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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 9 Nov 2003
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Sierra Leone Update

Just got back from a week in Sierra Leone (work related, not with my bike) - things are very much back to normal there, no security problems either in the city (Freetown) or out in the country (I was in about 4 villages in all parts of the country).

Kids are well fed, fuel is available everywhere, massive UN presence in Freetown, restaurants and hotels are open again. The US dollar is freely convertable everywhere.

Stay well away from Liberia (next door), things are going downhill there, plus, there is quite a difference in culture between the two countries - the people in Sierra Leone tend to be quite laid back and easy to get along with, the people in Liberia (during the best of times) are a bit like people from New York City.

PanEuropean

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 09 November 2003).]
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  #2  
Old 3 Jul 2004
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It's nice to hear things have calmed down in SL, I worked there for 2 years at the end of the 80's and loved the place.
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Old 15 Aug 2004
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Hi,

We are planning a trip round north africa starting this coming November. We will start in morocco and go siuth along the coast, Is Sierra Loeone sfae to travell thrpugh or is it best avoided. I have heard that it is a lovely place with plantly to see to make it worth while vistiting bit not if it is to dangerous. There are 4 of us dahring the 1 vehicle a LWB land rover would this be ok or would it be safter to meet up with others and travel as a larger group?


Quote:
Originally posted by PanEuropean:
Just got back from a week in Sierra Leone (work related, not with my bike) - things are very much back to normal there, no security problems either in the city (Freetown) or out in the country (I was in about 4 villages in all parts of the country).

Kids are well fed, fuel is available everywhere, massive UN presence in Freetown, restaurants and hotels are open again. The US dollar is freely convertable everywhere.

Stay well away from Liberia (next door), things are going downhill there, plus, there is quite a difference in culture between the two countries - the people in Sierra Leone tend to be quite laid back and easy to get along with, the people in Liberia (during the best of times) are a bit like people from New York City.

PanEuropean

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 09 November 2003).]
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  #4  
Old 17 Sep 2004
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Babsickle:

My own opinion of SL is that the people there are generally pretty nice, not disposed towards violence or robbery, and it is overall one of the better countries in Africa. This opinion is based on the many trips I have made there for work, and lots of discussion with friends and co-workers who have lived or presently live in SL.

I don't think you need to "avoid" SL - if anything, it's one of the least stressful countries to be in, although the country doesn't have much going for it - it's not exactly a tourist destination.

You need to be mindful of the fact that the people there are generally very poor, even though they are honest and pleasant by nature. I don't think you need to go to the trouble of travelling in a group, simply use your own common sense - travel by daylight, avoid looking too wealthy, if you see an area you think you should stay out of, stay out of it, etc. In other words, take the same precautions you would if you were in an unfamiliar and poor area of England or America.

The real question you need to ask yourself is where you plan to go after SL. I would NOT recommend going into Liberia - that country has serious problems that are getting worse, not better (at least SL is improving, not going downhill). No way in heck I would ever drive through Liberia, even if it was in a tank. As you continue to progress east along the Gulf of Guinea, things generally get worse, so far as personal security is concerned - Ivory Coast has troubles, and don't even think of going to Nigeria. Ghana is about the only nice place east of Sierra Leone, at least, until you reach the Maldives.

PanEuropean
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