Ivory Coast formerly known as the republic of Cote d’Ivoire is a beautiful country found on the southern coast in West Africa. The country prides in beautiful beaches, verdant rainforest as well as a number of ancient French colonial architecture. There are several cultural and religious structures including iconic buildings and museums that you will be able to visit during your holiday in the Ivory Coast. The idyllic beaches that are lined with fined sand that is scattered with starfish are some of the must-visit places while here on holiday.
Below are some of the top things to do and places to visit while on holiday in Ivory Coast
Enjoy a Wildlife Safari in Comoe National Park
Comoe National Park is the second largest protected area across western Africa coming second to Mali’s Baoul National Park. It covers a total area of 11,500 square kilometers and it is found in Savanes and Zanzan districts in the north eastern most corner of the country. Thanks to its diversity this national park offers various habitants to a great diversity of animals including the Busch bucks, hippos, Buffalo’s, roan antelope, Bush pigs, elephants, pangolins plus 11 primate species including the white colored mangabeys, the black and white colobus, Olive baboons, chimpanzees, lesser spot nose monkeys, green monkeys and the mona monkeys in addition to more than 500 different types of birds. This site is highly recommended to holidaymakers interested in enjoying a safari to Ivory Coast.
Unwind on the Beautiful Beaches
Ivory Coast prides in a number of beautiful stretches of coastal areas and resort beaches and cities such as Assouinde beach resort and the Grand Bassam which offer beautiful sandy beaches offering the perfect getaway from the busy city centers and a good weekend retreat. Being a coastal country, holidaymakers are advised to take good precaution especially when swimming on the coastal resorts due to the heavy current.
Visit the chimpanzees of Tai National Park
Covering an area of 3,300 square kilometer Tai National Park is located in the Southern part of the country and its home to one of the few surviving indigenous rainforest across West Africa. It was awarded the status of a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982. Tai National park prides in a rich diversity of flora and fauna that includes more than 250 different types of birds including the African crowned eagle, 11 primate species like chimpanzees in addition to more than 105 different types of mammals. On your visit to Tia National Park you will get an opportunity to see the chimpanzees which are regarded as man’s closest living relative and observe the amazing lifestyle of these primates. This is another good place to enjoy Bird watching, game drives, primate watching and guided nature walks while in the Ivory Coast.
Abidjan was formerly the capital city of Ivory Coast and currently serves as the commercial center of the country. It has several skyscrapers and Treichville its traditional ancient city has a central market, a number of nightclubs, bars as well as restaurants. You will also find a museum here that houses various statues and artifacts on the history and culture of Ivory Coast.
Visit the basilica Notre Dame de la Paix
Located within the Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast’s administrative capital the Notre Dame de la Paix is also known as the basilica of Our Lady of Peace which was constructed from the year 1985 to 1989 and according to the Guinness book of records this basilica is the largest church in the world. The basilica has a very beautiful interior with beautiful art work and breathtaking Roman architecture. This is a must visit site anyone looking forward to seeing some of the breathtaking architecture in the country
Explore Yamoussoukro City and Man City
Yamoussoukro is located about 143 miles north from Abidjan the commercial center of the country and it is the capital city of Ivory Coast. Don’t miss out on visiting the lively market, the presidential palace, the mosque as well as the huge Cathedrale Notre Dame de la Paix which is alleged to be the largest Christian cathedral in the whole world. Yamoussoukro is a highly recommended place for city tours while on holiday in Ivory Coast.
Man Town is situated within the western part of Ivory Coast; this beautiful mountainous town is encircled by beautiful picturesque plateaus, dense forests as well as rugged peaks. There are a number of hiking trails within the forest particularly close to the beautiful waterfall and Mount Tonkoui . During your visit here you will also get a chance to visit the nearby villages like Biankouma and Gouessesso especially during the festival season when different types of festivals like the Festival of Masks are celebrated.
Hike Mount Nienokoue
Regarded as a sacred mountain among the Patokola people, this mountain is a world heritage site standing at the height of just 396 meters above sea level located in the southern region Tai National Park. This is a must visit place for holidaymakers interested in taking hikes as well as Nature Walks. During the hiking adventures you will traverse through the terrain ascending through the different levels of the mountain vegetation until you finally make your way to the peak to enjoy beautiful views. You will encounter various types of wildlife species such as elephants, buffalos, chimpanzees and birds to mention but a few. Persons interested in taking shorter hikes and also enjoy their time here as there are guided two to four hour hikes organized here as well.
Zoo Nationale D’Abidjan
Zoo Nationale D’Adbidjan was established back in 1930 as a private creation however in 1972, this place was handed over into the hands of government and since then has served and continues to do so as the only Zoo in Ivory Coast. This is a highly recommended place to visit as a family especially with kids as you will get a chance to see various animals including some of the big cats, snakes, crocodiles, turtles as well as civettes. Most interesting for kids is that they will get a chance to see some of the popular animal cartoon characters such as Timon and Pumba. A visit to the Zoo is surely a must have especially if you have limited time to visit the National Parks yet you wish to see the wildlife in the country.
