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Liberia travel guide

About Liberia

They say all publicity is good publicity, but Liberia might argue otherwise. Africa’s oldest republic has barely been out of the headlines in recent decades, but for all the wrong reasons; reports from the country have been dominated by two civil wars and an outbreak of Ebola. Suffice to say tourists have stayed away.

But Liberia has come a long way since the dark days of its civil war. The 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance proclaimed this small West African nation to be the most improved country on the continent – and many are hoping Liberia will continue in this vein.

Assuming it does, adventurous travellers will likely be tempted back to this small, coastal nation; a country characterised by its windswept golden beaches, luscious rainforests and verdant savannahs, where twittering birds, screeching monkeys and stomping elephants provide a wild soundtrack.

But there’s more to this country than natural wonders. Founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves, Africa’s oldest republic is home to a staggering diversity of cultures; its four million odd inhabitants are comprised of more than 16 established peoples, and there’s a burgeoning Asian and Middle Eastern population, too.

Art has long played an important role in Liberian culture, and the country’s various ethnic groups are renowned for their ornate wooden sculptures, particularly wooden masks, which are said to connect the living with ancestral spirits and ancient deities. Like art, religion is also woven into the fabric of Liberian life; casual ceremonies with sacred catfish hold force even while churches and mosques are full.

Liberia’s tropical climate, with a long dry season from September to June and rains peaking in August, still decide everything from transport to working schedules. During the monsoon roads become rivers and, at times, the country feels very much at the mercy of nature.

Yet Liberia is very much the master of its own destiny and its emergence as a credible tourist destination will depend largely on whether peace prevails and whether there is significant investment in the country’s creaking infrastructure.

Key facts


111,369 sq km (43,000 sq miles).


4,615,222 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

37.7 per sq km.





Head of state:

President George Weah since 2018.

Head of government:

President George Weah since 2018.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Liberia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Roberts International Airport (RIA) is open for commercial flights. There are no direct flights from the UK. Brussels Airlines and Royal Air Maroc usually offer a connecting service via Brussels or Casablanca.

Flight availability could change at very short notice. Some regional airlines are operating with reduced flight schedules. If you wish to travel, you should contact your airline or travel agent for confirmation of flight schedules.

If you’re transiting another country during your journey, you should check travel advice of the countries on your route for the latest entry requirements. Your airline may refuse to allow you to board if you do not meet all requirements.

Currently all land borders (with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) and ports are open.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do before travelling and when you arrive in Liberia.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Coronavirus testing for departing travellers

All travellers should check the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations of their destination country. If you’re travelling from Liberia to countries that require a COVID-19 test, you must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate before departure:

  • COVID-19 testing (PCR and RDT) for travellers is available at the Union Center, located on Sophia Road in Congo Town, Monrovia, from 9am to 4pm 7 days per week. Individuals have reported wait-times of up to 5 hours during busy periods. An appointment system is not available
  • Travellers are encouraged to register prior to arrival at the centre. To register, select “Request a Travel Certificate” and fill out the requested information. Make sure that you provide correct contact details, as you will receive a unique identification number to retrieve your test result online. Travellers are encouraged to print a hard copy of their negative COVID-19 certificate before arriving at Robert’s International Airport
  • Testing fees for outgoing travellers that require a COVID-19 travel certificate are US$50 for ECOWAS citizens travelling to ECOWAS countries or US$75 for travel outside the ECOWAS region. Payment can be made either online or in cash at the UBA banking window at the Union Testing Centre
  • The processing of test results can take over 48 hours
  • To check your PCR test results online, visit 2 to 3 days after sample collected you must enter your unique identification number (provided when your sample was collected), and your year of birth.

  • If your test result is negative, you can apply for a travel certificate online by visiting and clicking on “Print Travel Certificate”. You should print your certificate
  • If your test result is positive, the Ministry of Health or the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) will contact you and you will not be permitted to travel. You will be subject to Liberia’s case management guidelines. This means NPHIL will consider your care on a case-by-case basis and you may be taken to a government COVID-19 Treatment Unit. A re-test will be conducted on day five based on prevailing health status

Testing protocols could change at short notice. You should monitor this travel advice for updates, contact your airline before travel, and consult government sources for announcements (see Further information).

