For most outsiders, Liberia is a bit of a mystery. But those in the know wax lyrical about the optimism of its people and the country’s natural wonders. There are idyllic beaches, washed by some of West Africa’s best surf at low-key resorts such as Robertsport. Then there’s Sapo National Park, the second-largest area of primary rainforest in West Africa. In these dense forests, you stand a chance of running into chimpanzees, forest elephants and Liberia’s famous pygmy hippos – no larger than a Shetland pony. Better still, a groundbreaking development deal with Norway to halt all deforestation by 2020 looks set to keep this natural treasure safe for generations.