- Freetown; 921,000
- 71,740 square kilometers (27,699 square miles)
- English, Mende, Temne, Krio
- Muslim, indigenous beliefs, Christian
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $500
- Literacy Percent:
Sierra Leone Facts Flag
Sierra Leone is on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, with coastal swamps rising to interior plateaus and mountains. Named "lion mountain" by a 15th-century Portuguese explorer, Sierra Leone was a British colony from the early 19th century until 1961. In the 1990s democratically elected leaders were overthrown but subsequently regained power, and major hostilities have demoralized the population and destabilized the economy. In 2002 Sierra Leone emerged from a decade of civil war, with the help of some 17,000 UN peacekeepers.
- Industry: Mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles); petroleum refining
- Agriculture: Rice, coffee, cacao, palm kernels; poultry; fish
- Exports: Diamonds, rutile, cacao, coffee
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
In Africa and its diaspora the mask transforms mortals into gods and makes a political point.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Submit your best shots for a chance to be featured in our weekly galleries and to win a grand prize trip for two to Alaska.