Are you looking for a pristine beach with very few people, not too far from Freetown? Well, John Obey might just be the place for you. The beach is close to a river estuary creating a lagoon, offering easier swimming conditions compared to the ocean.
John Obey is just north of Bureh beach, but unlike most other Freetown beaches is not close to a village or suburb, which is probably why it’s so quiet and feels so secluded. However, that means getting there requires a bit more planning – it’s advisable to either have your own vehicle, or rent a taxi for a day and having the driver wait for you, since it’s near impossible to find a taxi for the way back. Allow approximately 150,000 Le plus enough to cover the driver’s meal.
Sierra Leone has no shortage of amazing beaches, but John Obey definitely needs to be up there among the most stunning. The beach looks like a sandbank from above, a narrow strip of sand between the Atlantic Ocean and a double lagoon created by the river estuary. A backdrop of volcanic rocks, coconut palms and fruit completes the picture-perfect look. To make matters even better, John Obey has spectacular sunsets – plan to spend the night if you can!
The ocean may look calm and inviting, but the waters can be a little treacherous with a strong undercurrent, so it’s much better to go swimming in the lagoon. There is a painted boat washed ashore that offers good photo opportunities, as well as local people selling food and drinks, especially during the weekends. On the edge of the lagoon, behind the inlet, there is an eco resort that rents out paddle boats allowing you to tour the lagoon at your own leisure and look for birds and other wildlife at sunset.
Estuary Resort is a Sierra Leonean-owned eco resort located on the lagoon behind John Obey Beach, and it’s the only place offering accommodation in the vicinity of the beach in wooden cabanas overlooking the water. They offer boat rides to and from the beach, as well as paddle boats for rent. The resort also has a restaurant serving local and international specialties. If you’d rather remain on the beach, there is nowhere to stay but you’ll find locals offering simple meals of grilled mackerel and plantains, especially during the weekend.