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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 Joseph Boakai since 2024.

Head of government:

President Joseph Boakai since 2024.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice

Before you travel 

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you: 

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated. 

Travel insurance 

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency. 

This advice 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 not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Liberian Embassy in the UK.

COVID-19 rules 

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Liberia. 

Passport validity requirements

To enter Liberia, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen. 

Visa requirements 

You must have a visa to enter Liberia.

Applying for a visa 

Apply for a visa to visit Liberia through the Liberian Embassy in the UK

You can apply for an extension for a maximum of 60 days. To apply for an extension in Monrovia, you should visit the Immigration Office at Gbarngaye’s Town, 24th Street, Sinkor. You’ll need to bring your passport and pay a fee of 25 US dollars.

If you’re staying outside Montserrado County, contact your local Immigration Office to get a visa extension authorised by the Immigration County Commander.

To stay longer you must apply for a Liberian residence permit.

Vaccine requirements

You must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk

For more details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, including yellow fever, see TravelHealthPro’s Liberia guide.

Customs rules 

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Liberia. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty. 

Taking money into Liberia 

Declare cash or travellers cheques if the value is 10,000 US dollars or more.

Taking money out of Liberia 

You cannot take more than 7,500 US dollars in cash out of the country.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. 

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 how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad

Terrorism in Liberia 

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

Terrorist groups in West Africa continue to mount attacks in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreign nationals, such as:

  • beach resorts 
  • hotels 
  • cafés and restaurants

Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities. 

Political situation

Liberia is generally stable politically, but protests and demonstrations do occasionally happen. Avoid protests, demonstrations, political rallies and large crowds. Follow the advice of local authorities. 


The crime rate in Liberia is high. Liberians are the main victims of crime, but foreign nationals can be targeted. Most crime is opportunistic theft, but there are organised criminal gangs. Thieves are often armed with knives or machetes, and occasionally carry firearms.

Protecting yourself and your belongings

Foreign nationals have been mugged in the Mamba Point and Sinkor areas of Monrovia, where most international visitors stay. Criminals also operate in nightclubs and on beaches during the day. 

Foreigners have reported assault and robbery happening in taxis. 

You can take steps to reduce your personal risk by: 

  • not carrying valuables or large sums of money in public 
  • avoiding walking around Monrovia after dark 
  • avoiding isolated areas after dark, including beaches 
  • only staying in reputable accommodation with suitable security arrangements 
  • arranging for transport, including to and from the airport, in advance 

Sexual assault 

Liberia has a high rate of rape and sexual assault. There have been cases of rapes and attempted rapes of foreign women although these are rare. 

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID 

Carry photo ID with you at all times, such as your driving licence or a copy of the photo page of your passport. You may be asked to show it at any time by immigration officials or the police. 

Drug trafficking and diamond smuggling 

Drug trafficking and diamond smuggling are illegal. If convicted you’ll get a long prison sentence. Local prison conditions are harsh. 

LGBT+ travellers 

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Liberia.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers

Adoption in Liberia 

The Ministry of Justice in Liberia can issue a decree of adoption if all legal requirements are met. However, adoption orders from Liberia are not recognised in the UK. If you’re returning to live in the UK, you’ll need to apply for entry clearance for the child as a Liberian child coming for adoption in the UK. 


Credit and debit cards are not generally accepted in Liberia, except for a few of the major hotels and some larger supermarkets. They may be unable to process card payments when internet connections are poor. Not many places accept travellers cheques.

There are a few ATMs that accept Visa cards in Monrovia, including in the 2 main hotels used by international visitors. ATMs often run out of money.

Foreign exchange and banking facilities are limited. Western Union and MoneyGram can transfer money from the UK, although there are very few offices outside Monrovia.

Liberia’s banks are currently experiencing cash shortages of both US dollars and Liberian dollars. Banks and foreign exchange facilities may not be able to pay out transferred funds or fulfil ATM withdrawals. Bring sufficient funds, in US dollars, to cover all expenses.

Outdoor activities

Swimming and water safety

Beaches in Liberia can have rip tides and other dangerous currents. Get local advice before going in the water.

See water safety on holiday from the Royal Life Saving Society. 

