Although Sierra Leone is mostly famous for its bloody civil war, it is now one of the safest countries in Africa and a great place to visit.
Freetown is the economic, political and social heart of the country, boasting more than one million residents and headquarters of all major organisations, government offices, and industry. The best way to get around Freetown is by taxi. Getting from Lungi International Airport to Freetown requires a ride in a helicopter, ferry or hovercraft.
All ACIPP volunteers will be living in the ACIPP Sierra Leone House located in Goderich on the western side of Freetown, close to the beach. One or two interns are placed in a room with shared bathroom facilities. Electricity, running water, and flush-style toilets are all available in the house. Electricity in Freetown tends to only operate for a few hours a day if at all, so charge your electrical appliances when you can. The water needs to be pumped up to the house and running water will only be available sometimes. Otherwise, water will be available in various tanks around the house. Treated water sachets are provided for drinking.
Please be mindful that Sierra Leone is among the poorest countries in the world, and that many things will not be working all the time. Do your research, read blogs and be prepared for a simpler life than the one you’re used to at home. Your general standard of living outside of the house will depend on how much money you bring on the side. Remember that your personal budget should include daily allocations for transport and lunch, and that a meal out in a fancier place can easily cost 10$-20$.
Our House Manager will provide home-cooked breakfast and dinner for the interns. (Lunch is not included as most interns are away during the day). You will have the opportunity to sample traditional Sierra Leonean dishes, and Western-style food is also available. If you have any special dietary requirements (especially allergies), please let the Volunteer Coordinator know immediately.
We offer to arrange lessons in Krio, the local creole language spoken by almost everyone in Sierra Leone. The lessons are given by Mr. Frederic Jones from the institute of Sierra Leonean languages, who has years of experience teaching Krio, including to foreigners. If you would like to take classes, please indicate this in the pre-arrival survey that we’ll send you, or contact a staff member once you’re in-country.
In Sierra Leone, simple landing permits are valid for a single entry anytime within three months and for stays of up to one month, and they are often the cheapest option to enter Sierra Leone. Our local staff in Sierra Leone can get one for you for the cost of 60 Dollars. NOTE: This doesn’t apply to US citizens, who are always required to pay around 150$ for a visa. Visas are also available through the Sierra Leonean Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. To apply for a visitor visa use your ACIPP-Sierra Leone acceptance letter.
You can apply for extensions, multiple-entry and business visas in Freetown or through the relevant High Commission or Embassy. At the airport, you will be given a stamp granting permission to stay up to 30 days in the country, and you will have to apply for an extension after that time. For stays that last up to three month, this will cost you about 14 Dollars per month. If you stay longer, you will have to apply for a residence permit, which costs about 100 Dollars. We recommend that interns do not plan any international (regional) excursions or weekend trips until they receive their visa. If you have a single entry visa or a landing permit, this means you must not leave Sierra Leone for the duration of your internship. It is important that interns submit their application one month prior to their scheduled trip.
If you decide to apply for a visa, list Sossah-Tsike Eyram Simon and Sonia Sillah, your Intern Coordinator, as your hosts, and use the ACIPP-Sierra Leone address and telephone number:
ACIPP Sierra Leone,
7, Kapu Drive
0232 76 575 289