Sometimes referred to in English as the Ivory Coast, the Cote d’Ivoire is a fascinating country in the western part of Africa. Despite previous, and fairly recent, tumultuous times in the country’s history, it is now enjoying a relatively peaceful period. It is one of the most successful of the African nations and has many things of interest for a visitor to see and do.
This Cote d’Ivoire travel guide will come in handy if you are planning a trip to this interesting land.
Cote d’Ivoire Visa Information
Most visitors are required to have a valid visa in order to be able to enter the country. Citizens of nearby countries may be exempt from the visa regulations, for example nationals of Tunisia, Morocco, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. It is possible in the majority of cases to apply for the visa at the point of entry.
The main language of Cote d’Ivoire is French, and knowing at least a few words will really help you out. This is one of the places where English is not so widely spoken. There are also numerous different native languages and dialects too – over 50 in fact!
There are three seasons in Cote d’Ivoire – hot, warm, and rainy. The rainy season is still very hot, whereas the other two seasons are relatively dry with little rain. Flooding can happen during the rainy season, so travellers are advised against visiting the country during this time.
Getting to Cote d’Ivoire
Most visitors arrive in Cote d’Ivoire by air. The largest and main airport is called Port Bouet Airport, and it can be found a few kilometres outside of Abidjan. Flights operate to and from a number of other African countries, as well as places like France, Belgium, and Turkey.
It is possible to also enter the country at some points by bus and by train. Driving across land borders is not really recommended other than the crossing with Ghana, which is relatively safe and hassle free.
Getting around Cote d’Ivoire
Public transportation around the country is generally pretty good. It is a lot more comfortable, efficient, and reliable than in many other African countries. The road conditions are generally good, meaning that the journeys are not unnecessarily long and arduous. Hiring a private rental vehicle is another option, and in the main town and cities you should be able to find taxis with very little problem.
The traditional food in Cote d’Ivoire uses lots of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, chicken, and spices. Plantains and cassava are common, and a large number of meals contain peanuts. You should take extra care if you have a nut allergy. Cocoa and coffee are plentiful, as Cote d’Ivoire is a major grower of these plants.
There is a good choice of restaurants in the main tourist areas and you can also enjoy some nice food from the markets and street vendors. Meals are typically very reasonable priced in Cote d’Ivoire.
Things to See and Do
The main attractions in Cote d’Ivoire are beautiful beaches, interesting cultural villages, towering mountains, and lush forests. There are lots of native flora and fauna to see.