Makeni is a city in Sierra Leone.
Makeni is the main provincial town in the North of Sierra Leone. It has seen rapid development in the last few years because of its proximity to the major mining and bio-fuel production areas.
The roads from Freetown are very good. From Freetown, head to Masiaka, Rogbere Junction and then via Lunsar to Makeni. The journey from Freetown should take less than 2 hours, depending on the traffic conditions in Freetown. The road to Magburaka is also in good condition.
There are several very nice places to eat in Makeni. Global Restaurant on Magburaka Road offers both local and international food for a very good price. The waitresses are extremely friendly and appreciate the business and will often sit and chat with you throughout your visit.
If you're looking for a more familiar touch, you must go to The Clubhouse Bar, also on Magburaka Road. This is a bar and restaurant operated by the charity Street Child of Sierra Leone. All profits are used for Street Child projects across the country. Whilst prices are expensive in comparison to other restaurants around Makeni, the food is very good and it is one of the few air conditioned buildings in Makeni. At the Clubhouse you have the choice of sitting outside under one of two large awnings in the courtyard, or sit inside in the main area of the restaurant. Most of the time, it is quiet enough that you will have full control over the television and AC, meaning that you can watch the news during your lunch or take in a football match with your friends. It also has become a popular hangout area for young volunteers from abroad, so there is usually a very good vibe around the place.
In the centre of town, near the Clock Tower, there are several food stalls offering all kinds of food. Popular choices are the bread and meat skewer stations. You can buy a loaf of bread and 5 skewers of meat for about Le 6,000, or under £1, and make a delicious meat sandwich which will fill you up for hours. There are also several fruit stalls offering seasonal produce throughout the day and night.
Makeni has a few hotels/guest houses which are above the general standard expected for a regional town. The most famous of which is the Wusum Hotel. A substantial sum was invested in the construction of this place and it is popular with international visitors. MJ's Hotel is also of a reasonable standard and is on the main road through Makeni. There are some other guest houses in and around the town.
- 1 Wusum Hotel, 64 Teko Road Makeni, ☎ . A new high standard hotel (some say the best in Sierra Leone). There is a good pool, air conditioned rooms, full electricity 24/7, gymming facilities, games area&bar (table tennis, snooker & pool), sports bar&night club (showing premier league games) and wireless Internet. US$105.
- MJ's Hotel. Reasonable and affordable accommodation. Power during the night 1900-0700, but air conditioning only runs from 2100-0200. TV in each room with DSTV and cold showers. Le120,000.
Western style commercial radio station, Capital Radio, covers the city on 103.3MHz.
Makeni is a good base for exploring the Northern Province. It is easy to get transport to Kamakwie, the town nearest to Outamba-Kilimi National Park.