Cote D Ivoire
The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire is a West African state. The southern part of the country is on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It borders Guinea, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali. And Ghana. The capital city is Yamoussoukro.
The northern part of the country has a sub-equatorial climate and on the south, the climate is wet equatorial. The best time for travelling to Cote d’Ivoire is a dry season, which lasts from November to February.
The official language is French, but people also speak the local dialects such as Baoule, Dioula, and Bete. The dominant religions are the Islam, Christianity, and the religious cults of the Aborigines.
The tourists who prefer to spend their time on the beach, should head right to the Sassandra district. Close to the city, there are the beaches De Bivouac, Poly, and Grand Belebey. The big waves make them attractive for the surfers. In this district, there is also a village where the people of Fante live.
It will be interesting for the tourists to see cultural and architectural monuments in Yamoussoukro and Abidjan. In Abidjan, the tourists can go shopping to the local market, visit the skating rink, walk in the tropical park and relax in one of the nightclubs.
The Banco National Park is a must-see for everyone. The Park is situated on the south-east of the country. There, anyone can go cycling in the mahogany trees forest.
There are direct flights between the airport in Abidjan and the EU capital cities. The most convenient route for the Russian tourists is a transit flights with a stop in Paris offered by Air France or with Royal Air Maroc through Casablanca. Emirates offer the flights with a transfer in Dubai and Turkish Airlines flies through Istanbul. The tourists from other CIS countries will have to take a flight with 2 transfers in European cities.
There is a train running every day from the city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.
One can take a route Odienne – Cancun to get to Cote d’Ivoire by car or by bus from Guinea, from Monrovia to Man, to Mali through Sikasso, to Abidjan from Accra and from Burkina Faso through Ferkessedougou.
The CIS and EU citizens must obtain a visa to travel to Cote d’Ivoire. The tourists should submit the documents to the Embassy personally and be ready for the interview. It usually takes 3-4 working days to get a visa. A visa is valid for 90 days since the day of your crossing the border.
The travellers can also obtain a Visa Touristique d’Entente in the Immigration Service offices in Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo.
The Customs legislation of Cote d’Ivoire does not restrict the import of foreign and national currency. There is no need to declare the money.
The tourists can bring in the following things duty-free:
- personal belongings;
- some alcohol, tobacco, and food.
It is prohibited to import:
- rare animals, birds, and insects.
It is not allowed to export:
- skins of animals, ivory and souvenirs made from the crocodile skin (without permission);
- non-certified jewellery, art objects, and antiquities.
The cuisine of Cote d’Ivoire combines cooking traditions of about 60 local ethnic groups. Besides, it was under a great influence of the French cuisine in the colonial period. The traditional dishes are unusual and diverse and it attracts a lot of people in this country. The staple food here is cassava, eggplants, yam and bananas, fish, beef, and mutton.
A very popular dish is a chicken stew with spices and fish with tomatoes and onion. The main characteristic of the local cuisine is that sauces are served with every dish. The Graine sauce, for example, is made of palm kernels and another popular sauce is an eggplant sauce Claire.
The tourists should definitely try a cassava dish Ateke which reminds of couscous. This dish is traditionally served with grilled meat or fish. We also recommend a banana or yam flatbread Fufu and roasted chicken Cedjena with rice and vegetables. One of the main dishes is Foutou, this is a banana paste.
Soups are rarely prepared in Cote d’Ivoire.
For a dessert, try fruits or homemade yoghurt Degue. Do not miss a chance to try a refreshing drink Bissap with herbs, mint, and cane sugar and ginger beverage Gnamankoudji. The tourists will be offered palm wine Bandji and Koutoukou, a strong alcoholic cane or palm drink.
The official currency in Cote d’Ivoire is the West African Franc (XOF). In circulation are the banknotes of 500, 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, and 10.000 francs.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks, in exchange offices in the capital city and other large cities. The exchange rate can seriously vary in different places.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted in touristic places but be aware that you should pay a commission. You will not be able to use credit cards or withdraw the money outside large cities.
You can cash traveller’s checks only in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro. The checks issued by French banks are more willingly accepted.
The criminal and war situation in Cote d’Ivoire is not stable so we strongly recommend you against walking on the streets at night and wearing expensive jewellery.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Cote d’Ivoire
In Cote d’Ivoire, there are 4 UNESCO sites which will interest the ecological tourists and the lovers of untouched wild nature.
- The tourists will have a chance to walk in the Mount Nimba Biosphere Reserve, which occupies a part of the Republic and is situated in the Montagnes region. During your walk along the meadows and across the mountain trails, you will enjoy the amazing view and can watch rare animals.
- On the western end of the country is the Tai National Park, which was founded with the aim of protecting wet equatorial African forests. In the Park, one can see bongos, antelopes, elephants, oxen, hippopotamus, and monkeys. There are over 1.000 unique plant species and 50 of them are grown only here.
- If you prefer out-of-town holidays, you should visit the Comoe National Park the tropical forests, which are under UNESCO protection. The park is the habitat for crocodiles, brown-cheeked hornbills, African bush elephants, chimpanzee, African wild dogs, and Denham’s bustards.
- The historical city of Grand Bassam was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a site of a great cultural significance. This capital city during the period of French colonization will tell you a lot about the history and the life in the country. The city preserved old architectural monuments and the traces of history.
In addition to the UNESCO sites, there are many interesting places in Cote d’Ivoire such as the Heavenly Church of Christ Temple, the Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, and the Marial Temple. The tourists will see the Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the Kauara Mosque, the Tingrela Mosque, and the Kong Mosque in Abidjan.
Among the most interesting museums in Cote d’Ivoire are the native Costume Museum, Museum of Civilization in Cote d’Ivoire, the Army Museum, and the Cocody City Museum of Contemporary Art.
Souvenirs in Cote d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire, the tourists usually buy:
- ritual masks;
- jars and vases with traditional ornament;
- jewellery and bijouterie;
- souvenirs from coloured glass;
- essential oils and rose syrup;
- wooden figurines.