Distance driven: 633km
Days spent: 8
Distance driven/day: 79,13km
Diesel price: 0,86€/l
Money spent: 420€
We aquired our visas in Freetown in neighbouring Sierra Leone. The Liberia embassy (N8 28.280 W13 16.212) is situated close to the Ghana embassy and just opposite the British high commission. You supposedly need an invitation letter and reference but they did not care. We needed to fill out one form and bring one passport photo. The process usually takes 2 days but we said that we were in a hurry and could pick it up the next day. For 50US$ extra you can get an emergency visa the same day.
We paid 100US$ (Leone also accepted) for a 1 month single entry visa with 3 months time to enter the country. A 3 month multiple entry visa costs 150US$.
Like Sierra Leone Liberia has recovered to a certain extant from the civil war and Monrovia is a very modern city. People on the countryside were friendly as usual but in general a little bit less outgoing than other West Africans. We thoroughly enjoyed the clean, deserted beaches of Robertsport and exploring the towns crumbling ruins. We did not see many people wearing traditional dresses and western style shorts and shirts prevailed. The drive northeast of Monrovia towards the borders with Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire was a long and bumpy one due to roadwork along the whole stretch. The surrounding Upper Guinean Rainforest was beautiful though.
We did not encounter a single attempt of extracting a bribe and our dealings with officials were always perfectly correct and friendly.
The border crossing from Sierra Leone was largely unproblematic with a lot of different stops on the Sierra Leonean side and efficient immigration all in the same building on the Liberian side. Our carnet was accepted and we were not charged for anything.
Ivory Coast visa:
The Ivory Coast embassy (N6 17.397 W10 46.712) is located near Congo Town together with diplomatic institutions of several other countries. The secretary was a very kind woman and we only had to fill out one form, hand in 2 passport photos and pay 69US$/person for a 1 month single entry visa valid from desired date. We could pick up our visas on the next day in the afternoon. Theoretically the price is the same for a 3 day till 3 month visa.
Recommended Campings (prices for 2 people and a 4×4):
Nana Lodge, Robertsport – N6 45.008 W11 22.860
Camping directly at the beach, some grumpy some friendly staff, decent food, 24h security
(Alternatively you could camp directly next to Nana Lodge under the Cotton Tree)
A La Lagoon, Monrovia – N6 15.706 W10 43.083
Restaurant with some rooms at the sea in Congo Town, good location to reach embassies, good restaurant and very kind staff, free Wifi, noisy on weekends
They allowed us to camp for free in the car park but please ask first and offer something in return/eat in the restaurant!