Join me on an epic adventure to Sierra Leone and make a massive difference to children worldwide by fundraising to provide the most vulnerable kids access to universal education! I guarantee you it will be a trip of a lifetime!

Sierra Leone is the perfect introduction to West Africa. 20 years after the bloody civil war ended, Sierra Leone is now one of the safest countries in the region, making it the ideal spot for intrepid travellers to explore one of the lesser visited countries in the world!

I’m looking for individuals who are prepared to step outside their comfort zone. There is no doubt that Sierra Leone is a beautiful country with some of the kindest people you will meet anywhere. However, Sierra Leone is also the 5th poorest country in the world. There is no well-oiled tourist infrastructure here, so you will definitely need a sense of adventure!

What can I expect from this Sierra Leone trip?

A group of Sierra Leonean kids in torn clothes pose for the camera

During this trip, we will immerse ourselves in the Sierra Leonean culture by embracing their traditions, tasting their cuisine, and enjoying the company of locals. We will also learn about Sierra Leone’s colonial past and the transatlantic slave trade by visiting the site where more than 30,000 enslaved people started their journey west. The highlight of the trip however, will be the 5 days we spend with Street Child, a charity committed to providing universal education in the toughest countries around the world. We will see first-hand the fantastic work they are doing and will get the chance to meet the beneficiaries of their work before taking on our very own challenge: the Street Child Marathon! (other distances are also available!). Finally, after an action-packed 10 days, we will finish our Sierra Leone trip chilling on the beach!

One of Sierra Leones many pristine beaches! A highlight of the trip!

I am sure Sierra Leone will steal a piece of your heart just like it did with me. It won’t be an easy 14 days. In fact, it will likely be a rollercoaster of emotions as you witness people living in some of the most challenging conditions. But at the same time, you will meet some truly inspiring individuals too. I have no doubt that this trip will have a profound impact on you. I am only opening up 5 spots, so please don’t wait, get in touch now and let’s get you booked in!

Itinerary

Day 1: Travel Day

  • Say goodbye to everything you know and jump on a plane for the adventure of your life.
  • I’ll meet you at Lungi Airport, and together we will tackle our first adventure: taking the boat from the airport to Freetown, where our hosts for the night will meet us to take us to the hotel. Last time the door fell off the boat! I said it would be an adventure!
  • Stay the night at The Stafford Lodge with Dori and her fantastic team.
  • Dinner included.

Day 2: Freetown

A brilliant mural in Freetown depicting two best friends, one Muslim and one Christian
  • Today we will explore Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. We will visit the old colonial quarters to learn about Sierra Leone’s complicated history before embarking on an exciting ke-ke (tuk-tuk) tour of the city. We will mingle with locals in the market and have the chance to try local food.
  • But don’t eat too much! We will be making our own lunch (Cassava Leaf curry) under the watchful instruction of The Stafford Lodge’s head chef!
  • If the weather is nice, we will walk up Leicester Peak to enjoy the sunset over Freetown Harbour.
  • Stay at The Stafford Lodge.
  • Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 3: Bunce Island

Remains of the old castle in Bunce Island from where over 30,000 enslaved people started their journeys to the Americas
Photo from CNN © Matthew Oldfield
  • Today we will go on a day trip to Bunce Island, the launching pad for more than 30,000 enslaved people that were taken across the Atlantic.
  • After a harrowing morning, we will enjoy lunch on Tasso Island.
  • I have also arranged for us to meet with and hear first-hand the story of a civil war survivor, who will explain what the civil war was all about and what it was like to live through it.
  • Stay at the Stafford Lodge
  • Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 4: Chimpanzees!

