Outamba-Kilimi National Park, about 35km from Kabala, is a large, hard-to-reach park in the northern part of the country that contains rain forest and savanna. Animals to watch for include elephants, pygmy hippos, chimpanzees and colobus monkeys. Kamakwie is the nearest town. This is a wild -- wild life adventure.
The West African Lorry is the only way to go. If you want to go to any other town in the country, to Makeni, Bo, Kenema, Kabala you go out to the main road and catch one of the lorries. One's first impression of the lorries is how charming and raggle-taggle they are. The lorry is a pick-up truck which had been modified by putting a metal roof over the bed, bench running down each side, and the sides above the pick-up bed are open.
The charm of the lorry is the proverb, saying or name that is painted across the top part at the front, back or sides of the metal canopy. I use to keep a list of lorry paintings. "Believe in God Shall Never Perish", "Save Us Oh God City Boy" "Got Bless Allah" "Baby Rose Power," "Take Care of My Back," "Who the Cap Fit", "God Bless OFO" , "Sweetie Come Kiss Me," "Professional Again;" "Boss Man;" "Simplicity Cool Cat;" "Correct Man Again;" and “Road Master” to name a few. And to keep naming -- "aMaRaDa;" "Surprise Dem" and "No True They Las #2" are partly in Krio. Sierra Leoneons are very religious. You can tell this when you see "God is Merciful" coming up the road, or "By God Power" or "The Lord is My Guide" stopped at the roadside.” No Body Like Friend;" The Evil that Men Do;" and "No Condition is Permanent" or "Think Twice" are opinions that are probably shared by lots of people here.
It's sometimes the only way people have to travel from place to place here, so people rely on this lorry system for transport. The lorry can go fast on the straight paved stretches of road, and there are some. The driver might slip out of gear and coast down-hill to save fuel, and he might pass a slower moving truck to save time. The driver's decision to pass has never, in my experience, been based on what was coming from the opposite direction or whether he could see ahead. The roads are for the most part are in very bad condition; packed earth, gravel and pot holes can go on for miles and miles and miles.
Maybe you can imagine it; or well maybe not.
Since 1991 Sierra Leone country has faced a harsh "campaign of terror" that has torn its people apart. This conflict overflowed from Liberia and is motivated by the profitable diamond trade. This conflict in Sierra Leone, has been waged against the civilians of this country, driving them from their homes, forcing them to work as slave laborers, torturing them by cutting off limbs, and forcibly recruiting child soldiers. Forces on both sides of this conflict enlist children, and in its worst form, child soldiering includes children as young as four carrying weapons, forced drug use, rape as warfare, and "de-institutionalization" whereby children are forced to kill and maim family members to prove their alliance to the military group. The Revolutionary United Front is known for committing some of the worst atrocities against children and civilians.