Sierra Leone: Various travel information
How do you get to Sierra Leone?
Lungi International Airport in Freetown is the air-technical gateway to Sierra Leone. It is connected to Freetown with the help of buses, water taxis, speed boats and also helicopters. Thanks to the BMI, direct flights to/ from London Heathrow are guaranteed four times a week. Brussels Airlines operates from/to Brussels, Kenya Airways from/to Nairobi, Royal Air Maroc from/to Casablanca and Arik Air from/to Lagos and Banjul – to name just the most important connections. Since 2011 Air France has been offering flights to/ from Paris again.
connections from Liberia and Guinea to Freetown, where the third largest natural harbor in the world is located. Freight and passenger ships call at Queen Elizabeth II Wharf, while some passenger, private or cargo boats can moor at Government Wharf in central Freetown. They mostly come from Conakry (Guinea) and Banjul.
Car traffic Trunk
roads lead to Guinea (Conakry) and Liberia. It should be noted, however, that the opening of the border crossings always depends on the current political situation. If you want to cross the border with a private vehicle, you need a special permit. Otherwise, you can still use the private taxis, buses and trucks that drive back and forth between Conakry and Freetown every day.
Travel in the country
Air connections There is currently no regular domestic air traffic; however, private planes can be chartered.
The country’s coastal ports are linked by ferries. There are about 800 km of navigable waterways in the country.
The country’s route network covers around 80 km. However, there is currently no rail passenger traffic in Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority maintains numerous buses that connect the larger cities of Sierra Leone. Comfortable coaches are usually used for this.
There are so-called PodaPodas in Freetown. These are shared taxis that can be found as minibuses all over the city. They run on fixed (shorter) routes and at fixed prices. There are no clearly marked stops; you simply stop the PodaPodas on the street and get off again where you want. Wherever you are going, that is what the apprentice calls out of the windows and door.
Incidentally, PodaPodas are driven by private individuals and cost between 2,500 and 5,000 Leones (= approx. 0.60 to 1.25 euros) for shorter distances. But you should keep in mind that PodaPodas are mostly hopelessly overcrowded, in a very poor condition, the drivers often step on the accelerator in a catastrophic manner – which is also fun – and pickpocketing is very common.
PodaPodas can also be chartered, but in this case you should definitely negotiate a price before starting your journey so as not to experience any nasty surprises later. For around 15,000 Leones (= approx. 4 euros) you can get a taxi for an hour.
Car traffic/rental cars
In Sierra Leone there are around 900 kilometers of paved roads, the condition of which in and between the (larger) cities ranks between very good and still accessible. It becomes more difficult in the less good and potholed side streets (such as Wilkinson Road, Sir Samuel Lewis Road and Spur Road in Freetown) and the sometimes catastrophic road conditions outside the cities.
In the rainy season, entire sections are impassable. These conditions are a legacy of civil war. Without an all-terrain car, you shouldn’t put on your seat belt. In addition, the way you drive and the condition of the other cars are worrying. You should pay particular attention to pedestrians.
Anyone who does not let themselves be deterred from renting a car in Sierra Leone needs an international driver’s license. If you want to cross the border to Guinea and Liberia by car, you also need a special permit.
Right-hand traffic has been driving in Sierra Leone since 1971.
Regardless of the information given here, it is advisable to obtain detailed information from the ADAC, the AvD or the traffic clubs in the country concerned.
In addition to the general speed limits shown, the speed limits indicated by signs must be strictly observed.
- Urban: in built-up areas there is a speed limit of 25 miles per hour = 40 km/h (rounded down)
- Country roads: on country roads there is a speed limit of 80 miles per hour = 129 km/h (rounded up)
International license plate
According to Abbreviationfinder, Sierra Leone’s international license plate is:
National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone
Room 100 Cape Sierra Hotel Aberdeen
PO Box 1435
Tel: 00232 – (0) 22 – 27 25 20
Entry and exit regulations
Formalities and visas
German citizens need a visa and a passport that is valid for at least three months to enter Sierra Leone.
