Tips for a great trip
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 17, 2013 11:10 PM Last Post By: Hemis
Aug 3, 2013 2:04 PM
Tips for a great tripThe best way to get around, especially if you travel alone is by motorbike-taxi. Be aware that you pay more than locals but here it is for a reason. All police check-points will find things which are not ok on your driver’s bike and will demand high bribes from him at any stop because he drives a White Guy. Even if questioned they just smile or are unfriendly and tell you – that’s the way it is. But while not the safest, it is for sure the fastest option to get anywhere.
Tiwai Island was nice to visit and the present helper of the Management a white guy called Tom Armitt, Cell + 232 (0)79 546 053. Email email@example.com does his best to help guests with advice on trails to walk and animals to see and helps the local projects in the area as well. I stayed in another “community hotel” in a neighboring village with leaf filled mattresses and had a look at a festival they have organized for prophet Mmd’s birthday. Be aware that if you make agreements for a motorcycle to pick you up at the end of your stay at Tiwai island you may have to renegotiate the fare or rest some more time until a new driver is found.
The ex-blood diamond fields of Tongo are an easy but long day-visit by motor-bike taxi, best found in Kenema. I accidently run into a new diamond mine owned by a Holding which will start working soon and was told that this will be one of the 10 most lucrative Kimberlite Pipes in the world (according to the tests they have done in the last years). Whatever you do – I wouldn’t recommend the night bus to Freetown. Not only races the driver down the road for nothing as you are likely to arrive around 4am in the morning and have to wait in the bus for at least an hour or take a taxi to your place but also because it is virtually impossible to close your eyes due to very loud music and films which run all night.
Freetown finally was nice to be, the re-elected President made yet another party and later there was the re-election day at the sports stadium- Kind of funny to see the staged show. The beaches out of town are stunning to see. My favourites are Kent, Bureh, John Obey und River No 2 which all could be seen in one day if you have your own transport.
Aug 3, 2013 3:20 PM
Aug 18, 2013 6:59 AM
2Things seem to have changed a little on Tiwai Island since the time I visited and was left alone on the island for most of my stay.
I found in Sierra Leone that if I bargained too hard for a motorbike-taxi trip, I'd end up on a bike that was constantly breaking down and a driver who'd regularly crash the bike. Pay a little more, and I'd end up on a better bike with a better driver.
I was in Sierra Leone during the elections of 2007, and one day after the new government had been declared the winners, I went through a police checkpoint on a motor-bike taxi. The police made various complaints about the driver, indicating they wanted money from him on his return trip after he'd dropped me off and been paid. The driver gave a lengthy speech about how the new government was going to change things, and Sierra Leone was going to be different from now on; it was a thinly veiled criticism of the police's corruption. Sadly though, the driver seems to have been rather too optimistic...
Aug 26, 2013 6:27 AM
Sep 17, 2013 11:10 PM
4That probably depends on where you went. In countries like Sierra Leone nothing changes fast and the president, whom I met twice is in for a 2nd term :-) However, I came from the Liberian Border and went from Kenema to the infamous ex-Tongo Fields. Very unluckly that this has changed. Than again in Freetown I never faced any problems either.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$165.00 per night