Liberty dollar (L$ or LD) and US dollar (US$)
Budget: Less than US$140
- Sachet of drinking water: US$0.15
- Bed in convent guesthouse: US$45
- Bowl of palm butter and rice: US$3.50
- Monrovia–Robertsport by bush taxi: US$4
- Bottled cola in air-conditioned bar: US$2.50
- Simple hotel room with fan and wi-fi: US$85
- Lunch at Lebanese cafe: US$7
- Short hop in private Monrovia taxi: US$6
Top End: More than US$250
- Cocktail in upmarket hotel bar: US$7
- Centrally located hotel room with air-con and wi-fi: US$200
- Sushi dinner for two with wine: US$80
- 4WD hire per day up-country: US$130 plus petrol
Bargaining is common, especially at markets – haggle hard, but realise that Liberia is one of the world's poorest nations. Foreigners will always pay more than locals.
US currency is used for all transactions over a few dollars. The official currency, the Liberian dollar, only used for small items costing less than US$5.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Restaurants Add 10% for all meals except takeaway.
Taxis You don't need to tip taxi drivers, but if you hire a guide or a driver for the day, tip roughly 5%.
The Liberian dollar is tied to the US dollar at L$70 to US$1. When in the country, US dollars are used for anything over approximately US$5. You can pay for anything in US dollars and your change may be in either currency (often a mix of both).
Make sure your US dollars are new (ideally issued after 2000) and in good shape, or risk them being rejected. Counterfeit US dollars is a serious issue, so be sure to closely inspect any bills you receive as change.
Monrovia has ATMs that dispense cash in US dollars. Elsewhere, bring cash. Western Union and Moneygram operate in most towns.