Travel Info:

FAQs.

When is Ride Sierra Leone: The Grand Tour taking place?

  • The challenge is taking place November 9th - November 16th 2019.

Where does the cycle challenge take place?

  • The ride will start in Bo, Sierra Leone and go through rural Sierra Leone to the North of the country. Then, we will drive to the stunning beaches of the Western Area.

What is the route?

  •  Check out the itinerary to find out more details about the route and your time in Sierra Leone.

What is the terrain like?

  •  The Sierra Leone roads are mainly hard packed mud with regular lumps, bumps and puddles! The route has rolling hills but is not mountainous. Think South Downs, not Alps!

Can I take my own bike?

  • In short, yes but we’d encourage you to borrow one from our Sierra Leonean partner bike shop - roads are muddy and crater-strewn. But you do not have to take your own bike. Please note that this is not a road race on tarmac but a cycle challenge in West Africa! 

How can I join?

  •  You can sign up for Ride Sierra Leone here by completing the application form. If you have any questions before signing up, please contact us.

Who is managing the race?

  • An experienced team of Street Child’s UK and local staff will be organising the event along with other volunteers from the UK and Sierra Leone.

I’m not a cyclist but still want to go, can I volunteer?

What facilities will be available en route?

  • Regular water and snack stops (we promise you, nothing tastes as sweet as coconut on after a long and sweaty ride!)

  • Mobile medical support

  • Mobile mechanical support

How much do I need to raise to be eligible to take part?

  •  Other than covering your costs to take part, we ask that you raise as much as you can! We ask every participant to pledge to raise £1,500. Street Child's experienced fundraising team and mentors will work with each participant to ensure they reach and even go beyond this target! Part of a participant's experience will be seeing where their money goes and meeting some of the children we have already helped.

How much of my package goes towards the charity?

  • The cost of your package covers the cost of your accommodation, transport, food and challenge costs. The charity does not make a profit on your package.

I live in Sierra Leone and would love to take part - can I get involved?

Should I be worried about Ebola in Sierra Leone?

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared Sierra Leone free of Ebola on 7th November 2015. Street Child's focus is now helping to supported the Ebola-affected children. Ride Sierra Leone is confident that the challenge poses no risk to cyclists in the areas we will be travelling to.   

Are there currently flights available?

  • Yes. Air Maroc, Air France, Air Brussels and KLM are all running a service at the moment. We also hope a direct UK route may open up soon. Please contact cycle@street-child.co.uk or the Street Child team for advice before booking your flights. We recommend Air France and Air Brussels if you want to bring your own bike.

How will I get around the country?

  • All in-country transport is provided. This includes transport from the airport. Part of the challenge experience will be visiting projects and villages where Street Child works by bike!

What will the climate be like?

  • Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, warm temperatures and high humidity. The trip will be hot - but with a dawn start to avoid the worst of the heat and regular water and rehydration stops, hopefully not too hot!

 Do I need a visa for Sierra Leone?

  • You will need a visa, unless you are from West Africa. Street Child can help organise this and once you are registered we will issue a letter of invitation to accompany a visa application form. A single entry visa for Sierra Leone costs £109 and can be obtained in person or by post from the Sierra Leone High Commission in London or online.

Other than being cycle fit, what are the travel requirements?

  • See a travel nurse and doctor at least 6-8 weeks before travel. You should visit your local GP for advice if necessary. Unless you traveled recently to a similar destination it is almost certain you will need vaccinations.

  • Two absolute must-haves are a vaccination certificate for yellow fever which is required for entry into Sierra Leone and anti-malarial drugs.  

 What about travel and health insurance?

  • This is the responsibility of every individual participant. Make sure you are covered for sporting events of this nature and that it covers Sierra Leone. We ask that you make sure you are personally covered for your trip.

What money should I bring?

  • Bring cash. Pound Sterling notes are easily exchanged, as are dollars. Credit/debit card use in Sierra Leone is very limited - worth bringing the card strictly as a backup only (the banks in Freetown have chip and pin machines for emergency withdrawals). Big denominations of cash get better rates - but avoid pre-2006 series Dollars as they are rejected by many businesses and some banks.

Where will I stay?

  • Throughout the challenge you will stay in a range of accommodation from guest houses to school buildings!

 Do I need loads of bike paraphernalia or bike stuff?

  • Expensive cycling tools and gear are not needed and might not return in the condition they arrived in. There will be a mechanic travelling with the group who will fix anything and everything!

If you have any more questions before signing up, please email cycle@street-child.co.uk