Travel in Liberia

COVID-19 National Health Guidelines have been published by the Government of Liberia on the Ministry of Health website. Measures in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19 apply in all 15 counties. These measures will remain in place until announced otherwise. Violation of health measures is punishable by a fine of up to US$200 and/or imprisonment of up to 30 days. Measures could be changed at short notice. Authorities may impose a lockdown or curfew if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. You should monitor government communications for announcements (see Further information).

Healthcare in Liberia

Liberian healthcare facilities have experienced severe capacity constraints, including lack of oxygen and critical care beds. You should consider the significant health risks before travelling to Liberia. For further information, see Health.

Patients who test positive for coronavirus will be subject to Liberia’s case management guidelines. This means the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) will consider on a case-by-case basis and you may be taken to a government COVID-19 Treatment Unit or quarantine facility. Home-based care is considered on a case-by-case basis. Private medical facilities are currently not permitted to test for or treat coronavirus. If you test positive, you must answer phone calls from the health authorities. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call the COVID-19 hotline on 4455.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Liberia.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.


For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

The Government of Liberia usually posts announcements on the following Facebook pages:

Information may also be available on the following websites:

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Political Situation

Liberia has become increasingly stable since the internal conflict ended in 2003. The Liberian government is working closely with the UN and the international community to provide increased stability and development.

Protests and demonstrations do take place on occasion. You should avoid protests, demonstrations, political rallies, large gatherings and crowds and follow the advice of local authorities.


Most visits to Liberia are incident free but there is a high level of crime in Monrovia, including armed robbery. Foreigners are occasionally targeted, although Liberians are the main victims of crime. The Liberian National Police has very limited capability to prevent or detect crime, or to provide emergency response in any part of the country. Levels of crime are much higher after dark. Don’t walk anywhere in the city at night.

Take care when walking alone and only do so during daylight hours. Avoid areas where there are few people, such as beaches.

Most crime is opportunistic theft, but there are organised criminal gangs. Thieves are often armed with knives or machetes, but occasionally also carry firearms. While Liberians are the main victims of crime, the relative wealth of international visitors makes them an attractive target for criminals. Avoid carrying valuables or large sums of money in public and be vigilant at all times, especially at night. Mobile phones and laptops are common targets of theft.

Foreigners have been mugged in the Mamba Point and Sinkor areas of Monrovia (including Sinkor beach in broad daylight), where most international visitors stay. Be wary if you are approached by strangers. Criminals also operate in nightclubs and on beaches.

Accommodation occupied by international workers has occasionally been targeted by burglars. Thefts have occurred in taxis. You should avoid local public transport. There is a high incidence of rape in Liberia. There have been cases of rapes and attempted rapes involving foreign women although these are rare.

Take extra care when driving in heavy traffic or off the main roads.

Consider your security arrangements carefully before your arrival in Liberia. Stay only in reputable accommodation with adequate guarding and other security arrangements, and arrange for transport, including travel to and from the airport in advance. Roberts International Airport is around 30 miles from central Monrovia, much of the journey passing through rural areas.

Local Travel

There are sometimes clashes between armed groups from both sides of the Liberian/Cote d’Ivoire border in some of the more remote border areas of Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties. To avoid straying into these areas, use the main roads when travelling in these counties.

The ability of the national authorities to provide emergency help outside Monrovia is limited. Check the security situation before travelling to any part of the country. Violent incidents, particularly in rural areas, are possible as a result of land disputes, illegal mining and occupation of rubber plantations. Organised groups of former combatants may be present in areas of the country where there is limited government security presence, including Sinoe rubber plantation and Sapo National Park.

The Samuel K Doe Stadium in Monrovia can become overcrowded during major football matches or events.

Road Travel

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended. A temporary local licence may be obtained on production of a UK licence, but this may be time consuming and more expensive. From 28 March 2019, you will need to have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP). 1949 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted for use in Liberia after this date.

