A Week in Monrovia

The New Market near Mamba Point

Oh how I had longed to come back to a West African city. To the lovely chaos, dirty streets and water served in plastic bags. To the simplest shack restaurants were people were drinking beer from the morning on and all you could order was rice with whatever sauce they were cooking that day. Liberia was my last country to be visited in West Africa and had all of that, but with a little bit of an American twist. This is probably as the country was given to people who had been freed from the slavery in the US.

A monument next to the Duncor Hotel

For some reason I had imagined there being american diners and maybe some Miami style art deco architecture, but after walking around the city for hours every day I did not see any of that. Instead I found the Liberians to speak a bit different English than the British colonies of Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria, they used the US dollar in addition to the local liberty dollar and a lot of big american automatic gear cars driving around on the road.

Most of the time I was couchsurfing with a local guy called Henry who ran a simple shack bar on Mamba Beach, but after a couple of nights sleeping on his floor I decided to move into the 5$ Chief’s lodge on Miami beach. The best time spent was sitting with locals in the evening chatting and drinking local beer while the widespread marijuana smell and the sound of loud afro beats and crushing waves in the background. The last nights I got to spend couchsurfing in a more comfortable upscale apartment, relaxing and reflecting on my experiences in the last months traveling in Africa.

For anyone visiting Monrovia, a couple of days should be enough to see the markets, the huge Duncor hotel constructed by Gadaffi and enjoying the view from the hilltop, but another extra days could also be relaxing hanging out with friendly English speaking locals around the beaches.