- Written by Dan
Liberia Travel Insights
Photo by Juan Freire
Travel advice covering the basics when preparing to travel to Liberia.
When to Go
The dry season (November to April) is the best time to visit Liberia, when the temperature averages about 28ºC. The rainy season (May to October) sees blossoming plants and crops, but can turn dirt roads into thick muck. With more than double the average rainfall on the coast (the coast gets about 200 inches annually), Liberia is one of the wettest countries in all Africa.
With no public transportation, the best means of getting around is by taxi or hired car (a 4x4 vehicle with driver is best).
There are no direct flight from North America, and all final legs depart from Brussels, Belgium (when travelling from Canada). Most airlines offer flights with two stopovers, though travellers can find flights at extra cost with only one. flights arrive at Roberts International Airport, which is 56 kilometres from Monrovia. A Yellow Fever immunization certificate and travel visa are required for entry to Liberia. Once in Monrovia it shouldn't be hard to find a hotel; prices range from $50-$150 USD depending on your budget.
What to See and Do
Monrovia serves as Liberia's central hub and has plenty to offer. Waterside Market is popular for its African textiles, and is a great way to experience the hustle and bustle of the city. Just down the road is the Masonic Temple; Originally built when slaves first arrived from the United States in 1822, it's one of the city's oldest buildings. Be sure to make time for the Red Light Market—the largest open-air market in the country, it sells a plethora of food, but just about everything can be found there.
Rubber is one of Liberia's main industries—you can visit one of the world's oldest and largest rubber plantations right in the country. Two hours northwest of Monrovia lies Nana's Lodge in Grande Cape Mount, which offers prime surfing and is a great take-off point for Lake Piso, one of Liberia's largest lakes.
Another must-see is Sapo National Park. Just 300 kilometres from Monrovia, it is the only national park in Liberia; you can also get to the park from the town of Greenville in the country's southeast. Liberia has 40 percent of West Africa's rainforest and is a biodiversity dreamland—home to an array of wildlife, including chimpanzees and the elusive Pygmy Hippopotamus. As of yet there are no formal hotels in the Sapo area, though it's possible to find basic lodgings at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) guesthouse on the outskirts of the park (you'll need your own sleeping bag and mat). Camping is also available, though no formal sites exist. Contact the FDA headquarters in Monrovia to ask about permits. The FDA also provides guides and trackers, as well as canoes to cross the Sapo River. For more info on Sapo National Park, contact Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and see www.fauna-flora.org.
Barefoot Safari, as of yet one of Liberia's only tour operators, is based in Monrovia but offers guided tour operators, is based in Monrovia but offers guided tours around the entire country, with a focus on history and culture, wildlife and the rainforest. A closer trip from Monrovia is the 15 kilometres to beautiful Silver Beach. Once there, the more isolated Thinkers Beach is only a few kilometres away, and St. Martin's Beach just after it. A few hours northeast of Monrovia gets you to Gbarnga, home to the Kpatawee Waterfall.
Aaron definitely recommends the roadside restaurant—the busier one is, he says, the better the dish! Ask for house specials, but try the Liberian specialty of grilled chicken and fish with potato salad too!