IVORY COAST, AFRICA/TRAVEL TIPS/WHERE TO STAY/THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO GO/WHERE TO SHOP

TORSTAI, 16. HEINÄKUUTA 2020

Côte d'Ivoire

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Ivory Coast: The Complete Guide

Côte d'Ivoire is a West African country with beach resorts, rainforests and a French-colonial legacy. Abidjan, on the Atlantic coast, is the country’s major urban center. Its modern landmarks include zigguratlike, concrete La Pyramide and St. Paul's Cathedral, a swooping structure tethered to a massive cross. 

Côte d'Ivoire is a stunner, shingled with starfish-studded sands, palm-tree forests and roads so orange they resemble strips of bronzing powder. This is a true tropical paradise, and a country that is striding towards economic progress – it's a nation that is fast modernising its lifestyle and culture, but managing to do so without losing its identity.

In the south, the Parc National de Taï hides secrets, species and nut-cracking chimps under the boughs of its trees, while the peaks and valleys of Man offer a highland climate, fresh air and fantastic hiking opportunities through tropical forests.

The beach resorts of low-key Assinie and arty Grand Bassam were made for weekend retreats from Abidjan, the capital in all but name, where lagoons wind their way between skyscrapers and cathedral spires pierce the blue heavens.

 

 

 

 

BEST TIME TO GO TO IVORY COAST

Located in western sub-Saharan Africa, the Ivory Coast has a slightly cooler climate than neighboring countries, especially with its coastal border. Cities near the water often experience a tropical climate year round, but areas in the far north are semi-arid. The country has three distinct seasons. The warm and dry season spans from November until March. The hot and dry season starts in March and ends in May, while the hot and wet season lasts from June to October. Torrential flooding often accompanies heavy rains, which is why it is best to avoid this period when planning a visit to the West African nation. 

Mid-November to April is the dry season, and the most pleasant time to travel. You won’t have issues with blocked roads from floods, there are fewer malaria carrying mosquitoes and there are some excellent festivals on the agenda, such as the Fête de I’Abissa in Grand Bassam in November and the Fêtes des Masques held in the villages around Man in February.

The harmattan wind blows down from the Sahara from December, January, February and March. It can cool temperatures a little but be prepared for dusty haze and uncomfortable dryness, as well as reduced visibility for both photography and sightseeing.

The rainy season lasts from May to October, with rains the heaviest in the south from May to July, and the lowest average temperatures in August and September. If you’re planning to explore the west, June to October is best avoided, as the rains can cause roads and hiking paths to deteriorate with alarming speed.

 

 

 

 

GETTING TO IVORY COAST

By plane - Felix-Houphouet Boigny International Airport in Abidjan. The Felix-Houphouet Boigny International Airport has daily scheduled flights to and from Paris with Air France and Brussels with Brussels Airlines. There are also regular flights to other African capitals. The airport is a modern facility and increased security has shaken its old reputation as a place for travellers to be ripped off.

By train - The train journey between Abidjan and Ougadougou cuts through rebel territory and should not be attempted by foreign travellers.

By car - It is ill advised to try to enter Côte d'Ivoire from Guinea, Liberia, Mali or Burkina Faso.The Ghanaian border is fairly secure. If you enter at Elubo, you can easily catch a shared taxi to Aboisso and then a bus to Abidjan. There are about ten military check-points between the border and Abidjan so have your documents ready. If you do not have proper documentation of your inoculations at the border you will be forced to pay a small fine and they will give you an injection at an on-site clinic.

By bus - Buses run daily between Abidjan and Accra. The service is offered alternating between the STC (Ghana) and its Ivorian equivalent.

 

 

 

GETTING AROUND IVORY COAST

Intercity travel in Côte d'Ivoire is usually more comfortable than travel in neighbouring West African countries. The roads are generally in good condition and the bus service is relatively modern. The downside is the very frequent military checkpoints which add hours to a trip. Though the stops are a hassle, Ivorian soldiers tend to be quite professional and don't hassle non-French Western travellers. Soldiers in Ghana, for example, are much more likely to demand a bribe than in Côte d'Ivoire. Most Western governments recommend that their citizens steer clear of Côte d'Ivoire. This should be taken particularly seriously by people who are not travelling on French passports. An Ivorian soldier's attitude towards you will change very quickly when and if you explain that you are not French. Travelling around Abidjan is easiest when you have your own vehicle. The roads are very good and the traffic rules are obeyed to the T, except some taxi drivers who steer everywhere on the road. Lane discipline and traffic lights are followed with rigour. Taxis are a great and easy way to get around in Abidjan. Just look for an orange coloured car and flag it down. Fares are very cheap: USD2–5 depending on the length of the journey. Always bargain before you get into the taxi. Overall however, they are reasonably priced, unlike in Accra.

