My Liberia: A Vacation Paradise

I had fretted for months before about the trip, having come up with the idea that, after the years of civil war, capped off by the 2014 Ebola pandemic, it was time to see if Liberia was ready to be a travel destination.

“We’ll be tourists!” I had cajoled. “We’ll go to the beach, we’ll go to Kpatawee waterfalls, we’ll go to Sapo National Park. And think of the food!”

The mention of the food had eroded their initial dubiousness. Liberian food is “sweeeeeeet” — Liberian English for “so delicious you want to cry.” We boarded the flight home with thoughts of palm butter, bitterleaf, fufu and proper Liberian jollof rice, in our heads.

The central question, though, was: Could we really spend two weeks in Liberia as tourists? Liberia had long been that fantastically beautiful place that had never seemed able to deliver on its travel destination potential: sandy white empty beaches, but with no roads leading to them; lush tropical rain forests but with no place to go to the bathroom; an open people who love foreigners but few flights to link them.

About a year and a half ago, I had stumbled on a Liberia tourism video on YouTube that started to answer the question.