Freetown, Sierra Leone

Adventurers stop for onward Visas. Reminders of the recent violence are fading in Sierra Leone’s capital, but evidence of its growing-pains is never far away. Traffic jams last from morning until night, the local government seems to have largely given up on rubbish collection, and there hasn’t been reliable power since the 1980s.

But, despite the difficulties, Freetown feels less threatening than other large West African cities, and the beautiful setting compensates for the chaos. Besides, if you spend all your time in the tourist-focused Lumley and Aberdeen areas you’ll rarely encounter these problems. But if you do head into the heart of town to explore the vibrant markets and varied historical sights, you’ll soon find there’s more to the city than initially meets the eye. Freetown is filthy and frantic, but you can’t help loving it.

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