Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Sierra Leone

AfricaSierra LeoneHow To Travel Around Sierra Leone

By car

During the civil war, the road system deteriorated. However, there has lately been a significant rebuilding effort, resulting in good road conditions in regional cities such as Bo, Kenema, and Makeni. The road to Kabala is mainly smooth asphalt with a few bad potholes. The road to Kono/Koidu is tarred for three-quarters of the way, but the last quarter is in bad shape. It implies that it takes the same amount of time to travel 3/4 of the distance as it does to traverse the remaining 1/4. The government intends to improve the last stretch.

The peninsular road is excellent from Eastern Freetown to Tokeh while traveling clockwise around the peninsular. Work on the final stretch to Lumley has begun, although it is only complete from Lumley to Sussex as of the beginning of 2016, with the section between No. 2 Beach and Tokeh being virtually inaccessible to all except high-clearance 4WD and motorcycles.

Freetown’s roadways are tough to categorize. The major roads in downtown Freetown are generally smooth and pothole-free, having been built from high-quality asphalt many years ago. Side roadways are often made up of a combination of dirt and gravel, with big projecting stones, deep crevasses, and other hazards. Some of the major feeder roads are in terrible shape. Dual carriageways have been built on Wilkinson Road and Spur Road. The Hillside bypass route is also being built, which will make it much simpler to go from east to west. Regent Road over the highlands, Main Motor Road, Wilberforce, Signal Hill Road, Aberdeen/Sir Samuel Lewis Road, and Lumley Beach Road have all been finished. Because of the current repair work, highways may be blocked and other routes must be utilized.

On important thoroughfares such as Wilkinson Road, street parking is prohibited. This also applies to laybys, where halting is only allowed for a certain amount of time. The local cops use wheel clamps, which may be deployed in a matter of seconds. To be freed, they will need a trip to the local police station with Le300,000.

In the past, driving while inebriated was not always regarded severely. Police now have breathalyzers and will test and prosecute anybody suspected of driving while inebriated.

Keep your eyes forward while walking: most sidewalks in Freetown contain “death traps,” which are missing pieces of cement that may lead to a deadly fall into an open gutter. As a result, most Freetown residents choose to stroll in the street rather than on sidewalks, adding to the city’s traffic congestion.

By Poda-poda

The Sierra Leonean name for the ancient West African bush cab is Poda-poda. Poda-podas, on the other hand, are much less entertaining than your typical bush taxi, reflecting the country’s relative poverty in comparison to the rest of the area. The cars seem to be sewn together with thread, always on the verge of breaking, six passengers for each row of three seats, blasting hip hop going off and on with the application of the gas pedal, never knowing whose sweat it is, never knowing whether it will make it over the next hill. They are, nevertheless, very inexpensive. Intercity travel costs between 1,500 and 2,500 Leones (US$0.50 in 2011), with any journey inside Freetown costing just 1,000 Leones. Shared taxis are somewhat more comfortable, but they’re still crammed to the gills and cost about the same.

By boat

The Sea Coach Express boathouse beneath the Aberdeen-Murray Town bridge in Freetown is delighted to rent the same beautiful speedboats that they use for airport transfers to transport you up and down the Sierra Leone River and along the coast. If you’re traveling with a bigger party, spending $300-400 on a day excursion to the Banana Islands, Bonthe Island, Turtle Islands, or even a random stretch of long-forgotten beach may be well worth it.

By motorbike

A moto-taxi is a highly efficient mode of transportation, offering cheap costs, good mobility on poor roads, and the opportunity to avoid traffic. They are, however, hazardous. When driving on dirt roads, you’ll be coated in dust, and you’ll frequently choke on the debris thrown up by bigger cars. The driver must wear a helmet and have one available to give to the passenger. That’s correct. It’s also against the law today to ride a motorbike with more than two persons on it. So, if you’re riding a bike with three people on it and you get to a vehicle checkpoint, one of them will have to dismount and go through the checkpoint…

Purchasing your own motorbike is perhaps the best way to travel alone. In the dry season, even the roughest roads will be passable, and you won’t have to worry about being carried by inattentive drivers. Be warned that riding a bike in large cities may be hazardous due to the insane traffic, but outside of cities, you should be OK as long as you wear a helmet with a visor to keep dust off your face.