Freetown Travel Guide

Freetown © David Hond

Freetown, the capital and largest city in Sierra Leone, earned its name when it was founded in 1792 as a colony for freed slaves. The city, although a commercial centre, offers visitors a base from which to explore.

Freetown doesn't get many tourists, so infrastructure is underdeveloped for foreign travellers; however, there are some wonderful attractions to visit, and often visitors will have the place to themselves. Historical Freetown can be discovered at the Sierra Leone Museum, the National Rail Museum, the Cape Sierra Leone Lighthouse, and the colonial stilt houses at Hill Station.

For those that crave the outdoors, the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a must-see, located 40 minutes outside of town, however, the trip must be planned in advance, as both a 4x4 and an appointment are necessary to visit. One of the best things to do in Freetown, however, is to hit the beach. Beautiful and largely unspoilt, beaches such as Lunley and Lakka offer accommodation and good amenities, however the community-driven shops and restaurants at No. 2 River Beach are worth a visit, as well as the historical sites at Kent Beach.

Violent civil war in the 1990s took its toll, but today Freetown is working to regain its vibrancy, and the tourist industry is sure to grow as travellers find out about this hidden gem on the West African Coast.

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