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Liberia

The name of the country is not a coincidence. “Freedom”, which is at the origin of its denomination, is perfectly fit for this country. It refers first to the fact that the United States sent back its slaves liberated during the 19th century. Also, Liberia is the first country in Africa to gain independence in 1847. Finally, it is also the first African nation that elected, in 2005, a woman at its head – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This tolerant and open country of West Africa, landlocked between the Atlantic Ocean, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, has nonetheless experienced a long civil war.

Today, Liberia has once again become a secure destination that is gradually starting to develop tourism by promoting its rich heritage. The spirit of “freedom” is reflected by peaceful cohabitation of several religions such as Christianity, animism and Islam. This state, true tax haven, invites foreigners to take an interest in its business opportunities.  The official language is English, but few tribes have kept their own dialects.

What can we discover and do in this country? The answer is: multitude of things, starting with multiple beach activities, sunbathing or relaxing under the shade of coconut trees. If you are interested in sports, safaris, hiking and trekking you will many opportunities to enjoy your passion in an exotic and natural environment. If you love shopping, you will fall for the embroidered clothes, decorated bowls, wooden vases, sparkling jewelry, festive masks…

The country is gifted with diverse landscapes, bays and lagoons with transparent waters, tropical forests, reserves, parks, and green hills. The capital city if very modern and there are cities of different sizes dispersed here and there on the territory, typical villages known for their great hospitality.  Gourmands will be delighted by the culinary pleasures of Liberia; the variety of exotic meals and flavors is assured.  Visit Liberia during the dry season between November and April. Avoid the stormy periods of May and October. The road infrastructure is no great, so we recommend you rent 4×4 vehicle (you can hire experienced local driver or drive yourself). The Roberts International Airport, which is located about thirty kilometers from the capital, is not accessible by any public transport. Taxis (Buchanan-Yekepa) are your only option.

The country is known for its Kpatawee waterfalls that offer an unparalleled spectacle. Near Gbarnga, there are many basins that will enchant anyone.  Other natural wonders are beaches (such as Buchanan), tropical reserves and mountains. Remember to visit the Nimba Mountains. If you have never seen rubber trees before, Liberia is the place to see them. The port city located on Bushrod Island and Cape Mesurado has it all. Administrative and economic center, it also has several museums, cultural spaces, gardens and also beaches.

To enter the country, a valid passport, as well as the visa is required. It is important to vaccinate yourself against yellow fever. The US dollar is often accepted, and the local currency is the Liberian dollar which is worth around 0.01 USD. The transactions are mostly made in cash

Art and culture in Liberia

The culture of Liberia is a combination of customs and traditions of many tribes, even though Western influences are becoming more perceptible.  Traditional craftsmanship is very rich: artisanal weaving and pottery are abundant and multicolored.  Adorn yourself with embroidery and traditional jewelry. During dancing ceremonies, the most common mask is called khran. Each tribe has a distinctive way of dancing: admire the moves and rhythms of Krus, Bassas, Vais and Kpelles dances, which are often connected to beliefs, rituals and religion. These diverse and varied styles have been preserved over the centuries. Rice harvest rituals with sacred offerings are dedicated to ancestors

What to visit in Liberia

Do not miss visiting the capital Monrovia. Take the time to see the National Museum, the famous Universities Liberia and Cuttington, the ancient Masonic temple, the Botanical Garden and Zoo and the Waterside Market. All major administrative buildings are in Monrovia.  Do not forget to visit Providence Island, the beaches of Monrovia, Buchanan or Robertsport. The “must” for nature lovers are the Nimba Mountains Park, Lake Piso, and the beautiful Kpatawi Falls.

Gastronomic specialties 

Amateurs of good food and exotic tastes are in good hands in Liberia. Many specialties await you there. Try the fufu stew, or with the famous soups made with goat, peanut or chicken. Crunch the cassava and potato leaves. The main ingredients in the Liberian cuisine are coconut, rice, sweet potatoes, peanuts and pumpkin. Indulge yourself with a cabbage or aubergine stew, Jollof rice, beans. If you love sweet desert, try the pumpkin or cassava cakes which are the classic delicacies. And most importantly, do not forget to bring recipes!

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