Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 26 September 2018, 15:07 NZST
  • Still current at: 20 October 2018

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, on the border with Cote D’Ivoire, due to the presence of armed groups and the possibility of cross-border attacks.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Liberia due to the unpredictable security situation and violent crime.

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Violent Crime
Violent crime occurs throughout Liberia, and there is a high incidence of armed robbery, sexual assault, mugging and residential burglary. Most crime is opportunistic but there are also organised criminal groups.  The level of crime is much higher after dark.

 

As foreigners may be targeted due to their perceived wealth, avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as mobile devices and jewellery. Walking alone or travelling after dark should be avoided. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery or mugging, as this could lead to an escalation in violence.

Liberian police and authorities have a very limited capacity to respond and provide effective protective services, particularly outside the capital Monrovia.  

Terrorism
Terrorist groups remain active across West Africa and attacks in other countries have targeted beach resorts, hotels, cafes and restaurants visited by foreigners.

New Zealanders in Liberia are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising vigilance in public places.

Local travel
New Zealanders considering travel to Liberia are advised to make adequate security arrangements with a reliable organisation in advance of your arrival. Pre-arrange transport for the duration of your stay, including to and from the airport, which is located some distance from downtown Monrovia. When travelling by road, keep doors locked and windows up at all times. Taxis should be booked using a reputable company via a trusted friend or through your hotel. When travelling by road, keep doors locked and windows up at all times, as taxis have been occasionally targeted for robbery. . Secure tourist facilities and accommodation are very limited and poorly maintaied. Stay only in reputable accommodation with adequate guarding. Photo identification should be carried at all times.

The security situation in Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, which border Cote D’Ivoire, can be unstable. There are armed groups near the border and occassional cross-border attacks have occurred in the past.

Civil Unrest
The security situation in Liberia remains fragile. Sporadic demonstrations and local disturbances can turn violent and there is ongoing potential for unrest.  New Zealanders in Liberia are advised to avoid all large crowds, political rallies and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent.

Ebola Virus Disease
Following an Ebola outbreak in 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Liberia free of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) transmission in June 2016. For more information on Ebola, please see the Ministry of Health’s website.

General Travel Advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Liberia,, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Liberia should consider.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Liberia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Liberia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Please note: While every care has been taken in preparing this travel advisory, neither the    New Zealand Government nor its agents and employees can accept liability for any loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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