Sierra Leone

See the beauty of Sierra Leone through the eyes of Issam EISamad ©

Taylol village, Kambia Sierra Leone

A girl carrying dried rice stems from last season’s harvest. Her family will transport bags of these dried stems to cover their newly ploughed field which is the size of over 50 football fields! The walk is over 2 km. They start at sunrise and take a break at noon. The field must be covered before mid-May in anticipation of the first rains! They will then set fire to the dried stems and pray for rain!
The heavy rains usually arrive by mid-May to wash all the minerals and vitamins off the burnt stems into the already rich soil. The family will then plant this year’s rice! When it rains, the soil is fertilised naturally; it’s now a healthy Rice Paddy! In this part of the world, no chemical fertiliser or pesticides are used; this is how it has been done for generations and therefore organic rice which is known in Sierra Leone as “kontry ress” is extremely healthy to consume as it is 100% organic!

Lumley beach road

Amina. For all your cultural bracelets, necklaces and more.

The banks of the Rokel River

The banks of the Rokel River

Taken at 7:10 am on a hazy Harmattan morning, women only carry freshwater sand approximately 300 meters from the river bank to the main road where waiting lorries will be loaded by the women themselves! Sierra Leone women are very very hard working! Make no mistake when it comes to hard work hands down they are stronger than their counterpart!

Rock mountains

If you are travelling along the Makeni Kabala highway you would see these magnificent rock mountains or inselbergs. If you venture off the main highway there are places where, during the rainy season, you can see the amazing algae that grow on the rock’s surface giving them a beautiful fluorescent green coat! Other rock mountains, during the rainy season, also have some amazing waterfalls, some are over 50 meters high!

The Big Bamboo Inn

A sea of lobsters

Bamboo Bridge

The trek from Marampa village on the Makeni to Kabala highway to the base of Takoblor Mountain takes approximately 30 minutes. The path is adorned with beautiful rain streams, reminiscent of the one captured in the picture. Villagers have constructed small bamboo bridges along the way to access their farms.

Sierra Leone boasts some of the most undiscovered paradises, a fact that often surprises observers. Despite its natural beauty, many prefer to spend thousands of dollars exploring distant lands, overlooking the pristine wilderness right here. Salone reveals a breathtaking beauty beyond imagination.

Laundry by the river

Laundry by the river

Magbeneh/Rosar village, Port Loko District.
A simple life.


Lumley Beach Freetown. When the fishermen cast their drag nets everyone helps in reeling in the fishing net! Whether you are a fisherman or a fisherwoman!

Sunset over Barracuda Island

Sunset over Barracuda Island

Tokeh, Freetown, Sierra Leone


Faces of Sierra Leone - Fatmata (consent taken) 18 years old. Like many young people from the rural regions, she is not schooled. She walks to her farm daily where she helps the rest of her family harvest this year's rice!

Sunset on Turtle Island

Sunset over Barracuda Island

Baki, Sierra Leone

A Cow in Kabala

Nothing to see here but a lone cow in Kabala


Rombeh Swamp, Port Loko District

Adama, carrying twice her weight on her head!

Her mother whose consent was given for this picture was carrying a similar weight on her head with Adama’s sibling tied to her waist! Adama carries a similar load of wood twice a week from a nearby farm to their house - a 30-minute walk!
This little girl's Courage, persistence and focus and many like her throughout the country cannot be compared to that of the iPhone generation kids! And she smiles through her sweat without a care in the world!


Iron ore train tracks at sunrise


The mango girl


Turtle Island Sierra Leone

Lady cutting coconut

The message on this lady's t-shirt, whether she realises it or not, is still powerful and appropriate for the image. It reads, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

Tokeh Freetown Peninsular

Crystal clear waters of the Atlantic ocean pour into river no. 1 at high tide or every 6 hours and 25 minutes.

Mohamed, the Guide

Mohamed, the guide for visitors at the swamp, always exhibits a cheerful demeanor. Skillfully navigating the shallow waters of the swamp using his dug-out canoe and bamboo stick, he transports a single passenger, or a bag of produce, or engages in fishing activities, remaining dedicated to his tasks.

A dugout canoe sits on the Bank of Tiwai Island

A dugout canoe, Tiwai Island

A dugout canoe sits on the bank of Tiwai Island.
Tiwai Island hosts some of the most endangered species - the Pigmy hippopotamus and a rare red monkey species. Deforestation is currently having a devastating impact on the forests surrounding this beautiful reserve.



Mamusu sells African textiles. Mamusu identifies as she. She carries her baby, called Lastina, on her back. Mamusu tells the story of how Lastina is her only child and she is not thinking about having more children because her doctor warned her against it. She carried Lastina for over 16 months before giving birth due to pregnancy complications!

Children of Makalu Village

Children in Makalu village in northern Sierra Leone celebrate New Year's Day 2021. In this part of the world, there are no Christmas gifts or New Year's celebrations. They are seen grinding ingredients for their lunch using a Matapencil to crush the ingredients in the Matawodo. What might take 15 minutes or more is equivalent to just 30 seconds on an average food grinder. These children play a crucial role in making ends meet, under the watchful eye of their mother who teaches them as they learn.

Village man

Village man

In Sierra Leone if you live past 70 you’re extremely lucky and blessed! Abu Bakar lives in a village where there is no electricity or proper running water! There are also no supermarkets! He lives off the land! There appear to be more old people in the villages than in the city.

Abass Koroma

Abass Koroma

Veteran herring fisherman with over 40 years experience!

Sea never dry!

Silent suffering

Somewhere on the little Scarcies river Sierra Leone


Crossing the river at sunset in tokeh Sierra Leone

A busy Day

The white sands of Tokeh Beach

Eucalyptus trees

MIRO forestry Sierra Leone off Mile 91

Bakeleh swamp fisher women

Bakeleh swamp fisherwomen

Canoe Tent

Fishermen of Sierra Leone.

The black tent on the canoe is the fishermen's home for the night as they hope and pray for their nets to bring a big catch in the morning.

Rombeh Swamp

A beautiful Lily in Rombeh Swamp

The Medecine Man

Cures all ailments.

Tokeh Beach Sunday catch

Tokeh Beach Sunday catch

Rich and blessed Sierra Leone

Ahmed's Cockrells

Ahmed's Cockrells

Ahmed's Cockrells are the best in town! Each cock costs Leones 55,000 (less than $4 AUD). Ahmed's last price is Leones 50,000 buy or no buy! These are country Cocks not your average cock!

Hair plaiting

Hair plaiting

One of the many bonds that make up a good friendship! Teenage girls taking turns at hair plaiting, Wilberforce, Sierra Leone.