Facts to assist you while travelling to Sierra Leone.


Sierra Leone population

  • 4 million people.

Capital and Largest City

  • Freetown.

Official Language(s)

  • English.


  • Leone.

Office Hours

  • 08:00 – 16:00.


  • Saturday – Sunday.

Time Zone

  • UTC.

Calling Code

  • +232.


  • If a service charge is not included in the bill a tip of 10% is acceptable.


  • Most countries are represented by embassies or consulates located in the capital city.


  • Julius Maada Wonie Bio is a Sierra Leonean politician, and the current president of Sierra Leone since 4 April 2018.


  • The climate of Sierra Leone is tropical. Although it could technically be classified as a tropical monsoon climate, it could also be described as a climate that is transitional between a continually wet tropical rainforest climate and a tropical savanna climate. There are two seasons. The dry season lasts from November to May, and the rainy season lasts from June to October. Average rainfall is highest at the coast, 3000–5000 mm per year, but precipitation decreases as you move further inland.


  • The main airport in Sierra Leone is the Lungi International Airport, located in Lungi. The country does not share rail links with adjacent countries. Because of widespread poverty, high petroleum prices and a large portion of the population residing in small communities, walking is often the preferred method of transportation in Sierra Leone. Major ports of Sierra Leone include Bonthe, Freetown, Pepel, and Queen Elizabeth II Quay.


  • Sierra Leone’s main industries include diamonds mining, small-scale manufacturing (cigarettes, beverages, textiles, footwear), petroleum refining, and commercial ship repair.


  • Sierra Leoneans are extremely polite and manner conscious. Locals give lots of attention to one’s neatness of dress and style of presentation, especially in urban areas. Courteous and eloquent greetings are important in their society. Elders are always respected. People in Sierra Leone are also generous, especially towards their guests. A “good” host is always a generous host. It is polite for guests to leave some food on the plate, thanking the host profusely for his or her generosity.


  • Greetings in Sierra Leone vary according to ethnic group. In Krio, Hello is ”Kushe”. In Mende, it is ”Bua”, and in Temne it is ”Seke”.


  • The Leone is the official currency of Sierra Leone. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Leone is abbreviated as ‘’Le’’ placed before the amount.


  • People in Sierra Leone drive on the right side of the road. The minimum age for citizens to drive a car is 18. Driving under influence in Sierra Leone is taken seriously, so make sure to abide by the local rules of the road. The maximum allowed speed limit is 70 km/h on urban roads. Children who are younger than 5 years are prohibited to be in the front seat of a moving vehicle.


  • Due to the high levels of poverty in Sierra Leone, it is not the safest country to travel to. Visitors face a high risk of pick pocketing and theft. It is best to treat crowded places with caution, and avoid other places entirely, if possible. Nightclubs and bars are typically hotspots for criminals, muggers, pickpockets, and prostitutes. Sierra Leone is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa. Although the seas close to the beach are generally safe for experienced swimmers, there has been a number of reported cases of drowning due to strong currents.


  • The two largest ethnic groups residing in the country are the Temne and Mende. Other ethnic communities in the country include the Limba, Kono, Loko, Fullah, Mandingo, and other smaller groups. While English is the country’s official language, the Mende and the Temne are the principal vernacular languages spoken in the south and north of the country. Krio is an English-based Creole language is a first language for only 10% of the population. However, this unique language is understood by nearly the entire population. Most of Sierra Leone’s population is Muslim, with the approximate percentage nearing a whopping 78.6%. They coexist with a smaller group of Christians, who account for about 20.8% of the population.


  • Sierra Leone has numerous stores, shopping centres, and malls that are modern like that of those in western countries, especially in its capital city. Therefore, shopping and entertainment should be no hassle. Sierra Leone also has some online shopping options.


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Lynn Mackenzie, our Immigration Lead, recently had the privilege of interviewing Ola Alokolaro, from Advocaat Law, about Cameroon and Sierra Leone’s immigration landscape. To listen to Lynn and Ola’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.
Ola’s bio Ola Alokolaro is a Senior Partner with Advocaat Law Practice. He studied at the University of Buckingham, England, UK, and holds a master’s degree in Natural Resources Law and Policy from the (Centre for Energy Petroleum Mineral Law and Policy) University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. He has attended several continuing education courses such as The Law firm Partner as Leader at the Cambridge Judge Business School University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, and the Nigerian Gas Association. With over twenty years’ experience, Ola advises multinational and indigenous companies on foreign investment law and public policy in Nigeria and other West Africa countries.   He has written several papers which have been published notable amongst which are, “Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the Solid Minerals sector In Nigeria”; “Co-joined twins- Consolidation in the Oil and Gas industry through Mergers and Acquisitions”; “Treasure Trove -Financing the solid minerals sector in Nigeria”; and “Contracting Issues Under the Emerging Electricity Supply Industry in Nigeria”. We would like to say a huge thank you to Ola for his insights. We hope you enjoy the recording. For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240. Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].