Liberia travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Liberia - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Liberia due to the potential for violence.
Safety and security
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.
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.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
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
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.
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.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.
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 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.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau
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.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you plan to reside in Liberia, you must register with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
Authorities at border crossings may require that you undergo a health screening on arrival. If you show symptoms indicative of a potential Ebola infection, authorities may quarantine you or deny you entry.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines 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 are right for you.
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.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
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 is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
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 is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has identified this country as no longer poliovirus-infected but at high risk of an outbreak. Polio can be prevented by vaccination, which is part of the routine vaccines for children in Canada.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
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.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
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 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 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 can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
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.
- 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.
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.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in West Africa, like avian influenza, ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
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.
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.
Monkeypox 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
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 (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.
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.
You must carry photo identification. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it is lost or confiscated.
Photography and filming of military installations, airports and seaports, bridges and important government buildings is prohibited.
Possession of pornographic material is illegal.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Liberian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Liberia.
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.
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.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
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.
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.
Natural disasters and climate
The rainy season extends from May to November. Heavy rains may result in localized flash flooding and roads may become impassable in affected areas.
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.
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.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Liberia. Canadians in Liberia can obtain consular assistance from the Embassy of Canada to Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan.
Abidjan - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
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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