There are many excellent beaches in Sierra Leone. Freetown Peninsula is home to beautiful, pristine and well serviced beaches, but the nearby Banana Islands and Turtle Islands are certainly home to other beaches you can enjoy, too.
Curious to discover the best beaches in Sierra Leone? Continue reading!
8 Fabulous Beaches In Sierra Leone
Big Sand Beach, Dublin Island
Dublin Islands is one of the Banana Islands, and a great place for a day trip out of Freetown. Once used by English slave traders and – when slavery was finally abolished – a place where former slave returnees from North America and the West Indies settled, together with Ricketts (to which it is connected by a causeway) Dublin Island is home to a small, interesting village; a good guesthouse (more of a glamping site, really) complete with a nice restaurant; and a couple of nice beaches.
Big Sand Beach is by far the best. Go there to relax in the sun, find shade under a palm tree, swim, snorkel and dive. You can even contract a boat to go fishing, if you want!
Make sure to read my post A Short Guide To Freetown.
Bureh Beach, Freetown
One of the most popular beaches in Freetown, on the southern side of Freetown Peninsula, it’s got one of the best surfs in the country (though you are better off keeping your expectations low!), and it’s home to Bureh Beach Surf Club, founded by Shane O’Connor, an Irish man who created the surf club from scratch with the help of the local community and funds and equipment mostly coming from donations.
The beach is backed by the mountains and fringed by palm trees. You will find a couple of good fish restaurants, serving fish caught daily by the local community of fishermen.
Lakka Beach, Freetown
Located in the Freetown Peninsula, about 17 km (10 miles) from Freetown, Lakka is a small coastal town home to one of the best beaches in Sierra Leone. The golden sand is great for a walk, and the derelict buildings right on the beach are fun to photograph. The beach could do with a bit more cleaning – but it’s generally good. You will find a couple of good seafood restaurants too.
Levuma Beach, Freetown
Probably the busiest beach in Freetown, Levuma is a nice, long sandy beach, clean for the most part. The large pavement is a nice place to run along; and located on the beach you will find many hotels and some excellent restaurants. There’s a volleyball field and even a market. It’s a major nightlife hotspot at the weekend – expect blasting music, lots of traffic and noise. It’s an overall fun place to be!
Tokeh Beach, Freetown
Tokeh Beach is where you will find The Place – probably the best resort in Freetown, located directly on the beach. About one hour drive from the actual city, this is a nice beach with fine, white sand – a place loved by both tourists and locals. You will find lots of bars and restaurants, a food market, and boats to take you to the nearby Tokeh Island. It’s a 20 minutes walk to River Number 1 beach – which is on the other side of the lagoon.
River Number 2 Beach, Freetown
Of all the beaches in Freetown, River Number 2 is by far the best. Easy to reach from Tokeh Beach (they are located on different sides of the same lagoon), it boasts incredibly fine, white sand and transparent azure waters perfect for a swim.
The beach is managed by the local community, who does a great job at keeping it clean. There is a $0.50 access fee to get in. You will find a large parking lot; a good beach-side restaurant; chairs, loungers and umbrellas and even a small, modest but comfortable guesthouse. There even is a tourist market to pick up some souvenirs to bring home.
Sussex Beach, Freetown
Also referred to as Hamilton Beach, Sussex beach is few km north of River Number 2 Beach, and is considered one of the best beaches in Freetown. It’s a popular spot with both locals and tourists – who make use of the diving club and particularly enjoy the restaurant founded by late Italian Franco and his wife Florence at the end of the 1960s.
The salt water lagoon, surrounded by mangroves and home to an ancient cotton tree, is where locals hang out – usually after returning from a fishing trip. It’s a great spot for sunset too.
The very remote archipelago of Turtle Islands is made of eight small islands west of the Sherbro Island, on the Atlantic coast of Sierra Leone. Getting there from Freetown is a real hassle: it’s a full day of travel including a 6 hours car ride to the small harbor of Yagoi and a boat ride of about 3.5 hours depending on the sea conditions.
The islands aren’t yet prepared to receive tourists: you will find nothing more than a shed with no running water and electricity, and nowhere to eat (or cook) – so make sure to bring your own tent (complete with rain cover) and everything you need to prepare a meal.
Given the circumstances, why should you consider going to the Turtle Islands then?
This is a place where you can really disconnect! Picture fine, white sand beaches fringed by a thick forest of palm trees and mangroves; very calm and warm waters that are perfect to swim and snorkel (you’ll have to bring your snorkeling gear though) and the feeling of remoteness that only a few places in the world still give you. You can also hop on a boat to one of the many sand bars and – if you are lucky – spot dolphins along the way.
Check out my posts The Best Things To Do In Sierra Leone and What You Need To Know Before Visiting Sierra Leone.
Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Tourism Board of Sierra Leone as part of the #explorefreedom campaign. The views expressed in this post remain my own.