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Sierra Leone Driving Guide

Sierra Leone is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-08-02 ¡ 9mins

One of western Africa's countries is Sierra Leone. The country's name is from a Portuguese explorer, Pedro de Sintra. He was the first European to see and layout Freetown Harbor. Traveling to Sierra Leone will be exciting as it is the mining center of West Africa, and it is also known as a land of agricultural sustenance.

Sierra Leone has a tropical climate which makes travel accessible and easy. In here, you will enjoy savannas and the great ambiance of natural animal habitat, a land of gold and different rare stones. You will surely appreciate the cultural diversity visible in their various dialects, beliefs, and practices.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Driving in Sierra Leone, a foreign country, without knowing even a little information can lead to a catastrophe. This guide provides you the vital information you need to know before traveling to Sierra Leone. This guide includes driving in Sierra Leone updates, like the things to do when you come, jobs that you can consider when you stay longer in the country. Lastly, this guide will let you know about the best driving school in Sierra Leone and more.

General Information

Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone. It is one of the largest natural harbors worldwide. It is known as a land that yields different gemstones such as bauxite, gold, and rutile. The government regains the opportunity to build its social and physical infrastructure while having reconciliation after the war in 2002. Nowadays, Sierra Leone promotes various activities to preserve its nature and beautification by establishing projects for its citizens and the tourism department.

Geographic Location

Located in the West of Africa, Sierra Leone is bordered by Guinea in the northeast and Liberia in the south. On its west, the Atlantic Ocean is visible. There are four regions inside the country: the mountain region, the interior plains, plateau, and the coastal swamp.

Freetown in Sierra Leone is in its peninsula. The city has surrounding mountains, and it is parallel to the sea. At Picket Hill, the peninsula hills rise from the coastal swamps, reaching almost 2,900 feet. Boliland's, which is often called the seasonal wetlands, comprises the north. Savannah-covered plains to a slope in a hill occupy the south part of Sierra Leone.

Languages Spoken

Sierra Leone is a multilingual country, which makes cultural diversity rich and growing within its territories. A language called Krio, which was derived from both English and Creole, is the country's lingua franca. Kuranko, Kono, Mende, Susu, Vai, and Yalunka languages are common to the Niger-Congo citizens and Mande's most prominent group.

Land Area

The country has a total land area of 71,740 km² (27,700 sq miles) which has a savanna to the rainforest environment. People informally called it Salone. It has bordering countries, which are Liberia and Guinea.


The British Government gave in to Sierra Leone nationalist demands after World War 2. Creoles entrench their political rights after the constitution of 1951 gave control to the majority, institutions of democracy finally constituted. A predominant protective party led by Milton Margai called Sierra Leone's People Party (SLPP) elected the Government.

Prosperity is attained in the first year of independence. The substantial revenue comes from iron ore and diamonds. In early 1960 the first educational institution was found, and it was called Njala University. After the leader's death, everything had changed, the supplies of the iron ores lessened and diamonds were illegally imported. It deprived the Government of revenue.

The steady and slow progress of Sierra Leone after years of conflict was negatively affected by the disease as it emerged in its neighboring countries. With the international Government's help and the leadership of the latest parties, Sierra Leone is now standing tall, recovering from its economy.


Sierra Leone's adoption of the 1978 constitution created the All People's Congress, a one-party republic with an executive president. Delegates were elected by the same congress and parliament, followed by mounting pressures in politics that caused the 1991 constitutional amendment, which created a multiparty system.

Elections that resulted in the 1991 constitutional amendments restored the freedom of the people after experiencing military rules. Chiefdoms and councilors led different areas of Sierra Leonne. The country has divided towns into central and local governments. Influence matters most in both justice and cultural decisions.


The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in Sierra Leone's tourism department provided numerous jobs for Sierra Leoneans. You will enjoy the hospitality around the country, and a lot of places are worth the travel.

According to the Guardian Newspaper, the best beach in Africa, called the River Number 2 beach, which is in Sierra Leone. Tourist's main attractions are beaches, islands, mountains, and nature reserves. You will surely enjoy the tropical climate of this African country when you hit the road with the wheels by yourself.


Sierra Leone's roads can be hassle-free if you have all the requirements needed to drive in the country. Sierra Leone's government requires an international driving permit as a form of translation of your local driver's permit. Language barrier will never be a problem anymore. Here are some driving in Sierra Leone requirements that you need to know.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Sierra Leone?

Some of driving in Sierra Leone videos utter that tourists are allowed to drive in the country with a local driver's license. Keep in mind that only a few of the authorities understand English, which means they will not take time comprehending that you are allowed to drive in their country.

To avoid such, the national government of Sierra Leone requires tourists to have an international driver's permit. It is not to replace your local driver's license but to translate it to their local language. You can't use your IDP alone for transactions in Sierra Leone because it is just a form of translation. Bringing your valid documents such as your local driver's license is necessary.

