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Travel Insurance Liberia

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Liberia Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: West Africa
Full Name: Republic of Liberia
Capital City: Monrovia
Language Spoken: Liberian English

Liberia Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

6 ? 19’N 10 ? 48’ W

Elevation Extremes

Highest Point: Mount Wuteve - 1,380m

Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean - 0m

Land Boundaries

Guinea 590km, Cote d’Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km.

Natural hazards

Harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara Desert (usually occur between December to March)

Natural resources

Timber, diamonds, gold, iron ore, and hydropower

Land use

Arable Land: 4.04%

Permanent Crops: 1.62%

Other: 94.34% (2011)

Environmental current issues

Soil erosion; tropical rain forest deforestation; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage; endangered species are being hunted for human consumption.

Climate

The weather in Liberia is very hot and tropical. The temperature rarely varies. Liberia’s wet season runs from May to October. The dry season runs from December to March. Harmattan winds blow in the dry season

Time difference

The UK is 1 hour ahead of Liberia.

Population

4,092,310 (July 2014 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.2% (male 891,002/female 876,655)

15-24 years: 17.9% (male 357,952/female 375,708)

25-54 years: 31.5% (male 642,835/female 646,104)

55-64 years: 4.3% (male 85,906/female 89,943)

65 years and over: 3.1% (male 62,475/female 63,730) (2014 est.)

Median age

Total: 17.9 years

Male: 17.7 years

Female: 18.1 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate

2.52% (2014 est.)

Birth rate

35.07 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate

9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth:1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female

Total Population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total Population: 58.21 years

Male: 56.56 years

Female: 59.9 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.81 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Business Practices

Business attire in Liberia is relatively formal. Even for more unimportant meetings, appearance plays a big factor in showing your character and respect to the other attendees. A lot of time and effort is taken by Liberians in order to look smart and well presented.

Although presentation is an incredibly important part in Liberian business practices, timekeeping is not. Time keeping is not seen as very important in Liberia, and no offence is meant or taken if people show up late to a business meeting. Sometimes, attendees can often be up to an hour late.

Speaking English and owning business cards are essential business practices in Liberia.

Office hours are typically Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00.

Restaurants, hotels, and bars expect a tip of at least 10%.

Crime

In Monrovia, there is a high level of crime, including armed robberies.

The FCO advise that you should not walk anywhere in the city at night time. They suggest that you should take care when walking alone, and that you should only do it in the daytime in areas popular with foreigners.

The drinking age in Liberia is 18.

Homosexuality is illegal in Liberia.

The conditions of local prisons are poor.

Hotels

Hotels in Liberia are often not up to the international standard. They can be rather expensive, whatever standard you decided to choose.

As well as hotels, there is also a range of bed and breakfasts in the capital.

There is a YMCA hostel in Monrovia. The hostel is cheap, but often fully booked.

Communications

Telephone: The internal telephone networking system in Monrovia is slowly being broadened over other parts of the country.

Mobile phone: Mobile phone coverage is fairly restricted to Monrovia and neighbouring areas. Some coverage can be found along the north and northeastern borders with Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Internet access: Internet access can be obtained through a few internet cafes in Monrovia. Some hotels also offer their guests internet access.

Post: The service timings of airmail from Liberia to Europe can fluctuate between 5 days and one month.

Electricity

The electricity voltage in Liberia is 120 V, with a frequency of 60 Hz.

Plug Types

Types A and B

Food And Dining

Liberian specialities include:

  • - Torborgee (a spicy stew made from the Torborgee bean, palm oil and meat or fish)
  • - Beef and cassava leaf soup
  • - Goat meat soup
  • - Kanyah (ground peanuts mixed with toasted rice flour and sugar)
  • - Liberian rice bread
  • - Monrovian coconut pie (coconut and egg pie in a pastry case)
  • - Palm butter soup (crab claws, chicken and prawns cooked with palm butter and chilli)
  • National drinks:

  • - Ginger and pineapple juice
  • - Club (local lager)
  • - Lemongrass tea
  • - Palm wine (a rich sugar cane juice which can be drunk neat or mixed with ginger beer.)
  • It is important that you know the host is responsible for their party guests, whether the party is being held at home, at a bar, or at a restaurant. They must provide all food and drinks, and entertainment. It is important to notify the host when you decide to leave as they are in charge.

    The legal drinking age in Liberia is 18.

    Entry departure requirements

    All travellers are required to provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate on entry.

    You must also be able to produce evidence to prove that you have sufficient funds.

