Special Travel Circumstances in Liberia

Infrastructure: Lodging, fuel, transportation, and telephone services are not consistently available in Liberia. They can be nonexistent or severely limited in rural areas. Neither running water nor electricity is commercially available in Liberia, except in some parts of Monrovia. Most hotels have utilities available, but not always on a 24-hour basis. There is no working landline telephone system in Liberia. Several cell phone companies provide service in Monrovia and some areas outside the capital. U.S. cellular phones do not always work in Liberia and it is advisable to rent or purchase a local cellular phone. The postal system is slow and unreliable. Commercial air courier service is available through UPS, Federal Express (FedEx), and other companies.

Financial Issues: The U.S. dollar is readily accepted in Liberia. While there is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that can be transported into and out of the country, sums in excess of U.S. $10,000 must be reported at the port of entry and no more than U.S. $7,500 in foreign currency banknotes can be moved out of the country at one time. Larger sums must be transferred via bank drafts or other financial instruments; persons without a Liberian bank account are limited to two outgoing U.S. $5,000 over-the-counter cash wire transfers per month. Wire transfers are not widely used and are subject to substantial fees. ATMs are not widely available in Monrovia. Traveler's checks and credit cards are not accepted anywhere in Liberia, except at some major hotels.

Swimming Hazard: Liberia has many excellent beaches along the Atlantic coastline that can be enjoyed throughout the year. However, U.S. citizens should be aware of the threat of dangerous rip currents better known as rip tides. These strong currents can occur anywhere on the coast given the right surf conditions. The Liberia Weather Service does not provide information on where and when these tides form and there are no lifeguards posted on beaches. Do not swim in the Atlantic if you are unfamiliar with swimming in water where very strong rip currents occur.

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