Getting past Lungi and on to Freetown
Prepare yourself for chaos when you arrive at the airport. This noise is mostly caused by porters falling over themselves to provide some sort of assistance that will land them a tip.
If you have chosen not to use our meet and assist service, then our advice would be to choose one porter and make sure he sticks with you through out. Make sure you are good with faces because you are probably going to be appproached by someone else claiming to have assisted you.
If you do not require any assistance then a smile and stern "I'm fine", should work just fine. If you do not have Leones make sure you have small dollar bills.
One of the frequently asked questions is how the airport came to be located on the other side of the river. Airport and Freetown are separated by the Sierra Leone River. In recent times, this journey across has been an adventure in itself and on very few occasions, with fatal consequences. It is your decision which mode of transfer you choose but the main things to evaluate are speed, safety and reliability - all of which are available to various degrees.
Spending the night at Lungi
As most of the flights arrive in Freetown after dark, it may also be advisable is to spend the night at Lungi before continuing on to Freetown the next day. Currently, you cannot get better than Lungi Airport Hotel if this is your chosen option.
There are several options for crossing this waterway
Tip: The best methods of transit have limited space and can fill-up rapidly therefore, it is best to make your arrangements in advance of your trip or as soon as possible after disembarking the plane.
The water taxis are slightly bigger than your average speedboat and run on dual engines. Sea Coach Express (formerly Pelican Water Taxi) and Eco-Water taxi offer this service. The ride is sometimes bumpy so you must prepare yourself for that. Price is $40 with journey time around 30 minutes. Sea Coach Express can be booked online here.
Private chartered speedboat
Arguably the most fun way to get to Freetown. You may get drenched though so keep this in mind if you opt for a private speedboat charter. Pricing varies (please contact us), and journey time is around 20-30 minutes.
The hovercraft is back in operation and is run by the German company Hellogg, price is $40 for adults and $25 for kids. You can buy tickets here.
The ferries operating from Kissy are the cheapest option of all is to take the Ferry to Freetown but it is certainly not the quickest option neither the most convenient. Well, it is cheapest only if you take a taxi or one of the airport bus shuttle services. This is how most Sierra Leoneans travel. A 'VIP' seat will set you back Le5,000 but this excludes vehicle costs - be sure not to expect much from a 'VIP' seat that costs less than $2 USD. There are two ferries operating at scheduled times of 8am, 11am, 2pm and 6pm. There is a later ferry which runs with the schedule of the last flight, there is no fixed time.
The Sierra Ferries (NASSIT) depart from the government wharf in the centre of Freetown. They provide a bus that will take you to/from the airport for Le70,000.
It is possible to drive to Freetown from Lungi (4+ hours) through Port Loko, but this makes more sense if you're heading up country rather than to Freetown. Keep in mind that it might prove difficult to rent vehicles from Lungi, so it is advisable for private transport from the airport be pre-arranged.