    Visa immigration information

    You will need to register with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) if you intend to live in Liberia. The Bureau can be found on Broad Street in Monrovia. If you are just visiting Liberia, then a BIN registration is not necessary.

    Passports

    No extended period is required on your passport; it can just be valid for the duration of your trip.

    Visas

    Visas are required in order for British nationals to enter Liberia.

    Types of Visas and Costs

    Every nationality besides American:

  • Single entry visa - US$ 70
  • One year multiple entry visa - US$150
  • Two year multiple-entry visa: US$250
  • Three year multiple entry visa - US$350
  • Validity

    No extended period is required on your passport; it can just be valid for the duration of your trip.

    Single entry visas are valid up to three months. Multiple entry visas are valid from one to three years.

    Application to

    A visa to gain entry to Liberia can be applied for at the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia, London.

    Application requirements

    A signature from their parent/guardian is required with all applications for a child's Liberian visa.

    Working days required

    Visa applications tend to take around 10 working days in order to process. Additional fees apply if you require same-day, or next-day service.

    HIV entry requirements

    A report done by UNAIDS in 2012 on the Global AIDS Epidemic predicted that roughly 18,000 adults over the age of 15 in Liberia suffered with HIV. It is advised that you take normal precautions in order to prevent yourself to any exposure to HIV/AIDS

    Departure tax

    None

    Embassies

    Liberian Embassy UK
  • Address: 23 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6EW
  • Tel: 020 7388 5489
  • Liberian Embassy U.S.
  • Address: 5201 16th Street N.W. Washington D.C. 20011
  • Tel: (202)723-0437
  • British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    Website: www.gov.uk/government

    The British FCO no longer advise all but essential travel to Liberia. They recommend thatyou should keep up-to- date on travel advice before travelling.

    They state that there is a low threat from terrorism in Liberia. They advise : “You should bevigilant after recent attacks in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso, especially in placesvisited by foreigners.”

    US Department of State

    Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

    The British FCO no longer advise all but essential travel to Liberia. They recommend that you should keep up-to-date on travel advice before travelling.

    They state that there is a low threat from terrorism in Liberia. They advise: “You should be vigilant after recent attacks in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso, especially in places visited by foreigners.”

    Currency

    Liberian Dollar

    Currency restrictions

    There are currently no restrictions when importing and exporting local or foreign currency.

    Banking hours

    Banks in Liberia are usually open Monday-Thursday 09:00-12:00, Friday 08:00-14:00. Fewer banks are open on a Saturday.

    Currency exchange

    1 British Pound = 121.46 Liberian Dollars (August 2016)

    Credit cards

    Credit cards are not accepted, however there are some cash machines situated in the capital. These only accept Visa cards.

    The FCO advise that you bring sufficient funds, in order to cover the duration of your trip.

    Travellers cheques

    Travellers Cheques are not widely accepted.

    N/A

    1. Health Information
    2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
    3. Hospital Database

    Dental care

    Dentists in Liberia:

  • Name: Dr Hassan Ezzedine DDS
  • Address: Randall Street, Near DITCO, Monrovia
  • Tel: +231 (0) 886 510 565
  • Medication Availability

    Medication across Liberia is limited.

    Pharmacies in Liberia:

  • Name: Chariff Pharmacy
  • Address: Randall Street, Monrovia
  • Tel: +231 (0) 886 651 999
  • Name: R Itter Pharmacy
  • Address: Broad & Johnson Street, Monrovia
  • Tel: +231 (0) 4 741 463
  • Blood supplies

    Liberian blood supplies are not safe and are unreliable.

    Medical facilities

    Hospitals and medical centres are poorly equipped across Liberia.

    As medical facilities are poor, and medication supplies are limited, it is important that you carry basic medical supplies, and have adequate travel insurance. Don’t forget, you can get your travel insurance from Direct Travel at either www.direct-travel.co.uk or ring our friendly team on 0330 880 3600. As medication supplies are limited, it is critical that you take with you a sufficient supply of any prescription medication you may be taking. This supply should be enough to last you the duration of your trip to Liberia.