But I’m Leaving in Less Than 10 Days, What Do I Do?

It is not a problem. Here in the International Drivers Association, you can start using the Digital IDP booklet while waiting for the printed copies. We also ship the international driver’s permit via FedEx Express for 3-7 business days for US customers and about 30 days outside USA if you need it.

The digital application of your international driving permit would not take a long time. Driving in Sierra Leone websites say that it would take days before you have it, but you don’t have to worry. As long as you have your passport-sized photograph, valid local driver’s license, and your signature, you can have your IDP from us after a few hours.

How Can I Renew My International Driving Permit?

You can renew your international driver’s permit by following the same process the first time you apply. As long as you hold a valid driver’s license and all the requirements needed, you will have your international driving permit.

If you lost your international driver’s permit, do not hesitate to call our customer service. Driving in Sierra Leone, zip codes may differ, so make sure to provide your current location for our shipping team to bring your IDP to your exact location.

Does an IDP Replace Your Local Driver’s License?

An IDP does not replace your driver’s license as it is only a translation of your driving information. Remember, an IDP is not a license. You can’t use an IDP alone when driving in Sierra Leone, so you need to always bring your driver’s license with you at all times.

Renting a Car in Sierra Leone

Rental car companies in Sierra Leone make your travel pleasant and exciting. For first-time travelers, renting a car can be both astonishing and stressful. You should consider factors, such as car types, road conditions, and most importantly, your budget. The car rental companies aim to give you a memorable driving experience in Sierra Leone through their excellent customer service and well-maintained vehicles.

Car Rental Companies

Branches of Cerra Automotive, Flash Vehicles, and Europcar are in the country. Driving in Sierra Leone updates in car rental companies let customers, like you, book your aspired vehicle online. Booking online is both convenient and comfortable for you. While some car rental companies are allowing walk-in booking, it’s still more convenient to book online. Keep in mind that the rental car companies in Sierra Leone fit your budget and travel purpose.

If you are looking for safari adventures, Landcruisers, compact vehicles, and camping cars are the most rented cars in Africa. SUVs and Vans are the most rented cars in Europcar, the first company of rental cars that implemented the Green program, which is best for you. Child seats and GPS navigation are both available as extras.

Documents Required

Offices related to driving in Sierra Leone often includes various documents you need to have while traveling or renting a car. For your proof of identity, a government-issued identification, like your passport, needs to be presented. Your car rental in Sierra Leone can be easy if you show your local driver's license, but car rental companies require an international driving permit if it is not in English. It is easy to get one on this website. Credit cards are honored for payments.

Vehicle Types

Whether you are staying in rural or urban areas, driving in Sierra Leone websites says that they offer many vehicle types choices, which can confuse you. Road conditions, parks, and savannas made former tourists rent compact vehicles. Car rental companies often have cars that are suitable for the road conditions in the country. Compact cars can get you from one point to another, while sedans and SUVs are good enough for an urban kind of travel.

Car Rental Cost

  • Compact - $33.00/day
  • Economy - $35.00/day
  • Passenger Van - $49.00/day
  • Intermediate - $60.00/day
  • Mini - $63.00/day
  • Full-size - $70.00/day
  • Standard - $75.00/day
  • Premium SUV - $78.00/day
  • Intermediate SUV - $84.00/day
  • Pickup Truck - $95.00/day
  • Premium - $99.00/day
  • Intermediate Station Wagon - $135/day

Age Requirements

The minimum age requirement to rent a car is 18 years old with a valid driver’s license and international driver’s permit. Existing car rental companies are typically reluctant to allow drivers under 21 years old to hire a car. Hence, they require an Underage Driver fee because of rampant reports of accidents caused by young drivers.

Car Insurance Cost

Driving in Sierra Leone news online can be scary for first-timers. It is best to secure car insurance for peace of mind and a sense of security before traveling. It is vital to choose a car rental company that includes an insurance package, and most of them have that in their fees.

As you navigate in Sierra Leone, you are at peace because of your car insurance.

Car Insurance Policy

Car rental companies may include a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Additional Liability insurance (ALI), and Extended Roadside Assistance. Emergency Sickness Plan can be beneficial in case driving in Sierra Leone requires quarantine.

A Loss Damage Waiver relieves you of financial responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen. The PAI includes medical coverage in case you and your passengers get into an accident. You can add optional insurance to your car rental fee if you think the included insurance is not adequate to protect you.

Road Rules in Sierra Leone

Some Sierra Leone rules may be unfamiliar to you, but it is easy to get used to. When driving in Sierra Leone, maps can be equipped to avoid accidents or unwanted situations with the authorities. Following the rules in driving within the country prevents you from the hassle that can hurt citizens or cause your accidents.

