The basic, community-run guesthouse at No. 2 Beach Guesthouse is set beside No.2 Beach on the Freetown peninsula. It offers the chance of watching lovely sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean whilst your local hosts grill a freshly-caught fish for your dinner and then waking along one of Africa’s most stunning beaches. If you avoid the weekend, when Freetown’s NGO community flocks down to the peninsula, you may well have the beach to yourself.
The accommodation is very basic. The five rooms arranged in blocks of two or three offer simple accommodation with mosquito nets, and en suite facilities with flush toilets and cold running water. A generator runs in the evening to provide power for lighting. Additional rooms are planned.
No. 2 is also a good starting point for exploring inland. We can arrange for a local guide to take you into the Western Forest Reserve, which holds seven primate and over 350 bird species. Alternatively, boat trips up the river in search of monkeys, birds and crocodiles can be arranged locally. (See our photos)
What makes this place so special is that the whole operation is owned and run by members of the local community. The bungalows and restaurant support around 50 people in the nearby village. It is inspiring to see local people actively seizing the opportunity provided by the beautiful setting they have and it is a welcome chance for visitors to contribute directly to the local economy. The government of Sierra Leone has recognised the importance of the No. 2 enterprise to the future of the remaining forest and its wildlife.
If you can make do without hot showers and swimming pools for a couple of nights, make sure that a stop at No. 2 Beach Guesthouse is part of your stay in Sierra Leone. If you can’t, wait a few years until this spectacular beach is ringed by international standard lodges. For the moment, No. 2 is the epitome of what Sierra Leone can offer to people who visit now - genuine local hospitality among breath-taking natural beauty.
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