Liberia — Things to Do
Although Liberia has very little in the way of historical sights, a vacation here will strongly appeal to eco-tourists and those fascinated by the development of ethnic cultures and Africa in general. Due to its relatively recent stabilization and good government, it’s an exciting place to be, attempting to insert itself into the tourist scene without losing its unspoiled nature.
For outdoor fans there’s plenty to do, especially around the country’s glorious Atlantic beaches, with surfing increasingly popular, and other water sports slowly popping up. Trekking and hiking in the primeval rainforests and around lovely Sapo National Park are a rewarding experience, and seeing the country on horseback gives time to enjoy spectacular views uninterrupted by hordes of tourists common in many other African states.
Liberia’s southwest Atlantic coast is an uncrowded surfers’ paradise known for its isolated beaches, warm water and perfect waves. The best weather and swells are between May and October, with the surfing movie Sliding Liberia helping to popularize the activity within the international community. Robertsport, 75 miles to the north of the capital, Monrovia, is the hub of surfing and water sports in Liberia although several of Monrovia’s beaches including Mamba Beach offer good breaks. Wanna Surf has plenty of tips, including the need to bring your own board.
Sapo National Park, Liberia’s only protected area, covers 698 square miles and is home to one of West Africa’s last swathes of pristine rainforest. Recovering from years of civil war, the region is home to elephants, chimpanzees, antelopes, the indigenous pygmy hippo, and a raft of other species. Park infrastructure is still being rebuilt, but travelers wishing to visit the park on a mini-photo safari or guided hike should contact the Society for the Conservation of Nature for Liberia.
For those interested in Liberia’s colonial period, a visit to the Firestone Rubber Plantation may explain why Taylor was backed by the US as the country’s leader for so many disastrous decades. Once the world’s largest rubber plantation, Firestone now operates on a reduced scale and, although there are no tours available, visitors will likely find an employee who’s happy to show the tapping and other processes involved. Visitors are advised to stay on the major trails, as unexploded mines from the civil war are a risk.
Located just 20-minutes from Monrovia by car, Wulki Farm resort offers activity-oriented vacationers a wide variety of things to do, including horseback riding along private nature trails through the pristine countryside. Swimming pools,tennis, basketball, and a children’s petting zoo make this the perfect place for a family vacation, and the farm is set close to the historic township of Careysburg with its Southern US architecture.
Wow Liberia is, at present, the country’s only tour operator, offering customized trips around Monrovia and the countryside. Flexible schedules allow for self-organized hikes, treks and visits to stunning natural beauty in the Nimba Mountains, around the Kpa-Tawe Waterfall and in the rainforests with their various wildlife and bird species. Everything from luxury safaris to local cultural events can be tailored to group or individual itineraries.