SIERRA LEONE

SIERRA LEONE

SIERRA LEONE

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– No current scheduled consular closures.
CONSULAR CLOSURES
TBC.
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Name: Banana Islands
Location: Sierra Leone
The Banana Islands are a group of islands that lie off the coast of Yawri Bay, south west of the Freetown Peninsula in the Western Area of Sierra Leone. Three islands make up the Banana Islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third Mes-Meheux is uninhabited. Dublin Island is known for its beaches, while Ricketts Island is best known for its forests.

Banana Islands are entirely surrounded by the Freetown peninsula; and the islands are only accessible by boat, ferry and helicopter. The major industries in Banana Islands are fishing and tourism.

Shipwrecks lie off the coast and in one can be found cannons amongst the ruin and coral. On the northern tip of Dublin Island the ruins of an 1881 church as well as an old slave dock can be found. It is advised that visitors should pay their respects to the tribal chief before wandering around the islands. Tourist infrastructure exists only in the northern part of the island. “Daltons Banana Guest House” or the “Banana Island Chalets” can arrange transportation to the islands from Kent.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Islands
Name: Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Location: Sierra Leone
TBC
Name: River No 2 Beach
Location: Sierra Leone
TBC
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SIERRA LEONE / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SIERRA LEONE.
FACTS:
Official Languages: English
Currency: Sierra Leone Leone (SLL)
Time zone: GMT (UTC)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +232
Local / up-to-date weather in Freetown (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Sierra Leone travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Sierra Leone, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SIERRA LEONE.

The unit of currency is the Leone, denoted by the symbol “Le” (ISO currency code: SLL. Leone coins have the value Le50, Le100 and Le500. Bank notes are Le1000, Le2000,Le5000 and Le10000. In 2010, new bank notes were introduced. The new notes are slightly different in size to the originals and are supposedly more durable. The old Le500 note has not been replaced. The designs are very similar to the old notes. People may not want to accept the old notes. The old type cannot be exchanged at banks.

Exchanging money is very easy, either through the black market or banks. The small bank at the airport offers reasonable rates. British pounds, euros and US dollars are most popular, although others are possible.

Credit cards are accepted in a few supermarkets, restaurants and hotels (Visa mostly). The airport duty free shop does take major cards. Some of the other hotels are planning to take cards. It is possible to get money from some banks with a credit card, but the process can be long and rather costly.

ATMs:

There are ATMs in Freetown. Rokel Commercial Bank has visa card ATMs and Ecobank has ATMs that accept international Mastercard or Visa cards for cash withdrawal.

BY ROAD:

The road network fell into disrepair during the civil war. However, there has been a substantial reconstruction programme which means the main roads to regional cities such as Bo, Kenema and Makeni are in excellent condition. The road to Kabala mostly smooth tar, with a few terribly potholed patches. The road to Kono/Koidu is for three quarters tar, but the remaining quarter is in mostly terrible condition. It means it takes as much time to cover 3/4 of the distance as it takes for the balance 1/4. Government has planned to upgrade the last stretch.

The peninsular road is good from Eastern Freetown clockwise around the peninsular to Tokeh. Work has started on the remaining section to Lumley, but at the beginning of 2016 is complete only from Lumley to Sussex, with the section between No. 2 Beach and Tokeh being nearly impassable to all but high-clearance 4WD and motorbikes.

The roads in Freetown are difficult to characterize. In central Freetown, the main roads are mostly smooth and pothole-free, having been constructed from high-quality asphalt a long time ago. Side streets are often a mixture of dirt and gravel, sometimes with large protruding stones, deep crevasses, and other potential dangers. Some main feeder roads are in atrocious condition. Wilkinson Road and Spur Road have been reconstructed as dual carriage ways. The Hillside bypass road is also being constructed, which will make the transit from east to west much easier. Work has also been completed on Regent Road through the mountains, Main Motor Road, Wilberforce, Signal Hill Road, Aberdeen/Sir Samuel Lewis Road and Lumley Beach Road. The ongoing reconstruction works mean that roads can be closed and alternative routes have to be used.

Street parking on major routes such as Wilkinson Road is not permitted. This also applies to the layby’s, where stopping is only permitted for a short time. The local police are using wheel clamps which can very quickly be applied. These will require a visit to the local police with Le300,000 to get released.

Driving under the influence of alcohol was often not taken seriously in the past. The police do now have breathalysers and will test and act against anyone suspected of being drunk whilst driving. Traffic lights have started to appear in Freetown and are usually observed by drivers.

When walking, always keep your eyes in front of you: most of the sidewalks in Freetown have “death traps” – missing blocks of cement that could lead to a nasty fall into an open gutter. For this reason, most Freetown residents choose to walk in the street and avoid sidewalks, a major contributing factor to the city’s congestion.