    Hospitals and Medical Centres in Liberia:

  • Aspen Medical Center Monrovia
  • Address: Russell Avenue, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Tel: +231 770 911 911
  • Opening Times: Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm
  •  

  • JFK Hospital
  • Address: Monrovia, Liberia
  •  

  • Firestone Medical Center
  • Address: Monrovia, Liberia
  •  

  • Family Health Center
  • Address: 42 S D. Cooper Rd, Liberia
  • Tel: +231 5 788 612
  •  

  • Catholic Hospital
  • Address: Monrovia, Liberia
  •  

  • SDA Cooper Hospital
  • Address: 12th St, Monrovia, Liberia
  •  

  • Redemption Hospital
  • Address: New Kru Town, Liberia
  • Tel: +231 770 116 732
  •  

  • Ganta Methodist Hospital
  • Address: Liberia
  •  

  • ELWA Hospital
  • Address: Liberia
  • General caution

    It is advised that you do not eat any fruit and vegetables without them being cooked or peeled. Always drink bottled water rather than water that has come from a tap or a well. This is the same with ice. Only use ice that has been made from bottled water.

    Specific concerns

    Bilharzia/Schistosomiasis

    It is advised to avoid fresh water swimming or paddling in Liberia as Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present. Bilharzia is an infection caused by a parasitic worm that can be found in fresh water of tropical and subtropical areas. The worm is mostly found across Africa, however they also live in some South American, Caribbean, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries. Symptoms of the infection often do not show when you are first affected, however the worm can go on to live in your body for several years. This can cause harm to your organs, including, your liver, kidneys, and bladder.

    Malaria

    There is a high risk of malaria in certain locations across Liberia. Malaria is a serious disease which can be found in tropical locations. The disease is transmitted through the bite of a carrying mosquito. If the disease is not addressed rapidly, then it can be fatal.

    If you are travelling to a high risk area of Liberia, it is important that you know the symptoms of the disease. Knowing the symptoms will allow you to reach a hospital swiftly if you think you may have contracted it.

    Symptoms of Malaria include:

  • - Sweats and chills
  • - A high temperature (fever)
  • - Vomiting
  • - Headaches
  • - Diarrhoea
  • - Muscle Pains
  • Malaria symptoms often appear within 7 and 18 days of becoming infected. In some cases, it has been known for the symptoms to not appear for up to a year or more.

    If you are travelling to high risk areas, or are at a high risk of catching the diseases, you should make sure that you have had the correct vaccinations and treatment before you travel.

    If you are bitten by a mosquito in Liberia, and begin to feel unwell, it is imperative that you seek medical attention, without delay.

    Meningococcal Meningitis

    Meningococcal meningitis is a risk, however this depends on the location visited and at what time of year. Meningococcal meningitis is a bacteria type of meningitis. It is a serious infection which affects the fragile lining around the brain and spinal cord. The infection is able to cause serious brain damage and if left untreated, can be fatal.

    The infection is spread from person-to-person. Close contact to a carrier of the infection, such as sneezing, kissing, or coughing on someone, can transmit the infection.

    Symptoms of the infection include:

  • - A stiff neck
  • - Confusion
  • - High fever
  • - Headaches
  • - Vomiting
  • - Sensitivity to light
  • Hepatitis B is hyperendemic in Liberia. It is an infection caused by a virus that is transmitted through body fluids. The infection affects the liver. For adults, the infection does not usually show any clear symptoms, and normally passes over a couple of months untreated. However, in children, the infection often continues, and can result in severe harm to the liver.

    Hepatitis E is widespread across Liberia. Hepatitis E is a virus which is spread by faecal-oral transmission. The virus is passed out in the carrier’s faeces, and is then transmitted to the mouth, often by eating contaminated food, or drinking contaminated water.

    Symptoms do not normally show until a period of 2-9 weeks has passed. Symptoms of hepatitis E can include:

  • - Fever
  • - Abdominal Pains
  • - Change in urine colour (darker)
  • - Fatigue
  • - Mild flu-like symptoms

    - Jaundice

    - High temperature

    - Loss of appetite

    - Itching

    - Vomiting

    - Aching muscles and joints

    - Weakness in arms and legs

    Rabies

    Rabies is present in Liberia. If you are bitten by an animal in Liberia, it is imperative that you seek medical attention, without delay. Rabies is a very serious infection that affects the brain and nervous system. Once affected by rabies, if you have not been sufficiently vaccinated from the infection, then it can be fatal. However, if you are treated promptly after the bite, the infection can be prevented.

    Yellow Fever

    Yellow Fever is a large risk in Liberia. The NHS define Yellow Fever as ‘a serious viral infection that is spread by certain types of mosquito.’ The infection is passed to humans through the bites of mosquitos, and cannot be transmitted from human to human. The infection is mainly active in South America, parts of the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. In order to prevent the condition, a vaccination can be given to travellers. All travellers (9 months and over) are required to prove that they have had the vaccine against Yellow Fever in order to enter the country.