Important Regulations

Failure to comply with these laws can lead to severe consequences. Penalties, fines, or, worse, injuries and death can be the consequences. It's essential to know the vital regulations implemented in the country before you begin to reach Sierra Leonne's roads. Below are the relevant regulations you need to adopt.



Road accidents in Sierra Leone are over alarming. According to the authorities, they have to work with Sierra Leone Brewery Limited to secure breathalyzers at various country checkpoints. Under the influence of alcoholic liquors, your reaction times and focus decreases, especially when your alcohol blood level increases.

There are many reports of fatalities and a random number of accidents about drivers who were drunk-driving. This harmful habit influences a large percentage of vehicular accidents in the world. Avoid drunk - driving in Sierra Leone to prevent the suspension of your driver’s license and international driving permit. This offense can affect your application for a driving job in Sierra Leone in the future.

Turning Signals at an Intersection

Here are some reminders about turning signals at an intersection in Sierra Leone. These practices would help you have smooth and hassle-free road trip experiences inside the country.

  • GREEN SIGNAL & ARROW: You may make a safe turn with the green arrow pointing right or left; oncoming cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians are stopped by a red light as long as the green indicator is illuminated. Allow any vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians remaining at the intersection to get through. Before any oncoming car becomes a threat, you can turn left ONLY if you have enough room to complete the turn.
  • YELLOW SIGNAL & ARROW: Stop when you see the yellow light if you can safely do so. Look out for vehicles that might reach the intersection when the light changes if you can't stop. A blinking yellow signal light warns you to be careful. Slow yourself down and be extremely alert. A yellow arrow means that there is an illuminated red arrow about to appear. Stop if you're not at the intersection yet.
  • RED SIGNAL & ARROW: The red light of a signal indicates to stop. Only after you brake and give in to pedestrians and cars in your way can a right turn be made against a red light. Do not turn when a NO TURN ON RED sign is posted. A red arrow means STOP before there's a green signal or a green arrow. A turn against a red arrow can not be made. A red signal light blinking means almost the same as a halt sign: STOP! Proceed when safe and follow the right-of-way rules after halting.


Check if it's safe to park and if it's allowed to park in the area before parking. You'll see the parking signs that indicate the time allowed to park. Do not park on or within five meters of a pedestrian crossing and within five meters of a railway junction. Also, you're not allowed to park on the road with a double white center line. Switch off the engine before leaving the vehicle.

At night, you're only allowed to park on the left side of the road. Before you open your door, check if there are people on the road or cyclists who could be hit once you open the door. It's safer to get out of the vehicle on the left side of the road or the side of the road.

Ensure you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving.

Always carry your passport, insurance papers, local driving license, an international driver's permit in Sierra Leone for verification. If you fail to show a valid driving license, you will get fined with unlicensed driving. Ensure that your car is in good shape before driving in Senegal. If it is in the suitable form, check the mirrors, windows, and tires. Get enough sleep before traveling to prevent exhaustion.

Additional Information

When driving in Sierra Leone, zip codes in identification cards and contact numbers are useful. It supports your international driving permit in Senegal. Authorities on checkpoints will be required by management to check your documents, especially when you cross borders from Sierra Leone to another country.

Seatbelt Laws

Most parent drivers in Sierra Leone don't understand about child safety seats. Child restraint reduces the risk of injury to children under ten years of age, especially during sudden interruptions. Until the child reaches at least 135 centimeters in height, child restraints should be used where the adult seatbelt can ultimately protect them.

Seat belts must be worn only by people traveling in the front seats of a vehicle in Sierra Leone. It is suggested that if belts are installed in the car's rear, every passenger should wear them for protection. Sierra Leone's government only requires seat belts in the front passenger seat, but being careful is better than being sorry.

General Standards of Driving

Choosing a car in Sierra Leone has its own advantages and disadvantages, if you’re not confident to drive a manual car on a foreign road, then opt for an automatic car. It is essential to know the driving standards to understand what the locals typically use and do when driving in Sierra Leone.

Speed Limits

Driving below the speed limit allows you enough time to react and avoid a collision. Since sharp bends and slopes are famous in Sierra Leone, it is vital to adhere to the posted speed limits. Road accidents are a common cause of death in Sierra Leone, especially among young drivers.

Internal roads usually have a speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour), while highways and freeways have a limit of 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour). Mobile phones and drunk driving are illegal, and you are required to buckle up in the front seat with a seat belt.

Driving Directions

The majority of the main roads in Freetown are narrow and paved, but they are full of litter with potholes. Unpaved side streets that are particularly narrow are usually navigable. Outside of Freetown, most roads are unpaved and only passable with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. However, during the rainy season, which lasts from May to September, some mapped road stretches are often impassable.

