Bo - A view from our expert author

Known as the country’s party town, Sierra Leone’s second city is packed with razzle-dazzle.

Sierra  Leone’s second city, and capital of the province, is known as the country’s party town – Manchester to Freetown’s London. That’s partly because it’s a student hive, and partly due to the high number of diamond dealerships here. It’s lost some of its razzle-dazzle, but once upon a time fun-lovers (and would-be lovers in general) would head here for the weekends, Freetown’s cliquey social circles left far behind. Home to Njala University’s Bo campus, it’s full of radical, enthused young people, who, some ten years late with their education thanks to the war, are determined to make the most of their studies. It’s also the country’s gari capital. While the casual visitor might be nonplussed by this fact, it’s well worth knowing much of the rest of the country goes mad for it; making a beeline for the women who sell plastic bags of flaky, off-white grated cassava on rickety wooden stalls by the side of the Freetown–Bo Highway, and coming home with as many sacks as they can carry. Wide, flat streets contrast with the capital, making Bo a less traffic-heavy place to get around.

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