ACSHR 2022

FAQs

Registration

For three or more guests, please contact VSL directly for assistance with your hotel booking.

We are pleased to offer discounted registration to the conference for group bookings, please contact us directly at to acshr@wearepurposeful.org arrange

We will have a conference registration desk in the reception of your hotel when you arrive.  You will be able to check into your room at the reception desk and proceed to the conference registration desk to both register and collect your welcome pack.  This will save time when attending the conference the next day.

Accommodation

Our website has all of the information you will need to select your accommodation and pay for your hotel. Visit the Accommodation page for hotel and prices.  There are discounted rates of up to 40% for conference partner hotels.

All of the hotels we have listed have been tried and tested by Purposeful staff, have en suite bathrooms, in room wifi, air conditioning and food available on site.

International Visas

We advise you to check before you travel.  Delegates from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) don’t need a visa to enter the country, as well as many others from African and Caribbean countries in the commonwealth. Check here to see if your country requires a visa to enter Sierra Leone.

If you do require a visa, we will have airport staff in the dedicated area of arrivals to assist you in this process.  This is a quick process, the fee is $25 or $80, depending on the country. Please bring cash for the purchase of your visa. 

COVID-19

Before traveling, everyone will need to register on the Government of Sierra Leone travel portal Vaccinated passengers do not require an on-arrival PCR test. You will need to travel with your vaccination certificate and your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Unvaccinated passengers will require an on-arrival PCR test which should be booked and paid for in advance through the travel portal.  Government of Sierra Leone travel portal As of Monday 4th October 2021, all incoming passengers over the age of 18 who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine at a NaCOVERC-approved hotel on arrival to Sierra Leone, while they wait for the results of their airport PCR test. (Only diplomatic passport-holders are exempt from this rule). Fully-vaccinated incoming passengers will not have to quarantine at a NaCOVERC-approved hotel but will need to isolate until they receive their airport PCR test result.

The following categories of people will be considered unvaccinated. Any incoming passenger over the age of 18 who:

  • has not had any COVID-19 vaccine doses
  • has only had one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine
  • has received the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine less than two weeks prior to arriving in Sierra Leone
  • has received one-dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine less than two weeks prior to arriving in Sierra Leone
  • does not have documentation to prove they are fully-vaccinated on their person.

If the above category applies to you, please ensure that you make the appropriate arrangements when arranging your flight/s and accommodation.  For a full list of NaCoverc-approved hotels, please visit Government of Sierra Leone Travel portal, FAQs

Currently, all visitors need to complete a PCR test before departure at the end of the conference stay. There is a cost of approx. $50 which can be paid via the same travel portal above.

We have arranged for PCR testing to take place at the conference venue on the final day. Covid-19 Guidance may be updated, and we will liaise with you ahead of your trip with any changes.

Airport Arrivals

You will be met by Conference Delegation at the airport to welcome and assist you with your onward journey.  There will be a dedicated area at the airport for conference delegates.  You should allow approximately 2 hours from arrival at the airport to your hotel.

There will be a dedicated area at the airport for conference delegates to ensure your smooth transition through immigration and passport control.  If you do not have a visa and need to have one, you will be able to obtain this before going through immigration.  It is a very quick process and will cost between $25 and $80, depending on your country. Check here to see whether your country requires a visa to enter Sierra Leone.  Once you complete this process, you should then claim your luggage and the next step will be to board the shuttle bus to the boat port.

In order to get to the hotel, you will need to cross the Sierra Leone River which is the usual mode of onward travel into Freetown. We have partnered with Sea Coach Express to facilitate your travel to the hotel.  Sea Coach synchronise their timetable with flight arrivals and departure times at Lungi which will help to minimise your waiting time. If you did not purchase your boat ticket when you booked  your hotel, you will need to purchase a ticket once you arrive at the boat port for $70 return.

Once you are through airport immigration, passport control, have claimed your luggage and are through customs, you will need to board a shuttle bus to take you to the boat port.  Conference delegation will assist your transfer to the shuttle service.  Your luggage will be loaded onto the shuttle bus or an accompanying vehicle simultaneously and once you arrive at the boat port, you will be guided to the waiting area until it is time to board the boat.

