Over a million Liberians call Monrovia home; it is frantic, slick, and smart (at least in its own, very West African manner).
It is a vibrant metropolis and the biggest in the nation.
The center’s potholed lanes are dotted with rumbling bush taxis, but Broad Street, a busy promenade sandwiched between the Mesurado River’s meanders and the Atlantic Ocean, is a picture of vitality.
You can expect bustling beer bars and the crumbling remains of historic townhouses from the 19th century here. You can also tour the National Museum, which is fascinating, and the eerily deserted Ducor Hotel, where you can learn about Liberia’s political history and the history of its coups, countercoups, and civil wars.
2. Sapo National Park:
The Sapo National Park is without a doubt the most well-known of Liberia’s two national parks.
One of the greatest mammal biodiversity counts in the entire globe is claimed to be present in this 1,804 square kilometre region of the Upper Guinean Rainforest.
it certainly shows! People with a sense of adventure who want to explore the old growth forests will have the opportunity to see chimpanzees, crocodiles, leopards, speckle-throated otters, pygmy hippopotami, and white-crested Diana monkeys.
There is also a fascinating past to explore, since tragic events occurred here throughout Liberia’s civil conflicts and even a full-fledged gold rush occurred in the early 2000
The most popular surfing location in Liberia (although there are several), Robertsport has firmly established itself at the forefront of the nation’s current tourist push.
Today, long-haired wave riders with board wax in hand throng to the beaches like Fisherman’s Point, Cotton Trees, and Cassava to join the surfing groups and ride the sweeping Atlantic waves.
Additionally, surf schools are springing up to help novice tourists get out onto the waves. Other visitors merely come to trek the coastal stretches to take in Cape Mount Bay’s lovely reaches and the distinctive timber and stone churches that dot the beach.
Located around just three hours by rumbling bush taxi south out of the capital at Monrovia, the seaside city of Buchanan is a fine introduction to the coastal character of this part of West Africa.
The beaches are all undeveloped to the T, with swaying palm trees and groups of local children playing in the shallows.
Many opt to camp here, while others will hit the city itself, seeking out one of the few guesthouses that lurk between the frenetic markets and streets.
There is also a stretch of beach bars to enjoy, found nestled between the crumbling bamboo shacks along the shore.
However, this regional headquarters of Bong County has a bit more history and tradition up its sleeve than most of the huge, run-down cities that spring out from the expansive mud plains and woods of inland Liberia.
For one thing, it served as the base of operations for Charles Taylor, a notorious political and rebel commander who oversaw many civil conflicts in the region in the 1980s and 1990s.
A prominent university with a history of over 100 years, Cuttington University, is located in the town.
Gbarnga transforms into an attractive location to visit away from the more well-known seaside locations when a few impressive waterfalls and rustic guesthouses are added.
A short distance from the Atlantic coast, where Marshall and the tourist towns south of Monrovia call home, visitors will find the industrial outpost of Harbel straddling the meanders of the Farmington River.
Harbel, which is most known for being the location of the biggest rubber plantation in the world, is immersed in vast rubber tree forests, many of which bear the well-known brand name Bridgestone tyres.
The Roberts International Airport, the country’s primary gateway to the northwest, is located in the town.
7. Gola National Forest:
The Lofa-Mano National Park, a vast expanse of ancient rainforest that stretches out along the country’s northern border with Sierra Leone, is now known as the Gola National Forest.
The area possesses every characteristic of a true West African wilderness and is one of the densest surviving areas of Upper Guinean woods in the area.
Yes, you may anticipate lush forests with apparently infinite stretches of enormous tree trunks and boughs, secret fern fields with uncommon dragonflies flitting among the flowers, swinging chimpanzees, and rare pygmy hippopotamuses, to name just a few.
8. Bushrod Island:
One of the few American officials who really supported the resettling of slaves on the continent in the 1800s gave the island of Bushrod its name.
But in this mangrove-lined port hamlet on the edge of the Atlantic, Bushrod Washington’s influence doesn’t go much further than that.
