School Children in Sierra Leone by bobthemagicdragon via Flickr Creative Commons

Many of the activities on offer in Sierra Leone are heavily centered on the country’s geography and outdoors. This is no surprise considering the expansive and diverse nature of the country’s landscape. From the gorgeous coastline, where many water-based activities are available, to the Sierra Leonean mountainous regions, where many overland trekking and hiking excursions can be completed, there is something here for every adventure-seeker and adrenaline junkie.

There are, however, also a few activities that are geared towards those with a tamer spirit and less of a sense of adventure. Travelers wanting to learn more about the county’s diverse and exciting culture should look into one of the many homestay or village visit options. On these excursions, local people open their homes, and often their kitchens, to travelers who would like a taste of the real Sierra Leone. Alternatively, there are also many sanctuaries in the country where you can learn more about the animals that have been rescued from harsh conditions.

Lovers of nature and adventure will be happy with the plethora of outdoor activities on offer in the region. One of the most popular activities is hiking through Sierra Leone’s many mountain ranges, with the Loma Mountains Natural Reserve perhaps the most visitedspot. There are many routes that cater to different levels and abilities, so whether you are a seasoned hiker or a first-timer, they’ll be something for you. Tours of this nature can be arranged with Overlanding West Africa.

Sierra Leone has a vast coastline, and there are many areas, both on and off the coast, that are perfect for diving and snorkeling. One of the most popular diving and snorkeling spots is the Banana Islands, and, more specifically, Dublin Island. These islands, located just south of the Freetown peninsula, are the prime spot for those looking to delve deep into Sierra Leonean waters or laze on divine beaches. Travelers who do make it below the surface will be treated to everything from coral reefs to shipwrecks. There are also a few historical sites on both islands that make for an even better daytrip. Diving and snorkeling trips, of all levels, are easily organized through Visit Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone has several nature reserves that attract travelers for a variety of reasons. One of the main draws of these parks is the myriad of different bird species, which makes for incredible bird watching excursions. The Outamba-Kilimi National Park is well-known for its bird population, and there are many tour companies that specialize in showcasing this aspect of the park. One such company is KTL: Express Tours Sierra Leone, which arranges for local guides to accompany birdwatchers.

Sierra Leone is as diverse culturally as it is geographically, but many travelers never get the opportunity to experience local ways of living while making their way through the country. Luckily, companies like KTL: Express Tours Sierra Leone offer cultural tours in many cities. Most packages include homestays in local villages and trips to townships. This is the perfect opportunity for visitors that are tired of reading about culture and would prefer to experience it first-hand.

Animal-lovers should head to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where they can see chimpanzees in a protected environment. Founded in 1995, the sanctuary, which is home to more than 80 chimpanzees, rescues these amazing primates from being sold and abused on the black market. All of the chimpanzees here are orphaned and abused, used either for tourist photo opportunities or in circus shows. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the animals the park, and there are even places to stay if visitors would like to extend their excursions. Tours of the sanctuary can be arranged by VSL Travel.

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