SAFETY TIPS

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.

WOMEN’S SAFETY

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

Safe-travel guide for women

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

More about 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.

Learn more about 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.

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.

AIR TRAVEL

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

General 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.

SWIMMING

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

GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION

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.