Tips and recommendations for healthy travel to top destinations
Learn more about your flu vaccine options
Learn more about the travel visa requirements for top destinations
Despite its beauty, Sierra Leone has remained mostly uninfluenced by tourist activities. Much of the country is still undiscovered.
The country’s coastline, is only one of its many attractive landscapes. The Loma Mountains in the north have dense rainforests and volcanoes nestled in rolling hills.
In Freetown vibrant houses perched on stilts remain from when freed slaves relocated to the country’s Western shores.
Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Sierra Leone. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Sierra Leone: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, and influenza.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for entry to Sierra Leone.
The CDC also says that the Zika virus is a risk in Sierra Leone. This virus can cause serious birth defects. It is recommended that pregnant women, or women planning to become pregnant, should not travel to Sierra Leone.
Ebola struck Sierra Leone in July of 2014. The outbreak claimed more than 700 lives.
In March 2016, the World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone Ebola-free.
To find out more about these vaccines, see our vaccinations page. Ready to travel safely? Book your appointment either call or start booking online now.
In 2012, Sierra Leone was hit with one of the largest cholera outbreaks the country had seen. The outbreak is now under control. But, travelers should receive a cholera vaccination before entering the country.
Cholera is spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. Outbreaks are most common during rainy seasons. Travelers should use precaution when eating and drinking.
Cholera vaccination is available through Passport Health clinics. Book your appointment to receive Vaxchora, the only cholera vaccination approved for use in the US, today!
All U.S. citizens must have a visa before visiting Sierra Leone. If you do not have a visa, you will be denied entry.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following your expected date of arrival. Proof of yellow fever immunization is also required for entry.
For more information, see our Sierra Leone visa page. Or contact a Passport Health Passport and Visa specialist by calling 1-844-366-8472 or by filling out our online form.
Sierra Leone is, for the most part, humid year-round. The country’s hottest season is from November through around April. During this time, travelers can expect a slight drop in humidity, but a spike in temperatures. Near the coast, breezes from the Atlantic offer a slight drop in temperature. March is considered the peak of the dry, hot season.
From December to January, dry dust storms from the Sahara blow through most of the country.
November and May are considered “wet months.” Travelers should expect a moderate amount of rainfall during this time.
Sierra Leone is widely regarded as one of the poorest countries in the world. With this poverty comes an increase in crime rates.
Freetown is seen as the safest destination in the country. But, even in Freetown, night time wandering is not recommended. If you decide to travel from Freetown, the trip should be made in the daylight as run-ins with bandits are not uncommon.
If you are headed to border areas pay attention to your surroundings and never travel alone if you can help it. For instance, the border to Liberia is considered unstable.
Most dishes in Sierra Leone are spicy, plant-based and served with rice. Vegetable, meat and nut stews are common. Local dishes include: okra stew, cassava bread, coconut cake and pepper soup.
More impoverished areas in the country will have poor hygiene practices. It is best to stick to restaurants that are recommended for serving quality food on a consistent basis.
Although street food may smell tempting, cooking food outdoors increases the likelihood of your meal becoming contaminated.
All travelers to Sierra Leone should bring a traveler’s diarrhea kit and receive cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccinations.
Gola Forest National Park is the best opportunity to get up close and personal with wildlife. At one point of entry to the park sits Tiwai Island, where 11 primate species, exotic butterflies and pygmy hippos live.
Local groups offer weekend excursions that involves canoeing, hiking, animal tracking and visits to local communities for a full cultural experience.
Consider packing the following items, regardless what time of year you plan on traveling to Sierra Leone:
The U.S. Embassy urges travelers to register with the State Deparment before traveling to Sierra Leone.
Travelers also must make an appointment at the embassy for all non-emergency services including: routine passport application and renewals and notary signings.
U.S. Embassy Freetown
Southridge, Hill Station
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: (232) (99) 105 500
Emergency after hours: (232) (99) 905 029
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