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Travel Guide Africa Liberia Monrovia

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Introduction

Monrovia

Monrovia

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Monrovia is the capital and largest city in Liberia. It has a population of about 650,000 inhabitants and is located in the western coastal zone of the country along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mesurado River. It is an important port city and most industries are centred around or a direct consequence of the importance of the city as a port. It is also the financial and administrative centre of the country, but doesn't have any specific facilities aimed at the tourism sector. Just like the rest of the country, the city is getting safer since the last couple of years but not many travellers go here, although a few sights can be visited if you are adventurous and have come here.

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Sights and Activities

  • Liberian National Museum
  • Waterside Market
  • Beaches - Near the airport there are several beaches that are worth visiting and spending a day or two swimming in.

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Events and Festivals

New Year’s Day

The hallmark of all Liberian festivals is the enthusiasm with which they’re celebrated, with New Year's Day a shining example. Expect parties, musical performances, dance, song, traditional drumming, lots of eating and drinking and fireworks and bonfires on both New Year’s Eve and Day.

Independence Day

Independence Day falls annually on July 26, which is a national holiday. Monrovia hosts official events and parades, and parties across the land.

Thanksgiving Day

As a result of the freed slaves from America’s southern states, Thanksgiving is still celebrated in Liberia on November 4 in honor of the link between the two countries.

Monrovia Children’s Day Festival

Held every November in Monrovia’s Sports Stadium, the Children’s Festival brings together thousands of young people from Liberia to celebrate their country’s achievements. Interactive games, sports contests, live music and celebrity performances mark the occasion.

Christmas

Christmas on December 25 is the nation’s favorite holiday, with preparations for the big day lasting weeks in advance. It’s a secular and religious event, with Liberia’s Muslims celebrating with special meals and family get-togethers, and Christians attending church services.

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Weather

Monrovia has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather year round. The average maximum temperature during the day is about 30 °C and during the night temperatures rarely drop below 22 °C. February to April is slightly warmer while July to September is slightly cooler than average. The rainy season start at the end of May and lasts well into October, leaving sometimes enormous amounts of rain. This is one of the wettest regions of Africa.

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Getting There

By Plane

Spriggs Payne Airport (MLW) near Monrovia receives all international flights. There is a limited number of flights to and from Freetown (Sierra Leone), Conakry, (Guinea), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Lagos in Nigeria.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive but there have been rumors of robberies and pickpocketing in taxis. If you do take a taxi, don't take a shared taxi but rather hire one just for yourself.

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Eat

The best produce (salad, vegetables, herbs, fruit, squash, etc.) can be found on Benson St., around Newport St. Raw honey is available outside the mosque (you'll need to strain it). There is an excellent strip of butchers on Somalia Drive, near the port, where they slaughter and sell fresh cow, goat, and sheep meet. A butcher shop on Benson St. in town sells meat from these butchers (freshest Wed/Sat). Fresh fish is available in Sinkor just past the Vavoma building (where Sinkor becomes Congo Town), on the beach side of Tubman Blvd. Or call Moses at 06368158. There are several supermarkets that sell imported (usually American, Lebanese, and some Western European) goods.

Dining options in Monrovia are pretty good, all things considered. Anything other than Lebanese and Liberian tends to be expensive, but there are a few reasonable places. There are hundreds of "cook shops" serving Liberian fare, but if you're yearning for something other than spicy sauces and rice, you can try one of the following:

  • Casablanca - Great Moroccan food at the top of Broad Street. Again, very expensive, but tasty tagines (the chicken with raisins is particularly good.)
  • Diana's - Great lunch spot on Center Street. Great Lebanese sandwiches and falafel. +231 656 3333
  • Golden Beach Restaurant & Bar, 2nd Street (Sinkor region), ☎ +231 6-821-717. American-owned Continental restaurant that offers seafood, pizza and fine French dining from the head chef of Chez Christophe in San Francisco, California. Enjoy your meal with custom seating directly on the beach. Some great items include French Onion Soup, Filet mignon with mushroom sauce, lobster tails, pan fried fish with creamy bell pepper sauce and thin crust pizza. This is the only restaurant directly on the beach. This is the most popular spot for United Nations workers because of the large amount of Security guards here provided for protection of customers.
  • Great Wall - Pretty good, authentic Chinese food on Tubman Boulevard. Hot pot (shabu shabu) available in the front room. Back room available for karaoke parties.
  • Le Griot Cafe - Opposite the American Embassy is an outdoor bar/restaurant offering a daily African special and a Sunday Brunch ranging from African food to Southern Creole Buffet. Friday Happy Hour Grill Bar Wireless internet. Cell +231 7 155 242 or +231 6 815 242
  • Jamal's Boulevard Cafe - Very reasonably priced, restaurant that serves pizza/Lebanese/International cuisine on Tubman Boulevard and Sinkor. Happy hour on Saturdays include live, Liberian band. Pizza delivery available. Cell +231 77969969

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Keep Connected

Internet

The most common access to the internet is by GPRS/HSPA+ or restaurants, pubs, bars & hotels that offer free internet services to customers or for a small charge. With the installation of the undersea fiber-optic cable in November 2012 internet access is much improved. GPRS/HSPA USB adapters are commonly available from the mobile companies for USD50-60, with data plans ranging from USD1/hr or $0.12/MB to USD125/mo for unlimited data and up to 21MBps (1-2MBps is realistic on HSPA+).

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Liberia's international telephone code is 231.

Liberia has made a giant leap into the technological or digital age with the arrival of many mobile phone companies; like Lonestar/MTN Cell (the nation's largest mobile company), Cellcom, Comium, Libercell formerly AWI (Atlantic Wireless Inc) & the government own Libtelco. Mobile phone usage is the leading medium of contact to the outside with some (Lonestar and Cellcom) offering GPRS/internet modem usage. So when you arrive, visiting or staying, you need a GSM mobile phone. You will need to purchase a GSM SIM card (1USD1) and prepaid recharge cards (most commonly in denominations of USD1 and USD5), called "Scratch Card" locally. The only exception is Libtelco, that is done by paying monthly bills. Landlines are used only at offices. It is managed & owned by the government also, Libtelco.

Post

DHL operates in Liberia. Expedited Mail Service promises 5 day delivery to the US. EMS counter is at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication on MacDonald Street. The regular post office has just started to operate.

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Contributors

as well as Hien (7%), Lavafalls (4%)

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This is version 5. Last edited at 9:13 on Jul 11, 17 by Utrecht. 15 articles link to this page.

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