Of all the places in Sierra Leone, this place has the potential to become the biggest draw for European tourists. It is perhaps the nicest stretch of sand in all of west Africa and despite its natural beauty is completely under-visited. Moreover, the fact that it’s community run means that there are no resorts and the property remains low-key. You’ll also feel completely at ease as hagglers, vendors, and random tour guides are basically non-existent unless they belong to the community. The beers are cheap, the seafood is as fresh as you’ll find, and the sand is a soothing reprieve. It’s the type of place that often feels hard to pull yourself away from. Mention No. 2 River to anyone that has visited in the past and you’re sure to hear yearning stories of this little slice of paradise.
Time Needed: 1-3 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: $50-60USD per day
Things to do in No. 2 River
- The Beach: Obviously, the beach is the big draw here to No. 2 River. If you never pull yourself away from the beach you wouldn’t be the first one. The fact that the staff will bring you food and drinks as you sit there as well, makes it a tough chore to do anything else.
- River Tour: A great little adventure, a pirogue will take you up the river behind the beach and you’re sure to spot crocodiles and there’s a good chance that you’ll see monkeys as well. If you can pull yourself from the beach, it makes for a nice afternoon excursion.
Eating and Sleeping at No. 2 River
You’re not going to be hard done by when it comes to eating. The food on the beach is amazing. Be sure you order the seafood as chances are it was caught earlier in the day. If available, try the crab which is fantastic. Depending what you order, meals are between $8-20US. Breakfast is usually included in the price.
Sleeping is less of a deal as the food is. The accommodation is a little bit rough and grossly overpriced. The rooms (which can house 2 people) were being charged out for $50 a night when I was there. I got around those steep prices by camping on the beach beneath a thatched hut. They charged me $20 to do that.
Getting to No. 2 River
Transport is pretty bad from Freetown to No. 2 River and the road is terrible, although improvements were being made. You can try to catch a shared taxi from town, but they are few and far between, and even then they’ll only take you to the village and you’ll have to hike the 1km into the tourist area. A chartered taxi from Freetown will likely cost you about 40-60,000 ($10-15). If you’re coming from the Banana Islands, the best bet is to charter a moto taxi from Kent which will cost about 30,000 ($8).
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