Liberia

Africa's first republic, Liberia was founded in 1822. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its west, Guinea to its north and Côte d'Ivoire to its east.  Along with Ethiopia, Liberia is one of only two modern countries in Sub-Saharan Africa without roots in the European colonization of Africa. On 26 1847, this new country became the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States and naming its capital city Monrovia after the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe. English is the official language of Liberia and it lies between latitudes 4° and 9°N, and longitudes 7° and 12°W. The official currency is the Liberian Dollar.

There are over sixteen indigenous ethnic groups in Liberia. The majority of the population is composed of the indigenous people. Kpelle is the largest ethnic group concentrated mainly in central and western Liberia. There are a few descendants of African-American settlers called Americo-Liberians in the country. Lebanese, Indians, and other West African nationals are the minority groups.

Notable Places to Visit

Sapo National Park – It’s a national park in Sinoe County, Liberia, the country's largest protected area of rainforest and its only national park, which contains the second-largest area of primary tropical rainforest in West Africa. The Park was very actively patronised by visitors and locals before the civil war. Surrounded by the Sinoe River and shadowed by the Putu Mountains, it’s still placed high on any visitor’s list. Not too far from the park is Sanniquellie, a picturesque town built on and around mountains.

Firestone Rubber Plantation

The world's largest rubber plantations is in operation in Liberia, although at greatly reduced capacity. Located in Harbel, 65km east of Monrovia, there are no tours, but there are employees who can show a tourist around and explain the rubber tapping process. Often referred to as a “State within a State,” the massive rubber plantation of Firestone has operated in western Liberia for over 85 years.

Robertsport

50 km north of Liberia’s capital Monrovia has rolling green hills, plantation style houses reminiscent of the American south, and stretches of empty beaches with world class waves. Robertsport sits on the Atlantic, and Liberia’s Lake Piso, where mostly fishermen and farmers live. Accessible from Monrovia by what someone described as “the best dirt road in the country,” it is considered West Africa's best surf spot (in season). The incredible natural beauty of Robertsport is a draw in itself. Palm-lined beaches, white sand, jungle-covered mountains and warm water perfect for swimming appeal across the board, whether a visitor surfs or not.

Harper

Further down from Robertsport is Harper. It is a small town with historical and architectural highlights. Like almost every other site in Liberia, this is also recovering from shelling during the civil war. The city is one of the top tourist attractions in Liberia for several reasons. It combines historical attractions with beaches. Harper’s beaches offer swimming, surfing, and scuba diving opportunities

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

The Mount Nimba range rises abruptly from the surrounding plains to an altitude of 1, 752m, the highest point in West Africa. Its location and isolation from other mountains has resulted in the evolution of many endemic or near-endemic species, especially amongst the fauna and flora of the high altitude grasslands. Part of the range is protected as a trans-boundary reserve between Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, supporting an exceptional variety of forest and savanna habitats and biodiversity. But its protected status is compromised because the range contains some of the highest grade iron ore in the world, and mining interests have taken precedence in the Liberian sector and resulted in an extensive excision on the Guinean side.

Yekepa

Situated north of Liberia, Yekepa is known to be the home of LAMCO, an operational iron mining company. Its major attraction however is Guesthouse Hill, the country’s highest point.

 

Notable Events

  • National Geographic Explorer Cruise to Monrovia
  • Independence Day (26 July)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Monrovia Children’s Day Festival
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