Chimpanzee pulling a face. Visiting Tacugama is always a highlight of any trip to Sierra Leone
  • This morning we will visit Tacugama, an amazing chimpanzee rehabilitation centre, where we will learn about their fantastic work in conserving chimpanzees. If we are lucky, we will also get the chance to see these magnificent primates up close.
  • After lunch, we will get back on the boat to head over to Lungi, where we will make our way to Lungi Gateway Hotel to wait for the rest of the Street Child marathon runners to arrive.
  • If time allows, we will take a walk on the beach. Unfortunately, this is not one of Sierra Leone’s pristine white sand beaches, but instead a reminder of why it is so vital that we reduce the use of single-use plastic!
  • Stay at the Lungi Gateway Hotel
  • Breakfast and dinner included

Day 5: Travel to Makeni

One of the Street Child workers shared information with us as part of the briefing
Photo courtesy of Street Child
  • Today our Street Child portion of the trip commences.
  • We will travel to Makeni for the in-country briefing. We will learn first-hand what exceptional work Street Child is doing.
  • We will enjoy dinner, alongside evening activities, with the rest of the Street Child runners.
  • Where you stay will depend on the package you choose
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

Day 6: Rural Visits

One of the marathon runners sits with kids at school. They are all smiling, potentially even playing a game!
Photo courtesy of Street Child
  • Today we will visit a rural school where we will have the chance to meet and interact with the children benefitting from the money that all the runners (and you!) will have fundraised for Street Child.
  • You will once again stay in the same Makeni hotel
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

Day 7: Urban visits

Amputee grandmother holding a cute baby
  • This was by far my favourite day: learning how Street Child uses business grants to provide sustainable income to families so they can take charge of their own future. We met so many inspiring people this day, and I know that it will forever remain etched in my memory! You can read all about my experience with Street Child here.
  • You will once again stay in the same Makeni hotel
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

Day 8: Cultural Workshops and Amputee football

Two amputee football players hug
  • Choose what workshops you want to join and immerse yourself in the Sierra Leonean culture. Maybe you want to learn some dance moves, or perhaps you want to improve your krio!
  • In the afternoon we will watch an amputee football match. I don’t like football, yet I found this game incredible. I was left in awe at what the players were able to achieve!
  • You will once again stay in the same Makeni hotel
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

Day 9: Marathon Day!

Marathon runner greets local kids who have run out to cheer him on!
Photo courtesy of Street Child
  • The Street Child week revolves around the marathon, one of Street Childs’ flagship fundraisers. If you don’t think a marathon is for you, then fear not; you can also run or walk a half marathon, 10 km, or 5km. And if you don’t think that is for you either, then why not simply cheer the runners on. Whatever role you play, I guarantee it will be a special day!
  • Tonight is party night! Well… sedate party night. We will, after all, have just run a marathon!
  • You will once again stay in the same Makeni hotel
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

Day 10: Chilling by the beach

  • After the efforts of yesterday, today is a chill day! We will travel to Tokeh beach where we will simply relax. Find a lounger, enjoy a siesta, or bob up and down in the warm sea.
  • If you feel like you need to stretch your legs, then maybe you’d like to join the locals for a game of beach football or even take a stroll through the village of Tokeh. One of the local kids will no doubt offer to be your guide!
  • You will stay in a lovely beachfront hotel
  • Breakfast and dinner included

Day 11: Another chill day

Beautiful sunset
  • Relax. Not only will your legs be tired, but I have no doubt that there will be 100 thoughts going through your mind. Take the time to absorb everything that you have seen. Sierra Leone is a trip that will take time to process. After all, I am sure Sierra Leone will be a life-changing trip!
  • You will once again stay in a lovely beachfront hotel
  • Breakfast included

Day 12: Banana Island

  • We will wave goodbye to our newfound family and embark on our final adventure: Banana Island. Here you can continue relaxing or choose to be a little more adventurous by hiring a kayak or going for a snorkel.
  • If you are feeling very wrinkly from too many hours spent in the water already, then you can also choose to go for a guided walk or simply take the time to meet and converse with the local fishermen.
  • Stay at Daltons Banana Guest House
  • Breakfast included

Day 13: Time to go home

  • After our final morning enjoying the island, it is time to make our way to the airport for our overnight flight home.

