On the water by Babak Fakhamzadeh via Flickr Creative Commons

Sierra Leone’s landmarks and attractions can be divided into those displaying incredible natural beauty and those that deal with the country’s complex and interesting social and economic history. Whether it is a trip through the stunning Outamba-Kilimi National Park, one of the country’s finest reserves, or learning more about this stunning country at the Sierra Leone National Museum, there certainly is something to keep all travelers enthralled during their stay.

Outamba-Kilimi National Park

Sierra Leone has no shortage of natural beauty and national parks, but the Outamba-Kilimi National Park seems to top the list. The park is home to several species of interesting and diverse wildlife, including many different primates, elephants, buffalos, and a lion are two. Bird watchers will also be amazed at the near-260 different species that inhabit the area. The park itself is also quite geographically varied, with the northern section characterized by rolling hills and rainforests, while the central area is flatter and boasts grassland conditions. Travelers can take tours of the park, embark on exciting safaris, or even stay overnight in one of the many lodges. Address: Northern Sierra Leone Phone: n/a Website: n/a

Mt Bintumani

The highest peak in Sierra Leone, Mount Bintumani, sits at an impressive 6380ft and is, unsurprisingly, a very dominant feature of the Sierra Leonean landscape. Known locally as Loma Mansa, the mountain offers many outdoor activities, including hiking and trekking, and the adjacent Loma Mountains Nature Forest Reserve is also well worth a visit. The mountain and the reserve are best navigated with a guide, who will not only show you the way, but also keep you informed about the surrounding plant and animal species and the local history of the area. Address: Loma Mountain Forest Reserve, Northern Sierra Leone Phone: n/a Website: n/a

Banana Islands

Travelers who want to get away from the mainland for a bit should look no farther than the Banana Islands. These islands are the coastal pride and joy of the country, boasting Sierra Leone’s best beaches and diving spots. There are two main islands, Dublin and Ricketts, which are linked by road. Dublin is well known for it postcard-worthy beach fronts, while Ricketts is better known for its forests. There are only a few locals, meaning a stay here is characterized by quiet and relaxation. The islands can be reached by boat from the town of Kent on the mainland. Address: Southwest of the Freetown Peninsula Phone: n/a Website: n/a

Sierra Leone National Museum

The country’s national museum chronicles Sierra Leone’s history and culture up until the modern day. There are many interesting and informative exhibits, such as the collection of traditional medicine trinkets and early crockery and cutlery. There are also several cultural markers, including different tribal clothing, musical instruments, and weapons. One of the most informative sections of the museum details the events of the bloody and brutal civil war. For anyone interested in learning more about the country and its history, this is the perfect place to start. Address: Siaka Stevens Street, Downtown Freetown Phone: +232-22-223-555 Website: n/a

Cotton Tree

Located in the heart of the capital city, the cotton tree is one of the oldest and best-loved Landmarks in Freetown. The cotton tree dominates the city’s skyline, having cast a welcomed shadow over several buildings, including the Sierra Leone National Museum, for an estimated 500 years. This tree holds a great deal of historical significance. It is said that slaves who had gained independence from Britain during the American War of Independence returned to their homeland and held a Thanksgiving service under the tree to commemorate the occasion. This is a very popular site, with hordes of travelers visiting every day. The best time to visit is at dusk, when the bats that inhabit the tree make a mass exodus in search of food. 
Address: Siaka Stevens Street, Downtown Freetown Phone: n/a Website: n/a

Bunce Island

Bunce Island is a very historically-significant landmark, having been one of the earliest slave posts in the West African region. Located just outside of Freetown on the Sierra Leone River, the island was the perfect place for European slave merchants to trade slaves. During the 1700s and 1800s, thousands of Africans are estimated to have left the country, via Bunce Island, for live of slavery in North America and the West Indies. A recently restored castle provides great insight into the conditions the slaves were forced to endure. For anyone wanting to learn more about the slave trade, or Bunce Island in particular, there is also a museum back in Freetown. Address: Porto Loko, Sierra Leone River, Northern Province Phone: n/a Website: n/a

Leicester Peak

Freetown’s pride and joy, Leicester Peak, is a small mountain in Tower Hill. From the top, visitors can see everything, from the surrounding hills and the city, to the harbor and the majestic Sierra Leone River. You can either walk up the mountain or drive to the top. Address: Tower Hill, Freetown Phone: n/a Website: n/a

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