Lungi Airport can be noisy, but the noise is mostly caused by porters falling over themselves to provide some sort of assistance that will land them a tip. It’s organised chaos, but consider using our meet and assist service to have a friendly and familiar face meet you on arrival.
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. Hopefully, 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.
Airport and Freetown are separated by the Sierra Leone River. In the past, this journey across has been an adventure in itself and on very few occasions, with fatal consequences. In recent years, more reliable boat services are now operational. Our recommended option is the Sea Coach Express but it is your decision which mode of transfer you choose. 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. Have a look at our listed hotels in Lungi if this is your chosen option.
There are several options for crossing this waterway
Tip: Arranging your tickets in advance can reduce the amount of time it takes to get you out of the airport.
The water taxis are slightly bigger than your average speedboat and run on dual engines. Sea Coach Express are the only company currently offering this service. The ride is sometimes bumpy so you must prepare yourself for that. Price is $40 with journey time around 25-30 minutes. Sea Coach Express can be booked online here. Another boat service is the Sea Bird Express.
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. Journey time is around 20-30 minutes. Both water taxi companies also offer boats for charter and are probably your best option.
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. 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 $1 USD. Currently there is only one operational ferry.
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.
The Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation has recently (Sept 2015) launched a bus shuttle service for Le75,000.