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Top Tourism Sites and the Ultimate Travel Guide for Liberia, West Africa

Posted on Wed November 29, 2023.

Discover Liberia, a beautiful West African destination calling adventurous travelers. It's not your typical beach getaway; it's a place that requires some effort. This destination appeals to those well-versed in navigating regions with limited tourism infrastructure. However, Liberia promises a magical and profoundly enriching experience for seasoned adventurers looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination.

If you are interested in traveling in Liberia, here are the top destinations in Liberia, as well as some insider travel tips.

What are the top destinations in Liberia?

Liberia is a beautiful West African country known for its lush rainforests, stunning coastline, and vibrant culture. While it may not be as well-known as some other tourist destinations in West Africa, Liberia has much to offer for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. Here is a list of some top destinations in Liberia, West Africa:

  • Monrovia:
    • The capital and largest city of Liberia, Monrovia, is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and historical architecture. History buffs can explore sites like Providence Island and the National Museum of Liberia to learn about the country's history and culture. Visitors wanting to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this bustling city should head to Waterside Market for a walk through the crowded streets and vendors.

Aerial view of Monrovia, Liberia's capital city, Photo credit: MICAT

  • Robertsport:
    • Located in the country's far western edge, Robertsport is a charming fishing town known for its stunning beaches and excellent surf waves. Connect with the Robertsport Surf Club to learn more about surfing and surf lessons from Robertsport's thriving surf community. The long stretches of golden sand also make it a great place for relaxation and beautiful sunsets. Nearby Lake Piso is Liberia's largest lake and a tranquil destination for birdwatching, fishing, and boat rides. 
  • Mount Nimba:
    • This stunning mountain range is located on the border of Liberia, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire. Mount Nimba is a mountain known for its unique biodiversity, including rare plant and animal species. Hiking and nature exploration are popular activities in the East Nimba Nature Reserve. Enquire about hiring a guide from your guest house in Yekepa or Sanniquellie to accompany you on the Summit Trail which will lead you to a lookout over the three bordering West African countries.
  • Sapo National Park:
    • Sapo National Park is Liberia's largest national park and a biodiversity hotspot. It's home to diverse wildlife, including pygmy hippos, forest elephants, and over 200 species of birds. Guided tours offer a chance to explore the park's dense rainforests and pristine natural beauty. Stay at the Sapo Ecolodge, located on the Sinoe River and the edge of the park, just a 45-minute walk from Jalay Town through the rainforest. 
  • Kpatawee Waterfall:
    • Located in Bong County just three hours from Monrovia, Kpatawee Waterfall is a picturesque natural attraction where you can swim and enjoy the refreshing waters surrounded by the lush Liberian countryside. Stay overnight at the lodge at the waterfall site and choose between a cozy hut or camping. 

Kpatawee Waterfall, Photo credit: Becca Leaman

  • Buchanan:
    • Buchanan, a coastal city in Liberia, boasts stunning beaches and offers various water-based activities, including swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. The city's primary beach is known as Buchanan Beach and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Additionally, you can explore other nearby beaches and a vibrant local market. Buchanan has some historical landmarks, including in nearby Edina. With 1800s-style homes, churches, monuments, and other artifacts, a walking tour of Edina can give insight into the history of African Americans who arrived in Liberia to create a new home.
  •  Marshall:
    • Head to Marshall City, where a new tourism dock provides a jumping off point to explore Marshall's rivers and wetlands by boat. Rub shoulders with Liberian fishermen when you explore Marshall City’s Fishing Village and learn about daily life on the Farmington River. You can also arrange a fishing and sightseeing ride on a traditional fishing boat and wind your way through mangrove forests and by islands. The dock also serves as the launch for staying at the Kokon Ecolodge, just a short boat-ride away on a strip of beautiful isolated coast near Bassa Point. Don't forget to stop by the Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary (across from the popular Libassa Ecolodge) to learn about the animals of Liberia and local conservation efforts.

Marshall Wetlands, Photo credit: Peter Damerell

What language is spoken in Liberia?

The official language of Liberia is English; however most individuals in the country speak Liberian English, which is very different to mainstream English. Because of this, communication can occasionally be challenging. There are guides online to help you learn, as well as phrasebooks for purchase. Other predominant languages spoken in Liberia include Kpelle, Bassa, Grebo, Dan, Kru, Mano, Loma, and Mandingo.

What currency is used in Liberia?

The Liberian dollar is the official currency in Liberia. United States dollars (USD) are also accepted. You can use a credit card in many establishments in Monrovia; however, outside of Monrovia, you will need to rely primarily on cash. You can find ATMs in Monrovia, but they are often out of cash.

What is the climate like in Liberia?

The climate is hot year-round and tropical, with two distinct seasons - the rainy season from May to October and the dry season from December to April. Expect high humidity and daily temperatures ranging between 78 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, as well as cool nights. 

