This two-week expedition sees you trekking deep into the pristine Gola Rainforest. Guided by veteran jungle warfare experts and the park's own rangers, you will learn all the skills you need to survive in the jungle, including shelter building and animal tracking. Expect sightings of monkeys and rare birds, and even chimpanzees and pygmy hippos if you are lucky.
After days of gruelling jungle trekking, the only way out is a 100km packraft along a stretch of the river hitherto uncharted by Westerners, navigating stretches of white water to emerge right in the middle of a pristine white-sanded beach that stretches unbroken for 100s of kilometres in each direction.
Finish with a night spent on one of Sierra Leone's paradisiacal beaches, with fresh seafood and opportunities for surfing and spearfishing.
Arrive in Freetown. Opportunity to visit the vibrant markets, visit the town centre, and sample local cuisine.
Kit packing & inspection followed by a relaxing drink on the beach; your last before heading into the jungle
Pickup early morning from Freetown and drive to Kenema, in the East of the country. Stop for food before transferring to 4x4 for the seriously bumpy road to Lalehun, entry point to Gola Forest National Park.
In the afternoon, take a short hike into the jungle to search for rare wildlife and spend the night in basic but comfortable eco-lodging inside the jungle.
At Lalehun we will focus on prepping you with the skills you need to make it out of the jungle intact. Skills you will learn include:
Evenings will be spent around the fire recounting war stories and learning about traditional religions and 'devils', and if you are lucky witness an authentic 'devil dance' .
On day 4, we will move further into the jungle, camping for the night at Sileti.
We start to move deep inside the forest and away from any trace of civilisation.
The next three days will be spent moving through thick primary rainforest. There is a high chance of seeing various species of monkey & exotic birds, along with chimpanzees and duiker if you are lucky. Our guides will teach you animal tracking and jungle navigational skills.
The trek is strenuous; expect to hike over 35km in total, which may not sound like much but is very demanding when the terrain, heat & humidity are all factored in.
Nights will be spent cocooned beneath the canopies in jungle hammocks.
On day 7 we will use dugout canoes to reach a remote wildlife research station on the river island of Jaibui. More opportunities for rare wildlife sightings, we will set camera traps to try and catch a glimpse of the elusive pygmy hippos.
Depart Jaibui after learning packrafting fundamentals & safety procedures. Begin our paddle down the winding Moa river, aim to reach Jaiwulo by the afternoon.
Days 9 & 10 we will get some serious distance under our belt as the Moa opens up into grand vistas and mazy river labyrinths where choosing the right fork is critical. No previous experience is required although some stretches will test even experienced paddlers to their limits; the river is fast flowing and there are long stretches of rapids with possibilities of capsizing (waterproofing your gear is essential!)
The Moa river begins to open up and we emerge from the thick rainforest into a stunning vista of the river meeting the crashing waves of the Atlantic ocean. Either side of you, unbroken and virtually untouched beach for 100s of miles.
We will lodge one night on the beach in traditional huts; for the weary a chance to recuperate, and for the inexplicably energetic, a chance to catch some waves or an arduous hike across wetlands to the majestic and mysterious Lake Mape.
Return to Freetown peninsular where we will lodge at one of the famously pristine beaches; Tokeh or Bureh Beach. Greeted by freshly caught oysters & lobster along with all-you-can eat African buffet and flamboyant African hospitality, we will lodge in a scenic guesthouse with rooms stepping straight out on white sand beaches.
Depending on conditions, there may be opportunities for snorkeling, spear-fishing and surfing at either of these beaches.
Tour ends and the chance for a tearful farewell to Freetown. For those who wish to explore the city or enjoy watersports at one of Sierra Leone's gorgeous beach islands, extensions can be arranged.
Within hours of arriving back in the comfort of your home country, you can expect to feel any number of the symptoms of PAD (Post Adventure Depression); sadness the adventure is over, anger at having to return to your daily routine, even guilt that you are not making the most of your life. This is normal; the best remedy is to get on Xtreme.africa and book your next adventure with us!