In Sierra Leone, many vehicles on the road are dangerous. Accidents, including multi-vehicle accidents, are frequent as a result of the poor condition of these vehicles. In Sierra Leone, many vehicles on the road are dangerous. Accidents, including multi-vehicle accidents, are frequent as a result of the poor condition of these vehicles. When traveling at night, the risk of being involved in an accident rises significantly, and embassy officials cannot travel outside of major cities after dark.

Traffic Road Signs

Signs installed along the side of or over the roads to provide directions or information to road users are known as traffic signs or road signs. It would be helpful to recognize traffic road signs so you can prevent traffic violations and the potential revocation of your international driver's permit in Sierra Leone. Here are some famous traffic signs:

  • Pedestrian Crossing Signs: For any person who might walk or run in front of their car, drivers facing a pedestrian crossing sign should be alert. Pedestrian crossing signs provide warning of high pedestrian traffic areas so that drivers can, on short notice, plan to slow down or stop.
  • Speed Limit Signs: These signs are essential for traffic control and differ depending on the particular state you are traveling iand the limit. Sometimes, speed limit signs can not be seen while traveling along residential streets. It's because most residential areas' safe speed is 40 kilometers per hour, and drivers who pass their driving exams recognize this rule.
  • Yield Signs: Halt signs are similar but used in less risky conditions. Yield signs, used at passive cross streets or traffic circles, help keep traffic going while also allowing drivers to pass through various directions.
  • Stop Signs: Among all the traffic signs, they are perhaps the most iconic. On how a stop sign is noticed and understood, both the form and color are essential. No other movement has the shape of an octagon, and no other character has the color red. It is achieved because of the road safety value of a stop sign.

Right of Way

The give-way laws on the road are referred to as the right of way. Whoever has the right on the road has priority to pass. Like most other nations, Sierra Leone follows the same laws when it comes to who has the right of way. In an emergency, emergency services such as an ambulance or fire truck have the right of way. Pedestrians, on the other hand, have the right of way in pedestrian crossings.

Driving schools in Sierra Leone remind student drivers of intersections or any point where one path crosses another. Right of way laws become very specific. Corners can be found on side streets, highway exits, cross streets, and roundabouts, to name a few. Since intersections raise the risk of colliding (intersection collisions account for 35% of all reported accidents), you must proceed with caution.

The applicant must be 16 years old or older. Before receiving a license, all new applicants must pass the Sierra Leone State Police's mandatory written, vision, and skills tests. A parent or legal guardian must sign the driver's license application form if the applicant is 18. A School Compliance Verification form from the student's school district must be submitted under the age of 18.

It may be tempting to go on a wild safari drive in the country, particularly if you're young, but for everyone's protection, it's best to entrust the driving to an experienced adult. Irresponsible driving fuelled by adrenaline jeopardizes not just your safety but also the safety of pedestrians, drivers, and even animals. When driving in Sierra Leone, keep the following tips in mind.

Laws on Overtaking

It's risky to pass other cars. The problem with overtaking is calculating the amount of space needed to complete the action safely. Overtaking in a single lane or several lanes is risky and requires extreme caution. If you have any doubts, wait until it is safer before overtaking. Make sure the path ahead of you is clear and that there is enough room for you to overtake safely. Check side streets and other lanes to ensure nothing will enter this space while you are overtaking.

Each change in place should be signaled long enough to allow others enough time to respond. Before adjusting your plan, check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles and other vehicles. You mustn't overtake if a car is coming to a stop sign or if it has stopped at pedestrian lanes, railway crossing or even in an intersection. As much as possible, avoid overtaking unless necessary.

Driving Side

Just like any other African country, Sierra Leone used to be a colony of the British Empire. That is why they used the right-hand drive vehicle. As it progressed and became a more independent nation, they switched to left-hand driving as it is more common worldwide.

Drivers coming from countries that drive on the right side would not have a difficult time anymore. You will enjoy the ease of going behind the wheels and the outskirts of Sierra Leone.

Bringing necessary documents such as your local driver’s license and your international driver’s permit in Sierra Leone will give you a hassle-free road trip and an excellent African adventure.

Driving Etiquette in Sierra Leone

Circumstances in a foreign country are sometimes inevitable. Knowing a little to no knowledge can make your adventure in a worst-case scenario. Driving in Sierra Leone as a traveler can be challenging, and being knowledgeable about their different etiquette can give you a hassle-free ride. It is vital to know what to do in a specific situation to avoid these consequences.

Car Breakdown

Rental cars from car rental companies are well maintained; however, car breakdowns are sometimes unavoidable. Even though they are regularly checked and taken care of, there are some instances where cars break down. In case a car breakdown happened to you in Sierra Leone, get your vehicle near the road edge at the left, away from bends and bridges.

Try to contact a towing and breakdown service company to get your car off the road. While doing that, place a reflective warning triangle behind your vehicle and, in front of it, wait in a safer place to avoid being hit by other cars.