Once your boat ticket is purchased, your luggage will be tagged and the luggage tag will be attached to your boat ticket.  Your luggage will be loaded onto the boat and you will be seated in the waiting area until it is time to board the boat. 

It may be dark by the time you board the boat but there will be staff on hand to guide you safely from the waiting area onto the boat.  The crossing is approximately 50 minutes.

Once you arrive at Aberdeen Boat port in Freetown, you will disembark the boat and proceed to the waiting area.  Conference Delegation will be present to assist you.  Your luggage will be offloaded into the waiting area and you will present your luggage tags to claim your luggage. 

Once you have claimed your luggage, you will be guided to the shuttle bus which will take you to the hotel.  Your luggage will be loaded onto this bus or onto an accompanying vehicle which will proceed to the hotel and offloaded for you to take with you.

No, as your conference registration covers the cost of all transfers from the airport.

Whilst the boat crossing is the quickest route to Freetown, should you prefer not to use this service for whatever reason you could hire a vehicle/taxi at your own expense.  Please note however, that this journey will be considerably longer than the boat crossing (2-3 hours) and with the strong possibility of rain, the journey could be more difficult. This option will also be more costly approx $220 per trip for a 4×4.

You would have to arrange to book into a local hotel and arrange your boat crossing the following morning.  Please discuss this with VSL

The boat is very safe and is the usual mode of transport for travel to and from Freetown used by hundreds of passengers daily, including our staff.

Transport in Freetown

There will be a regular shuttle bus service from each of our partner hotels to the conference centre to arrive in time for the start of the conference at 9am daily.  Details will be provided in your welcome pack. Your conference registration covers the cost of all transfers.

There will be a regular shuttle bus service from the conference centre to each of the partner hotels. This will take into account the end of the day around 6.30pm and the end of the evening event at approximately 10pm.

You will not have to pay for the shuttle service to and from the conference as your conference registration will cover the cost of all transfers.

The shuttle service will remain outside of the conference venue throughout the day for this purpose.

Money

We strongly advise you to bring cash in USD, ideally in freshly issued bank notes.  For visas, you will need between $25-$80 on arrival to cover the cost of the visa and $70 for the return boat fare if you have not already paid for this via the Airport and Sea Crossing Transfer Form via Visit Sierra Leone. 

As many transactions in Sierra Leone are made in cash, opportunities to exchange currency and withdraw cash will be available at the conference venue.  Withdrawal of cash may incur a small fee imposed by your bank. Please check before you travel.

All hotels listed on the website accept Visa payment and payment in cash.

It is advisable to change some currency as many transactions are made in cash in Sierra Leone.  You can of course use your card at places such as restaurants but please note that the use of your card in any way may incur a small fee imposed by your bank and you should check this before you travel.  You will be able to exchange currency and withdraw cash via a bank concession in the conference venue. 

The national currency is Leones (Le 1,000 = approximately $0.75)

Food and Drink

Similar to other countries in the region, the staple foods of Sierra Leone are rice, cassava, plantains, beans, groundnuts, and yam. 

Our food court at the conference will have a wide variety of hot and cold dishes to choose from throughout the day, including the local cuisine.

Your hotel booking will include breakfast and there is also a restaurant and bar at each of the partner hotels.

Clothing and Weather

Whilst it is usually very warm in Sierra Leone, June to late September is the rainy season.  Bring light clothing but also a light jumper or cardigan in case you feel cold in air conditioned spaces.  We also advise you to bring a raincoat/waterproof jacket and umbrella and comfortable sturdy shoes or trainers which may get wet when outside, along with sandals for when you are indoors and in case your outdoor shoes become wet.

Aside from a raincoat and umbrella, you should consider packing things like mosquito repellent, bite cream or spray, antihistamines, pain relief tablets, anti sea sickness tablets, sun cream and of course swimwear!

Although still very warm, June to late September is the rainy season in Sierra Leone.  We advise you to have a waterproof jacket and umbrella at your disposal along with spare comfortable shoes to change into if the shoes you are wearing become very wet.

Women do not need to cover their arms and legs unless they need to do this for religious reasons.  The dress code for the conference is casual, comfortable and cool!

Visit Sierra Leone can assist you with tours and leisure activities – visit the section on tours

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