Don't Miss Places In Liberia
Monrovia, now the capital of Liberia (meaning Free Land), was established in 1822, when the American Colonization Society began a settlement here for freed slaves. The people who already lived in Liberia were probably descended from settlers who arrived from the north between the 1100’s and 1500’s.
In this steamy country, the coastal plain rises to a mountainous interior covered in forest and crossed by rivers. Half the people live in villages of mud huts; the other half live in towns, in modern homes, or in wooden houses with tin roofs. Many townsmen travel to rural areas each day to work on small farms that grow cassava, rice, and sugarcane or that raise poultry and pigs. Other people work on rubber plantations owned by foreign companies.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in Liberia.
Liberian National Museum
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The Liberian National Museum is in one of the nineteenth century government structures that are well worth visiting and protecting as much of old Monrovia has already vanished after the territorial conflict. The showcased exhibits are now completely duplicates. A lot of valuable items were looted during the civil wars. The firsts were plundered or damaged by the rebels. The aide was charming, and knows every piece in the museum by heart. There is a pleasant display of photos made before the wars, a hefty portion of which hailed from the Peace Corps Volunteers that served this country. The pre-war pieces offer more variety and were a great deal more spectacular. Be that as it may it still has a gathering of incredible things that proudly shows to every visitor the historical importance and the interesting culture of the nation.
The museum tries to survive on its own, with no support from the government or any private organizations at all. Necessities, of need, lie somewhere else. However, do visit it, if for no other reason than to see and preserve the museum. It's the entire structure and the old photographs that helped push its rating as an average and must see attraction.
Despite the fact that some of the artifacts presented does not carry other markers or description plates comprehensively, the ground floor explains briefly Liberia’s history, including the first - small - Liberian national flag. Another part of the room highlights the different tribal masks worn by various ethnic groups during national events and feasts. The second floor shows the ethnic tribe segment, more relics from the war, old potteries and vases, plus a huge dining table that was once used by Queen Victoria. The top floor holds a wide selection of the displayed artworks and paintings by Liberian artists. The museum is free of charge, but requires a little sum for donation to help in the maintenance and preservation of the old museum. This quaint museum is located at the northern side of Broad Street.
Monrovia, Liberia's capital city is the perfect centerpiece for the Centennial Pavilion House. For a long time, all the formal and national events were made here like; presidential inaugurals and statement addresses or speeches for the people, weddings and state funerals. During weddings, the guest list includes the most elite members of the Liberian government, military corps, tribal leaders, and other foreign dignitaries. Buried in these grounds is a prominent and inspiring Liberian political figure, President William V.S. Tubman, the acknowledged father of the country who ruled this small nation for over 27 years.
It was the key office and area for the most vital occasions of the nation. During the tension, it was damaged and overlooked throughout the war years. It is presently being restored and all the details are being worked on by the skilled artisans of the country. The concept is to mix the old and the new, with touches of modernization and a still showing a glimpse of its historical value to the country. The staff invested lots of hard work and effort to keep the place in good condition. There is an eye-catching wall painting of the announcement of freedom here. The locals attend any national occasion to keep in touch with the history associated with this great site.
The Providence Island is an ideal holiday destination encompassed by a lush greenery, blue waters, and huge adorable trees. The calm and relaxing breeze of fresh air entices tourists to visit this wonderful island. The passageway to the island starts at the entrance to its big iron gates. It is about 3 to 4 feet tall and equipped with a spiral or winding walk paths that will take you to the lower part of the attraction.
There are locals who offer their tour guide service for a fee. Although the place can be explored by your own, some residents make it their livelihood to offer escorts and other forms of local merchandise they can offer to anyone who visits the island. The place makes good photographs for its variety of nature that can be admired as you walk on its well maintained paths.
The site is surrounded by buildings that are currently under construction. Every afternoon, a group of young boys will play at the makeshift soccer field in the area.
A plan to refurbish this attraction is already underway after the country suffered much from almost two decades of war. It has become the official birthplace of “slavery” as how the residents will describe it as it is here where they first landed and traded to buyers. There are places to eat and cafes to enjoy a good cup of coffee while watching the sunset color the horizon with its red and orange streak. This place is a must if you want to observe a typical day in a Liberian’s way of life.
Sapo National Park
The Sapo National Park is located in the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia and you need spend at least a day on the road to get there. To best enjoy this site, hire a 4x4 vehicle and engage yourself into your own safari adventure. A huge variety of wildlife animals can be seen and discovered here. The verdant 1,808 sq. meters of tropical rainforest has become a home for Western Africa’s rich flora and fauna, and all the endemic animals that are common in this country. Huge elephants, enormous hippos, monkeys, hyenas, are all under the care and concern of being protected by the government.