Asking Directions

When asking for driving directions in Senegal, never underestimate the power of your first impression on others. Different cultures have different customs, which results in different welcoming individuals, particularly in public places.

When asking for driving directions in Senegal, never underestimate the power of your first impression on others. Different cultures have different customs, which results in different welcoming individuals, particularly in public places.

As a result, you must always get the attention a stranger with a short "Excuse me" or "Sorry" before doing so when asking for directions. Depending on the situation, an immediate "Hello," "Hi," or "May I ask you a question?" can elicit a variety of responses and even push people away.

If you want to ask for directions and get them, you must use the correct phrase, expression, or question at the right time for the person you're speaking with to understand you and provide you with the best possible help.


Security checks are in place on Sierra Leone's highways. Local cops, army, customs, welfare, and traffic cops are rarely coordinated. If you're driving your own car or renting one, you'll be able to find several checkpoints within a mile or two of each other. Each can take time, especially if they ask to search your car.

If you think it's an unauthorized checkpoint, don't panic, but stay alert. Notify the authorities of the situation and the location of the checkpoint. Do not hand over your documents to non-uniformed personnel at the checkpoint. Prevent a non-uniformed team from being involved in a confrontation and wait for the police to intervene.

Other Tips

You must also know what to do in the event of an accident, in addition to vehicle breakdowns, traffic stops, and checkpoints. Knowing what to do emotionally teaches you and helps you calm down so you can solve the problem. Other driving etiquette tips for Sierra Leone are listed below.

What if I Get Involved in an Accident?

If you are injured in an accident involving another person, report the accident to the nearest police station as soon as possible, no later than twelve hours, and tell the other person your name and address. Call an ambulance as quickly as possible. Don't try to fix the problem yourself; instead, let the authorities figure out what happened and blame you for the damage.

If no one is injured, you do not need to call the police, but you must give the authorities your name, address, and identification number. If you come to a halt to assist in an accident, make all drivers aware of the barrier. You should wave to the drivers to slow down or switch on the hazard emergency lights. Call the police and give them the location of the accident as well as the vehicle identification number.

Driving Conditions in Sierra Leone

You must also be aware of the driving circumstances and conditions in Sierra Leone, in addition to the country's driving laws and etiquette. It may be able to assist you in psychologically preparing for potential roadblocks. When driving in a foreign country, knowing the driving conditions keeps you more alert and conscious.

Accident Statistics

Overspeeding-related car accidents are common in Sierra Leone, with the majority of them involving private cars. One of the most likely causes of automobile accidents in the country is the lack of legally enforced maximum speed limits for all vehicles. Furthermore, since the roads outside of urban areas are underdeveloped, they are not equipped for high-speed driving.

According to the most recent WHO data from 2018, road traffic accidents claimed 2,166 people in Sierra Leone, accounting for 2.68 percent of all deaths. Sierra Leone is ranked #21 globally with an age-adjusted death rate of 38.68 per 100,000 people. Road laws that are strictly enforced help to reduce the number of road accidents in the country.

Common Vehicles

Sedans and SUVs are the most common vehicles in Sierra Leone, particularly in urban areas. Trucks and motorcycles are often seen on the roads outside of the major cities. According to research, you will see other vehicles such as buses, three-wheeled motorcycles, and heavy cargo trucks in the cross borders.

Toll Roads

Toll roads have been used to boost or create a more substantial infrastructure in South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, Senegal, and other countries. Sierra Leone is on the verge of joining them. The Wellington-Masiaka highway, a toll road, is currently being built and generates a lot of controversies.

More people will migrate along the traffic lane, decongesting Freetown, and it will take much less time to travel from those communities along the national road than it did previously. Such movements will be carried out in a relaxed manner.

Road Situations

The key roads connecting urban centers, including Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Koidu, Makeni, Lungi, Kambia, and Kabala, are paved and appropriate for transport and other car trucks. External roads leading to Kamakwie, Moyamba, and Pujehun are dirt roads, but they are graded and taxi-able. On the other hand, other highways can be very poor and necessitate the use of a ground vehicle.

Rainfall from June to November will make dirt roads muddy and dangerous, including off-road vehicles. Before you go, inquire about the latest road updates if you have any doubts. Cabs and bike drivers will often try even the most challenging roads in unsuitable vehicles. In most cases, hotels and guesthouses can arrange transportation for you.

Driving Culture

The most dangerous aspect of visiting Sierra Leone is traveling by highway. Rather than using public transportation, you can travel in a privately owned or leased car. The risks of driving in Sierra Leone are exacerbated by the absence of a well-organized and strictly enforced vehicle registration and inspection scheme. Many vehicles do not comply with international safety regulations, and some do not have headlights or braking lights.

Throughout Sierra Leone, there are police and immigration checkpoints. These are official checkpoints that require all vehicles to come to a complete stop so that officers can inspect passengers and cars and verify occupants' identification documents. Police officers in uniform are present at legitimate checkpoints, usually displaying a "Police" sign or the Sierra Leone Police logo.

