Kevin Eagan - Sep 13, 2010

After years of civil war, Sierra Leone is beginning to recover. Its reputation is improving and a variety of projects are helping the African nation get on its feet. However, tourists are still warned about the dangers of Sierra Leone despite the improvements.


After a decade of civil war and political chaos, Sierra Leone has turned to ecotourism to bring much needed funds to the country and to get rid of the demons of the past at the same time. Although certain inroads have been made, the situation is still far from healthy and travelers still live in fear of visiting such a dangerous place. Before the war (1991-2002), around 100,000 tourists came to Sierra Leone per annum. After falling to around the zero mark during the fighting, the number of tourists is beginning to rise again, though a few years are needed for greater progress to be made.

The organisation Tribewanted may have a lot to do with any future success story. It organizes holidays for tourists, who have the privilege of paying $450 for a stay in a typical poverty-stricken community. They are, naturally, fully aware that their fee is more of a donation to a community very much in need of some cash. Most of them leave with the knowledge that it was well worth the money to live through something so unusual.

Tribewanted has a number of challenges, which it has to deal with. One of the major ones is dealing with literature and tourist materials, which warn tourists of the dangers all over Sierra Leone, particularly in and around the capital, Freetown. As long as these warning and danger signs continue to be spread, whether justified or not, the whole country will struggle to gain the trust of visitors.

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