    There are two stages of symptoms with Yellow Fever. The first stage of symptoms usually develops within three to six days after being infected with the disease. These can include:

  • - A fever
  • - A headache
  • - Loss of appetite
  • - Muscle pain and back ache
  • - Vomiting and feeling sick
  • Usually, this stage passes within a couple of days and most will fully recover. Although, the NHS state that roughly 15% of people with the disease will progress to more developed and serious symptoms. These can include:

  • - Jaundice
  • - Kidney Failure
  • - Bleeding from the nose, mouth, eyes or stomach (passing blood or vomiting blood)
  • Immunization

    When travelling to Liberia, you should be up-to-date with your routine jabs and boosters including MMR, Polio, and your yearly flu jab. It is required that you are vaccinated against Yellow Fever, as you need evidence to prove that you have been vaccinated in order to enter the country. It is advised to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, preferably 4-6 weeks before you are due to travel, and that you should consider being vaccinated against Rabies, Tetanus, and Typhoid. It is always best to check with your GP to make sure that you are up-to-date with your vaccinations and whether other vaccinations can be recommended for your chosen place of travel.

    Disease risk summary

    Bilharzia/Schistosomiasis

    It is advised to avoid fresh water swimming or paddling in Liberia as Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present. Bilharzia is an infection caused by a parasitic worm that can be found in fresh water of tropical and subtropical areas. The worm is mostly found across Africa, however they also live in some South American, Caribbean, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries.

    Malaria

    There is a high risk of malaria in certain locations across Liberia. Malaria is a serious disease which can be found in tropical locations. The disease is transmitted through the bite of a carrying mosquito. If the disease is not addressed rapidly, then it can be fatal.

    Malaria symptoms often appear within 7 and 18 days of becoming infected. In some cases, it has been known for the symptoms to not appear for up to a year or more.

    If you are travelling to high risk areas, or are at a high risk of catching the diseases, you should make sure that you have had the correct vaccinations and treatment before you travel.

    If you are bitten by a mosquito in Liberia, and begin to feel unwell, it is imperative that you seek medical attention, without delay.

    Meningococcal Meningitis

    Meningococcal meningitis is a risk, however this depends on the location visited and at what time of year. Meningococcal meningitis is a bacteria type of meningitis. It is a serious infection which affects the fragile lining around the brain and spinal cord. The infection is able to cause serious brain damage and if left untreated, can be fatal.

    Hepatitis B is hyperendemic in Liberia. It is an infection caused by a virus that is transmitted through body fluids. The infection affects the liver. For adults, the infection does not usually show any clear symptoms, and normally passes over a couple of months untreated. However, in children, the infection often continues, and can result in severe harm to the liver.

    Hepatitis E is widespread across Liberia. Hepatitis E is a virus which is spread by faecal-oral transmission. The virus is passed out in the carrier’s faeces, and is then transmitted to the mouth, often by eating contaminated food, or drinking contaminated water.

    Rabies

    Rabies is present in Liberia. If you are bitten by an animal in Liberia, it is imperative that you seek medical attention, without delay. Rabies is a very serious infection that affects the brain and nervous system. Once affected by rabies, if you have not been sufficiently vaccinated from the infection, then it can be fatal. However, if you are treated promptly after the bite, the infection can be prevented.

    Yellow Fever

    Yellow Fever is a large risk in Liberia. The NHS define Yellow Fever as ‘a serious viral infection that is spread by certain types of mosquito.’ The infection is passed to humans through the bites of mosquitos, and cannot be transmitted from human to human. The infection is mainly active in South America, parts of the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. In order to prevent the condition, a vaccination can be given to travellers. All travellers (9 months and over) are required to prove that they have had the vaccine against Yellow Fever in order to enter the country.

    Entry requirements

    All travellers are required to provide a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate on entry.

    Recent disease outbreaks

    An epidemic of Ebola was experienced in 2014, and 2015, with the first case reported in March 2014. Other neighbouring countries also experienced an epidemic including Sierra Leone and Guinea.

    N/A

    Media

    TV and Radio: LBS is a state-run broadcaster which operates one radio station, however, this does not cover nationally. It does not operate a television service. Several other radio stations have the support of agencies from around the world.

    Newspapers: Liberian newspapers are run privately. They include: The News, Daily Observer, The Analyst, and The Inquirer.

    Need help?

    UK Customer Services0330 880 3600

    Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
    Sat 8:30am - 4pm.
    (Calls may be monitored or recorded)

    Contact details can be found in your policy documentation

    Available 24 hours a day, every day