Area: 71,740 sq km
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Population: 5,363,669 (July 2011 est.)
Languages: English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the sou
Government type: constitutional democracy
Independence Day: 27 April 1961 (from the UK)
Currency: Leones (SLL)
GDP: $4.812 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $900 (2010 est.)
Information for Foreign Students in Sierra Leone
Obtaining a Visa
Since visa requirements are different according to the departure country, we highly advise travelers to contact the embassy or to go on its website. Here is a direct link for visa applications:
Link for hotels: http://www.visitsierraleone.org/Hotel-Reviews.html
Link for rental homes: http://www.visitsierraleone.org/Real-Estate/Real-Estate-Property-and-Accommodation.html
Comprehensive travel insurance is advised, which includes emergency evacuation.
All travellers arriving from a yellow fever area are required to hold a vaccination certificate, but yellow fever is a risk throughout the country and immunization is recommended for all visitors. Other recommended vaccinations include Hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies and polio. Malaria and dengue fever are high risks and precautions against mosquito bites are advised, as well as prophylaxis for malaria, which occurs throughout the year. Travellers should bring adequate supplies of personal medication to the country, as supplies are often not available in pharmacies. Medical care is limited in Freetown and almost non-existent elsewhere. An emergency hospital is located near Freetown, but the bad road makes it difficult to get there; there is no ambulance service in the country.
Credit cards (Visa only) are accepted in some shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants in Freetown. Cash machines are rare: indeed, there are a number of ATMs (Visa only) in Freetown with limited others in other major centres such as Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Koidu. Travellers cheques are generally not recommended as opportunities to cash them are limited, but they can be exchanged at a number of banks.
A bus network exists, as well as cars renting agencies. Tourists can also travel by taxi or private bus, or can rent a car.