From 1 February 2019, you can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

The roads from Monrovia to Roberts International Airport, the port town of Buchanan and to the border with Sierra Leone at Bo Waterside, and to the border with Guinea at Ganta are mainly paved and in reasonable condition. Most other roads outside Monrovia are unpaved. Driving and road conditions deteriorate significantly during the rainy season (May to November), and many roads may become impassable.

Avoid travelling at night outside Monrovia, except to or from Roberts International Airport. Roads are treacherous and all roads are unlit. Vehicles often do not have lights. You are more vulnerable to being robbed at an illegal check point at night.

Make precautionary arrangements for dealing with breakdowns, including considering travel with more than one vehicle. Traffic accidents can quickly draw hostile crowds, who may attempt to take justice into their own hands. Use a local driver outside Monrovia rather than driving yourself.

The standard of driving is generally poor. Be particularly alert to dangers from other vehicles swerving to avoid potholes and from taxis slowing or stopping unpredictably to pick up or drop off passengers and motorcycle taxis ‘Pein-Peins’ (the main cause of road accidents). Motorcycle taxis are very dangerous.

Be prepared to stop at checkpoints operated by the Liberian National Police, or other Liberian security authorities, which are found on roads throughout the country. Pull over to the side of the road immediately when instructed by security forces accompanying VIP convoys.

Air Travel

All air carriers certified only by Liberia have been refused permission to operate services to the EU because Liberia is unable to ensure that its airlines meet international safety standards. There are no commercial operators of domestic flights within Liberia. Some airlines have suspended international flights into/out of Liberia.

Keep up to date with real-time information from your airline, tour operator or accommodation provider on the impact on any existing travel plans.

River and Sea Travel

Liberia has many attractive beaches, but the Atlantic Ocean is subject to rip tides and other dangerous currents. Swimmers should take care and seek local advice before entering the water. Avoid canoes and fishing boats offering passenger services. They are regularly overwhelmed by strong waves and currents.

Although there is no recent history of terrorism in Liberia, attacks cannot be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

As seen in Mali, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafés and restaurants visited by foreigners. You should be vigilant in these locations and avoid any crowded places and public gatherings or events.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind.

If you commit a criminal offence, including drug trafficking and diamond smuggling you can expect to be subjected to local law. There are heavy penalties for those convicted. Local prison conditions are harsh.

Homosexuality is illegal. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Carry photographic identification with you at all times, you may be asked to produce it at any time by immigration officials or the police.

The government office responsible for adoptions in Liberia is the Ministry of Justice. All petitions for adoption are filed in the Probate Court, which issues a decree of adoption if all legal requirements are met. Adoption orders from Liberia are not recognised in the UK. Liberian nationals require a visa to enter the UK. If you are returning to live in the UK, you will need to apply for entry clearance for the child as a child coming for adoption in the UK.

This page has information on travelling to Liberia.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Liberia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Liberia’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

All travellers aged 18 years and above must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival. No negative COVID-19 test result is required for travellers.

All travellers without proof of vaccination will be returned to their country of embarkation.

You will not be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at Robert’s International Airport. You should be prepared for travel restrictions, and changes to screening and quarantine requirements with no advance notice.

Currently all land borders (with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) and ports are open.

Screening on arrival

On arrival at entry points, staff will check your temperature and you must wash your hands with soap and water. You will be asked to show your proof of COVID-19 vaccination. If you display symptoms of coronavirus, public health officials may take you to a government quarantine or medical facility.

Proof of vaccination status

Liberia will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

To be considered fully vaccinated you must:

  • have had both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and the second dose must have been received at least two weeks prior to arriving in Liberia, or
  • have had one-dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to arriving in Liberia

Liberia recognises the following vaccines: Janssen/JJ, Pfizer-BioNTech; Moderna; AstraZeneca; Covaxin; Covishield; BIBP/Sinopharm; Sinovac.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

If you’re intending to live in Liberia, you will need to register with the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS), Airfield New Road, Sinkor Monrovia. Visitors do not need to register with the LIS.

Contact your travel provider or embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.


