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.
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”.
It has been a good few days for Liberia when it comes to top 10 lists. Last week, it was named as the most welcoming country for strangers in the world by the Charities Aid Foundation.