Adventure

The Liberian Coast & Territorial waters

Liberia is situated within the East Central Atlantic region of the Gulf of Guinea. With an Atlantic coastline of about 579 km and a continental shelf averaging 34 km in width, the marine fishing grounds of Liberia cover 186.322 square kilometers within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The fishing area extends from the shrimp rich Shebro grounds bordering Sierra Leone in the west, to the Cavalla River Basin bordering Côte d’Ivoire in the east, and the tuna pelagic fishing grounds extending out into the Atlantic Ocean.

More than 50% of the Liberian population lives along the coastal area, where the predominant occupation is fishing. The coastal (marine) fishery comprises both artisanal and industrial fisheries.
Executive Order #39 “ Delimiting the Maritime Zones of the Republic of Liberia “ establishes sovereignty over the Territorial Sea of Liberia at 12 nautical miles (NM), the Contiguous Zone at 24 NM, and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 NM from the baseline. However, as Liberia is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the EEZ has been legally recognized as in place since 2008.

With all this sea available it is obvious that Sea related Tourism initiatives are beginning to sprout up here and there such as Sea-fishing, Sea-diving, dolphin watching, river excursions, some jet ski activities have been seen on the rivers.

Watersport Tourist attractions

Sapo National Park

Liberia’s Sapo National Park contains some of the largest primary tropical rainforests in West Africa. Few people have ever been there and those who have are probably in the ranks of the most intrepid and extreme tourists in the world. Hardly anyone has ever heard of the place, and travelers who like the comforts and luxuries of modern day travel should write it off their bucket list right now.

Sapo National Park is an environmental hotspot and, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has one of the biggest diversity of mammalian species in the world. The 1808 square kilometers rain forest is home to the pygmy hippo, endangered forest elephants, chimpanzees, and a diverse range of other monkeys (including the red colobus and the black and white Colobus).

Before you book your trip to Sapo, you need to know that there are almost no visitor facilities  and the journey from Monrovia involves traveling via the remote coastal town called Greenville. The next part of the journey involved a dreadful drive on rough roads in rain and mud in an all-terrain vehicle, then the final step involved a four-hour hike through the jungle, river crossings, and no accommodation at the end of the trek.

This is not a reserve where tourists can drive up to the main gate, pay their fees, and spend their first night sipping cocktails on the lodge veranda.

Nobody can enter the park without the permission of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA).

One Liberian, who had traveled around the world extensively, visited the park and wrote that he had never seen a more beautiful park in the world. “It is nature untouched,” he wrote. Since this comment was written in 2008, there has been some effort made to provide visitor facilities of a sort, but even for the intrepid traveler, going it alone would be a hard call.

A year ago, the Outpost Magazine gave out some updated information on visiting the park. They explain that there are still no formal hotels but there is basic accommodation available at the FDA which has a guesthouse on the park outskirts, but visitors must be self-sufficient. No formal camp sites exist, but camping is allowed and FDA has scouts who must accompany hikers.

They now provide canoes to cross the river. Even so, the best option for tourists will be to use the services of Barefoot Safari’s Liberia they are the only Liberian Tour Operator and they operate out of Monrovia. Their web & Facebook page describes the Liberian wilderness as “Lost to the world” for two decades adventure of a lifetime to Africa’s primeval forest.  

Field Contacts

Nimba Reserve
Mr. Roger Luke – Chief park warden
Mobile: +231/(0)777.397.418
E-mail: rogerluke74@hotmail.com

For visitors / activities to the ZOR area
Mr. Joseph K. Wleah – Zone warden Zortapa
Mobile: +231/(0)777.828.595

For visitors /activities to the Western area’s Yekepa / Blue Lake
Mr. Sam Freeman – Zone warden camp 4
Mobile: +231/(0)776.530.217

For tours in Monrovia and across Liberia

Mr. James (Jimmy) Korkolie, former head tour guide of Barefoot Liberia, expert bush traveler, and fixer extraordinaire on ground, he knows the whole country including some of the deepest parts of the Liberian rain forest, speaks several Liberian dialects, is an incredible problem solver, and is the perfect liaison with local communities.

Jimmy is an excellent guide for day trips and week-long upcountry travel.

E-mail: jameskorkollie@gmail.com
Phone at +231 (0) 886 529 113 or +231 (0) 776 968 322

Barefoot Joe is still offering fishing trips and adventures out on the St. Paul river! +231 (0) 888 196 891

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