Getting In and Around
Foreign visitors to Liberia are required to have a visa to enter the country. Visas are not issued at Roberts International Airport (where most travelers will fly into) and must be obtained in advance from the consulate or embassy in your home country. Visitors must also provide proof of yellow fever inoculation. Visit the website of the Liberian embassy in Washington, D.C., for a complete list of Liberian visa requirements
Owing to the years of civil war in Liberia, the transportation infrastructure is poor and roads are often unpaved, unlit at night, and marked with potholes, especially outside of Monrovia. Driving is the only way to get around Liberia, though, so we suggest hiring a driver with a four-by-four, especially if you plan on traveling through more-rural areas. Also be aware that road rules are not wi
dely enforced and bad driving is common.
Taxis are available for travel within Monrovia and often pick up several passengers. For a higher price, chartered taxis can be secured.
If you are flying into Roberts International Airport, which is 35 miles (56 kilometers) outside of Monrovia, note that there are no taxis or any other form of public transportation between Harbel, where the airport is located, and Monrovia. Make sure to arrange transportation from the airport before you arrive in Liberia.
Telephone service in Liberia is limited, with almost no land line service. Most mobile phones on international plans will not work in Liberia, so we suggest renting or buying a local mobile for making calls from within the country. If you have a SIM card–equipped phone, you might also buy a SIM card. Note that there is little mobile service outside of main urban areas.
Safety and Security
Though Liberia is much safer for foreigners today than it was during the years of civil war, visitors must still take various precautions when visiting the country. It is inadvisable to travel anywhere outside of Monrovia without adequate safety arrangements. Petty theft and robbery are common, and women traveling alone face the risk of sexual assault. Visit the U.S. Department of State’s consular website for current travel warnings
and advice on how to stay as safe as possible while visiting Liberia.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has created a security ratings system called the Ibrahim Index
, wherein scores are based on each country’s quality of government. Before traveling to Liberia or anywhere on the continent, check the index and do your research.