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River No. 2 Beach

A world away from the Freetown traffic, River No.2 is a little corner of paradise, a white powdery beach fringed by palm trees, where the emerald waters of a river meet the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. It’s a place to get away from it all for a couple of days, eating with your feet in the sand and staying right on the beach at River No.2 guesthouse, run by the local community.

How to get there?

River No.2 is 25 km south of Freetown, just north of popular Tokeh Beach on the northern part of Whale Bay. Travel time varies depending on traffic, usually taking between 45 minutes and 1 hour. The easiest way to get there is by taxi, keep or private car, with fees ranging from Nle15 to Nle20. Budget-minded travellers will be happy to know it is also possible to get there by minibus, usually departing from Lumley carpark for about Nle10.

River No.2 beach can also be accessed on foot from Tokeh, about a 20 minutes walk along the beach.

About the Beach

River No.2 Beach has been known as one of the most popular beaches in Sierra Leone ever since the 1980s, when it rose to fame after being chosen as the setting for a Bounty Bar commercial. The beach is located nearr the estuary of River No.2, surrounded by palms and mangroves. The estuary divides the beach into two parts, with locals ferrying visitors between the two sides on boats and canoes. On the southern end, you can swim in a lagoon created by the river, ideal for beginners and people who are learning how to swim.

The entire beach and its facilities are managed by the Sankofa Complex, a community association that reinvests tourist income in providing opportunities for disadvantaged locals. There is a Le 5000 entry fee for foreigners, and a restaurant and guesthouse for those who want to stay.

Things to do

River No.2 is a popular weekend getaway for Freetown locals, and it especially gets busy on Sunday, with people celebrating birthdays and anniversaries at the beach restaurant. During the week, the beach is at its peaceful, pristine best, especially when the sun is shining and the waters of the river and the Atlantic shine with a thousand shades of blue. There are activities offered by locals, including boat rides up river and down the coast, and opportunities to swim both for experienced swimmers and for those who are just starting out.

The Sankofa Complex also includes a small handicraft market, with local women sell their crafts, making for unique souvenirs to take home. You can choose between beads, clothes and accessories made with wax cloth, and a selection of t-shirts and other apparel.

Places to Stay

The most convenient place to stay at River No. 2 beach is the guesthouse run by the Sankofa Complex association, offering simple rooms on the beach with a choice of either fan or aircon. The beach restaurant serves a selection of simple yet delicious dishes, including fresh grilled fish, lobster, and chicken prepared by women from the local community.

There’s also another secluded option a short distance away – Cockle Point, a family-run riverside resort with six huts complete with terraces and hammocks. The resort also organizes yoga retreats and kayaking trips up and down the river. The restaurant offers a creative selection of dishes with locally-caught fish and lobster, cooked with a Thai twist.

Other Beaches in Sierra Leone

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