Sign in to your account
Close window
Remember me?
Sign in to your account

Sierra Leone expat guide

Sierra Leone expat guide

Living in Sierra Leone

The lush vegetation, pristine clear waters and colorful culture is everything a couple hundred tourists enjoy visiting Sierra Leone. Yet even with the many foreigners coming to the country, much of Sierra Leone remains undiscovered. The scars of its past echoes, unfortunately, louder than the beauty of the country and its people. Even so, those who do take the time to put aside the stigma, discovers a nation with a welcoming atmosphere and a dynamic population. 

Sierra Leone

Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Sierra Leone and most expats communicate online through websites such as ExpatWoman.com.

International Schools 

The American International School of Freetown
The American International School of Freetown, established in 1986, offers a comprehensive standards-based American education to children aged 3 to 14 years (Pre-school to Grade 8- and AISF classes in conjunction with the University of Nebraska to students in grade 9-12) who wish to maintain continuity with their home country education or to join an English-speaking program.
Curriculum: American
Address: Freetwon, Sierra Leone
Website: ais-freetown.org
Lebanese International School
Its curriculum is bi-cultural; Arabic and English are the media of instruction right up to the end of primary (Elementary) grades. Arabic Language and Literature are taught according to the Lebanese ministry of education program in the primary and secondary sections. In the Secondary and post secondary sections we follow the British system of education offering the GCE  ‘O” Levels  , GCE ‘AS” and ‘A’ Levels examinations as prescribed by the Edexcel  International Examinations Board.
Curriculum: GCE, AS
Address: Riverside Drive - Brook fields - Freetown P.O.Box: 966
Tel: +232.22.240430, +232.22.241035 , +232.22.241437, +232.22.240117, +232.22.241989
Fax: + 232.22.241704
Email: info@lebaneseinternationalschool.com   
Website: www.lebaneseinternationalschool.com
Apex International School Limited
This school is a private, co-educational, Non-denominational entity that seeks to provide for all pupils irrespective of religion, colour, race Creed, sex or nationality, a sound secondary education hinged on a broad-based curriculum.
Curriculum: BECE, West African Senior Secondary Examinations
Address: 3A&B  Bolling Street, Kingtom, Freetown
Tel: +232-76-603-677, +232-33-351-392
Email: apexschoolfreetown2@gmail.com
Website: apexinternationalschoolsl.com

Local News in English

Awareness Times
Currently Sierra Leone’s fastest selling, highest selling and most widely circulated newspaper.
Website: news.sl/drwebsite/publish/index.shtml

Website: awoko.org

Country Information 

Location: Africa
Capital City: Victoria
Other Important Cities:
Currency: Seychellois rupee
Language: English, French
Calling Code: +248
Internet TLD: .sc
Electricity: Sierra Leone runs on 240V 50Hz. The National Power Authority NPA provides electricity for the entire country.
Emergency Numbers:   
Ambulance: 999
Fire: 019
Police: 999
Country Information

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from the following countries may enter and stay in Sierra Leone visa free: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Nationals from other countries must obtain a visa through a Sierra Leone embassy or consulate.

Documents Required:
  • Completed visa application form
  • One recent passport size photograph (less than six months old.)
  • A passport valid at least one year before the date of expiration. Passport must contain sufficient blank visa pages.
  • A copy of the applicant's travel itinerary or round trip ticket should be produced. In some instances, the consular office will invite applicants for interview.
From Sierra Leone embassy in Washington DC site: embassyofsierraleone.net/node/62

There are several types of visas available to expats: tourist, multiple entry, and temporary residency.
Expats wishing to stay in Sierra Leone for extended period must acquire a temporary residency visa. This can be done while they are in the country under tourist visa.

The temporary visa costs $1200, for the first time, and then $600 for every renewal. It is valid for only 1 year.
The Sierra Leone government has set up an online site to process visas: www.visasierraleone.com/sierra-leone-temporary-residency-visa
The US government has issued a travel warning:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Sierra Leone.  After review of health conditions and limited availability of medical evacuation options, the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of family members residing with Embassy staff in Freetown to begin August 14, 2014.  U.S. government employees in Freetown will remain on active duty at the Embassy.

As of August 11, there have been 759 confirmed cases and 293 confirmed deaths due to an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone. The outbreak of EVD has overwhelmed Sierra Leone’s health system due to the lack of sufficient staff and/or resources to address the continuing transmission of EVD.  Options for obtaining routine medical care are severely limited.  In addition, most medical evacuation companies have suspended service to Ebola-affected countries and several airlines have suspended service to Freetown.  This severely limits options for medical evacuation in the case of EVD and non-EVD medical cases.  For more information concerning EVD, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  Please direct inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Sierra Leone to EbolaEmergencyUSC@state.gov. Callers in the United States and Canada may dial the toll free number 1-888-407-4747.  Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial 1-202-501-4444.

-          From the US Passports and International Travel: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/sierra-leone-travel-warning.html


Freetown, the country’s capital is where expats would normally stay. For starters, the airport is located here, secondly diplomatic missions are also housed in this city. It is very urban with modern infrastructure, road works and commercial establishments. The Lebanese community is quite large in the city. Although the city has suffered devastation by the past civil war, crime rate in Freetown is low.

There are a number of hotels in Freetown that will suit any budget. Long-term accommodations such as apartments range from $450 per month to a staggering $25000 per month. The price usually reflects the quality of housing. 

Driving License

An international driving license is required to drive legally in the country. This is valid for one month. After, expats must apply for a Sierra Leone driving license. Application should be made through the Licensing Authority. Foreign licenses can be exchanged for a local license.
For full information see the Roads and Traffic act click here >>


Facilities and services in Sierra Leone are limited and below standards. Adequate healthcare for routine, basic cases can be found in the major cities. Emergency services are also limited. Expats are advised to obtain a comprehensive medical insurance than can cover or reimburse cost of treatment including medical evacuation. Precautionary vaccinations are recommended, Yellow Fever vaccination is required.

Insurance Companies

Aureol Insurance Company
They offer a wide range of insurance products to suit our customers' every need: motor, Fire, Accident, Marine and Medical insurance products.
Address: Kissy House, 54 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: +232-76-175-175, +232-78-175-175, +232-88-175-175
Website: www.aureolinsurance.com
Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance is proud of its 13,224 employees spread across 34 countries. We have more than 400,000 service providers working with us to provide around-the-clock assistance to our clients and customers.
Website: www.allianz-global-assistance.com/corporate/who-we-are/worldwide-presence
St. John of God Hospital
It is a non-denominational hospital with several departments, some of which are a common part of Healthcare in Sierra Leone, such as the Outpatients, Paediatrics, Medical and Maternity, others such as Emergency, Surgery, Pharmacy and Microbiology are not especially in the provinces, outside the capital.
Address: Mabesseneh, Lunsar, Sierra Leone
Masanga Hospital
This is a hospital that currently provides healthcare in paediatrics, maternity, general medicine and surgery. It is located in Tonkolili district, Northern Province, Sierra Leone.
Address: Masanga, Tonkolili District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone
Website: masangahospital.org

Global Highlights