Best Tourist Places to Visit in Freetown, Sierra Leone, East Africa, Africa
Freetown is the capital as well as the largest city of Sierra Leone. Located on the Atlantic Ocean Coast, Freetown holds the world’s third largest natural harbor and is situated in the Western Area of the nation, around 25 meters above sea level at 8°29′4″ N 13°14′4″ W. Freetown houses the West Africa’s oldest university, the Fourah Bay College, which was established in 1827. More than 500 years old ‘Cotton Tree’ is another identity of Freetown.
Freetown is a vibrant tourist destination with nearly an equal number of manmade and natural attractions, including the Foulah Town Mosque, the National Railway Museum and inviting beaches. The total land area of Freetown accounts around 357 sq. km.
History of Freetown:
What is today’s Freetown was first inhabited by around 400 poor enslaved Black Britons relocated from London. Freetown was upgraded by Nova Scotian abolitionist John Clarkson for freed slaves, who named it Freetown. Its population was gradually filled up by a large number of freed African-Americans through the Sierra Leone Company.
How to reach Freetown?
Freetown hosts the most important airport of Sierra Leone that was named Lungi International Airport as its position in the town of Lungi, around 28 km northwest of the central business district of Freetown. Including Paris, Nairobi, Casablanca, Brussels and London, the airport covers many European and African cities.
Freetown has road connectivity to nearly all the major Sierra Leonean cities, including Bo and Kenema, served by buses and minibuses. Taxis generally cost around $5 to move within Freetown.
Culture, Food and Shopping in Freetown:
The city of Freetown houses nearly an equal proportion of Muslims and Christians. In addition to national language Krio, English is also widely spoken in Freetown. Freetown is famous for seafood and its handicraft products are also highly liked by visitors.
Things to do in Freetown:
- Visiting chimpanzee sanctuary
- Exploring beaches
- Visiting casino
Tourist Attractions in Freetown:
Beaches of Freetown:
Beaches are the first preference of tourists visiting Freetown. The Atlantic Ocean has gifted many spectacular beaches to Freetown that are excellent in condition offering unforgettable beach exploration experience for visitors. Lakka Beach, No. 2 River Beach and Bureh Beach are some among them.
St. George’s Cathedral:
The St. George’s Cathedral is a landmark structure in Freetown, holding nearly 200 years of history. It is situated at Tower Hill in the heart of Freetown. It shouldn’t be missed.
Cape Sierra Leone Lighthouse:
Situated near Barmoi Hotel in the suburb of Aberdeen, the Cape Sierra Leone Lighthouse was constructed by the Portuguese in 1812 and renovated in 2010. It is a point where visitors can have the excellent winsome views of the Atlantic Ocean.
National Rail Museum:
The National Rail Museum houses well preserved steam locomotives and carriages, which are allowed to see for visitors without fee, but donations are wholeheartedly accepted. It is located in Cline Town in Freetown.
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary:
The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located on the outskirts of Freetown, can be reached by rental car. It covers around 100 acres of area with a large number of Chimpanzees that are friendly and can be seen in close view. General entrance fee is Le 30,000, while Le 15,000 is for children.
List of other places of interest near Freetown include:
- Kent Beach
- Bunce Island
- John Obey Beach
- York Beach
- Sussex Beach
- Goderich Beach
- Hill Station Club
- Sierra Leone Museum
- Charlotte Falls
When to visit Freetown?
The climate of Freetown is classified as tropical monsoon, with 27 degrees Celsius of average annual temperature. Like the rest of Sierra Leone, from December to May is the best time to visit Freetown.
Hotels in Freetown:
Being the capital and top tourist destination of the country, Freetown offers all sorts of upgraded accommodation centres for visitors, ranging from budget guesthouses to star rated luxury hotels. Advance booking is advised as hotels get filled up shortly between December and March. List of the prominent hotels in Freetown include:
- Njala IAR Guesthouse
- Sierra International Hotel
- Simple Goal Guest House
- Raza Guest House
- Family Kingdom Resort
- Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel
- Kimbima Hotel
- Bintumani Hotel
- Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Freetown
- The Rogbonko Village Retreat
- Mamba Point Guesthouse
- Cockle Point
- Lacs Villa Guest House
- Leone Lodge Freetown
- Hotel de la Joie