Liberia is the 39th largest African country and its capital was named after a US president. Learn more fun facts about this unique country.
1. It is located in West Africa and is the 39th largest country on the continent.
2. Its capital and largest city is Monrovia. It was named after US president James Monroe.
3. It began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, which believed freed Black slaves would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa. From 1822 forward, more than 18,000 Afro-Caribbeans and Black Americans were relocated there.
4. Liberia self-proclaimed independence from the US in 1847 and is the only African republic to have gained independence without revolt from any other power. It is the world’s second oldest Black republic, after Haiti.
5. Liberia’s flag closely resembles the American flag, reflecting the historical ties of Liberia and the USA.
6. Major languages: English (official), Liberian English, and more than 30 indigenous languages
7. Major ethnic groups: Kpelle (20%), Bassa (13%), Grebo (10%), Gio (8%), Mano (8%), Kru (6%), Lorma (5%), Kissi (5%), Gola (4%), Krahn (4%), Vai (4%), Mandingo (3%), Gbandi (3%)
8. Major religions: Christian (86%), Muslim (12%), Traditional and other (1%), none (1%)
9. Mount Wuteve is the country’s highest point at 1,440 m (4,720 ft) and 3 countries can be seen from its summit (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea).
10. Much of the country is covered by rainforest and its Upper Guinea forests are one of the world’s priority biodiversity hotspots.
11. Sapo National Park is its largest protected reserve, home to 700 bird species and 125 mammal species, including the rare and endangered pygmy hippopotamus.
12. The Firestone Rubber Plantation, present in Liberia since 1826, is the world’s largest natural rubber operation. Though it has been dogged by controversy, unofficial tours are typically obliged.
13. Tourism is a small industry. Things to do include beaches, national parks, hiking, surfing, deep-sea fishing, Kpatawee Waterfalls, Lake Piso, Monkey Island, and urban attractions in the capital, including Waterside Market, Centennial Pavilion, Liberian National Museum, the defunct Hotel Ducor, JJ Roberts Monument, Providence Island, Rivoli Cinema, the Masonic Temple, the Executive Mansion, and great bars, clubs and restaurants.