Other Tips

It's also necessary to understand other aspects of the country's driving conditions, such as the unit used on speed signs and driving at night. Read on for more information on other driving tips in Sierra Leone.

Are They Using Kph or Mph?

Depending on the country, the units used to show speed limits are KpH and MpH. Like 81% of the rest of the world, Sierra Leone uses the metric system for measurement. As a result, they calculate speed in kilometers per hour. For drivers accustomed to measuring speed in miles per hour, kph calculations may be perplexing. Miles per hour is used by just 9% of the world's population.

Your rental car's gas meter will tell you how fast you're going in kilometers per hour, so you won't have to worry about being pulled over for reckless driving. You can check to see if you're already going too fast. Remember Sierra Leone uses Kph, so the numbers on the signs might be much larger than you're used to seeing in your home country.

Is It Safe to Drive at Night?

If at all possible, avoid driving at night in Sierra Leone unless absolutely necessary. Animals are generally free to wander the highways, and there aren't enough streetlights to allow you to see ahead. Children and road crews sometimes set up makeshift roadblocks with rope, rocks, or branches to extort money from passing motorists. These impromptu barriers are against the law, so don't feel obligated to pay to move.

Road hazards in Sierra Leone increase dramatically during the rainy season (April-November). Flooding on the roads and near-zero visibility contribute to the dangers for drivers. When traveling during the rainy season, expect delays. Learn about flood-prone areas and consider driving in a 4x4 vehicle with high clearance.

Things To Do in Sierra Leone

Tourists like you will drive to Freetown and have a good time. But what about working as a country driver? It is possible to go to Sierra Leone for a more extended time, but there are a few things to consider before deciding. You must understand the job security and housing requirements that you must meet and the number of job openings in the country.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists are permitted to drive in Sierra Leone as long as they have their native country's driver's license, passport, and International Drivers Permit. As long as you have a permit coming from the local government of Sierra Leone, you can take advantage of this privilege.

An IDP is needed if the police need to review your documentation to prevent delays on your journey. IDP is highly recommended for drivers with licenses who do not follow the English alphabet. Tourists are permitted to visit Sierra Leone as long as they have their home country's driver's license, passport, and IDP.

Work as a Driver

Foreigners who drive for a living in Sierra Leone must apply for work with an employment visa. In Sierra Leone, the most commonly accepted profession is that of a transport service driver. You may also apply for a spot as a multi-cab driver if you meet the requirements. If you have a Sierra Leonean driver's license and have taken driving lessons and exams in the country, you can only apply for a driving job in Sierra Leone.

Work as a Travel Guide

The travel guide transports a group of visitors to and from different locations while managing supply chains such as lodging, food, excursions, mass transit, and schedules. When the guide arrives at each site, they can work with community guides to ensure that their group gets the most cultural and historical knowledge possible.

If you work as a tourist guide, you prepare, purchase, and arrange driving in Sierra Leone itineraries for groups or individuals who are usually located hundreds of miles away from their homes. A guide creates complete itineraries for their clients, including recreation programs and experiences.

Apply for Residency

A Resident Permit is granted after an employer makes a request, which may come from a national or foreign agency or a business entity doing business in Sierra Leone. To obtain a resident permit on behalf of their employee, the employer must first write to the Immigration Department on the approved letterhead with the organization's whole details/business.

To make a formal application, the applicant should receive an application form from the Immigration Department after receiving the requested document. If this is the applicant's first time applying, they can use Form "A" Application Form. When applying for a residence permit renewal or re-entry resident permit, the applicant can use Form "B."

  • 2 passport - sized photos
  • Valid passport

Various other supporting documentation will be needed to process the application in addition to the above documents, but this will depend on the type of registration.

Other Things to Do

If you plan on staying in Sierra Leone for a longer period of time, you can do a lot more. Sierra Leone may not be as progressive as other countries, but its allure and tranquility will entice you to live and stay there.

Can I Convert My Local Driver’s License to a Sierra Leonean Driving License?

Yes, your local driver's license can be converted to a Sierra Leonean driver's license. Keep in mind that international driver's permit is a prerequisite for obtaining a local driver's license in Sierra Leone.

To turn your international driver's license into a Sierra Leonean driver's license, you'll need to fill out an application form. Payment is also necessary, and the processing of your application may take up to a week. After the authorities have approved it, the government will issue your driver's license in Sierra Leone.

Are There Other Work Opportunities in Sierra Leone?

The most common job for foreigners in Sierra is to teach English or French. You'll find several job openings for remote teaching and translators, especially if you're from a country that considers English a native language. Not only that, because of their tourism industry, you can apply in cafĂŠs for positions like sous chef, cook, waiter or even a security guard.

