What to bring, health and travel tips.
Date of arrival for runners: Monday 28th January.
Leaving date: Sunday 3rd February.
Important info- Flights to Sierra Leone are quite expensive right now due to reshuffle between the airlines that are flying to Freetown, but don’t despair, things will calm down we just recommend holding off on booking your flights for the moment. In our extensive experience the best and cheapest time to book flights to Sierra Leone for May is in January/ February time, when you’re most likely to get a flight that works for both your budget and your timings. We also send out email alerts to all our registered runners when we think prices are good so you won’t miss out!
What to bring.
• Lightweight and loose (linen is king!). T-shirt and shorts for the day, longer sleeves and loose trousers for the evening to prevent mosquito bites!
• Sandals/flip flops
• Sunglasses & sun hat
• Lightweight waterproofs
• Unlocked smartphone
• Money belt
• Water bottle
• Lightweight shorts - NOT GEL SHORTS (trust us on this - #thesweat)
• Cycling jersey and/or light cotton t-shirt
• Trainers and socks
• Hydration pack/water bottle
• Sun hat with rear nylon cloth attachment (a back-flap!) to prevent sunstroke/sunburn.
• Gels, electrolytes & snacks as preferred
TOILETRIES AND FIRST AID.
• Anti-bacterial hand soap
• High strength mosquito repellent (50% deet)
• Anti-malarial medication
• High SPF Sun cream
• Basic first aid kit (plasters, anti-septic, paracetamol etc.)
• Imodium (or similar)
• Re-hydration salts
Sierra Leone & Liberia- food, money and climate.
Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, warm temperatures and high humidity. January is during the dry season (hurrah!) so less humid but it will still be hot, sticky and sweaty! Sun cream is essential as you will be very exposed when on the bike!
Basic food will be provided for all riders within the 7 day trip. 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 Team. We strongly recommend that you bring your own snacks - you can’t get them easily on the road!
Note that you may well have an unsettled stomach at some point during the trip. Using hand sanitizer 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 and Liberia. Credit card use 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).
We’ll help you change money in both Sierra Leone and Liberia.
If you wish to buy food or drink outside of what is provided as part of your 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, short taxi rides along fixed routes cost around 20p and it costs around £3 to charter a taxi across town. 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 and Liberia, 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 either country.
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.
IN SIERRA LEONE and liberia
•For a group of riders 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 have a team of UK medics to support us throughout the cycle challenge. They are hugely experienced race and expedition medics and will be on hand 24/7 for the whole trip, not just cycling days.