When is the best time to travel to Liberia?

While the climate in Liberia generally remains stable and conducive for travel year-round, it is generally advised to visit Liberia during the dry season (December to April), as more activities are available.

What are the visa requirements for Liberia?

Visas are required for most nationalities to enter Liberia. Visas must be applied for at one of the Liberian diplomatic missions. Proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Liberia. 

For more information regarding visa requirements, e-mail your local Liberia embassy site.

What are the main international flights to Monrovia, Liberia?

Liberia's international airport is called Roberts International Airport (ROB). It is located near the town of Harbel and is about 35 miles from the nation's capital of Monrovia.

Four airlines currently fly to Monrovia from around the world - Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, ASKY Airlines, and Air Côte D'Ivoire. The major hubs for flying in and out of Monrovia include Accra Kotoka International Airport, Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Brussels Airport, and Conakry Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport. 

Is Liberia safe for tourists?

While Liberian locals are friendly and open, visitors are advised to take the same precautions they would take when visiting any developing country or big city. This includes not traveling at night, being cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times, keeping valuables out of sight and only working with reputable tourism businesses and credible Liberia agencies. Transportation accidents are a real risk in Liberia as roads are in poor shape and vehicles are often not well maintained.

How can you get around Liberia?

There are no public buses in Liberia, and renting a car that you drive yourself is both uncommon and expensive. There is a rideshare taxi system that travelers can use to reach destinations such as Robertsport and Yekepa. However, it can get quite crowded in the taxi, often with six passengers stuffed in the taxi. You can pick up these taxis from parking stations in markets such as Red Light and Douala, among other locations.

Another option for long-distance travel and travel within Monrovia is to hire a private taxi. To find a reputable taxi service, ask your hotel or guest house for the number of a taxi company or individual. Traveling within Monrovia is about $10 USD for one trip. There is also the option to hire a private vehicle and driver for the duration of the stay, however this is a much more expensive option. In Liberia, you will also find ‘KeKes’, or motor rickshaws, which can be utilized similar to taxis. Both taxis and KeKes only accept cash.

What is there to do in Monrovia? 

Kendeja Resort, Monrovia, Photo credit: Solimar International

Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia, offers a blend of history, culture, and modernity. Here's a small description of what to do and explore in Monrovia:

  • Providence Island 
    • Start your visit by exploring Providence Island, where the country was founded. Learn about Liberia's history at the Providence Island Museum. You will have to organize a tour through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism to gain entry to the island. 
  • National Museum of Liberia
    • Delve into Liberia's rich history and cultural heritage at the National Museum. It features exhibits on traditional Liberian art, tribal artifacts, and historical documents, providing insights into the country's past.
  • Ducor Hotel 
    • Although the hotel is currently closed, the iconic Ducor Hotel remains a historic landmark in Monrovia. It's worth admiring from the outside for its grand architecture and panoramic views of the city.
  • Cultural Experiences
    • Engage with the local culture by visiting markets like Waterside Market, where you can shop for handicrafts, clothing, and traditional foods. Be sure to try some Liberian cuisine, such as jollof rice, cassava leaf soup, and fried plantains.
  • Beaches
    • Relax on the city's beaches like Silver Beach or ELWA Beach. You can swim, sunbathe, or take part in water sports. The sunsets along Liberia's coast are particularly stunning.
  • Antoinette Tubman Stadium
    • If you're a sports enthusiast, catch a local soccer (football) match at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium. Liberians are passionate about the sport, and attending a match can be a lively and enjoyable experience.
  • Arts and Crafts
    • Explore local art galleries and craft shops, such as the shops outside of the Mamba Point Hotel, to discover the creativity of Liberian artists. You can find traditional wood carvings, paintings, and other unique pieces that reflect the country's culture and traditions.
  • Nightlife
    • Monrovia offers a vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and restaurants. Enjoy live music, dance to Afrobeat and reggae tunes, and interact with locals to get a taste of the city's nightlife culture.
  • Day Trips
    • Consider taking day trips to nearby attractions, such as Marshall City or the Firestone Rubber Plantation, to learn about Liberia's industry and infrastructure.

Remember to respect local customs, be mindful of safety, and stay updated on any travel advisories when exploring Monrovia. The city's mix of history, culture, and natural beauty makes it an intriguing destination for travelers interested in experiencing West African culture and history.

What to bring and how to prepare before the trip?

Proof of a Yellow Fever Vaccination is required to enter Liberia. It is also highly recommended to speak to your doctor about immunizations and anti-malarial medication. Due to lack of credit card facilities beyond the capital Monrovia, and the fact that ATMs are few and far between and often out of cash, it is wise to bring all the cash you need for your stay in Liberia, either in USD or Liberian dollars.

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