Liberia is a country in West Africa, bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. On the Atlantic coast, the capital city of Monrovia is home to the Liberia National Museum, with exhibits on national culture and history. Around Monrovia, there are palm-lined beaches like Silver and CeCe. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fascinating facts about Liberia.
1. Monrovia is the capital and the biggest city of Liberia. The city is named in honor of U.S. President James Monroe, who was a prominent supporter of the colonization of Liberia and the American Colonization Society.
2. Liberia has a mostly hilly terrain, from rolling plains along the coast to a rolling plateau and low mountains in the northeast.
3. Mount Wuteve at 1,440 meters, or 4,724 feet, above sea level is the highest mountain in Gabon.
4. The network of protected areas in Liberia covers about 4% of the national territory. It’s made up of 10 national parks, and 2 nature reserves and other types of protected areas.
5. The American Colonization Society founded Liberia in 1821 as a place for free African Americans to migrate to. More than 10,000 made the journey across the Atlantic, aided by the society, until Liberia declared independence in 1847. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a freed slave from Virginia, became the first president.
6. According to the CIA World Factbook, the average age of Liberia’s citizens is 17.9 years.
7. The world’s biggest cruise ships are all registered in Liberia, mostly because the employment laws are less stringent there.
8. Royal Caribbean International, which has the three biggest cruise ships on the planet, is incorporated in Liberia, along with 12% of the world’s entire maritime fleet.
9. Liberia is among the 20 countries on Earth that smoke the fewest cigarettes per capita, which is about 104 per adult per year.
10. Once one of West Africa’s most lavish hotels, Durco Palace in Monrovia was popular with rich tourists, visiting dignitaries and business people, but political uncertainty led to its closure in 1989 and the former five-star resort has become a home to local squatters.
11. Sapo National Park is the country’s biggest protected reserve and home to 125 types of mammal and 590 types of bird species.
12. all airlines from Liberia are banned from Europe due to not meeting safety or regulatory standards.
13. Several surfing beaches can be found in and around Monrovia, but the coastal town of Robertsport, around 50 miles from the capital, has been described as the best undiscovered surf spot in Africa.
14. Liberia is one of just two African countries with a female leader. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been president since 2006 and is known as Africa’s Iron Lady.
15. Liberia is the one of the biggest exporters of iron ore in Africa.
16. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Liberia’s coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river deposited sandbars.
17. The Executive Mansion is located in Monrovia and serves as a home to the president and his or her family. Government meetings involving cabinet ministers are often held there as well.
18. Nelson Mandela, one of the most admired world icons, was born in Liberia.
19. The longest river in Liberia is named after a fish. The Cavalla River emerges north of the Nimba Range in Guinea and flows south, forming part of the Liberia-Ivory Coast border.
20. Houses in Liberia are usually built from sun-dried local clay bricks coated with plaster, with a galvanized corrugated iron roof.
21. The soil of much of Nimba County is the red, iron-rich weathered product of millions of years of high temperatures and high rainfall experienced in tropical areas. This type of soil is called “laterite.”
22. The original name of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, was Christianopolis.
23. Oprah Winfrey has traced her ancestry back to the Liberian region of Kpelle.
24. George Weah, a Liberian citizen, was the only African to hold three prestigious sports titles in one year. In 1995, he was named African Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year.
25. One third of married Liberian women between the ages of 15 to 49 are in polygamous marriages. Customary law allows men to have up to 4 wives.
26. While Liberian music is part of the wider West African music heritage, it is also distinct from its neighbors.
27. There are several different types of drums used in traditional music. Next to drums, beaded gourd rattles called Saassaa are also used in mainstream music by many Liberian singers, musicians, and ensembles across the country.
28. Liberia is renowned for its detailed decorative and ornate masks, large and miniature wood carvings of realistic human faces, famous people, scenes of everyday life and accessories, particularly combs, spoons and forks, which are often enlarged sculptures.
29. Liberian wood curved sculptures are heavily influenced by ancient history predating modern Liberia, folklore, proverbs, spirituality, and rural life.
30. In 1960, Liberia was elected to the Security Council of the United Nations, making it the first black African country ever to occupy a seat in this body.