The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has revealed that Sierra Leone saw the highest growth in tourist numbers in the world in 2016.
The country saw a 310% increase in tourists, from 24 000 visitors in 2015 to an impressive 74 400 in 2016. With the risk of Ebola being alleviated following the 2014 outbreak in West Africa, the country has seen more travellers taking an interest in visiting it.
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The now peaceful nation that was engaged in a civil war between 1991 to 2002 lies at the foot of the Atlantic Ocean, has pristine white-sand beaches such as River Number Two Beach, John Obey Beach and Lakka Beach.
Sierra Leone is also home to protected national parks and reserves such as Outamba-Kilimi National Park, Gola Rainforest National Park and Kangari Hills Forest Reserve that boast diverse wildlife, including chimpanzees.
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The capital, Freetown, which is also the largest city was once the home of freed slaves from Great Britain, the United States and Nova Scotia, and is situated in the western region of the country. Its history, markets, nightlife and bustling energy make it a must-see.
Here are the top 10 fastest-growing tourism destinations in 2016:
- Sierra Leone, with 310% more visitors
- Nepal, with 39,7% more visitors
- Iceland (39%)
- South Korea (30,3%)
- Moldova (28,6%)
- Chile (26%)
- Vietnam (24,6%)
- Japan (21,8%)
- Liechtenstein (21,7%)
- Kiribati (21,6%)