British nationals need a visa to enter Liberia. You can get a visa from the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia in London.

If you are unable to leave Liberia and your visa is due to expire, you must apply for an extension. The maximum extension period is 60 days. It is only possible to extend your visa once. To apply for an extension in Monrovia, you should visit the Immigration Office at Gbarngaye’s Town, 24th Street, Sinkor. The office is open 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. You should ask for the Registration Section.

You must bring your passport and pay a fee of US$25. If you are staying outside Montserrado County, you should contact your local Immigration Office to seek a visa extension authorised by the Immigration County Commander. If you have already extended your visa once and it is due to expire, you must apply for a residence permit. In this case, please contact the British Embassy for advice by emailing

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren’t valid for entry into Liberia. However, ETDs are accepted for airside transit and exit from Liberia.

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

Malaria is a serious problem throughout Liberia, including in Monrovia. Typhoid is also common. Cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have occurred in 2021.

On 6 August 2021 the Ministry of Health in neighbouring Guinea confirmed a case of Marburg virus disease in Guekédou, Forestière Region. This is close to the border with Liberia. Liberian authorities are increasing their epidemiological surveillance levels in response. Monitor the NaTHNaC website for the latest information. You can find more information on Marburg virus disease from the World Health Organisation.

There have been previous outbreaks of Ebola in Liberia and there was recently an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea close to the Liberian border (the end was declared on 19 June 2021 following a 42 day countdown). Further information on Ebola can be found on the WHO website and the Public Health England (PHE) website. Public Health England has guidance for humanitarian or healthcare workers travelling to countries at risk of Ebola.

Cholera and malaria are present in Liberia and have similar early symptoms to Ebola. You should check this travel advice before travelling to Liberia and follow the health advice on the NHS website.

There is a risk of Lassa fever in Liberia, with several confirmed cases occurring this year. For more information on Lassa fever, you should visit the NaTHNaC website. If you’re concerned that you might have been exposed to, or are showing symptoms of Lassa fever, you should seek immediate medical advice.

The 2012 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic estimated that around 18,000 adults aged 15 or over in Liberia were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.9% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.25%.  You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

Local medical care

Hospitals and medical facilities throughout Liberia are poorly equipped. There are no emergency services. Blood supplies are unreliable and unsafe, and medication is scarce. There is no effective public or commercial accident and emergency or ambulance service anywhere in the country. You should carry basic medical supplies. Medication is usually sold over the counter in pharmacies, without a prescription. However, supplies can be unreliable and medications available in the UK may not be available in Liberia. Ensure you have adequate supplies of prescription medication, bearing in mind the risk of delays due to flight cancellations. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, medical evacuation and repatriation. Most health care providers only accept cash payments.

Previous increases in serious COVID-19 cases caused Liberian healthcare facilities to experience severe capacity constraints. There was a lack of oxygen, medication, personal protective equipment and critical care beds. There were reports that accident victims with serious injuries were turned away from hospitals, and that patients experiencing respiratory distress died due to lack of oxygen. Although confirmed COVID-19 cases have now reduced, they could increase again. You should consider the significant health risks before travelling to Liberia.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Credit and debit cards are not generally accepted in Liberia, except for a few of the main hotels and some larger supermarkets. They may be unable to process card payments when internet connections are weak. Very few outlets will accept travellers’ cheques. Most health care providers only accept cash payments. Several cash machines/ATMs accepting only Visa cards now operate in Monrovia, including in the two main hotels frequented by international visitors, but ATMs frequently run out of cash. Foreign exchange and banking facilities are limited. Western Union and Moneygram have a number of agents in Liberia who are able to transfer money from the UK, although there are very few outside Monrovia. Liberia’s banking sector is currently experiencing cash shortages (of both US dollars and Liberian dollars). Banks and foreign exchange facilities may be unable to pay out transferred funds or fulfil ATM withdrawals. Bring sufficient funds, in US dollars cash, to cover all expenses. If you bring more than US$10,000, you must report this upon entry to Liberia. You may exit with no more than US$7,500 in cash.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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