Sierra Leone Advice

Sierra Leone is a West African country bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. It lies between latitudes 6° and 10°N and longitudes 10° and 14°W, covering an area of approximately 71,740 square kilometers (27,699 square miles).



Sierra Leone has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to October and the dry season from November to April. The country receives heavy rainfall during the wet season, which supports lush vegetation and agriculture.


The country’s diverse ecosystems are home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, chimpanzees, leopards, and various species of birds. Sierra Leone’s national parks, such as Outamba-Kilimi National Park and Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, offer opportunities for wildlife viewing and conservation.

Longest Rivers

The two longest rivers in Sierra Leone are the Rokel and the Sewa. The Rokel River, also known as the Seli River, flows for approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) through the northern part of the country, while the Sewa River runs for about 260 kilometers (162 miles) in the southern region.

Highest Mountains

The highest peak in Sierra Leone is Mount Bintumani, located in the Loma Mountains in the northeastern part of the country. It stands at an elevation of 1,948 meters (6,391 feet) above sea level and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.



The earliest inhabitants of Sierra Leone were hunter-gatherer societies dating back thousands of years. Around 1000 BCE, agricultural communities began to emerge, cultivating crops such as rice, millet, and sorghum. The region later became a center of trade and commerce, attracting Arab and European merchants.

Colonial Era

Sierra Leone became a British colony in 1808 after the British abolished the transatlantic slave trade. Freetown, the capital city, was established as a settlement for freed slaves and became a hub for British missionary and colonial activities. The British developed the colony’s infrastructure and introduced Christianity and Western education.

Independence and Civil War

Sierra Leone gained independence from Britain on April 27, 1961. However, political instability, corruption, and ethnic tensions plagued the young nation. In 1991, a civil war erupted, lasting until 2002 and resulting in widespread devastation and loss of life. The war left deep scars on Sierra Leone’s society and economy.

Recent Developments

Since the end of the civil war, Sierra Leone has made progress in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening democratic institutions, and promoting economic development. However, challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and healthcare remain significant concerns for the government and the people of Sierra Leone.



Sierra Leone has a population of approximately 8.1 million people, according to the latest estimates. The population is diverse, comprising various ethnic groups, including the Temne, Mende, Limba, and Krio. The majority of Sierra Leoneans are Muslims or Christians, with Islam being the largest religion.

Ethnicity and Language

The Temne and Mende are the largest ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, accounting for a significant portion of the population. The Krio language, a Creole language derived from English and African languages, is widely spoken, particularly in urban areas. English is the official language and is used in government, education, and the media.


Islam and Christianity are the predominant religions in Sierra Leone, with Muslims making up about 78% of the population and Christians accounting for approximately 20%. Traditional African religions also have a presence in the country, particularly in rural areas.

Administrative Divisions and Population

Sierra Leone is divided into four administrative regions, each further subdivided into districts. Here are the first-level administrative divisions along with their populations:

  1. Eastern Province – Population: 2,076,245
  2. Northern Province – Population: 1,972,608
  3. Southern Province – Population: 2,632,791
  4. Western Area – Population: 2,142,942

10 Largest Cities by Population

  1. Freetown (Capital)
  2. Bo
  3. Kenema
  4. Koidu
  5. Makeni
  6. Kabala
  7. Port Loko
  8. Bonthe
  9. Moyamba
  10. Kailahun

Education Systems

Free Education

Education in Sierra Leone is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 12. The government has made efforts to improve access to education, particularly in rural areas. The country has several universities and colleges, including Fourah Bay College, Njala University, and the University of Sierra Leone.



Sierra Leone has several airports, with Lungi International Airport near Freetown being the main gateway to the country. Other airports include Kenema Airport, Bo Airport, and Hastings Airport.


The Port of Freetown is the largest and busiest port in Sierra Leone, handling the majority of the country’s maritime trade. Other major ports include the Port of Pepel and the Port of Niti.

Country Facts

  • Population: 8.1 million
  • Capital: Freetown
  • Official Language: English
  • Religion: Islam (predominantly), Christianity
  • Currency: Sierra Leonean Leone (SLL)
  • ISO Country Code: SL
  • International Calling Code: +232
  • Top-Level Domain: .sl