You can have an arranged tour package with an authorized tour operator that can be contacted from any hotel or agents in Monrovia. Because of its remote location, most tourists spend a day or two to explore all of its features and spend a night at the nearby hotels that has flourished near this attraction. The park is well maintained but not set up for a solo travel and most tours are organized in big groups with a provided vehicle. Arm yourself with a good camera to capture the wild in their natural enclosures. This place is a must if you want to discover another side of Liberia and want to have a taste of an off the beaten path adventure by the countryside.
Cee Cee Beach
If you want to get away from the chaotic and busy atmosphere of the capital city, visit and indulge yourself in the clean waters, and fine white sand at the Cee Cee Beach. The cool breeze from the ocean adds to the charm and wonderful ambience of this beach. The view of the vast Atlantic Ocean and the chance to soak in the sun while you unwind at its natural beauty is the best part of a summer holiday here on this side of the country. The locals here are very polite and will not annoy you by pushing their wares on you while you rest.
There are lots of stalls with freshly squeezed fruit drinks that can be ordered and delivered to you as you spend a day sprawled on their loungers on the front beach, there are lots of shades and coconut trees that line along the coastal shores. A place of accommodation is not issues too as there are rows of bed and breakfast places to stay overnight or spend a week of adventure with. Great sunset views can also be enjoyed although the beach itself lacks the basic infrastructures (toilets, shower, rooms, enough parking spaces, etc.) expected from a tourist site.
Discover a hidden treasure in one of the remote attractions you can find in Liberia, the Kpatawee Waterfalls. It’s a piece of heaven that is kept hidden in the deep jungles of the country. Enjoy a good swim as the cold waters cascade in your back in endless amount. Although the trek to the thick forest is quite a treacherous path to tread on, the rewarding scenes of calm and rainbow mists of the clean waters will welcome you at the end of your journey. This marvelous place can be discovered by an arranged tour with a local operator. Most of the tourists also agree to hire the friendly guides that can be found before the entrance to the forest.
The place is accessible by a 45 minute drive from Phebe to Kpatawee. The well paved road offers a good ride and even the taxi cabs hailing from Phebe can be arranged to bring you to this marvelous site. A nice view of the countryside and lush greenery is what your eyes will feast upon to make that ride more interesting. The wild grandeur of the waterfalls is not only good for swimming, there are designated fishing areas too so bring all your angling instruments if you want to enjoy a good catch. There are open huts designed for picnic and grills for rent provided by the locals who live near the falls. A back to basics campsite is also made available for tourists who intend to spend the night or a week in this part of the island.
More commonly known as the Monkey Island and located in the outskirts of Monrovia, this place is a must see not only for the animals but for the rich beauty of its nature and wildlife. These long tailed species were former subjects for scientific experiments and released back into the wild. They were used at the nearby Liberian Biomedical Research for medical studies and vaccine testing. These “retired” chimpanzees occupy almost 6 of the small islands. The tour can be arranged by getting on board the boat of the staffs assigned to look over their welfare and care.
Every day, a group of medical staff bring them food and check how they are doing while in their natural enclosures. Fresh fruits clean drinking water, milk in tetra packs, sugar canes and specially baked breads from part of their daily provisions. They need to be fed on a regular basis as there are not fruit trees and source of natural food to help them sustain and support their nutrition while on the island. If you want a new kind of adventure, go and visit these remote groups of islands where you can have a chance to feed, pet and nurture them. Hey are not wild chimpanzees and rather tame and safe to get up close with.
Located a few miles away from the Monrovia International Airport, the Silver Beach is where the golden sand meets the calm waves of the Atlantic Ocean. By day, you can enjoy the simplicity of this clean and well preserved beach. Hammocks can be set up amidst the line of coconut trees facing the beach front area. At night, the real lively atmosphere can be felt at the Waterside Market that stands just across this attraction. From here, you can enjoy a good round of beer in one of the bars and at the same time find local crafts being sold on one of the stalls inside the market.
You can have the chance to interact with the locals too and have a great time watching their favorite sport being shown in the bar, football. Make sure to pay a visit as it is interesting to observe a culture that is rich with traditions but totally adheres to modernization and its people trying to recover from the horrors of the twenty year conflict.
The Masonic Temple is a fine example of great architecture that is situated on top of a steep hill in front of the US Embassy in Monrovia. Although the old building still stands, it has remained desolate and shows visible signs of neglect and deterioration. It was established since 1867, at the height of the American rule. It also served as a refuge for rebels and homeless families affected by the civil war (1989-1996). Nowadays, it has remained closed and entrance is strictly allowed for the Free Mason members only. The façade is a favorite photo subject of avid photographers.
The Thinker’s Beach is dubbed as the surf lover’s haven here in Monrovia. There are huge waves everywhere and lots of surfers who promenade the area and positioning their boards along the shore.
A row of fine dining restaurants and snack bars also line the front beach area along with their designated for rent loungers where one can spend a day just admiring the sea and indulge in the various extreme water sports activities that are offered in this beach. This is one of the best beaches you must explore if you need to unwind and have fun in the sun and sand while in Liberia.