Explore Bird Watching
Despite its small size, Sierra Leone is home to a wide variety of fascinating and exotic bird species, with currently known bird species in the country numbering 675. Many can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, or at least are not as easily accessible as in Sierra Leone or West Africa.
Eagle-eyed birdwatchers can keep their eyes peeled for endangered species such as the white-necked rockfowl, the white-necked picathartes, the Gola malimbe and rufous fishing owl as well as vulnerable species such as the white-breasted guineafowl and green-tailed bristlebill. These can be found in many areas in the small country such as the Kambui Hills Forest Reserve, the Kangari Hills Forest Reserve, the Western Area Peninsula Forest and many other parks and reserves.
The Gola Forest Reserve is home to many hornbills which snuggle overhead in the giant trees that tower over the jungle floor.
There are many, many more fantastic bird species to reward the patient twitcher. Even in Freetown, birdwatchers can be rewarded with the delightful song of the common bulbul.
However, the best way to take in as many species as possible is to join a guided tour that will usually take you on multiple day hikes into the country’s stunning forests and reserves. Plus, you’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle.
The best time for birdwatching is between December and February when the weather conditions are drier. If you’re visiting during other times, be sure to pack waterproof clothing that you don’t mind getting muddy. Other birdwatching essentials include walking sticks, appropriate ‘safari’ style clothing (again, that you don’t mind getting dusty, dirty or damp), binoculars, cameras, insect repellent spray and other essentials you’d need on a forest or safari twitching adventure.