Climate of Sierra Leone

Climate of Sierra Leone

Where is the country of Sierra Leone located? The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. The name comes from the time when the Portuguese were in power here and means Lion Mountain. In the east, the landscape mainly consists of mountainous areas, with Mount Bintumani as the highest point in the country (1948 meters). The central part of Sierra Leone mainly consists of forests, rainforest and fields. Along the coast, low plains with variable vegetation dominate, including a lot of mangrove. Sierra Leone has a tropical monsoon climate (type Am according to the Köppen climate classification). The Loma Mountains in the northeast have a tropical savanna climate.

Two seasons

The climate of Sierra Leone has two seasons: the rainy season (from May to November) and the dry season (from December to May). Within the dry season, the harmattan can blow. This dry and dusty wind comes from the Sahara and can cause the temperature to drop by a few degrees within an hour or two. In the rainy season, this specific wind hardly occurs anymore. Within the monsoon period there are two months with locally sometimes extremely high precipitation. The months of July and August are mainly very gray and wet, with an average between 500 and 1000 millimeters.


Temperatures in Sierra Leone are fairly constant. During the day, for example, it is almost always between 27 and 34 degrees, whereby it should be noted that the lowest temperatures are usually recorded on the coast and in the highlands. At night the temperature decreases slowly until the lowest reading on the thermometer is reached at daybreak. On average, the lowest temperature is between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month Water temperature
January 30℃ 21℃ 8 1 27℃
February 30℃ 22℃ 8 1 27℃
March 30℃ 23℃ 7 4 26℃
April 30℃ 23℃ 7 8 27℃
May 30℃ 23℃ 6 15 28℃
June 29℃ 22℃ 5 21 28℃
July 27℃ 22℃ 3 25 28℃
August 27℃ 22℃ 3 27 27℃
September 28℃ 22℃ 4 24 27℃
October 29℃ 22℃ 6 20 28℃
November 29℃ 22℃ 7 11 29℃
December 29℃ 22℃ 7 3 28℃

Best time to visit Sierra Leone

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Sierra Leone? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa. The country has a tropical monsoon climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby Sahara. Sierra Leone has two seasons: the rainy season that lasts from May to September and a dry season that falls in winter. Significant amounts of precipitation fall on an annual basis. Count on an average of two to three thousand millimeters of rain per year. During the wettest months, as much as 800 to 900 millimeters can fall in one month. The combination of so much precipitation with tropical temperatures results in high humidity. That makes it stuffy. An additional effect is that the weather can be gloomy, especially on the coast in the months of July and August. In the capital Freetown you don’t have to count on more than about 75 to 80 hours of sunshine per month.

Best months

The best time to travel for a holiday or other type of trip to Sierra Leone is from December to March. It will be warm, but not too hot. There is hardly any rain during these months and the sun is visible for a large part of the day. It can get hotter in the interior during February. Think of temperatures that can sometimes reach 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. If you want to experience the interior of Sierra Leone, it is therefore better to choose December or January as a travel period. In winter, the Harmattan can cause a sudden change in the weather. This is dry wind blowing from the Sahara. The entrained air is not only dry, it also ensures that temperatures can temporarily drop significantly. You notice this especially in the interior during the night. The temperature can then drop to around ten degrees. For a tropical destination, that’s seriously cool.

Sierra Leone