Tropical Guide to Côte d’Ivoire

The 8 Best Sights of Cote d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire is rich in high, grassy mountains in the north and lagoons with roaring Atlantic waves in the south. To the west, it has misty rainforests where chimpanzees live, and to the east, vast plantations of cocoa and bananas.

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Who goes to Cote d’Ivoire and why

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in Côte d’Ivoire stroll the scenic trails of the Taï and Comoé reserves, watch curious primates swinging in the trees, and explore the country’s wildlife.

The capital of the state, Abidjan, where more than 4 million people live, attracts tourists with its colonial buildings, French-style streets, cafes and restaurants serving cassava and cashew curry.

Fans of antiquity and architecture Cote d’Ivoire has also prepared Christian cathedrals and Muslim mosques, forts and castles built during the colonization.

Cultural attractions

St. Paul’s Cathedral

sobor st pavla

This is the second largest Christian relic structure located in West Africa. The cathedral was designed by an Italian architect and the building itself was built in 1980. For the African continent the church is innovative.

In front of its façade there is a tower which is divided into two parts resembling the figure of a saint after whom it is named. The temple itself was built in the modernist style, inside it is decorated with colorful stained glass with biblical motifs. One of the frescoes depicts pictures from the life of St. Paul.

Kong Mosque

mecheti kot

Located near the Komoe National Park in the town of Kong, the mosque is one of the best preserved in the country. This despite the fact that at the end of the 19th century the ancient settlement in which it is located was destroyed almost to the ground.

In the Middle Ages Kong was not only an important trading point, but also the center of the spread of Islam in Africa. Then with the Sudanese and were built mosques in accordance with their individual stylistic vision. The city’s main shrine today is a place of attraction for pilgrims and is considered a national treasure.

National Du Costume Ethnographic Museum

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The museum is located in the city of Grand Bassam, which is 120 kilometers from the capital. The exposition of the treasure house is small, but curious. It presents clothing, objects of African life and culture, which has been formed over several centuries.

The entire area of the museum is divided into several parts. In one of them you can learn in more detail about the development of Côte d’Ivoire culture and the jewelry worn by ancient tribes, as well as tools and the first habitats.

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Notre Dame de la Paix – Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace

notr dam dela pe

The largest cathedral in the world is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and is the realization of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s dream. Africa is home to only 20 percent of Christians, but that did not stop the ruler from building a temple for them in the likeness of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

The world was ambivalent about the construction of Notre Dame, on which more than 300 million dollars were spent, given that the local population lives in need. Even the Pope agreed to consecrate the cathedral only on condition that a hospital would be built nearby. The stone for its construction was laid, but the work did not move forward.

The interior decoration of the basilica is magnificent, the building is completely carved in marble and decorated with stained glass windows. One of them depicts Felix Houphouët-Boigny himself, representing the sorcerer who presents gifts to Jesus Christ.

Tingrel Mosque

mechet tingrella

The Islamic shrine was built during the reign of the Mali Empire, long before Europeans arrived in Africa. When building it the mason Massa took into account humid climatic conditions of the area, that’s why he used special raw bricks. The construction of Tingrela took 5 years.

From the outside the building has a rectangular outline and is oriented to the west. Inside it is divided into several rooms, among which is the common prayer hall and the women’s room. The latter has access to a terrace with a stunning view of the city.

Natural attractions and parks

Tai National Park.

nac park

The longest tropical rainforest in West Africa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in the 1980s. There is a wide variety of flora and fauna: the park is home to 46m tall evergreen trees whose thick crowns make it hard for the sun’s rays to reach their roots. In addition, there are palms and ebony trees.

Many moisture-loving “giants” are endemics (found only in this area). Among the big animals in the reserve are colobus, buffalo, duikers, pygmy hippos, elephants and leopards.

Ebrière Lagoon.

laguna embrie

The biggest lagoon near the capital. This place got its name thanks to the nationalities that lived here until the foundation of Abidjan in the XIX century. The lagoon is long enough and covers an area of 550 square kilometers. The depth of water reaches 8 meters.

In the 50s, a canal was built here, which connected the harbor with the Atlantic. Thanks to it Ebrié became a seaport.

Comoé National Park

nac park komoe

The park has a river of the same name that connects several climatic zones, from the Sahel to the humid tropics, on its 800-kilometer path. The reserve is home to a large number of animals whose habitat is the humid hot climate. Antelopes, bongos, oribi, elephants, buffalo and chameleons can be found in Comoé.

