In the early hours of 26 November 2023 Wilberforce Barracks came under attack and there was heavy gunfire in the vicinity of Wilkinson Road (central area of Freetown). There was subsequently an escape of a large number of prisoners.
There is a heightened risk of crime and incidents of sporadic violence in the aftermath of these attacks. A nationwide curfew is in place across Sierra Leone between 9pm and 6am. You may see additional security measures in place, including checkpoints in and Freetown. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant, co-operate with security forces and to abide by the curfew.
Flights and travel to and from Freetown International Airport (situated outside of the capital, in Lungi) are subject to disruption. Individuals should refer to their airlines for further updates. The last ferry crossing to Lungi for passengers departing Sierra Leone will be 7.30pm. Passengers arriving into Sierra Leone close to the curfew times should secure overnight accommodation in Lungi.
Consular staff are available 24/7 to support British Nationals if needed.
If you’re in Sierra Leone and you need urgent help you can call us 24/7 on +232 (0) 7678 0713.
If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Sierra Leone’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
See our travel advice help and support for details of who to contact in an emergency.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Most visits to Sierra Leone are incident free, but a small number of incidents have been reported of British nationals being robbed, sometimes at knife-point. See Crime
Avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations, and comply with any restrictions that are put in place. When approaching a checkpoint, slow down and pay attention to the instructions given by the security officials. See Safety and security
You will need a visa to enter Sierra Leone. See Visas
If you travel outside the Freetown peninsula, try to complete your travel during the hours of daylight, inform your employers of your whereabouts and make sure they have copies of your itinerary. See Local travel
There are several transfer options from Freetown Lungi airport, including by road, ferry, water taxi and local boats or pirogues. See Travel to Freetown from the airport
Although there is no recent history of terrorism in Sierra Leone, attacks can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate. You should be vigilant, especially in places visited by foreigners. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel and make sure your insurance specifically includes medical repatriation.