry being notified so to ensure you have up to date information please follow the below links where you will be able to download applications and follow the process to apply for your visa.

United Kingdom applicants - www.slhc-uk.org
United States of America applicants - www.embassyofsierraleone.net
German applicants - www.slembassy-germany.org
Belgium applicants - www.sierraleoneembassy.brussels
France  - www.embassyparis.com/sierra-leonean/embassy-in-paris

For information and links to all other Sierra Leone Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions for visa applications and other services please follow this link - www.embassies.info/sierraleone

In the unlikely event there is no Sierra Leone Embassy or consulate in your home country to enable you to obtain a visa, please check - www.ivisa.com - to see if your country qualifies for an e-visa if your country does not qualify then it may be possible to obtain a visa at the airport and borders of Sierra Leone, please check this before booking your holiday and be aware this method will be more expensive.

Sierra Leone Weather and Climate

The climate in Sierra Leone is tropical, hot, and humid all year round with the driest and warmest months being from November to April where temperatures can average between 30°C and 32°C. The main rains start in May and the temperature is cooler during the rainy season from June to October dropping below 30°C with the rains easing in November. Seasonal changes are different from those of North America and Europe, due to its proximity to the Equator and Sierra Leones temperature is reasonably consistent. From December to mid-January, the Harmattan winds blow from the Sahara Desert, which can cause very dry and hazy conditions, but this has little or no effect on visitors.

Guest Houses and Homestays

On some of our more adventurous Eco, Wildlife, Voluntary, Educational and Cultural tours in the more remote areas, local guesthouses are used and in some unique cases village homestays. Although these are more basic than hotels in larger communities, they are comfortable, clean, and safe. Staying in these types of accommodations brings us into closer and more intimate contact with the locals, their ways of life and fascinatingly, their wonderful unity.

Equipment and Clothing

Due to the wide variety of tours we offer, this information will be forwarded upon confirmation of your booking in your pre-trip information pack.

Tipping

All our company drivers, assistants and expert local guides are employed on full time contracts with Ashanti African Tours and receive a basic salary and daily bonus when on tour. Ashanti African Tours also have a company policy to tip all local site guides and hotel staff. Therefore, if any of our clients would like to tip any of our guides, site guides, drivers, or staff at hotels we use, it is at the client's own discretion.

Spending Money

The amount of spending money you will need is determined by the type of tour you have booked with us. The majority of our standard scheduled and customized tours are all-inclusive, so you only need to budget for the following: snacks, soft (not mineral water as this is always included) and alcoholic drinks and items of a personal nature. If you have booked a budget tour, then some aspects of the tour may not be included in the tour price and you will receive this information during your enquiry process.

Building schools, protecting rainforest, having a sustainable positive impact locally

Ashanti would like to think most international travellers coming to West Africa care about the locations they visit and about having a positive impact during their time here. Booking with a responsible travel company goes a long way to achieving this. Many companies state they benefit locals and conservation when they do extraordinarily little and are more focused on their profit margins. Ashanti are West Africa’s leading travel company putting their profits back into building schools, protecting wildlife, rainforest, biodiversity and connecting communities to the conservation of their environment through community development initiatives connected to eco-tourism. Click to learn more about where our profits go.

Travel Insurance

You must ensure that you have adequate personal insurance cover for your trip. It is a compulsory requirement for all our trips in Sierra Leone and other African destinations and it is your responsibility to take out a suitable policy. You will not officially join our tours until evidence of your insurance has been provided to our office. This must include personal accident, medical expenses, and repatriation to your country of origin. We also strongly recommend that your policy covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please note that free insurance cover offered by some credit cards does not cover repatriation expenses.

Hotel Accommodation

As most of our tours are customized tailor-made tours then your budget will determine the standard of accommodation at each location. Sierra Leone has a limited selection of hotels however there are some good standard establishments in the capital Freetown and most of these are mid-range. As you venture outside the capital to the smaller towns and communities there is a wider selection of clean and more basic hotels. Our experienced tour planners will identify the best hotel to fit your budget in the right location. If you have booked onto one of our scheduled Sierra Leone tours, then we usually use quality mid-range hotels when available and all with private en suite facilities and air-conditioning. Outside of the capital and in some remote locations where these hotels are not available, we will use the best standard alternative.

Camping

On occasions during some of our more adventurous expeditions in more remote areas, we will camp. This is not for the duration of your entire tour, but for a couple of days where accommodation is unavailable. Camping is usually on a shared basis, but single occupancy tents are available when requested. Our experienced camping team are on hand to make the experience special. All meals are cooked by our team and are usually a mixture of ample and delicious Western and salivating authentic local dishes eaten around an open fire, the Sierra Leonean way for a memorable evening.

Immunisations and Vaccinations

You need to consult your doctor or travel clinic six to eight weeks prior to departure for extensive up to date information on foreign travel to West Africa.

Below is a guideline only:

Polio
Tetanus
Typhoid
Anti-malaria tablets (consult your chemist)
Hepatitis A
Meningitis
Yellow fever (you must carry a valid certificate with your passport)

Responsible Tourism

When you travel with Ashanti African Tours you can be assured that all trips are ethical and sustainable, as we put the environment and the communities at the heart of all that we do. As such, this policy draws on the criteria set out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and tries to recognise many of the principles within the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. All Ashanti African Tours trips aim to have a positive impact on the countries, communities, and environments we visit. Our policy of operating low-impact, ethical tours allows us to create authentic, cultural connections, which not only enhances the traveller experience, but also creates economic opportunity and social development, whilst preserving local cultures for future generations. For full detailed information on our companies responsible travel policy please visit the Ethical Travel page of our website.

We Offset Your Trips Carbon Footprint

We plant 3 indigenous forest tree species for every person that travels with us. The main aim for this project is carbon offsetting - guests choosing to travel with us would offset their flights to/from West Africa by more than 15 times if the trees live to their expected lifespan. This is based on projected carbon dioxide generated on a return flight for the average guest (approximately 900kg/1980 lbs). The average tropical tree can absorb approximately 48lbs of carbon per year (when mature) and in West Africa it takes 30-50 years for a tropical tree species to grow to maturity, with an average life expectancy of 200-300 years. If the trees we plant for each guest are continued to be protected, then we are confident that we will be making a big difference in carbon offsetting: 3 trees planted would each absorb approximately 10,080 lbs of carbon, totalling 30,240 lbs/13,745 kg for all 3 trees (per guest).

Contact Us

For more information, detailed itineraries and prices relating to your preferred tour choice please fill in the below information request form.

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