Monday, July 27, 2009

Liberian Tourism

Though an unlikely combination of words for the last couple of decades, "Liberian Tourism" is making strides towards viability. On the occasion of Liberia's "Independence," Elie and I gave "Wow Liberia" the opportunity to diversify our Monrovia<->Robertsport circuit. Along with fifteen or so other people--mostly embassy workers and NGO staff in their twenties and thirties--we embarked on a five hour drive towards Gbarnga, the capital of Bong County (stay-tuned for the t-shirt).

A series of jungle-shrouded waterfalls subside near a grove of massive, ancient cotton trees (featured above the tents in the first photograph). These behemoths, sporting orchids on their high altitude branches, cast a spell on their surroundings everywhere that I have seen them--however otherwise cluttered--and the waterfalls aren't too shabby either.

The local community have taken custody of the copse by the lower pool, surrounded it with bamboo fencing and declared it an ecotourism site. They are, however, not shy about throwing a rocking, all-night, generator-fed and beer-fueled, fully-catered dance party--for fifteen perfect strangers. We look forward to working with Wow Liberia on their Robertsport activities and to supporting their efforts to spread responsible tourism around the region.

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