English is the official language in Liberia, although dozens of tribal tongues are used, as well. If you’re traveling to remote areas, a local English-speaking guide will prove useful.
Liberian dollars are the official currency, but US dollars are the usual means of payment for visitors and are accepted everywhere. Visitor should bring enough cash to cover their stay, as ATMs and credit cards are almost unheard of. Rumor has it that a few ATMs are being installed in Monrovia in the near future, but better to be safe than sorry. Other currencies can be exchanged at Monrovia’s Liberian Bank for Development and Investment on Randall Street, which also holds a Western Union office able to process urgent cash transfers overseas within 24 hours.
Liberia is in the same time zone as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT 0).
Since settled by freed slaves from the US, Liberia is one of the few African states using 110-120 volts as in America and Canada as well as North American-style sockets and plugs. Visitors from Europe without dual-voltage electronics will need a transformer and adapter.
The dialing code for Liberia is +231, although there are very few residential phone lines in the country due to civil war destruction. Those that do exist are limited to Monrovia. About 45 percent of the population uses cell phones, again mostly in the capital, as coverage in rural areas is poor to non-existent. Four cell phone network providers operate here – Lonestar Cell, LiberCell, CellCom, and Comium – all using the GSM network. Visitors from the US whose mobile devices operate on other networks will need to have them unlocked in order to use a local SIM card.
Arrivals in Liberia are allowed 200 cigarettes, a liter of spirits, a liter of wine, a liter of ea-de-toilette and 100 g of perfume for personal use. Visitors returning to their home countries will need to comply with their specific regulations, with US citizens allowed 200 cigarettes, a liter of alcohol and gifts valued up to US $400 duty-free.
There is no official tourist board in Liberia.
Embassies and Consulates in Liberia
US Embassy, Monrovia: +231-777-054-825
Canadian Embassy, Abidjan: +225-20-213-646
Australian High Commission, Accra: 233-30-221-6400
British Embassy, Monrovia: +231-20-226-056
Emergency services: 911 or 355 from a cell phone