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Originally established as a homeland for enslaved people of color in the Americas, Liberia was the only black state in Africa not exposed to colonial rule.

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As a result, it was one of the most stable nations in Africa until the late 1980s, when a bloody civil war overtook the nation and lasted until 2003. Despite electing the first female head of state in 2005, Liberia still remains one of the most dangerous countries in Africa, and women are advised not to travel there at all.

Should things change, Liberia has fantastic surfing near Robertsport, and calmer, more-relaxing beaches near the capital city of Monrovia. You can also escape the capital about 11 hours away and visit Sapo National Park, some of the only protected land in the country and home to the highest concentration of mammals on the planet. For extra-rare animals, head into the jungles of the East Nimba Nature Reserve, which among other animals is home to a number of pygmy hippos.