Sierra Leone Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia, Africa and parts of South America where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.
Driving in Sierra Leone
Roads in Freetown are paved but will have many pot holes. The main roads between Freetown and Kenema and Makeni are paved and in good condition.The peninsula highway between Waterloo and Tokeh is also in good condition. The road to the Guinea border at Pamelap is being improved currently. Apart from these roads, surfaces will be poor, particularly after rain and a 4WD vehicle will be needed. Vehicles on the roads will be in poor condition and will be badly lit at night. Travelling after dark isn’t recommended especially outside Freetown. There are occasional unauthorized, possibly armed, roadblocks outside Freetown, where travellers might be asked to pay a bribe to proceed. Drivers often have had no formal training and consequently driving standards are poor. Accidents are common, particularly outside Freetown where traffic is lighter and consequently speeds are higher. You should drive defensively at all times and expect the unexpected…if you manage to locate a self drive car.
Sierra Leone Car Rental
None of the big companies operate in Sierra Leone and I haven’t managed to find a company offering self drive, though my understanding is that self drive is possible…its just finding a company who offers it. I’ve been told that most companies see self drive as too big a risk. As one contact told me ‘if they know you well and know you are a good driver, its Okay. If they don’t know you they make you take a driver’. Someone else told me that its sometimes possible to rent a self drive car If you ask the companies in person when in Freetown. National Car Hire at the Solar Hotel were recommended as a company who will allow this ‘unofficially’.
This company said they may be able to help arrange self drive rental dependent on getting insurance for a vehicle. I only have an email address unfortunately-
If anyone manages to rent a self drive car in Sierra Leone please let me know.
This company is worth a mention –they offer cars with driver and all proceeds go to the St George Foundation who help street children in Freetown.