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Tropical Guide to Côte d’Ivoire

Read about our big trip through West Africa in 2019 on the travel forum Momentum.info. The trip had it all: crocodiles, monkeys, crashes, mountains, ocean, savannah and more. It will be interesting to read!

Côte d’Ivoire ( Ivory Coast ) is a state in West Africa. Bordered by Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana, it is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the south. From its region it is quite rich and has a tourist infrastructure. The country has everything you could want: nature reserves with animals, rainforests, crocodiles with monkeys in the city center, mountains, ocean, very cheap fruits, and much more.

Weather Cote d’Ivoire :

May through June and October through November are the worst times to visit. It rains and thunders heavily, often for days at a time, without stopping. Many roads become unfit for driving. July to October is the time when it rains in the south of the country, you can travel in this weather. Temperatures average 28 degrees.

December to February is considered beach season and is generally a good time to visit the country. During this time, the temperature does not rise above 35 degrees and there is not a single cloud in the sky.

Cote d’Ivoire Visa :

A visa can be obtained in any country. To do this you need to pay online (58 euros), make an appointment at the consulate where you will be applying. You should have two photos, hotel reservation, plane reservation, certificate of vaccination against yellow fever, two copies of your passport. The visa is made 48 hours, in some countries may be the same day. The visa is issued for 3 months multi-entry.

You can enter the country in two ways, by land or by plane. Borders are open to all countries. Many airline companies fly to Cote d’Ivoire, such as Air France, Tap Portygal and others. Tickets start at 160 euros to European countries. The main airport is in Abidjan and almost all planes arrive there. You can get to the city center by bus or cab.

Public transport in Cote d’Ivoire :

There are five modes of transport in the country: cabs, motorcycle cabs, train (Abidjan – the capital of Burkina Faso – Ouagadougou), city buses (only in Abidjan) and intercity beads. The bus fare in the city is 20 cents, by cab it all depends on how you know how to negotiate, on average 50 cents for 4-6 km (in Abidjan more expensive).

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The train passes cities such as Abidjan, Agboville, Dimbokro, Brobo, Katiola, Ferkecedougou, Banfora, Bobo-Dulusi and Ouagadougou.The fare from Abidjan to Ouagadougou is 50 euros. There is no timetable for all transport, everything has to wait in certain places.

Housing and Prices Cote d’Ivoire :

There are hotels in all the big cities, starting at 15 euros per room. You can find absolutely any, from the cheapest with not very good repair, to the top class with swimming pools, wifi and other things.

Food and restaurants :

Prices in local currency sefa francs (1 euro – 650 sefa)

Avocado 150-200 cfr Pineapple 200-400 cfr (depends on size) Tomatoes 1 pc. – 50 sefa Bananas 1 piece. – 50 sefa Baguette bread – 200 sefa Pasta – 200 gr. – 175 sefa Rice 1 kg – 400 sefa Margarine – 350 sefa Eggplants 1 piece. – 100 sefa Packet of ketchup (400g) – 300 sefa Oranges 1 piece – 50 cef.

Packaged water (500ml) – 50 sefa Bottled water (1,5l) – 300-500 sefa Bisap (local drink, may be: ginger, strawberry) – 100 sefa Orange, pineapple natural juice (500ml) – 500 sefa

Readymade food at local cafes: Rice about 400g with sauce and vegetables – 200 sefa Banana bread – 150 sefa

African hot dog. Various additives: pasta, onions, potatoes, fried bananas, various beans, meat, fish, cabbage – 300 – 500 cef Pastries – 50 cef Coffee, tea from street vendors – 100 cef

Restaurants in Africa are a place for rich people, mostly everyone eats at locals on the street. Prices for food in restaurants are ten or more times higher than the locals, and a portion of a standard lunch will cost from 7 to 15 euros.

Cote d’Ivoire’s mountains :

City of Man : This city has the greatest concentration of natural beauty.

Waterfalls: Cascades de Glongouin – it is located north of the city, 5 km. The passage costs as you agree with the locals, but about 1000 cef (1.8 euros). Cascades de Man – is located in the west, three kilometers from the city, you can get by cab. Entrance costs 500 cef (0.8 euros).

Mountain: La Dent de Man: The mountain height of 881 meters, near the waterfall of Glongouin, the ascent is not difficult and from the top there is a very beautiful view. The access as well as the waterfall is by arrangement, but it is possible to go around the trail in advance.

To the north at 2 kilometers is Mount Zan (1040 m), which is also worth a visit.

Mount Toura (1,278 m) is north-east of Mount Zan and is the second highest peak in Côte d’Ivoire.

