Getting Around Liberia
There are only two commercial airports open in Liberia and no domestic airline to fly between them. There are other airports scattered around the country, but these cater only for UN staff and passengers taking chartered flights.
Liberty Aviation (www.libertyaviationgroup.com) operates chartered flights around Liberia.
Road is the main mode of transport within Liberia.
Side of the roadRight
In and around Monrovia, roads are tarred and relatively smooth as far as Bo Waterside in the northwest, Gbarnga in the north and Buchanan in the south. Outside of these they revert mainly to clay-top roads. As a general rule, the further from Monrovia, the worse the road. In dry season the clay roads are dusty and bumpy but driveable. During the wet season some towns become isolated by roads turning into thick clogging mud.
You can hire self-drive or chauffeured cars in Monrovia from Ucar Rental (+231 88 080 0800).
Liberia is a nation of taxis. Shared taxis operate in every part of the country and literally drive the economy. Prices and seat allocation are strictly controlled by the Transport Union, which protects both passengers and drivers. Double seats for extra comfort are a recommended option. If travelling alone they are a brilliant source of information on everything from language to accommodation.
Given the nature of the roads, cycling in Liberia is ill advised.
The National Transit Authority (www.nta.com.lr) is a government-run bus service, which is currently expanding its network across the country. Details on the website are sketchy (there are no timetables or fare prices online) but there is a contact form which can be used for queries.
Internal police checkpoints operate on every road across Liberia.
There is no national breakdown service, but there are car servicing mechanics scattered around the country. If hiring a car be sure to check the breakdown service clauses.
It is best to over document in Liberia. It is best to travel with full documentation, including both driver’s and passenger’s visas, passports, driving licence and vehicle ownership documents.
Getting a valid driving licence is surprisingly easy. Simply call into the Ministry of Transport, Broad Street, Monrovia, with a valid passport and visa. The process is a little different for each person but in most cases a simple 30-minute process is all that is needed.
Road conditions change according to season and building. Check out what has happened on the stretch you are aiming to use by phoning a hotel in the area.
While there is now a bus service, most locals travel by shared taxis. These are usually crowded, driven at speed and out of date. They are also cheap, easy to access and, unlike the roads they travel on, reliable. If a passenger is not delivered they do not pay, which is far more than car hire companies promise.
The only rail road operating in Liberia is used for transporting iron ore.
There is no regular passenger service between ports in Liberia. The seas along the coast are not safe for passenger travel in basic canoes. You can hire small craft, but you must check safety measures, such as radios and life jackets, before going on board. Equally along the rivers care must be taken, especially near or in the rainy season.