Visit Jardin Botanique de Bingerville
Established in 1904 these botanical Gardens of bingerville where established to preserve the various types of plants. These beautiful gardens have been separated into various plant areas among which are the ambassadors space, the palm area, the cheese-space area, the space Henri-konan Bedie and the nursery area.
Among the different trees found in these Gardens a number of them have been named after former ministers and politicians; and in addition, there is an area where guests can enjoy a picnic as well as a sizable football ground. This is a good place for people on the family holiday as you will get the chance to obtain information about the various plants, insects and even trees that you will see around
Musee National des Costumes
The musee National des Costume is found within the Comoe district and it’s served as a residence an administrative seat for the early colonial rulers. In 1981 following proper refurbishment, the site was opened to the general public as a museum and currently houses a wide collection of French plus African Arts, sculptures and models in additional to several maps and books that will give you a great insight of Ivory Coast’s history and Culture.
Frequently asked Questions
below we have compiled a number of questions commonly asked about destination Ivory Coast and we have professionally answered them to help you better understand this destination.
Do I need a Visa to visit Ivory Coast?
All persons visiting the Ivory Coast who do not have CEFA citizenship should obtain a visa in order to be allowed into the country. They should also have a passport with a minimum validity of six (6) months after their time of staying in Ivory Coast. This should be accompanied with a yellow fever certificate as proof of receiving the yellow fever shot. All visa applications should be submitted to the Embassy of Ivory Coast in your home country and successful applicants will be awarded the appropriate visas. The tourist visa offered in Ivory Coast is valid for a time period of three (3) months.
Is it safe to Visit Ivory Coast?
Generally safety is considered an issue in Ivory Coast with occasional political instabilities rising up. It is for that reason that all travelers are advised to check for the latest security updates in Ivory Coast through your home government prior to your travels and even while there, please keep updated to this regard.
Do I need medical insurance to Visit Ivory Coast?
Although the Ivory Coast is among the countries in West Africa with very good health-care facilities, it is important to note that the cost of these services is very expensive. It is for that reason that persons visiting the country are highly advised to obtain a good comprehensive insurance that covers them medically and also offers evacuation services in case of any emergencies.
What Vaccines do I need to go to Ivory Coast?
Travelers into Ivory Coast are advised to obtain the following vaccines prior to making their travel: rabies, bilharzia, measles, hepatitis B, cholera, hepatitis E and meningitis. In addition, it is important that travels take extra precaution against the killer HIV/AIDS and every traveler above 9 months of age is required to receive a yellow fever vaccine. Because bilharzias is present, it is not safe swim in the fresh waters in the country.
What is the official language spoken in Ivory Coast?
Ivory Coast’s official language is French how we should point out that there are about sixty (60) other languages spoken across the country by the local people and these include: Ulam, Loftus Africanus, Gigala, Hamdunga and Dioula (the most commonly used)
What is the official currency for Ivory Coast?
Ivory Coast’s official currency is the Communauté Financiére Africaine franc (CFA) whose banknotes come in denominations of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500
Foreign currencies like the US Dollar, the Euro and the Pound Sterling can easily be exchange at the airport, banks and at major hotels
What is the electricity currency in Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast operates on an electricity voltage supply of 220V and 50Hz. It uses two major types of plugs which are: the types C – that has 2 round pins, as well as the type E that has 2 round pins plus a hole for the male earthing-pin of the socket
Are credit cards accepted in Ivory Coast?
In Ivory Coast credit cards such as the Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted across the country in different places such as hotels and large stores.
What is the Time Zone for Ivory Coast?
Ivory Coast observes the Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, and it does not have Daylight Saving Time
What is the best time to visit Ivory Coast?
The best time to visit Ivory Coast is from the month of November to March when the overall temperatures in the country are bearable since the country is experiencing the dry season at the time. During this time of the year, the country is also celebrating a number of its festivals such as the Festival of Masks celebrated in the month of November every year, and these are very vibrant with lots of music and dance, worth experiencing on your holiday.
Ivory Coast Weather
Because the Ivory Coast is situated in the western part of the Sub-Saharan Africa, it experiences a somewhat cooler climate as compared to most of its neighboring countries, particularly those with which she shares her coastal orders. In fact, the region found in the extreme northern part of the country experiences a semi-arid climate while the regions close to the ocean normally experience tropical climate.
Generally, the climatic seasons in Ivory coast can be summarized into three and these include: the Hot-dry season which is characterized with warm temperatures that begins in the month of November to March, then the Hot-dry Season which is characterized by uncomfortably high temperatures and this begins in March through April to the end of May, and then thirdly is the Wet Season that is characterized with heavy rains that are followed by torrential flooding and this begins in June through July, August, September to October (this is not a good time to have your holiday in the Ivory Coast as well as most of the countries within that region)