You may not easily associate tourism with Liberia. But this beautiful West African country has got historical, cultural, and natural attractions that should make you visit it someday. The Republic of Liberia was founded by freed African-American slaves who arrived in 1822 to forge for themselves a new life of liberty. As a testament to its close ties to the US, the Liberian flag is styled after the colors, stripes, and stars of the American flag.
Liberia has landscapes adorned with architectural landmarks reminiscent of buildings in America’s south. Plus, it boasts lush rainforests that are home to an incredible collection of wildlife and rare bird species that make for an awesome adventure. There are also exquisite beaches and waters great for surfing and relaxation, making Liberia a must-visit destination for proud Aquaphiles.
Check out the top 5 places to visit in Liberia…
#1. The majestic Mount Nimba
One of Liberia’s best-kept secrets, the stunning grandeur of Mount Nimba has drawn visitors from all over the world. Straddling Liberia and two other West African countries – Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire, Mount Nimba serves visitors with breathtaking views of these African countries. This mountain is an ideal hiker’s paradise; so put on your hiking boots and brace up for a fun adventure. You’ll be surrounded by lush forests rich in biodiversity.
Are you a lover of birds? Then be prepared to spot rare bird species such as the Gola Malimbe, Nimba flycatcher, and yellow-bearded greenbul. You’ll also see the African Giant Swallowtail, the largest butterfly you will ever find in Africa. Surely, this is one spot to put your photography skills to good use. And there’s still more to see here: the shroud of mist around the mountain top; the mountain trail paved in the 60s by Swedish miners; and a Blue Lake, which used to be a mine pit but now holds a body of water. The locals here claim that a metal thrown into the Blue Lake will boomerang on the thrower. You’ll find out if the claim is true when you visit Mount Nimba.
Robertsport has an all-year-round warm weather that makes it suitable for travelers to visit for fun and relaxation. It is famous for its long, terrific waves superb for all types of surfing. So, if you are a surfer, Robertsport should be your go-to location. Make sure to find the old cottonwood tree bearing the carved names of freed slaves from America since around 1829. Other popular attractions of this place are emerald bay and the beautiful lagoon of Lake Piso. Try to mingle with the locals here, a lot of whom are fishermen, as they tell tales you’ll hear no place else.
#3. Providence Island
Providence Island was once a point of no return for black African slaves shipped to America. But in 1822 it became one of the first places where freed slaves from the USA settled to start a new life and later on found a new nation to be known as Liberia. A travel guide will help you navigate this island of history and familiarize you with its locals and striking architecture. Providence Island, with such heritage, should be a Mecca or Jerusalem of sorts to those interested in Black history.
Besides that, the island’s double historical significance makes it a symbol of peace and reconciliation, especially after conflicts that ravaged this beautiful country. There’s a metal tree that stands on the island, a monument for freedom, peace, and unity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Providence Island will etch powerful memories in your mind, never to be forgotten.
Monrovia strikes you with a lot of pleasant sights, smells, sounds, and tastes. This city treats you to freed slave settlements, American-style buildings, and stone-built churches. A feeling of freedom pervades this place; little wonder why Liberia, whose capital is Monrovia, means Land of the Free.
Take some time to enjoy the music of this place and savor the spicy cuisine of the people. Worth visiting is the Ducor Palace, at the top of which you’ll see Monrovia in all its glory. You should also visit the art galleries of Mamba Point for an experience of some of the best Liberian art. Your experience won’t be complete if you don’t visit a typical Liberian market: head out to Waterside. A thousand feelings will brush you here in Monrovia, and you’ll like most of them.
Another place to visit in Liberia is Marshall. Interestingly, it’s not too far away from Monrovia. This is a perfect location for beachgoers and those who crave a laid-back, serene relaxation from the hassles of city life. Marshall is adorned with shores lined with palms and resorts that cater to your vacation desires.
But there’s more to do here than lounge on palm-fringed beaches. You can indulge in canoeing or kayaking on the calm lagoon. You can also visit the chimpanzees on Monkey Island. Or perhaps mingle with the locals and learn about their songs, dances, carvings, pottery, and so forth. When you leave Liberia, your heart will be happier and your mind richer.
Featured image: @rawcamchamp/Instagram
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A writer fascinated by humanity and diversity. He is the author of Do Not Say It’s Not Your Country.