The vision of Gola Rainforest National Park is to act as a catalyst for peace, prosperity and national pride in Sierra Leone, ensuring that its globally important habitats, biodiversity, environmental services and wider landscape are conserved and that neighbouring communities are active environmental stewards of the natural resource base that underpins and enhances their livelihoods.
The Gola Rainforest is one of the largest remnants of the Upper Guinean Tropical Rainforest. It is the largest remnant in Sierra Leone where over 330 bird species have been recorded, 14 of which face global risk of extinction, including the endangered Rufous Fishing-owl (Scotopella ussheri) and Gola malimbe (Malimbus ballmanni). Of global conservation concern and no doubt the most emblematic there is the white-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus). These species are only a few of those that drove the international recognition of this area as a global biodiversity hotspot, requiring upmost effort and attention from the conservation community. For the last century, unsustainable activities such as agricultural expansion, mining and timber have been serious threats to Gola’s biodiversity but also to the local communities relying on the forest for their livelihoods. Sierra Leone is ranked as the 10th poorest country worldwide (2012) and the estimated 140,000 people living in Gola’s immediate surroundings could well be considered as the “poorest of the poor”.
We strongly advise that you do not consume any of the local water in Liberia unless it is treated or alternatively purchased bottled water. Due to the country's poor sanitation, there is serious risk contracting water borne diseases