How much does this Sierra Leone trip cost?

The total cost of the trip is £1,499 per person. 

This includes:

  • All accommodation as noted above. Please note you do have the choice to upgrade your hotels for an extra cost when in Makeni.
  • All the meals stated above
  • Expert local guide
  • All transport
  • Every visit, entry ticket, and activity listed above are included
  • 1t of CO2e emissions offset through Carbon Footprint. We have estimated that this trip to Sierra Leone will generate 883.12kg of CO2e.

In addition, during the time we spend with Street Child, you will also benefit from:

  • Clean drinking water throughout the trip, including electrolytes on race day
  • Expert expedition medical team
  • Race entry, race medal, and a very special race vest!
  • Full support team
  • Expert fundraising advice

What isn’t included:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (it is a prerequisite that you have appropriate insurance for the trip)
  • VISA
  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Additional activities at Tokeh and Banana Islands (such as the cost of hiring snorkelling or kayak equipment)
  • To take part in the Street Child event, you need to commit to fundraising a minimum of £1,000.

This sounds epic! How do I sign up?

Great news! So excited that you want to join me. Please drop me an email at bea@bea-adventurous.com, and let’s take it from there.

I still have some more questions!

This is going to be a life-changing trip, so it is only normal for you to have lots of questions. Below you will find those most frequently asked! But if you still have more, please don’t hesitate to reach out on bea@bea-adventurous.com or come and find me on Instagram.

This Sierra Leone trip sounds epic, but I’m not a runner, and I’m not sure I want to run?

Runners come in all shape and sizes, and the ladies from the Too Fat To Run showed us all that when there is a will there is a way!
The wonderful ladies from the Too Fat to Run crew

I’ll let you into a little secret…. I hate running! Yet, for some crazy reason, I’ve signed up for my second marathon! The days we spend with Street Child are so much more than the marathon itself, and honestly, what you learn during those days with Street Child will completely transform the trip. If you are reading my page, it’s because you are undoubtedly a kindred spirit who likes connecting with locals and seeing first-hand what a place is really like. That is what spending time with Street Child allows you to do in a way we just wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

But the good news is that you don’t have to run! However, doing a physical challenge does help motivate people to donate, so I would definitely encourage you to pick one of the distances to either run or walk. You can choose between 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon. You might surprise yourself! I never thought I could run a marathon, and I did! (Well, I walked quite a bit of it!).

If you are looking for a training plan then I highly recommend Coopah Running.

Pete Coopah giving a much deserved hug to two finishers
Coopah Running App founder Pete Coopah hugging two finishers

Have a read of my Marathon post. That should give you a good idea of what to expect!

I’ve never raised money before, and I’m worried I won’t be able to raise £1,000. What happens if I don’t?

Fundraising can be a lot of fun, and so long as you approach it with a can-do attitude, I have no doubt that you will succeed. For starters, Street Child has a fantastic team that will be on hand to support you and provide you with loads of ideas. Of course, I will also support you in any way I can. But honestly, as soon as you start sharing Street Child’s incredible work, people will want to help. I really don’t think raising £1,000 will be a challenge.

Is Sierra Leone safe?

I cover this question in a lot more depth in my Sierra Leone Guide. However, the short answer is yes, as long as you are sensible. I experienced nothing but kindness when I was there. Still, it’s worth remembering that Sierra Leone is one of the world’s poorest countries; therefore, foreigners can be seen as targets for opportunistic theft. Your iPhone is worth more than most people’s annual salary! We will always be accompanied by a local guide, who will help us interact with locals to ensure we have the best possible experience. The most dangerous thing in Sierra Leone is actually driving at night, which is why we won’t be making any long journeys after dark.

Do I need a VISA for Sierra Leone?

 Most countries require a VISA to visit Sierra Leone. I recommend you visit the government website to check your eligibility. For British participants, you can obtain a VISA in person or by post from the Sierra Leone High Commission in London. You can also get a VISA upon landing ($80) or use an in-country fixer to obtain it for you ($100). I will provide you with more details once you have signed up.

