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Sierra Leone

Money & costs

Money

The most easily exchangeable currencies are US dollars, UK pounds and euros. Large denominations get the best rates. You can’t pay with a credit card anywhere in Sierra Leone, but some Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Rokel Bank branches give cash advances on Visa cards. The handful of ATMs in the capital only work if you have a local bank account.

Forex bureaus (and street traders, though you should avoid them unless you have a friend make the introduction) offer better rates than banks for cash and take travellers cheques for about 10% less than cash. There are banks and forex bureaus in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and a few smaller upcountry towns, but you’ll get better rates in Freetown.

One hundred Leones is a ‘block’ and one thousand is a ‘grand’.