You have to visit the consulate to give you a necessary working permit to apply for jobs in Sierra Leone, the process includes medical examinations and other requirements. You have to adhere to these requirements to have a smooth kick-start of career inside Sierra Leone.

The Top Destinations in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a tropical destination in Africa because many beaches with white sand surround it. Sierra Leone is a country that would let you experience savannas, endless sandcastles and animal encounters. You'll see biologically diverse spectacles and scenic scenery here that will leave you speechless and fill your dreams with wonderful country memories.

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Freetown

Tacugame Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a place where you can interact with different chimpanzee species. You can enjoy the ambiance of natural green forests, and you can mingle with these friendly animals.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Freetown, go straight ahead to Jomo Kenyatta Road.
  2. Drive straight forward for 21 minutes.
  3. Go straightforward to Congo Dam Access Road.

Things to Do

Seeing animals and how they lived will be a great experience for you. Here's a rundown of the best things to do in the region if you want to get the most out of Tacugame Chimpanzee Sanctuary:

a. Walk at the Sanctuary

A day trip guided by tour guides will let you experience the sanctuary, and just by walking, they will let you see how the chimpanzees do their routine every day.

b. Stay at the eco-huts in the sanctuary

If you stay longer in the sanctuary, you will see a guided immersive tour offered by the place. You can cook and eat there and enjoy the serenity of the natural habitat as you stay.

c. Do an ecological photoshoot

The place is perfect for natural habitat photoshoot. You can see many possible subjects within the lagoon, the chimpanzees' playground and more.

River Number Two Beach

Are you looking for some vitamin sea? Well, River Number Two Beach is perfect for you. This place is a tourist spot where you can experience people from all the walks of life. You will enjoy the white-sand beaches, sumptuous food and great ambiance in this place.

Driving Directions:

  1. Head straight along Jomo Kenyatta Rd.
  2. Drive forward to Hill Cot Road.
  3. Go straight to Spur Road.
  4. Take the second exit to the roundabout.
  5. Go along Peninsular highway.
  6. Bear slight right.
  7. Turn right to Peninsular highway.
  8. Slight left to River Number Two Beach.

Things to Do

River Number Two Beach is a place of swimming, party and fun. It is better to make sure that you have ideas on spending your precious time here in River Number Two Beach. Get your gears and ready and see what are the things you can do here:

a. Swim at the sea

Enjoy the saltwater sea here in River Number Two Beach. You will experience interacting with different sea creatures and animals.

b. Shop at seashore

Many locals are offering handmade bags and souvenirs that you can take home. You can choose from various things, from bags to ornaments.

c. Eat at the cafes

Resorts are nothing in Sussex without good food, so treat yourself to different African dishes that you'll surely enjoy.

Bunce Island

Bunce Island is a river island in Sierra Leone. It is located in Freetown Harbour, the Rokel River and Port Loko Creek's estuaries, about 20 miles upriver from Sierra Leone's country's capital, Freetown. You can enjoy the forests and see some African animals here.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Kissy Road, go to Bai Bureh Road.
  2. Go straight northwest.
  3. Turn right.
  4. Turn right to Jomo Kenyatta Road.
  5. Continue to O’neil St.
  6. Keep right.
  7. Turn left to Upper Patton Street.
  8. At the roundabout head to Bai Burreh Road.
  9. Take the Tagrin Ferry.
  10. And then the Tasso Island Pampas ferry.
  11. Take the boat ride to Pepel.
  12. On the land, turn left toward AML ROAD.
  13. Turn sharp right and you’ll see Bunce Island

Things to Do

If you are looking for some ancient African experience, the island of Bunce is perfect for your ideal itinerary. These are few ideas on what you can do within the island of Bunce.

a. Visit the fort

One of the forty major European commercial forts, you can enjoy and feel Sierra Leone's history here. You will see many locals who are spending time here, and you will be amazed by the place.

b. Walk at the island

As a former trade center of slaves, UNESCO has turned this place into a world heritage site. You can walk and feel the vibes of a beautiful place with a sad history.

c. Eat at the Island

Since many locals spend time here, cafes emerge together with some citizens who are selling African snacks, have one and delight yourself with this sumptuous and exotic food.

Lakka Beach

Lakka Beach Resort and Hotel is known for many activities such as fishing, boat rides, trekking and its diamond mines. It is located in the north of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown. In here, you appreciate the beauty of Africa like no other.

Driving Directions:

  1. Drive straight to Jomo Kenyatta Rd.
  2. Turn left to Jomo Kenyatta Rd.
  3. Continue onto Hill Cot Rd.
  4. Turn right and bear right.
  5. Take the third exit onto Spur rd at the roundabout.
  6. Take the second exit onto Wilkinson Rd.
  7. Take the second exit at the roundabout.
  8. And then another exit at the roundabout.
  9. Head to the peninsular highway.
  10. Turn right
  11. Turn right again
  12. Turn left and another right, the destination will be on the left side.

