Liberia is not uppermost when you think about the best-known places for tourism on the continent, but that could change if a new list from respected travel advice company Lonely Planet has its way.
The country was placed eighth in its list of top tourist destinations.
Lonely Planet, which produces a series of popular guide books, also named two other African countries in its top 10 – Eswatini (placed fifth) and Morocco (ninth).
Justifying its choice, the company admits that “for most outsiders Liberia is a bit of a mystery”, but goes on to say:
“There are idyllic beaches, washed by some of West Africa’s best surf at low-key resorts such as Robertsport.
“Then there’s Sapo National Park, the second-largest area of primary rainforest in West Africa. In these dense forests, you stand a chance of running into chimpanzees, forest elephants and Liberia’s famous pygmy hippos – no larger than a Shetland pony.”
If the Lonely Planet ranking did have an impact it would be a remarkable turnaround for a country that was cut off from visitors during the Ebola outbreak that ended in 2016.
Lonely Planet called Eswatini “one of Southern Africa’s most underrated destinations” and Morocco has “time-honoured attractions complemented by sustainable-yet-stylish lodging”.