Places to Visit in Makeni, Sierra Leone, West Africa, Africa
Makeni is the capital and largest city of the Northern Province in the Western African country, Sierra Leone. It also serves as the seat of Bombali District and is the fourth largest city of Sierra Leone with an estimated population of 112,489 as of the 2013 census. Makeni is relatively situated in the heart of the country, around 180 km northeast of the national capital, Freetown.
Makeni is especially noted as the birthplace of the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma. Makeni is also the site of Sierra Leone’s largest private university, the University of Makeni. The Wusum Stars, one of the prominent and oldest football clubs in Sierra Leone, is based in Makeni and represents the whole Bombali District.
How to reach Makeni?
There is no airport in Makeni, the nearest airport to Makeni is Lungi International Airport. This is the most important airport of Sierra Leone, situated in Lungi town near Freetown, around 160 km from Makeni. Including Paris, London and Brussels, the Lungi International Airport covers many world cities.
Road from Freetown to Makeni is well paved, taking around 3 hours by bus to travel between these cities.
Most residents in Makeni use minibus for local travel as it is cheaper but sometime it seems dangerous due to overload. So rental cars are advised for safe travel.
Culture, Food and Shopping in Makeni:
The Temne people, who dominates Makeni’s population and speak their own language Temne language along with the nationally recognized Krio language. Makeni’s people are also known for their football craze, which has popularized by the Wusum Stars, a Makeni based football club playing in the Sierra Leone National Premier League.
All sorts of shops and restaurants can be found in Makin but local currency should be kept in visitors’ pocket as most shops don’t accept credit cards.
Things to do in Makeni:
- Visiting university
- Traditional shopping
Tourist Attractions in Makeni:
University of Makeni:
Being Sierra Leone’s largest private university, the University of Makeni is one of the identities of Makeni. It was established as a private institute with name The Fatima Institute in the year 2005 and gained university status in 2009. It is an ideal place to know local culture, history and tradition.
Mayosso Wildlife Sanctuary:
Situated amidst of the towns of Magburaka and Yonibana, around 70 km south of Makeni, the Mayosso Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular game reserve, well known for the population of the threatened Dwarf Crocodile. The sanctuary also houses around 250 bird species. These species have made sanctuary famous among bird lovers also.
The Kangari Hills Forest Reserve:
The Kangari Hills Forest Reserve is located few kilometers east of Mayosso Wildlife Sanctuary, around 80 km from Makeni. The reserve characterizes diverse geographical features like savanna, dense forest, and wetland of total of 14,335 hectares of area. Its highlights are birds, particularly Rufous-winged Illadopsis, White-necked Picathartes and Yellow-casqued Hornbill, those have promoted this forest reserve as a heaven for bird enthusiasts.
List of other places of interest in Makeni and Freetown include:
- Francis Secondary School
- Kent Beach
- Bunce Island
- John Obey Beach
- Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- National Rail Museum
- George’s Cathedral
- Cape Sierra Leone Lighthouse
- York Beach
- Sussex Beach
- Goderich Beach
- Hill Station Club
- Sierra Leone Museum
- Charlotte Falls
Best time to visit Makeni:
The most preferred time to visit Makeni is from December to May, when the weather remains dry, supportive for city tour and other outdoor activities.
Hotels in and around Makeni:
Hotels are limited in Makeni but tourist friendly, offering all traditional and modernized facilities and services that are served with lot of love and care to meet the expectations of tourists coming from different regions of the world. Here are some such recommended hotels in Makeni:
- Makambo Village Hotel
- Hotel Conteh-U
- Wusum Hotel
- Makama Lodge Guest House