Climbing the highest mountain in West Africa
Mountain Bintunami is the highest peak in Sierra Leone and highest between Morroco and Cameroon. The whole surrounding region is mountainous and worth visiting.
If you want to conquer the peak, you would find this page useful.
To take list
- Mosquito net. It’s difficult to find one in the village
- Water purification tablets. Locals drink water from a stream but you might as well purify it
- Warmer clothes. Sleeping at camp 2 at 1,300 m above sea level might be chilly
- Power-bank and pre-charged batteries. There is no electricity in the village
Logistics – get in
- Take a bus to Kabala from where ever you are in Sierra Leone.
- Find motorbike mafia guys who are usually hanging around a central roundabout with a Big Ben like a tower. The spot is next to final stop of your bus from Freetown.
- Ask motorcycle drivers for a lift to Sinekoro because you want to climb mountain Bintunami. It’s a 3 hours motorcycle ride so it would cost about 20 USD one way.
- Arrange transportation back with motorbike mafia. If you don’t it’s not a disaster. There’s actually mobile connection 30 mins on foot away from the village but you’d need Orange mobile provider. If you don’t, there’s SUV coming to the village to transport goods at unreliable times offering cheaper commute prices compared to bike mafia.
- When you reach Sinekoro village you will be directed to a chief. Talk to him, explain your intentions to climb the mountain and he would charge you about 10 USD. You can negotiate the price, you always get a reply “there is no fixed price, everyone pays differently”.
- You would also recommend arranging a guide who would cost about 9 USD per day.
- Allow two full days to complete the hike. The guide charges you per night so ideally you have to start in an early morning, sleep at camp 2 and get down next day. Guides are fit, on a daily basis they do manual labour in the heat.
- There’s camp 1 and camp 2 on the way to the peak. Both have streams of water running down the hill. There should be a waterfall too.
Negation is a must. Prices are always higher than they actually are especially for non-material things like permissions.
Here is a summary of asked and paid prices for this trek. In total, we’d reduced prices by 65% compared to asked ones.
Initially asked price
|local leones||GBP||local leones||GBP|
|Motorbike per person on way in||200000||19.20||180000||17.28|
|Motorbikes on way out||300000||28.80||200000||19.20|
|By passing village fee||400000||38.40||150000||14.40|
|Guide per 2 days||800000||76.80||160000||15.36|
- Total hike from Sinekoro village to the peak and back is 29 km. You’d start at 400m above sea level at the village and finish at 1,945m so hike itself is challenging and few parts are very steep.
- Parts of the hike are very steep
- Your guide might bring a gun to hunt even if a park is called “no hunting park”
- Sinekoro village is remote. There’s no running water, electricity and even mobile connection.
- Accommodation is free. You could camp anywhere or ask school principal to let you sleep in school.
- Other signs worth visiting
- Visit local school
- Visit people working in a fields
- Visit mosque and church
- Shop at a local shop
Photo story is bellow
Drive to the village
Our guide is hunting in national reserve
Life in remote village in Sierra Leone
Way back to civilisation
P.S. For more information check the page https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mountain_Bintunami which I have created