Tiwai Island

Community Conservation Initiative

Tiwai is a community conservation programme, managed by the Tiwai Island Administrative Committee (TIAC), which represents both communities, government, Universities & conservation organizations.All funds raised go towards running the project as well as supporting the Community Development Fund, to help finance community initiated programmes.



The Moa river journeys from Guinea, close to the tip of the river Niger, traveling south across Sierra Leone & flushing out in to the Atlantic Ocean. The wide open river hosts a cluster of islands, including Tiwai. You can take a river tour in canoe or motorboat, watching birds fly overhead or river turtles surface. For explorers, night tours search for the elusive and extremely rare pygmy hippopotamus.

At the tip of Tiwai’s northern edge lies one of two stretches of sandy beach.

Access to the beach is seasonal, as in the rainy season, the sandy mounds are hidden underwater. You can enjoy a cooling swim in the fresh water … look out for river otter paw prints as they sometimes like to play on the sand.

Webs of trails weave through the Tiwai forest, allowing visitors and researchers to explore up to 50 km of walking paths. If you move silently through the forest, you can glimpse some of the rarest & most colorful primates in the world, such as the diana & colobus monkeys.

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  • Tiwai in Mende language means big island
  • Tiwai Island is Sierra Leone’s first & only community conservation programme
  • At 12 sq kms, Tiwai is one of Sierra Leone’s largest inland islands
  • The Gola Forest Reserves, which host the last significant patches of rainforest in Sierra Leone, spread east of Tiwai to the Liberian border