Outamba-Kilimi National Park

About 300km north of Freetown, Outamba-Kilimi is a magical place, a mixture of jungle and savannah embedded between two hippo-filled rivers, and home to nine species of primate, pygmy hippo, and reputedly, leopard. While it doesn't match the grandeur of East Africa's parks and reserves, there are more gentle pleasures to be had here, such as searching for elusive forest elephants or gliding down the river listening to the chatter of monkeys and birds in the overhanging trees.

Despite its protected status, problems with poaching, illegal logging and small-scale mining persist, though you're unlikely to notice it's ramifications during your visit.