There are actually several airlines that fly weekly between Conakry and Freetown. Air France, among the most notable, offers flights twice weekly. You can check their website for timetable and cost. The trip itself is quite short, perhaps 45 minutes or so, inclusive of ground time.
Entry to Sierra Leone generally requires a visa and price will vary depending on your nationality. You can apply for visa in Conakry if you expect to be around for a few days.Edited: 12 November 2011, 4:27
I have made the trip by land from Freetown to Guinea. The distance is about 77 miles as the crow flies but far longer by air. In total about 4 hours from Freetown to the borderon a fairly poor road and then 2 hours of less on the other side on a better road. A reputible agent should be able to arrange a vehicle and drive but it will not be cheap. I did not have any trouble on the border in either direction but others suggest that a 'small dash' has been asked of them. In this event stand firm. Obviously ensure documents are in order - no visas on the border and unlike one person I travelled with ensure if you have to return to Sierra Leone or Guinea a second time you have a double/multiple entry visa.
I know some who have made the journey by charter boat - no idea of the costs here. As has been stated there are some flight but you cannot totally rely on air travel in this part of the world and road travel in my epxerience is more fun.
Great post Andrew.
I have been told that it is possible to obtain a visa for Sierra Leone on the land border but more expensive than obtaining it from a Sierra Leone embassy in advance.
I have traveled this route routinely and can assure that air travel is quite reliable. The land route is difficult and can be very intimidating for first time travelers. I would definitely avoid travel by ferry as these boats are notoriously overcrowded and in poor condition, and sink with some regularity. Visas can be obtained at border crossings, but often very challenging. It is best to obtain a visa before traveling to the region, or in Conakry if you have a few days layover in Guinea. Official prices do not reflect hidden costs such as bribes for officials at border crossings, keep this in mind when traveling throughout Africa.Edited: 10 March 2012, 17:30
obtain a visa for sierra leone at the embassy and fly thru the lungi airport is teh best way to go to sierra leone
The overland route is perfectly fine.
The road from Conakry to Coyah is an absolute mess, and in traffic will take approx 2 hours.
From Coyah to the border is good tar all the way, except for a few broken stretches, nothing serious. One bolshy police checkpoint on this stretch but just play the game and humour them. They tried to fine me for driving in sandals. Refused to pay. They made me attend the police station 2kms away. I dug my heels in and pointed out all the others going past in sandals and they smiled and backed down. They try to intimidate you and if they smell fear they will pounce. Stand firm, be polite, and maintain a smile, eye contact, and confident body language. As long as your papers are in order they can't do you for anything.
Border is easy, I took a group of 17 of us through both sides in less than 2 hours. S Leone side are particularly friendly.
Road from border to Waterloo/Hadtings area is brand new tar, BRAND NEW! A dream to drive on. Then it picks up the old tar road into the city which is a bit pot holed nothing bad, just can be slow going if traffic in full flow.
Leave Conakry by 8am you will be in Freetown for mid afternoon!