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Sierra Leone

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Souvenirs from Sierra Leone

Dangling key chains, printed refrigerator magnets, water globes, T-shirts and post cards are a selection of popular souvenirs from Sierra Leone, but a savvy visitor will also find remarkable handicrafts to enjoy long after the vacation ends. Tribal art is always popular, particularly for its dramatic styles and high impact use of color. A large ceremonial mask, a woven basket used for daily storage, or hand turned vases and bowls are the typical representations of this work. Wooden statues, carved into animist deities or scenes from daily life, are of high quality. A smaller Sierra Leonean souvenir is a piece of jewelry. There are many mining operations in the country, so precious metals and stones can be found for excellent prices, either loose or made into stunning accessories. If you are looking for something less costly, but no less meaningful, you can also find strands of trade beads, made from glass, to wear as they are or to turn into your own creation.

The Geography of Sierra Leone

Located on Africa's Atlantic Coast, Sierra Leone shares borders with Guinea and Liberia and covers over 70,000 km of area. There are 4 different geographical regions, each with a distinctive personality: the eastern mountains, where you'll find Mount Bintumani rising up 1948 meters; the upland plateaus; the forested hill country; and the coast Guinean mangroves. The climate is often described as a tropical monsoon climate, although it might be more accurately described as a transitional tropical rainforest and tropical savannah. The rainy season lasts from May to November, and that is also when the temperatures are at their highest. The dry season, from December to May, is the coolest season, especially when the harmattan winds blow from the Sahara Desert. Temperatures average 26 degrees Celsius, and can range from 26 to 36 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The coastal regions can see from 3000-5000 millimeters per year in rainfall, but the interior is drier, with only 2000-2500 millimeters of precipitation each year.

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