Later, we treated ourselves to a couple of nights at Franco’s, on an unspoilt beach not far from the capital Freetown. It’s an amazing set-up, straight out of Somerset Maugham. Our room had hot water – which seemed like an indulgence – and the food was excellent. Watch out for rip currents off the ocean beach. Freetown was both friendly and fascinating. The trip upriver to Bunce Island, a slaving station whose haunting remains are still very much visible, was an unmissable experience.
Sierra Leone does present challenges. For example, checking in at Lungi Airport for the return flight was horrendous, with everyone bribing officials to avoid queuing.
However, Rainbow’s team on the ground organised everything excellently. We got used to jumping on and off boats with our rucksacks, not being sure where we were going or who was going to meet us, but someone always appeared.
Be open-minded and flexible, and you will have a wonderful time.”