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The western part of the town has a forest of monkeys called Momkey Forest where you can hand feed them bananas.

Yamoussoukro : The capital of Côte d’Ivoire, officially, but in fact Abidjan, it concentrates all embassies, government buildings and all life in the country. Yamoussoukro is a very clean and beautiful city by African standards. The main attraction is the world’s largest church of Notre Dame de la Paix, it is located on the outskirts of the city and visible from almost anywhere.

Very unusual building is the presidential palace, which is also worth seeing. In the center of the city there is a large pond with crocodiles, some reaching 4 meters. You can buy a chicken nearby and feed the crocodiles. There is an excellent toll road to Abidjan.

City of San Pedro: Located on the coast of the ocean and is ideal for a beach holiday. A large number of hotels and various restaurants, but prices start at 35 euros per room. You can easily get to Abidjan and neighboring towns by public transport.

The town of Sassandra: Also on the coast and has a large number of beaches. But it is a much smaller town and therefore less crowded and less tourists.

Town of Grand Bassam: Located forty miles east of Abidjan, this town has many excellent beaches, with numerous cafes, restaurants and cheap hotels. During the colonial period this town was the capital city. Now the historical part of town is included in the list of UNESCO. There is a museum of national costume.

City of Abidjan: The largest city of Cote d’Ivoire. This city is very modern, it’s also called African Shanghai. There’s everything you want: restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and even a Decathlon with Carifour. The city is actually located on islands and connected by bridges.

The main attractions are the National Museum and the park “Banco”. Banco is a piece of rain forest, which is located within the city. Entrance to the park costs 5000 cef (8 euros) well you can ask for a discount. The park has a variety of animals: monkeys, armadillos, and many large insects.

In the Marcory area (rue du canal) there is a souvenir market where you can find absolutely everything from masks to earrings and dresses. Prices are raised about 4 – 5 times, so you have to haggle long and hard. The city has a large number of beaches, the quietest and most deserted in the area of Port-Bouet .

National parks and nature reserves :

Kamoe is the largest nature reserve in Côte d’Ivoire, located in the northeast of the country, near the border with Burkino-Faso. The park has a huge number of plants (many of them endemic), animals (hippos, chimpanzees, monkeys, crocodiles). Through the park passes three rivers, which is a lot of fish. You can order a canoe trip, view the animals in the wild, and you can also stay in eco-houses on the territory of the reserve.

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Tai is the second largest reserve in Côte d’Ivoire and is one of the last massifs of rainforest. The highest point is Mount Nienkue (396 meters). The park has about 1300 plant species, 50 of them endemic. Of the animals present: chimpanzees, monkeys, buffalo, duikers, hippos and elephants (about 750 pieces).

In the park set up tourist services :

Entrance fee 5000 sefa (8 euros) Accommodation in eco-hotel 20000 sefa (30 euros) Walking in the reserve 10000 sefa (16 euros) Canoe tour 40000 sefa (60 euros) Mount Nienkue (with overnight stay) 40000 sefa (60 euros)

Iles Ehotiles National Park is a park located on six islands which can be reached by boat. Here there is a large number of unusual plants and a stunning view of the surrounding area.

Daily boat hire – sef 40000 (62 euros), seats 15, for gasoline also have to pay – 1 liter 600 sef (1 euro).

Guide – 5000 sef (8 euro) Entrance fee 5000 sef (8 euro)

National park of the Sangbe Mountain. This park is located on the territory of three mountain ranges Sangbe, Kangolo, and Mon-Boin. Mount Sangbe has a rich, diverse and rare fauna with major species such as: Elephant, Bison, Leopard, Royal Antelope and magnificent scenic landscapes favorable to tourist circles.

Azanyi National Park. located in the Grand Ponts region, which is 120 kilometers from Abidjan. It is home to animals such as buffalo, elephants, chimpanzees, and a colony of manatees.

1) Find out the cost of everything at once. It does not matter whether it is bus fare, cab fare, buying food, etc. After any service, you may be charged 10 times the price, or even more.

2) Hide documents, money and other valuables in a body bag, so that they can not be stolen if anything happens.

3) Make lots of copies of your passport. There are many police checkpoints on the road, and they will copy your passport data everywhere. In order not to lose time, give a copy and that’s all.

4) Haggle! Prices invent on the fly when they see a white man, if you show that you are not so easy to cheat, the price is discounted immediately.

5) Do not be afraid to eat at the women on the street in makeshift cafes. The food there is very tasty and very cheap and always fresh. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, they cook separately and there is nothing spoiled.

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