Liberia, a lush, green, friendly and vibrant land, offers everything from excellent surf spots and shops selling wares by edgy local designers to days spent lolling in a comfy hammock on the edge of the rainforest while listening to tropical birds sing. It’s home to one of West Africa’s best national parks and still hangs on to a confident American spirit mixed with West African roots. And despite the ravages of the past, it is a fantastic place to travel, full of hope and energy.
Originally built by the now-defunct Pan Am Airlines, this former luxury hotel, and site of key political meetings is now a decayed but stunning colonial ruin. It is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Security guards will let you in, and it’s fun to roam the once-opulent grounds and ponder the deals sealed around the vast swimming pool.
This small archipelago is home to chimpanzees that were evacuated from a hepatitis research lab during the war. Enquire in town about the most up-to-date options for viewing the island and chimps from a canoe (US$5 to US$10) – it can be hit or miss, but there will usually be someone around who can take you.
It’s located in the Sinoe Province; you’ll need to take a 4WD from Monrovia to Greenville, then head north to Juarzon and then southeast to Jalay’s Town. You’ll need to allow at least a full day’s travel to here from the capital.