The dilapidated slums of New Kru Town spread close to the coastline now, and the area is brimming with an undeniable sense of activity. Streets of tooting automobiles flow in and out of the jetties and docks.
Even though it’s not the most comfortable site to visit, it offers an intriguing look of a working, modern Liberia.
Tourists will really only make a beeline for the ocean-side reaches of laid-back Marshall for two reasons.
The first is its smattering of empty beaches, each backed by verdant pockets of palm forest and mangrove swamps, and perfect for enjoying some truly intrepid camping on the Liberian coast.
The second is the small archipelago appropriately named Monkey Island.
Here, a troupe of feisty chimps inhabit the jungles.
They were rescued from research labs during the civil war, and now are particularly fond of swinging in the boughs, teasing tourists and catapulting fresh fruit from their branches at passing boats – you’ve been warned!
This remote county seat in Liberia might not seem like the greatest site to include on that country’s itinerary given that there are only 23,000 residents there and a seven-hour journey separates it from the capital city on the coast.
But Zwedru has certain unique characteristics that you just won’t find in the better travelled parts of the west.
Due to its incipient logging operations, it still has a certain amount of an industrial, earthy feel.
And then there’s the unmatched access to the vast Upper Guinean rainforests, which are home to a variety of ultra-rare plant species and colourful tropical hummingbirds.
This modest regional centre of Margibi County serves as the terminus of the Monrovia-Kakata Highway, which leaves the nation’s capital and travels into Liberia’s western wilderness. It is here that the bucolic heartlands of West Africa finally take over the landscapes.
They do so in the shape of apparently never-ending rubber plantations, and Kakata has established itself as one of the country’s rubber trading and transporting outposts, earning it some notoriety (and little wealth).
Visit the dust-covered neighbourhood churches and see the bustling neighbourhood markets that pop up on the streets as needed during the week.\
One of the more popular entryways to the aforementioned Sapo National Park, which is hidden between thick trees just a bit to the east of town, is Greenville.
But while the majority of visitors only buy supplies and go to explore the chimpanzees and unique jungles of the reserve, those who stay will get to see an unusual reminder of Liberia’s resettlement era—after all, the town still goes by the name of its namesake in Mississippi! Along with some really undeveloped beaches on the west coast, there are several intriguing communities to explore along the Sinoe River’s courses.
The city of Harper, located in the extreme south of Liberia, offers a good number of both natural and man-made attractions. Here, the bends of the African Panhandle give way to the beaches of the Ivory Coast.
To begin with, the shorelines to the north-west and south of the town are framed by stunning Robinson Crusoe beaches, with swinging coconut trees bristling against the Atlantic gusts at their backs.
Then there are the surviving descendants of Liberia’s former slave settlers, who are believed to have started building the present state in the Cape Palmas territory, where Harper is now located.
This history is visible in the arched plantation-style mansions and ageing colonial frontispieces.
The little regional hub of Voinjama, located deep within the sun-baked forests of Liberia’s extreme north-eastern frontier, provides a glimpse of traditional West African life.
To fend off the intermittent downpours of rain, the dwellings are covered in thatch or sheets of durable zinc, while the roadways are covered in thick layers of mud.
Although the heat may get intolerable, if you’re feeling really daring, a hike to one of the nearby wood communities can be worthwhile.
You’ll encounter towns that are essentially cut off from contemporary life and cross hanging monkey bridges.
Sanniquellie is a small town that sits close to the international tristate border with Ivory Coast and Guinea in the extreme west of the country.
A bustling little market dominates the center of the place, with rows of colourful fruits and vegetables plucked straight from the fields making up the bulk of the produce sold.
After haggling your way through this, you can settle in one of the earthy local beer bars, or opt to wax up the walking boots and make a beeline for the East Nimba Nature Reserve.
This breathtaking end of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Strict Nimba boasts rare highland savannahs, lowland rainforests and rare animals like the West African lion to boot!