Tribewanted Offering Free Travel to Sierra Leone

Tribewanted and Kevin McPhillips Travel are giving away a green-trip to Sierra Leone from now until October 1. The winner will be involved in building the eco-community on the beautiful John Obey Beach.

Sierra Leone deserves a reputation that goes beyond blood diamonds, and Tribewanted is pushing the area in that direction. Tribewanted is an organization that aims to build cross-cultural communities through which visiting tribe members live in a real community with locals. This is not volunteer travel, nor is it a lazy holiday, nor is it a site-seeing escapade. Tribewanted communities are about living in a different culture, helping you think differently, and being a part  of sustainable development.

Tribewanted's first project began in 2006, on VoroVoro's beaches in Northern Fiji. Tribewanted built an island village with compost toilets, solar and wind energy as well as a vegetable garden and a livestock farm. Here's a taste of the Tribewanted financial layout: 70% of money is invested locally in employment, food, legal stuff, and so forth. 30% goes to marketing, web management and related costs. Tribewanted has invested USD$1 million in the local economy and created 20 full-time local jobs.

1100 "tribe members" chose to travel to the VoroVoro community, each staying for an average of two weeks. The online community is up to 10,000 and growing. In 2008, London's Broadcast Digital Media Awards selected Tribewanted as the "Best Social Network." Tribewanted has won a number of other awards as well, including Smarta 100, Future 100 and various Responsible Tourism Awards. After all this good growth, Ben Keene, the British entrepreneur behind Tribewanted, decided to start a new community near Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital in May 2010.

The Freetown Peninsula beaches receive few tourists, even though they are considered some of the most exquisite beaches in Africa. The economic infrastructure of Sierra Leone was severely damaged during the civil war, and there has been little opportunity for tourism. Sierra Leone has been peaceful since 2002, but only a few tourists have been adventurous enough to travel there. Sierra Leone is an optimal, pristine location for an eco-village that engages the community and helps lower the high rate of unemployment.

Interested in an all-expenses paid eco-trip, in which you will be one of the first to travel to the Sierra Leone Tribewanted community? You can enter everyday on their site or on their facebook page. The sweepstakes are open to entrant from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. Non-winners are encouraged to visit anyway: 7 nights at John Obey Beach with all meals and a donation included costs £295/USD$450, or, you can stay in VoroVoro for £220/USD$330. Go on, travel to the tribe.

Photo credit: Mark Heard