Things to Do

Here are the most exciting activities you can enjoy in Lakka Beach:

a. Visit the Diamond Mines

Take a day trip to Africa’s most famous working diamond mines. You will see how diamonds are created. You will learn how the rock is processed before being the most sought-after jewelry in the world.

b. Trek at the mountain

The forest within the mountain is home to different species of primates and 350 avian species. You can bring your backpack and enjoy the wonders of the place.

c. Eat at the beach

After a tropical beach and boating adventures, Lakka beach offers barbecue at its seashore, the locals prepare this sumptuous lunch party for tourists like you to taste the African Lunch Barbecue.

Outamba Kilimi National Park

If you want to get close to exotic animals and the environment, Outamba Kilimi National Park is perfect for you. This is the first national park in Sierra Leone, you will get to see different animals such as hippos, you can enjoy a boat ride in the river and even climb a hill.

Driving Directions:

  1. Go south toward Avenue Independance.
  2. Sharp right on Avenue Independance.
  3. Take the first exit onto Siaka Stevens street at the roundabout.
  4. Turn right on Wilberforce street
  5. On Sanni Abacha st, bear left
  6. Take the second exit at the roundabout onto Fourah Bay road.
  7. Bear right
  8. Take the second exit onto Bai Bureh Road at the roundabout
  9. Head forward on Masiaka yonibana highway.
  10. Take the second exit at the roundabout
  11. Head forward on Makire Koya
  12. Head forward to Mafila Koya
  13. Go straight on Masumaila
  14. Go forward on Mabora
  15. Continue forward on Makeni Koya
  16. And forward to Mabile
  17. Forward to Malankan and Yankisa
  18. Take the first exit onto Lunsar Makeni Highway
  19. Continue forward on Gbaran and Bumba
  20. Head straight to Kamasundu and forward to Lugi
  21. Continue forward to Gbinti and Petifu
  22. Head straight to Womakamummu and Gberi
  23. Forward to Kotolon
  24. On Port Lolo Bombali Road turn right
  25. Then left to Kamakwie Makeni Road
  26. Take the second exit at the roundabout
  27. Then head straight to Kamakwie
  28. Make sharp right
  29. Head forward to Gbaligbali
  30. Continue forward to Mange and Mapoton
  31. Go straight to Katiri to Matanta
  32. Forward to Masankori
  33. You will the entrance to Outamba Kilimi National Park

Things to Do

Listed here are the possible activities you can enjoy within the Outamba Kilimi National Park:

a. Visit the rainforest

An abundant and untouched rainforest is waiting for you within the park, here guides will let you enjoy the thrill of finding elephants wandering inside. Not only dumbos, but bush pigs, duikers, even an ecosystem of termites are in here.

b. Walk into the rainforest’s waterfalls

After seeing the amazing natural habitat of many species, you will have to continue walking to see the Yomba Falls, it is known as the most impressive water body in Sierra Leone.

c. Ride canoes

A Moana-like adventure is waiting for you within the Outamba Kilimi National Park, it is a magical and wonderful water journey that awaits you. The canoes will have a guide who will take you to see monkeys playing on the trees, avian species singing songs for you.

Here the ambiance is like a safari movie that you always dreamed of.

Hausa Mosque, Freetown

One of the architectural buildings in Freetown is the Hausa Mosque, in here you will enjoy the serene ambiance of the muslim building. The environment is surrounded by locals who are praying or spending time for a living here.

Driving Directions:

  1. Towards Independance Avenue, go south
  2. In Independance Avenue, make a sharp right
  3. Take the first exit at the roundabout onto Siaka Stevens St.
  4. On Wilberforce St., turn right
  5. Head forward on Regent road
  6. Turn left on Sibthrope St.
  7. Continue Forward

Things to Do:

Soul-searching is vital for travelers like you, to make the most out of your travel. Here are the things you can do in Hausa Mosque:

a. Walk around the mosque

Enjoy seeing one of the most artistic mosques that you can see in Sierra Leone, you’ll see how diversity in culture makes people in the country respect each other’s belief.

b. Shop at the mosque

Rosaries, ornaments, scarves and a lot more souvenirs are available within the vicinity, there are small shops or peddlers which offer great items for you to bring home.

Driving in Sierra Leone is adventurous and delightful at the same time. It will be helpful if you have your itinerary ready together with your important documents such as your valid driver's license, passport, visa and international driving permit together in one pouch. Remember that your international driver's permit will translate into your local driver's license. In case you lost it, we will ship a replacement just to make sure that you call our customer service and give the necessary information. The international drivers association website is open 24/7 for you.

c. See the animals

Animals within this place are protected, you will be able to check on them and take pictures of them. Make the most out of your visit and see different species living within the Hausa Mosque.

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