My Sweet Salone top five

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Chaotic transport and poor infrastructure might keep Sierra Leone off the mainstream tourist trail for a while yet but new flight choices could soon tempt the more adventurous traveller. 

Dutch airline KLM will fly to Freetown three times a week from March 26, after a two-decade hiatus. It’s currently offering £470 returns from London or Manchester and there are signs that rivals are dropping prices, making a long weekend or week’s break more feasible.

So what are Sweet Salone’s top attractions? Here’s my favourite five:


5. The Sierra Leone Marathon

Okay, so I only ran the half distance – my body really wasn’t ready for 26.2 miles – but whatever you feel fit for, it’s worth making the journey for a race with a truly special atmosphere. The charity Street Child puts together a fantastic itinerary that allows runners to meet some of the kids they’re raising money to help, both in rural schools and the host town of Makeni.

Sierra Leone Marathon-2016-180

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An escape

No matter where you are in the world, sometimes you just have to get away.

On Saturday, we decamped for a night just a few miles down the road at Lakka.

We’d always fancied staying at Tommy’s Paradise Guesthouse, our favourite beach place, but didn’t think it’d be worth overnighting so close to home.

However, we’d had a bit of a week. Continue reading

Times they are a-changing

I hate to be one of those irritating people who go on about amazing far-flung beaches while you’re pondering turning on the central heating.

But our last few beach outings really have been fantastic fun.

As the rain has eased, so has the flow of litter into the drains and on to the sea. The last seaweed bloom that left the sands covered in a festering mass seems to have finally cleared.

And at Lakka on Sunday the water was clear and perfect for bathing, to the point where I had what’s probably my first ever proper swim in the sea – covering about 500m aided only by the salt offering great buoyancy. Continue reading