Transport and infrastructure in Sierra Leone

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Sierra Leone with the average of all countries in Africa. In many places, the traffic routes show considerable deficiencies and are often not in a particularly good condition.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 402 km of coastline. In 2019, about 78,413 freight containers were transported.

Airports in Sierra Leone

Back to overview: Sierra Leone

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 11,700 km. For each of the country's 8.42 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 1.39 meters. This puts Sierra Leone in 189th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 116 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants in the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 2347 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Sierra Leone is considered very dangerous. This corresponds to 30.6 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Sierra Leone, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced on March 1st, 1971. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.


Sierra Leone

 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways11,700 km1,389.44 km161.83 m
Railroads0 km0.00 km0.00 m
Waterways800 km95.00 km11.07 m
Commercial harbors59170.180.008


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways2,997,800 km2,151.40 km98.86 m
Railroads88,600 km63.57 km2.92 m
Waterways68,400 km49.09 km2.26 m
Commercial harbors7,9495.700.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
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