LIBERIA RISK REPORT
Security travel advice for Liberia
Threat level: Medium
The threat of terror in Liberia is thought to be at a medium level. Travellers should be aware of the increase of terrorist activity in Liberia’s neighbouring countries such as Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Foreign nationals from Westernised countries are high priority targets of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. A high level of vigilance should be exercised at all times.
Roberts International Airport is around 30 miles from central Monrovia, much of the journey passes through rural areas and has been reportedly used by bandits as foreign nationals represent wealthy targets.
Recent Security Risk Events
Mamba Point and Sinkor are both popular places for foreign nationals to stay during visits to Liberia. Be aware that nightclubs and beaches in these areas are often prime locations for opportunistic criminals to operate. Exercise a high level of vigilance in these areas and avoid walking around the city at night.
The political situation is still somewhat fragile in Liberia but improvements have been seen in recent years since the imprisonment of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Political demonstrations are becoming less common but still represent some risk. Some demonstrations have been known to turn violent in the past. Avoid large gatherings and monitor the local media regularly.
Liberia experiences high levels of serious crime. Armed robbery, theft and banditry are not uncommon in many areas of the country. It is advised to only travel outside of the main cities with a close protection officer or team. You should ensure you stay with reputable hotel companies who have adequate night time security measures. Hotels predominantly occupied by international workers have often been targeted by burglars.
Liberia has developing relations with many of its West African Neighbours. Liberia is a founding member of the United Nations and is also a well established member of the African Union. The country enjoys strong diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom, the United States alongside many other western countries.
You can drive in Liberia with most national driving licences. Road conditions are generally quite good on routes from the main cities to Roberts International Airport. Conditions in other areas of the country may vary. The wet season which runs from May to November may have an effect on the road conditions and can cause traffic delays.
The Liberian National Police, or other Liberian security authorities often operate checkpoints in many areas of the country. These should not cause any issues however it is advised to keep your passport or a copy of your passport on you at all times.
Official languages: English
Currency: Liberian Dollar
To enter Liberia your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months, and valid for your proposed stay. Most nationalities will have to purchase a visa to enter Liberia, this costs around 130 US dollars. A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is also required to enter the county.
It is advised that visitors to Liberia are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is essential that you get vaccinated against Yellow Fever as there is risk of the disease throughout the country. It is an entry requirement that you present a certificate proving your immunisation. This should be completed at least 10 days prior to departure.
It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Malaria is present in Liberia all year round. Travellers should take precautions to prevent themselves contracting malaria as medical facilities are very basic in most areas of the country. This includes actions such as sleeping with malaria nets and wearing appropriate clothing.
Be cautious that there have been cases of Ebola outbreaks in Liberia. Basic health and safety precautions are a must to prevent the spread of the virus – a good standard of hygiene and staying clear of crowded areas will reduce the risk.
Medical standards and facilities are poor in Liberia and there is little to no emergency services. You may encounter difficulties when trying to access medication as it is in short supply, and ambulance services do not exist across the country. It is essential that you have comprehensive medical and travel insurance to cover you for all medical requirements abroad including medical evacuation and repatriation.
U.S. Embassy Monrovia
502 Benson Street,
Telephone: +231 776 777 000
British Embassy Monrovia
Leone Compound, 12th Street Beach-side,
Telephone: +231 777 530 320