BY PODA-PODA:

Poda-poda is the Sierra Leonean term for ye old West African bush taxi. Poda-podas are a lot less fun than your average bush taxi, though, reflecting the country’s relative poverty compared to the rest of the region. The vehicles seem to be stitched together with thread, always nearly at the breaking point, six people for each row of three seats, blaring hip hop turning off and on with application of the gas pedal, never sure whose sweat that is, never sure whether it will make the next hill. They are really cheap, though. Intercity trips often cost Le1,500-2,500 (in 2017, less than USPoda-poda is the Sierra Leonean term for ye old West African bush taxi. Poda-podas are a lot less fun than your average bush taxi.50), and any trip within Freetown just Le1,000. Shared taxis are marginally more comfortable, but still packed to the gills, and usually about the same price.

BY BOAT:

The Sea Coach Express boathouse under the bridge between Aberdeen and Murray Town in Freetown is happy to charter the same nice speedboats they use for airport transfers to take you up and down the coast and up the Sierra Leone River. If you have a larger group of people, dropping US$300-400 for a daytrip down to the Banana Islands, Bonthe Island, Turtle Islands, or even just some random stretch of long-lost beach could be absolutely worth the cost.

BY MOTORBIKE:

Moto-taxi is a very efficient way of getting around, with low prices, decent mobility on bad roads, and the ability to skirt past traffic. But they are dangerous. And when traveling on dirt roads, you will wind up covered in dust, often choking on the stuff kicked up by larger vehicles. The driver is required to wear a helmet and to have one to offer to the passenger. Yeah, right. It’s also against the law nowadays to have more than two people on one motorcycle. So if you have three people on one bike, and you are approaching a vehicle check, one person will have to get off and walk through the checkpoint.

Buying your own motorcycle is probably the ideal mode of independent travel. Even the worst roads will be passable in dry season, and you won’t have to worry about being transported by careless drivers. Be aware that driving your bike inside the major cities is dangerous due to the crazy traffic, but outside the cities you should be OK as long as you wear a helmet with a visor to protect yourself from dust.

EAT:

The main staple of Sierra Leonean food is rice, often accompanied by soup, i.e., stews. These stews may include a delicious and often spicy mix of meat, fish, seasonings, greens, etc., often taking hours to prepare. There are plenty of good quality restaurants offering a variety of local and international dishes.

The diet of Sierra Leoneans like many African countries is very healthy. Many tend to eat some fresh fruit picked from trees growing in their homes or freshly picked by market vendors that very day. They also eat seafood particularly in the capital Freetown which is on the Atlantic coast. It is common to go to areas such as Lumley Beach where one can find local fishermen pulling in nets from the Atlantic filled with fish such as crabs, lobsters, oysters, snappers and many, many more.

The locals of Sierra Leone keep healthy by eating many plant-based dishes which are high in fibre, such as cassava leaves, potato leaves, okra, and more.

DRINK:

The national brewer Sierra Leone Breweries Limited produces Star beer and as of October 2013, the premium Mützig beer. Star is now available in small and large bottles. Many European beers are also imported. As in many African countries Guinness is widely popular. Soft drinks such as Coca Cola and Fanta are locally produced. Wine is available from restaurants and supermarkets, but can be expensive. Local brewed palm wine (called “poyo” in Krio), is very popular throughout Sierra Leone. Beware of spirits (whisky, gin, etc.) which are sold in large plastic containers – the quality and safety is not certain.

There are some high standard hotels/guesthouses in Freetown, including the 4 star Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko. Facilities are very limited in other cities, although improvements are being made. Makeni now has at least one good hotel. There are a few nice, very small, resort-style getaways, notably at Banana Island and Bonthe Island.

Overnights in Sierra Leone are quite expensive, and similar to what one might spend in the United States, but with poorer amenities. There are guesthouses to be found in towns of any significant size, usually for US$35-50 for a single room, and will almost always have shared bath/toilet. Average hotels are around US$100-180 for a single room.

The cheapest accommodation in SL is found in the villages—ask for the chief (who should speak some Krio, if not any English), and then request a guest house (“guest house” is the right term in Krio, so you will be understood). There is no formal charge associated with the chief’s hospitality, but you should “pay him respects” in the morning to the tune of about US000 leone notes to the guesthouse caretaker-8, and then expect to be handing out 10,000 leone notes to the guesthouse caretaker, the water-fetcher, and at least one other person for some random reason.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Sierra_Leone
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Banana Islands
Location: Sierra Leone
The Banana Islands are a group of islands that lie off the coast of Yawri Bay, south west of the Freetown Peninsula in the Western Area of Sierra Leone. Three islands make up the Banana Islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third Mes-Meheux is uninhabited. Dublin Island is known for its beaches, while Ricketts Island is best known for its forests.

Banana Islands are entirely surrounded by the Freetown peninsula; and the islands are only accessible by boat, ferry and helicopter. The major industries in Banana Islands are fishing and tourism.

Shipwrecks lie off the coast and in one can be found cannons amongst the ruin and coral. On the northern tip of Dublin Island the ruins of an 1881 church as well as an old slave dock can be found. It is advised that visitors should pay their respects to the tribal chief before wandering around the islands. Tourist infrastructure exists only in the northern part of the island. “Daltons Banana Guest House” or the “Banana Island Chalets” can arrange transportation to the islands from Kent.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Islands
Name: Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Location: Sierra Leone
TBC
Name: River No 2 Beach
Location: Sierra Leone
TBC
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SIERRA LEONE / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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