Cote d’Ivoire

Though Abidjan is the largest city and administrative capital of Cote d’Ivoire, Yamoussoukro is the legislative, official capital of the country. Colonized by the French, the official language and currency of the country is French and the CFA francs respectively. Its neighbours are Ghana to the east, Burkina Faso to the northeast, Mali to the north, Guinea to the northwest, Liberia to the west and a southerly facing the North Atlantic Ocean coast on the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Cote d’Ivoire is on the coordinates of latitude 8o north of the Equator and longitude 5o west of Greenwich Meridian. It became independent of France on 7 August 1960.

Côte d'Ivoire was originally made up of numerous isolated settlements; today it represents more than sixty distinct tribes, including the Baoule, Bete, Senoufou, Agni, Malinke, Dan, and Lobi. A summary data of the current representation of ethnic groups shows – Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques (Gur) 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French).

Notable Places to Visit

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

Located on the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, Mount Nimba rises above the surrounding savannah. Its slopes are covered by dense forest at the foot of grassy mountain pastures. They harbour an especially rich flora and fauna, with common species such as the viviparous toad and chimpanzees that use stones as tools. Reaching a peak of 5, 748 feet (1,752 metres) Mount Nimba. The Range Mountains of Nimba are the source of the Nuon (Nipoué, Cestos) and Cavalla rivers, which form the Liberia–Côte d’Ivoire boundary. A visit there is a captivating experience.

Parc National de la Comoé

Côte d'Ivoire's biggest and best-known national park has plenty of wildlife, including lions, elephants, hippos, many species of monkeys and antelopes, and abundant birdlife. All of these are an inviting call to tourists who flock into the park frequently to enjoy every bit of nature. Located in northeastern Cote d’Ivoire, it’s also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Parc National de Tai

national park in Côte d'Ivoire containing one of the last areas of primary rainforest in West Africa. It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the breadth of its flora and fauna. Taï National Park is approximately 100 km from the Ivoirian coast on the border with Liberia between the Cavally and Sassandra Rivers. Five mammal species of the Taï National Park which are on the red list of threatened species and which make the park unique to visitors are: the pygmy hippopotamusolive colobus monkeys, leopardschimpanzee and Jentink’s duiker.

City of 18 Mountains

To the west of central Cote d’Ivoire is a town named, Man. The striking touch of this town is the reason behind the name “City of 18 Mountains;” an assembly of highlands and mountains known to attract tourists to long walks, treks and hikes. The town lies amidst these high peaks with the most notable being Mount Toura and Mount Tonkoui, the two highest in the town, and La Dent de Man. A waterfall la Cascade, is situated at the west side of the town. La Cascade is surrounded by a bamboo forest, which is the habitat of many colorful dragonflies and a wide variety of butterflies. There’s also the beautiful site of a large rocky outcropping overlooking the town called the Tooth of Man. The Monkey Forest in the town is a wooded area in which monkeys live; for a small fee tourists can persuade local residents to call the monkeys out of their forest habitat.

Pearl of the Lagoons

Cote d’Ivoire’s administrative capital, Abidjan, bears nicknames like “Pearl of the Lagoons” and “Paris of Africa” owing to the numerous lagoons surrounding the coastal city and plenty of cozy spots to escape from the grind of the city. Gorgeous white-sand beaches covered with shells, especially towards Christmas also abound in Abidjan; with many beach houses and hotels dotting the coast, providing abundant choices of holiday homes for all budgets. The wonderful climate makes it possible to go to the beach almost any time of the year. Although Abidjan and its beaches may seem primitive at first sight, you start to enjoy the real beauty and the humble settings once you settle down.

Situated about 45 kms to the east of Abidjan is the Bassam Beach which is one of the better and famous beaches of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Several Beach Hotel resorts in Grand Bassam have their padded lounge chairs set up on the beach. There are interesting souvenirs to pick up like masks, brass work, wood carvings and batik work from the hawkers on the beach. Be ready for some negotiation before you decide to pick up a souvenir.

80 kms to the east of Abidjan is Assinie & Assouinde; two small villages that lie between the lagoon and the sea. The quiet and sparsely populated palm fringed beaches on Assinie & Assouinde draws plenty of surfers and weekend visitors. The coast is easily accessible by road.

A major seaside resort and fishing zone, was the first place in Ivory Coast where the Union Flag was hoisted when the British originally occupied the country. Located around 60 kms from Abidjan, there are no direct land routes to reach this place. A journey by ferry across the water body reaches the beach of Jacqueville. Coconuts being the main source of revenue are found everywhere. A visit to Jacqueville is for those who want to enjoy a quiet, lazy, secluded holiday. 

Located around 210 kms west of Abidjan are the pristine and untouched beaches of Sassandra where the rainforests touch the shore. There are several beach resorts offering horseback riding and bonfires by night. These beaches are relatively less crowded except for a few natives. The day can be spent just by enjoying the African sun or going swimming in the sea.

 

Notable Events

 

  • Bouaké Carnival
  • Fêtes des Masques (Festival of Masks)
  • Independence Day (7 August)

 

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