Safety Issues In Sierra Leone – Questions And Answers

I received an email from a visitor to this site (Kim Riise hope you don’t mind my mentioning your name)  who wishes to visit and stay in Sierra Leone for a while, rather than just send her an email response, I thought I would post here for the benefit of others who wish to come too.

Queston: Is it generally safe?

Safe? sure safer than many other countries I’ve been to, that includes London and Ghana for that matter. So long as you don’t get mixed up in the wrong crowd. Here, women walk the streets at night – no problem. People look after each other round here.

However, burglary is a problem, you have to look after your handbag, lock your room, don’t leave precious things like phones, ipods, laptops and money around. And oh keep your wits about you especially in public transport – taxis, poda poda, ocada (motorbike).

Unless you go pick a fight, harm to your person is rare. Violence is super low here and the recent 2010 world peace index rates Sierra Leone as 53rd out of 149 countries. That is remarkable considering, the war ended only a few years ago.

Question: Are there many white people there, so I wouldn’t attract too much attention?

Sierra Leone is a very friendly country and all foreigners are welcome here. Yes there are white people here. As for standing out, of course you’ll stand out just as I would if I came to Norway. But rest assured, people will not stand and stare or follow you around especially in Freetown as they have their own business to attend to. 

Most people are helpful if you need help and the Krio language is similar to English. Also, I’m sure you’ll find many caucasian people to befriend who will share their experiences with you.

If you have an embassy with that’s a good place to start…

Question:Am thinking about coming to Freetown, find some flat or hotel, and just live there, and get a cultural experience. How can i find a flat?

Finding a place to live here may not be easy as you will not find estate agents dotted on the streets as you will in Europe. Rather there are sign boards showing places or flat for rent.

I recommend you stay in a hotel for the first few days or week whilst you familiarise yourself with the city. Reasonable hotel rates start from $100.00 per night or thereabouts. There’s Bintumani, Country Lodge and other hotels around – Go to http://www.visitsierraleone.org for more information.

If you don’t have an Embassy here, you can visit the British embassy on Spur Road, Western Freetown.

Question: Can I stay in a hotel on the beach outside Freetown for around Le1, 500, 000  per month?

I’m sure you may find such a flat both in Freetown and outside. Whether it will be to your taste is a different matter.

As for a hotel outside Freetown for that price (roughly $300-$400 at month at the time of writing), I doubt it as hotels outside Freetown tend to be even more expensive. Guest houses or lodges may be another option.

Question: Would you recommend your own daughter to go alone there?

No I will not recommend my daughter to go to ANY country on this earth to live there without them knowing anyone there and that includes Europe too. That’s just my opinion.

I hope this helps

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