Avoid canoes and fishing boats offering passenger services. They are regularly overwhelmed by strong waves and currents. 

Sporting events 

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

Transport risks

Road travel

If you’re planning to drive in Liberia, see information on driving abroad

Get security advice about travelling by road anywhere outside Monrovia. 

Most foreign nationals travelling by road outside Monrovia will hire a car with a driver, and travel in convoy of at least 2 vehicles in case of breakdowns or possible attacks. 

Road conditions and driving standards 

The roads from Monrovia to 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. Roads outside Monrovia can be treacherous and most are unlit.

The road from Monrovia to Roberts International Airport is currently undergoing roadworks and can be hazardous. 

Driving and road conditions deteriorate significantly during the rainy season from May to November, and many roads become impassable. 

The standard of driving is generally poor, and many vehicles do not have lights. Drivers often swerve to avoid potholes and taxis can slow or stop unpredictably to pick up or drop off passengers. Motorcycle taxis (‘pein-peins’) are particularly dangerous.

If you’re involved in a traffic accident, be aware that local crowds can become hostile and may attempt to attack you.

The Liberian National Police and other security authorities operate checkpoints on roads throughout the country. You’re more vulnerable to being robbed at an illegal checkpoint at night.

Pull over to the side of the road immediately when instructed by security forces travelling with VIP convoys.

Air travel 

The UK Air Safety List (ASL) lists all known airlines in Liberia that do not meet international safety standards and are banned from operating commercial air services to, from, and within the UK. Check the UK Air Safety List when considering which airlines to fly with. The list is maintained by the Department for Transport, based on advice from the UK Civil Aviation Authority

This section has safety advice for regions of Liberia. It only covers regions where FCDO has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice.

Liberia-Côte d’Ivoire border

There are sometimes clashes between armed groups from both sides of the Liberia-Côte d’Ivoire border in some of the more remote border areas of Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties. Use the main roads when travelling in these areas.

Sinoe rubber plantation and Sapo National Park

The Liberian authorities have limited ability to provide emergency help outside Monrovia. Check the security situation before travelling to any part of the country. Land disputes, illegal mining and occupation of rubber plantations can lead to violent incidents, particularly in rural areas.

There may be organised groups of former combatants in areas of the country where there is limited government security presence. Be especially wary in the Sinoe rubber plantation and Sapo National Park.

Before you travel check that: 

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need 
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation 

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant. 

Emergency medical number 

There is no reliable ambulance service in Liberia. If you need emergency medical treatment, you should make your own way to hospital. You can also get advice from your hotel or the local police. 

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment. 

Check TravelHealthPro’s current advice on Liberia to find out how to reduce the health risks you’ll face there. 

TravelHealthPro also lists the recommended vaccines that could apply to you. At least 8 weeks before you travel, check how to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Other health risks 

There is a risk of Lassa fever in Liberia, with several confirmed cases in 2023. Check TravelHealthPro’s information on Lassa fever. If you’re concerned that you might have been exposed to, or are showing symptoms of Lassa fever, get 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 use normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. 


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Medication is usually sold over the counter in pharmacies, without a prescription. Supplies can be unreliable and medications available in the UK may not be available in Liberia. Make sure you have adequate supplies of prescription medication, bearing in mind the risk of delays due to flight cancellations.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad

Healthcare facilities in Liberia 

Hospitals and medical facilities throughout Liberia are poorly equipped. Blood supplies are unreliable and unsafe, and medication is scarce.

There is no effective public or private accident and emergency or ambulance service anywhere in the country. Carry basic medical supplies.

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. 

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Liberia where some staff will speak English. 

Travel and mental health 

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel. 

Emergency services in Liberia

Police: +231 770 800 911 

Emergency services are unreliable in Liberia.

Contact your travel provider and insurer 

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do. 

Refunds and changes to travel 

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first. 

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including: 

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider 
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim 

Support from FCDO 

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including: 

Contacting FCDO 

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated. 

You can also contact FCDO online

Help abroad in an emergency 

If you’re in Liberia and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Monrovia.

FCDO in London 

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad. 

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours) 

Find out about call charges 

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