Travel Alert Status
Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
The tropical climate has rainy and dry seasons, high temperatures, and almost constant humidity. The rainy season extends from May to November but is heaviest between July and September, when over half of the annual rainfall occurs. In Freetown, annual rainfall is 150 inches or more; inland areas receive less. The beginning and end of the rainy season are marked by frequent strong electrical storms, similar to those occurring during the hot summer months in the eastern U.S. Coastal temperatures during the rainy season range from a daily high of about 80°F. to a nightly low of about 76°F.
Relative humidity in Freetown rarely falls below 80%, except when the harmattan reaches the coast. This current of dry, dusty air flows from the Sahara Desert toward the south and west, usually reaching Sierra Leone in December. During this season, which lasts through February, Freetown experiences its coolest weather.
English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)
20 native African tribes 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%), Creole (Krio) 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century), refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans,
Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
8 30 N, 11 30 W
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia