Liberia travel advice

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Risk level

Liberia - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Liberia due to the potential for violence.

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Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs in high-density public areas, particularly in markets.

  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Do not leave valuables or bags unattended
  • Avoid displaying signs of affluence in public

Criminals are often armed. More serious crimes, such as armed robberies, armed assaults and vehicle thefts occur, although they primarily target locals. Foreigners have been victims of violent crimes, including aggravated sexual assault and murder. Crime significantly increases during the night due to the lack of electricity in many parts of the capital.

Armed home break-ins are also common, particularly in the capital and surrounding cities.

Exercise increased caution throughout Monrovia.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Fraud

Be wary of unsolicited emails offering enticing business or financial opportunities. Do not travel to Liberia with the intention to obtain restitution after losing money to a scam. Instead, seek legal advice on how to deal with the situation.

If you’re travelling to Liberia to meet someone you’ve met online, you may be the victim of a scam.

Overseas fraud

Corruption

Some Liberian officials solicit bribes as you go through customs at airports.

Police officers and other government officials may also try to solicit bribes. You may encounter difficulties if you refuse to pay.

If you are dealing with a corrupt official, you may inform them you will contact the Embassy of Canada for advice and ask for a signed official receipt for any moneys paid. This tends to dissuade them from soliciting bribes.

Telecommunications

There is no landline telephone system in the country. Mobile telecommunications exist in Monrovia and other major towns, however many remote areas and stretches of road between major towns have no coverage. North American cell phones do not always work in Liberia.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Drivers can be extremely aggressive and do not respect traffic laws. Accidents are common.

Most roads outside Monrovia are unpaved and poorly lit. Road conditions deteriorate significantly during rainy season. Many areas become inaccessible even with a four- wheel drive vehicle.

Roaming livestock, pedestrians, and poorly maintained vehicles pose further risks. To minimize safety risks:

  • you should arrange transportation before you arrive and for the duration of your stay
  • avoid driving unless you are familiar with local road conditions
  • opt for a four-wheel-drive vehicle, if possible
  • avoid travelling after dark. There are no operating traffic lights and all roads are unlit. Exercise caution when approaching intersections

In the event of an accident, exercise extreme caution. Crowds tend to form around accidents and they can become violent.

Fuel shortages are common. Keep this in mind if you are travelling to remote areas.

Public Transportation

Do not use commercial taxis, buses, motorbike taxis, informal taxis or three-wheelers (“kékés”) due to low maintenance standards, increased risk of crime and dangerous driving practices. Transportation services are severely limited or inadequate in rural areas.

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

Water safety abroad

Women’s Safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Roberts International Airport is located 56 kilometres outside Monrovia. Daytime air service is very limited. Since public transportation to Monrovia is not reliable, arrange to be met upon arrival at the airport and dropped off on departure by reliable contacts.

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Liberian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Liberia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Ordinary visa: required
Official visa: required

Registration

If you plan to reside in Liberia, you must register with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

Recommendation

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
 
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Schistosomiasis

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Mpox

Mpox (monkeypox) is a risk in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness in some circumstances. Risk is generally low for most travellers.

Mpox spreads in 3 ways:

  • from animals to humans through direct contact or by eating or preparing undercooked meat of infected animals or coming into contact with an infected animal's body fluids

  • from person to person through close contact, including direct contact with the skin lesions, blood, body fluids, or mucosal surfaces (such as eyes, mouth, throat, genitalia, anus, or rectum) of an infected person

  • through direct contact with contaminated objects such as bedding and towels, or by sharing personal objects used by an infected person

Follow recommended public health measures and avoid contact with animals such as rodents and primates to help prevent getting or spreading the infection.

Lassa fever

Lassa fever is a risk in this country.

Lassa fever is caused by a virus carried by rodents. Humans get sick when they inhale or come into close contact with feces, saliva, or urine of infected rodents or the blood or bodily fluids of infected humans.

Lassa virus can be very serious. Avoid rodents and rodent-infested areas.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Public medical facilities and emergency services are poor in Monrovia and generally unavailable outside the capital. Private emergency services are available, but can be very expensive. Medicines are rarely available.

Travellers requiring medical assistance for any serious illnesses, or who are involved in accidents, may require medical evacuation. Medical transport is very expensive and payment is often required up front.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Imports and exports

The import and export of rough diamonds are subject to strict international trade laws. Penalties for illegally exporting diamonds include imprisonment.

Seek legal advice before engaging in commercial transactions involving rough diamonds.

Identification

You must carry photo identification. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it is lost or confiscated.

Photography

Photography and filming of military installations, airports and seaports, bridges and important government buildings is prohibited.

Pornography

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Liberian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Liberia.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Liberia.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Liberia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Liberia.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Liberia by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Liberia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit.

The use of a seatbelt is mandatory.

Convoys carrying government officials travel at high speeds, and you must pull over and turn off your headlights if you see one approaching. You should wait a few minutes after the convoy passes before continuing on.

International Driving Permit

Money

The currency is the Liberian dollar (LRD).

The economy is cash-based. Many merchants accept U.S. dollars for payment. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at some of the larger hotels.

ATMs are scarcely available and only in Monrovia. You can only use a Visa card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Bring sufficient funds in U.S. dollars to cover expenses.

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Natural disasters and climate

Rainy season 

The rainy season extends from May to November. Heavy rains may result in localized flash flooding and roads may become impassable in affected areas.

  • Monitor local media for the latest updates, including road conditions
  • Stay away from flooded areas
  • Follow instructions from local authorities, including evacuation orders

Seasonal wind

During the dry season, which extends from December to March, the country is affected by the harmattan, a seasonal wind that blows large amounts of sand and dust into the air and can severely limit visibility.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Emergency services exist but police have very limited capacity to respond to emergencies.

In case of emergency, contact the Liberia National Police at +231 777-800-911 or dial 911.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Liberia. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Côte d’Ivoire, in Abidjan.

Abidjan - Embassy of Canada
Street Address23 Noguès Avenue, Trade Centre Building, 6th and 7th floors, Plateau, Abidjan, Côte d'IvoirePostal AddressP.O. Box 4104, Abidjan, 01, Côte d'IvoireTelephone(225) 27 20 30 07 00Fax(225) 27 20 30 07 20Emailabdjn@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.canada.ca/Canada-And-Cote-dIvoireFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Côte d'IvoireTwitterCanada Côte d'IvoireConsular district

Liberia

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Côte d'Ivoire, in Abidjan, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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