Tiwai Island
I'm enquiring about: Tiwai Island

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I'm enquiring about: Tiwai Island

Tiwai Island

Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone
Accommodation at Tiwai (basic), comes in two forms: (December 2019 update: maintenance is needed):
1. There is a basic lodge/ research centre' with three double rooms and 4 single rooms. There are three shared bathrooms 
and a communal, outdoor dining area.
2. There is simple camping with tents on solid, concrete platforms and sheltered with thatch roofs. 
There is a communal ablution block with clean showers and loo. Tents are equipped with foam mattresses - we will provide bedding 
(see our own images)
There is a communal kitchen with gas hub,cooking utensils, water supply, loo and bathroom. Please note that electricity supply is intermittent.
Local dishes are prepared by community members for guests who wish to order meals. European dishes can be catered for if requested in advance.
Be sure to take a good torch (with spare batteries) and a hand towel. Also, pack insect repellent. 
2019 rates:
Sierra Leonian meals:
Lunches and dinners: Le 30,000 – Le 35,000  (Approximately £3)
European dishes such as fries/chips or rice with fish or chicken:
Lunches and dinners: Le 45,000 (Approximately £4 - £5)

Responsible Travel Guidelines as set out by the resident community:

As traditional Mende communities, we value our cultural, historical and natural heritage, and its continuation from generation to generation. 
We therefore ask that you respect this when you come and visit our communities. 
The following tips will help you understand how you can help us to strengthen our values:
* Bring a small offering for our town chiefs and village elders (Kola Nuts are a traditional gift that we have accepted from visitors from times past)
* Make sure that you ask our community members whether they are happy for their photo to be taken; and if you can, give us the photo so that we can print and 
laminate it as a gift for the people you 'snapped'.
* Learn a few words of the Mende Language before you come on the journey. Your guide will be very happy to teach you a few greetings before you start your trip
* Respect the environment. Try and keep your non-biodegradable waste to a minimum when visiting us, and keep it with you until you are able to 
dispose of it responsibly.
* Please interact with us, but be aware that your behavior can influence the behavior of our younger generations. 
So when you are about to smoke for example, do so away from the most vulnerable members of our community.
* Bargain on prices, by all means, but be aware of the time and effort that arts & crafts makers, fruit & snack vendors, etc... put into 
making their products. Fair trading = more opportunities.
* If you disagree with our behavior, or the way that we treat you, we apologise. We are relatively new at this tourism concept 
so we are still learning, but please tell your guide about your thoughts, and he will make sure that this is fed back 
to the community in question.
* If you have any questions about our heritage, we will be very happy to share our knowledge with you, 
but please bear in mind that there are certain sensitivities around specific subjects (i.e. secret society practices). 
If you have any questions about those, your guide will be able to direct you in the best way to gain the knowledge.
* Please respect the cultural don'ts of our region of the world such as formal greetings, not using your left hand when eating or greeting, and 
the respect for our elders. We are polite and will not say anything, but we could take offense. 
If you have any questions, your guide will help you.

Accommodation Reviews

We just wanted to write to thank you making our trip to Sierra Leone  so interesting and enjoyable . We probably told you that we were a bit nervous about visiting because of the previous problems your country has had and also because we had never heard of anyone else who had been there. 
We needn't have worried because Kamara and Idris looked after us so well and told us so much  interesting information about the history and the lives of the people .
We have contacted the RSPB and told them that they should go out and see the camp at Gola and spend some money putting it right. I dont know if this will do any good but at least we have tried as it seems such a shame that the facilities are all there but nothing works .
We have some great photos that we took at Gola and Tiwai especially of the the schools and have been showing them to our friends and family. 
Thanks again for making our trip one we will never forget .
Marion and Tim Kniveton 
Mr and Mrs Kniveton
February 25, 2020

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