Irish citizens in Liberia are advised to register their details with the Department of Foreign Affairs if they have not already done so by clicking here
As Ireland has no resident Embassy in Liberia, Irish citizens are also advised to register their details with one of the resident EU Missions in Monrovia.
Irish citizens are strongly advised to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Liberia and to consider and plan any proposed travel carefully. All travel to Grand Gedeh and River Ghee and Maryland counties should be avoided. The security situation is unpredictable, particularly outside of Monrovia, the capital city, notably close to the borders with Côte d’Ivoire. If you decide to travel to Liberia, you should be vigilant at all times and ensure that your next of kin is aware of your travel plans. You are advised to seek local advice before travelling and to ensure that your local host organisation has the capacity to ensure your safety. You are strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs including medical evacuations, before travelling. Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or repatriation of remains.
Aside from the security situation, other hazards in Liberia include traffic accidents, medical risks and crime.
Irish citizens planning to travel to or resident in Liberia are encouraged to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Travel Registration service. It is advisable to carry a photocopy of your passport and other photo I.D. at all times and to keep your passport in a secure location.
Consular services to Irish citizens in Liberia are provided by the Embassy of Ireland in Nigeria.
Safety and Security
Irish citizens are strongly advised to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Liberia and to consider and plan any proposed travel carefully. Security and stability in Liberia have improved since internal conflict in the country ended in 2003. However, tensions still remain and the security situation is unpredictable, particularly outside of Monrovia, the capital city, notably close to the borders with Côte d’Ivoire. There is a risk of violence.
If you decide to travel to Liberia, you should be vigilant at all times and ensure that your next of kin is aware of your travel plans. You are advised to seek local advice before travelling and to ensure that your local host organisation has the capacity to ensure your safety. Travellers are advised to avoid all travel to Grand Gedeh, and River Gee and Maryland counties where there have been reports of armed groups living in areas bordering Côte d’Ivoire.
The threat of terrorism is low, although there is a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which can target areas frequented by foreign nationals and tourists.
Beaches present a particular hazard in Liberia as currents and riptides are strong and unpredictable, making swimming conditions very dangerous. Canoes and fishing boats offering passenger services along the coast are often overwhelmed by waves and should be avoided. For security reasons, walking or jogging alone on beaches is strongly advised against.
Traffic accidents are a significant hazard in Liberia and road users should use extreme care. Collisions are common and can attract hostile crowds which can escalate into riots. Road conditions are generally very poor, and deteriorate significantly during the rainy season from May to October as heavy rains damage road surfaces and create large potholes, often making roads impassable. Most roads have no street lighting, tarmac or painted markings. For travel outside of Monrovia, a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended and travel outside of daylight hours should be avoided.
Travellers are strongly discouraged from using local private taxis, motorbike taxis or buses. Vehicle maintenance and driving standards can be very poor, vehicles are often overcrowded and there is a risk of theft of belongings.
Irish citizens are strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs including medical evacuations, before travelling. You should check any exclusions and ensure that your policy will cover all the activities which you plan to undertake. You should contact your insurance company immediately if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or repatriation of remains.
Prior to travelling to Liberia, visitors should consult a doctor about necessary vaccinations and precautions. The yellow fever vaccination is an entry requirement for the country. Malaria, including cerebral malaria which can be fatal within 72 hours, is endemic in the country and the use of a malaria prophylaxis and of a treated mosquito net is strongly recommended, together with other precautions such as using an insect repellent and keeping limbs covered at night. Travellers should bring sufficient malaria treatment for the duration of their visit. Water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, giardia, dysentery and typhoid are common, so travellers should drink and brush their teeth with bottled water only, and avoid eating uncooked vegetables, salads, seafood and meats. Other diseases including but not limited to cholera, rabies, HIV, hepatitis A and B, meningitis and Lassa fever, can also pose a risk.
The availability and quality of medical services in Liberia is low, with hospitals poorly supplied and equipped, and no emergency services in operation. Irish citizens in need of treatment may be asked to pay up front.
Irish citizens with pre-existing medical conditions or underlying health concerns are strongly discouraged from travelling to Liberia. Should you choose to travel, you should bring with you sufficient medication for the duration of your visit, as it may not be possible to obtain appropriate drugs or treatment in the country.
Crime levels, including violent crime, armed robberies and sexual assaults, are high. Travellers should be vigilant at all times, particularly after dark when crime levels are higher. Most crimes are opportunistic theft, with the perpetrators often armed with knives or firearms. The risk of such thefts and muggings increases further in the period around Christmas, from November until the New Year. Avoid walking alone at night or on beaches or in sparsely populated areas. Avoid carrying valuables or large quantities of cash in public. Visitors should ensure that their accommodation and vehicles are well secured, with doors and windows locked at all times.
Business fraud against foreigners is also a widespread problem. Business people considering making an investment or entering into a contract are advised to carefully research the individual or company concerned before making any commitments. Particular caution should be exercised when the business opportunity is the result of unsolicited contact or promises rapid financial gain.
Corruption is also a common problem in Liberia, although efforts are being made to tackle it.
Should you or a member of your travelling party be a victim of crime while in Liberia, you are encouraged to make a report to the local police and to contact the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ireland in Nigeria. The capacity of the local police to effectively investigate crime is limited.
Local Laws and Customs
Irish citizens in Liberia are subject to local laws and regulations and those who commit criminal offences can expect to be prosecuted and jailed or expelled from the country. Prison conditions are extremely difficult.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of drugs and for diamond smuggling are severe and travellers should not become involved in these activities in any way. Homosexuality is illegal in Liberia. The import of arms is prohibited under UN sanctions.
Natural Disasters and Climate
The climate in Liberia is consistently hot and humid year round. During the dry season, from November to April, temperatures and humidity are higher. The rainy season lasts from May to October and brings extremely heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms.
There is no significant risk of large scale natural disasters. Liberia is not located in a seismically active area. However visitors should exercise caution when travelling during the rainy season as flash floods and falling debris can be hazardous.
Additional Country Info
Irish citizens require a valid passport, a visa and a yellow fever vaccination certificate for entry to Liberia. If you intend to reside in Liberia, you must register after arrival with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalisation in Monrovia. For more detailed information, contact the nearest Embassy or Consular Office. The Embassy of Liberia in the UK handles visa applications from residents of Ireland.
Transfer from Roberts International Airport to Monrovia
Travellers planning to arrive at Roberts International Airport are strongly advised against using the public transport and taxis available there. You should ensure that you have pre-arranged transport, and that you will be met by a vehicle from your organisation or hotel, or from a reputable car company (with driver).
Liberia is a cash based economy. Credit cards, debit cards and traveller’s cheques are very rarely accepted. Some ATMs accepting Visa cards can be found in Monrovia, but the security of transactions cannot be guaranteed.
Travellers should bring sufficient cash to cover expenses while in Liberia. There are restrictions on the quantity of cash that can be brought into the country, and travellers should verify the latest requirements with the local Embassy or Consulate of Liberia before travelling. US dollars are the most widely accepted foreign currency. Care should be taken when carrying cash.
English is the official language of Liberia