Lying on the coast and serving as Liberia’s capital, largest city and chief Atlantic port, Monrovia is named after US President James Monroe and began life as a settlement for freed American slaves in the 1820s. Since this time the city has been through both ups and downs, overcoming the ravages of war and the deadly Ebola outbreak. Today visitors will find a vibrant city with many sights and sounds, including the must-visit Liberia National Museum, Waterside Market, Silver Beach and Providence Island.
Monrovia, as well as being the country’s economic generator, is also an important educational hub. The city is home to the University of Liberia, which was founded in law in 1851, opened 1862, given university status in 1951 and established a medical school in 1968. Elsewhere is the modern Monrovia Consolidated School System complex in the Sinkor district, and several church secondary schools. An interest in history is recommended for anyone visiting the capital, the aforementioned museum containing many fascinating exhibits detailing the country’s past – it is the oldest Africa republic and has an intriguing story to tell. Likewise, a desire to try local and West African cuisine is also advantageous, as there are many opportunities to sample staple dishes such as jollof rice, fufu (dumplings), and okra stew.