What to bring, health tips, being in Sierra Leone
Medication & first-aid
Small first aid kit
Sun cream and after-sun
Medications (in original bottles with your name on)
Immodium/Diuralyte or equivalent.
Copies of your travel insurance policy
Adaptors (European 2 pin)
Power banks for remote charging
Bars (energy bars, cereal bars, flapjacks etc).
2 pairs of riding shorts (we recommend padded shorts and that you try them out before your departure)
2 short-sleeve cycling jerseys (quick-dry)
Long sleeve cycling jerseys
2-3 pairs of quick dry socks for cycling
Comfortable shoes for cycling and walking
Light rain jacket
Bathing suit if coming to the beach
Sandals or flip flops
Sierra Leone - food, money and climate
Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, warm temperatures and high humidity. November is right at the end of the rainy season so it is very hot and humid. Waterproof jackets or umbrellas are advised but you won’t be cold, just wet if it does rain. Sun cream is essential as you will be outside a lot.
Basic food will be provided for all runners for the duration of your stay with us (excluding beach extensions!). We will make an effort to ensure food provided before the event is as non-spicy/familiar as possible. It is likely to be based heavily around staple carbohydrates such as pasta and rice. If you have any allergies or dietary requirements please inform the Ride Sierra Leone team as soon as possible. We strongly recommend that you bring your own snacks and cycling supplements.
Note that you may well have an unsettled stomach at some point during your stay. Using hand sanitiser before eating will help reduce your chances of an upset tummy however we highly recommend that you bring rehydration salts with you.
You will need to bring cash for the duration of your stay in Sierra Leone. Credit card use in Sierra Leone is virtually non-existent so it’s only worth bringing your card strictly as a back up. Instead, bring cash in either pounds or dollars to change once you arrive. Big denominations of cash get better rates but avoid pre-1996 series dollars as many businesses and some banks reject them. Pounds are easily changed, dollars even more so (but not so much so that it is worth changing pounds into dollars).
You will be able to change your money at the airport and in Bo.
If you wish to buy food or drink outside of what is provided as part of the travel package, we have written some guide prices for you below:
•Soft drinks - 70p
•Local beers - £1
•Imported beers - £2
•You can buy good local food for around £3 a plate.
•International food usually costs around £5 a plate.
In addition to this, there are souvenirs to buy such as elegant woodcarvings, wooden & beaded jewellery, and some excellent materials and tailoring.
Health- before and during the trip
It is your responsibility to ensure you have received all necessary medical advice before you travel to Sierra Leone. You are advised to see either your local GP or a travel nurse prior to travel. Unless you have recently travelled to a similar destination it is almost certain you will need a few injections.
West Africa has one of the most virulent strains of malaria (falciparum), which can be protected against using standard anti-malarials. You must take anti-malarial medication throughout your stay in Sierra Leone, as per the prescription. We advise you to take your own mosquito net, insect repellent with 50% deet, and long-sleeved clothing for the evenings.
Yellow fever vaccination is a requirement for entering the country and you must bring the certificate with you. Failure to produce a valid yellow fever certificate at the airport will result in refusal of entry to Sierra Leone.
Please note that we understand post-exposure immunoglobulin for treatment of rabies is only available in Dakar or Accra, not in Sierra Leone. You may therefore wish to discuss vaccination against rabies with your GP/travel clinic.
As a condition of entrance to the event, all runners take responsibility for having trained appropriately and had any health concerns checked by a medical practitioner.
Please visit: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/sierra-leone.htm for more information.
IN SIERRA LEONE
•Witha team cycling, travelling and eating together everyday hygiene is a key issue. To prevent upset stomachs ensure you’re washing your hands as regularly as possible and use antibacterial hand wash.
•Don’t be shy: notify a trip medic or a member of staff as soon as you start to feel ill.
•Pack ample supplies of both rehydration salts and Immodium (or equivalent). You will sweat a lot and need to replenish your salt levels!
GETTING SICK OR INJURED:
We’ll have a UK medic to support all cyclists when in Sierra Leone. They are hugely experienced expedition medics and will be on hand 24/7 for the whole trip, not just race day.