Embassy of Sierra Leone
Tel.: 0049 – (0) 30 – 7720 5850
Honorary consulate general with visa issuing
Tel: 0049 – (0) 69 – 3 32 77
Local currency The national currency of Sierra Leone is the Sierra Leone Leone (SLL)
1 Leone = 100 cents
Import and export of foreign currency
- Local currencyThe import and export of local currency is limited to 50,000 Leone each.
- Foreign currenciesThe import of foreign currencies is permitted without restriction, but there is a declaration requirement. The maximum export amount is the amount declared upon entry.
Country-specific goods, souvenirs
Popular souvenirs from Sierra Leone are traditional masks, leatherwork and wood carvings
The following articles can be imported into Sierra Leone duty-free:
– 200 cigarettes or 227 g tobacco and
– 1.14 l alcoholic beverages.
Travel medicine, vaccinations and warnings
The following infectious diseases can be expected in Sierra Leone:
- Malaria, there is a year-round risk of malaria across the country, including major cities. About 80% to 90% of the infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana.
- Amoebic dysentery
- Bacterial agitation
- Cholera, an infection risk only exists for travelers who can come into contact with contaminated water or contaminated food
- Dengue fever disease
- Intestinal infections caused by contaminated food or water, including amoebas, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria
- Early summer meningoencephalitis
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A and B
- Polio, polio
- Sleeping sickness
- Typhoid fever, an infection risk only exists for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food
- Tick bite fever
- Cholera, but only among travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food
- Diphtheria, a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist in your home country
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A and B, a vaccination against hepatitis B, is only required for people who may come into contact with blood or for those who seek sexual contact.
- Polio, polio, a vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Tetanus, a vaccination against tetanus should always exist in the home country
- Rabies, but only in high-risk travelers who can come into contact with the vector animals
- Typhoid, but only in travelers who may come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food
Vaccination is compulsory
for all persons older than one year and coming from a yellow fever infection area designated by the WHO, a compulsory vaccination against an illness with yellow fever.
Since Sierra Leone is one of the yellow fever infection areas designated by the WHO, vaccination is strongly recommended.
When traveling in the country, it is strongly advised to undergo malaria prophylaxis. If the side effects seem questionable to you, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.
Sierra Leone: Diplomatic missions
Visit Countryaah for a full list of Sierra Leone embassies and consulates in each country around the world.
German representations in Sierra Leone
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany (without issuing a visa, only emergency aid)
3, Middle Hill Station, Freetown
PO Box 728
Tel: 00232 – (0) 78 – 73 21 20
Representations of Sierra Leone in Germany
Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Berlin
Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 77 20 58 –
50/515 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Honorary Consulate General in Frankfurt/Main
60388 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: 0049 – (0) 6109 – 332 77
Fax: 0049 – (0) 6109 – 240 55
Honorary Consulate in Denkendorf
Am Lochwäldle 18
Tel: 0049 – (0) 711 – 300 97 63
Fax: 0049 – (0) 711 – 300 905 16
Austrian representations in Sierra Leone
The Federal Republic of Austria does not have an embassy in Sierra Leone, but is represented by an honorary consulate. The embassy in Senegal is responsible:
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Austria in Senegal
18, rue Emile Zola
Tel: 00221 – (0) 33 – 849 4000
The Austrian Embassy in Senegal is still responsible for:
- Burkina Faso
- Ivory Coast
- Cape Verde
- Sierra Leone
Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Austria in Freetown
26 Percival Street
Tel: 00232 – (0) 22 – 222 820
Representations of Sierra Leone in Austria
The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Germany is responsible.
Honorary Consulate General in Vienna
Tel: 0043 – (0) 1 – 894 05 82 10
Swiss representations in Sierra Leone
Switzerland does not have an embassy in Sierra Leone, but is represented by a consulate general. The embassy in Ivory Coast is responsible:
Embassy in Ivory Coast
Immeuble Botreau Roussel
28, avenue Delafosse
Tel: 00225 – 2021 1721
The Swiss embassy in Ivory Coast is still responsible fü
- Burkina Faso
Consulate General Freetown
Freetown Cold, Storage Co. Ltd.
George Brook, Freetown
Tel: 00232 – (0) 22 – 235 – 056/024
Representations of Sierra Leone in Switzerland
The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Germany is responsible.
Consulate General in Geneva
62 Quai Gustave Ador
1207 Geneva 6
Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 735 85 78