When do I need to pay you?

I will actually ask you to book the Street Child portion of the trip directly with them. They require a £100 deposit when booking with the remainder of the funds (£577) due 60 days after. You can book with them here.

To confirm the booking with me, I am only asking for a £50 deposit at the time of booking. The remaining £772 will be due by the 31st of January 2023.

I really want to come, but I don’t think I can afford it!

If you want to explore Sierra Leone but can’t afford the whole two-week trip, please consider coming just for the Street Child portion of the tour. I promise you, it will not disappoint! Equally, if you want to join me for the pre-Street Child activities (Days 1 to 4) or the post-Street Child activities (days 12 and 13), get in touch. I am happy to work with you. Ultimately, my goal is for more people to visit this wonderful country!

How much spending money should I bring?

It is a tricky question to answer, as we all have different spending habits. But over the course of two weeks, I only spent £150. That includes tips, food, souvenirs, and lots of lollypops! The best way to give is to spend money, so whenever I passed a little pop-up shop, I bought something which I then invariably ended up giving away. There is no consumerism here. There are no ice cream vendors, the shops are generally just shacks, and the streets aren’t lined with bars and restaurants. So opportunities to spend are limited. The itinerary also covers most of your expenses, meaning you will predominantly just be spending your money on evening drinks, the odd meal, and souvenirs!

Do bring cash though (sterling or dollars), as ATMs are limited and banks aren’t particularly fond of card transactions from Sierra Leone. I had an absolute nightmare trying to pay for my hotel. I ended up having to use PayPal!

What is the accommodation like?

A photo of my basic, yet functional room in Makeni. This trip is about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones
MJs Motel in Makeni

It will be a real mix, especially depending on what package you choose with Street Child. For example, Stratford Lodge is a lovely B&B with all the modern amenities. And Lungi Gateway Hotel is bordering on luxury! However, if you choose the basic package when in Makeni, expect bucket showers with tepid water and mosquito blood splatter on the walls! Don’t forget though, this trip to Sierra Leone is about stepping outside of your comfort zone!

What is the best way to get to Sierra Leone?

Although you will be responsible for booking your own flights, I am more than happy to offer you advice and support in selecting the best flights for you once you have signed up.

Who is this trip for?

Kids in front of the school waving at the camera. Meeting the kids is one of the highlights of any trip to Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone remains very much untouched by tourism and therefore is the perfect destination if you are looking for an adventure that will enable you to create some unforgettable memories. The trip is best for those of you who enjoy making meaningful human connections and who are looking to step outside of your comfort zone. So if you are ready for an adventure, get in touch! You can connect with me at bea@bea-adventurous.com or on Instagram.

If you love the sound of what Street Child does but are unable to join me next year, then why not support them by donating to my marathon efforts?

Other interesting reads

I’ll soon be publishing several other Sierra Leone-related articles, including:

– Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon: is it the craziest marathon in the world?

– The complete Sierra Leone guide

– Top 10 Things to do in Sierra Leone

– How to stay safe in Sierra Leone

– Navigating charitable holidays – how to avoid saviourism

– Essential Sierra Leone packing list

– Important things to know before coming to Sierra Leone

Not all of these have been written yet, so if you are keen to read them when they come out, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

12 Comments

  1. This sounds like an amazing experience & an opportunity to give back to others. I spent a couple of weeks in Uganda volunteering as a music teacher with students at an orphanage in Kampala, I can say that Africa is a wonderful and very colourful place to visit. My Uganda experience was incredibly rewarding, heartwarming, eye opening & challenging & I would expect the same from this trip to Sierra Leone.

    1. That does sound like a wonderful experience, and yes, very much like what I experienced in Sierra Leone. Those two weeks in Sierra Leone taught me more about myself than years of self help books!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also enjoy: