Sierra Leone

by James Knight and Katrina Manson

Sierra Leone

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About this book

This new, thoroughly updated third edition of Bradt's Sierra Leone remains the only English-language guide dedicated to this unique West African destination, one of only three countries where the über-elusive pygmy hippo can be found and where coastal mountains and sheltered beaches are the stuff of daydreams and postcards. With Bradt's Sierra Leone you can explore the infamous diamond mines and rainforest-covered mountains; go in search of pygmy hippos or relax on the country's beaches and islands. Offering significantly more coverage than any other guide, it is an ideal companion for tourists, volunteers and international workers alike, and also covers newly declared eco-tourist sites as well as the trans-boundary 'peace park' of Gola Forest National Park, shared with neighbouring Liberia.
This new edition also covers Freetown's new beach music festival, as well as details of everything from where to visit rescued chimpanzees to touring the traditional wooden-board homes of the Krio people, descendants of repatriated slaves from the Americas and Europe.
Sierra Leone continues to be one of the best beach destinations in West Africa, and also one of the region's best trekking destinations, given the varied topography and the presence of Mount Bintumani, West Africa's highest peak. The country has seen a heartening recovery since emerging from civil war a decade ago and the Bradt guide is the first to take stock of the country's post-Ebola travel situation. Sierra Leone is proudly back on the tourism map for the adventurous, beach-loving, jungle-exploring, mountain-scaling and curious of heart traveller.

About the author

Katrina Manson is an award-winning journalist who covered Africa for 12 years. She is US foreign policy and defence correspondent for the Financial Times, based in Washington DC, and is also writing a book about money, power and influence networks in Africa. Previously, she was the FT's East Africa correspondent, covering 13 territories including Somalia, and before that a Reuters correspondent in DR Congo, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso.

James Knight has more than ten years' experience working on emerging market countries as a journalist, writer and consultant. He now works at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, having previously been a Senior Associate at a London-based communications agency, and freelanced for Reuters, ITV and The Sunday Times. He has lived across Africa, in Buenos Aires and Brussels, and draws on West Ham United FC and Afrobeat for inspiration.

This edition was updated by Sean Connolly. Sean first visited West Africa as a student in 2008, and since then has been returning to the continent regularly to research, teach English, or simply to soak up the ambiance in Africa's countless little-visited corners. When he's not discussing verb tenses, diplomatic recognition or the merits of camel meat, you may find him riding in the back of a grain truck, sampling questionable local delicacies or seeking out a country's funkiest records. Raised in Chicago, Sean has been poring over maps since before he could read them, and has updated or contributed to the Bradt guides to Somaliland, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Ghana, and Uruguay, and is the author of the first Bradt Guide to Senegal. He stays on the move whenever possible, though lately you'll most often find him in Berlin.

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Contents

Introduction
Part One General Information
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Education, Religion and cultural beliefs, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights and suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Sport, Photography, Media, Communications, Business and investment, Buying property, Cultural etiquette, Language, Travelling positively

Part Two THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Freetown
History, Getting there and away, Orientation, Getting around, Tourist information and cultural
centres, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Festivals, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Western Area
The interior, Bunce Island, The beaches
Chapter 5 Southern Province
Southwest of the Bo road, Bo, Around Bo
Chapter 6 Eastern Province
Kenema, Gola, Koidu, Around Koidu, The far east
Chapter 7 Northern Province
From Freetown to Makeni, Makeni, Around Makeni, The far north and northeast,
The northwest
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 further Information
Index