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:

Lonely Planet says Liberia’s rainforest has plenty to offer visitors

“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”.

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