 

 

 

 

WHERE TO STAY & EAT IN IVORY COAST

 

  • Hotel Residence Berah​

Set in Yamoussoukro, 1.4 km from UNOCI, Hotel Residence Berah offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. 1.4 km from ONUCI Banbat and 2.6 km from Mosque, the property provides a garden and massage services. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and currency exchange for guests. At the resort all rooms are fitted with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Guests at Hotel Residence Berah can enjoy a à la carte breakfast. The accommodation offers a sun terrace. The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro is 3.4 km from Hotel Residence Berah.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • La Rose Blanche

Set in Abidjan, 4.2 km from University of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, La Rose Blanche offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar. 6 km from St. Paul's Cathedral and 6 km from National Museum of Abidjan, the property features a shared lounge and a garden. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests. At the resort, each room is equipped with a balcony. At La Rose Blanche every room includes a desk and a flat-screen TV. The accommodation offers a continental or buffet breakfast. La Rose Blanche offers a terrace. The resort provides an ironing service, as well as business facilities like fax and photocopying. Abidjan Mall is 7 km from La Rose Blanche, while Presidential Palace is 8 km away.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • Hotel Belle Cote

Hotel Bellecote offers accommodation in Abidjan. The resort has a year-round outdoor pool, children's playground and terrace, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Every room at this resort is air conditioned and features a TV. Certain rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Rooms are equipped with a private bathroom equipped with a bath.

A view of the pool at Hotel Belle Cote or nearby

 

 

  • Assinie Lodge

Assinie Lodge features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and garden in Assinie. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. A continental breakfast is available daily at the resort. Assinie Lodge offers a terrace. The accommodation can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

  • Hotel Bonheur

Hotel Bonheur features a restaurant, free bikes, a bar and shared lounge in Zouan-Hounien. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available and the resort also offers bike hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area. The resort will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a dishwasher, a microwave, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and dvd player. The units will provide guests with a desk and a coffee machine. Hotel Bonheur offers a continental or buffet breakfast. The accommodation offers a terrace. You can play table tennis at Hotel Bonheur, and car hire is available.

A bed or beds in a room at Hotel Bonheur

 

 

 

  • Hotel Residence Berah

Set in Yamoussoukro, 1.4 km from UNOCI, Hotel Residence Berah offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. 1.4 km from ONUCI Banbat and 2.6 km from Mosque, the property provides a garden and massage services. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and currency exchange for guests. At the resort all rooms are fitted with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Guests at Hotel Residence Berah can enjoy a à la carte breakfast. The accommodation offers a sun terrace. The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro is 3.4 km from Hotel Residence Berah.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • African Queen Lodge

African Queen Lodge has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a shared lounge and garden in Assinie. All rooms boast a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi. At the hotel, rooms have a patio. A continental breakfast is available each morning at African Queen Lodge. The accommodation offers a children's playground. You can play table tennis at African Queen Lodge, and the area is popular for canoeing.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • Hotel Coucoue Lodge

Hotel Coucoue Lodge features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and shared lounge in Assinie. With a garden, the property also has a private beach area, as well as a terrace. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi. The rooms at Coucoué Lodge are located in three nearby locations: Le Coucoué Lodge, Le Lodge by Coucoué and the beach side. Breakfast is served at the main restaurant of the Coucoué Lodge or at the Lodge by Coucoué. A free lagoon shuttle, operated by our team, is available 24/7 to cross the lagoon and reach the various sites in 5 minutes. The accommodation offers a children's playground. You can play billiards, table tennis, and tennis at Hotel Coucoue Lodge.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • Hotel O Sole Mio​

Offering a restaurant and a private beach area, Hotel O Sole Mio is located in Abidjan. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Rooms will provide you with air conditioning. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with free toiletries. At Hotel O Sole Mio you will find a garden and a bar, water sport facilities on site and a laundry. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including horse riding, cycling and diving. The property offers free parking.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

  • Heden Golf Hotel

Offering views of the sea and pool, Heden Golf Hotel is set in Abidjan. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units have a seating area for your convenience. Every room comes with a private bathroom. Extras include bath robes and slippers. There is free shuttle service at the property. You can play tennis at this hotel, and car hire is available.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

 

 

 

THINGS TO DO  & PLACES TO GO IN IVORY COAST

 

  • Parc National de Taï​

Parc National de Taï, a primary rainforest and a Unesco World Heritage site since 1982, is one of West Africa's largest reserves for wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking treks through the rainforest and witness the massive biodiversity that the park has to offer, including its nut-cracking chimpanzees, who are known for their use of primitive tools.

Geography | Know-It-All | Page 2

 

 

 

  • Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

An absolute trove of African contemporary art, this cubical, 600-sq-metre gallery features the best of the continent's artists, from sculpture and painting to photography. Check the website for individual exhibitions or just explore what's on at the time. A real gem of a place.

Gallerist Cécile Fakhoury Presents Art that Transcends Place and ...

 

 

 

  • La Pyramide

Some of the buildings of Le Plateau are as breathtaking up close as from a distance. La Pyramide, designed by the Italian architect Rinaldo Olivieri and built between 1970 and 1973, was the first daring structure and is considered a highlight of African modernism in architecture. A concrete pyramid striped horizontally with balconies, it rests upon a gigantic cubic pillar, lifting itself over the city's skyline. The building housed expats and other Abidjan elite in the body of the pyramid, while the ground floor was reserved for commercial purposes. It deteriorated significantly in the 1990s, however, when it was deserted at the onset of political troubles. It is still waiting for renovation.

La Pyramide shopping arcade, Plateau, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire ...

 

 

  • Basilica

Yamoussoukro's spectacular basilica will leave you wide-eyed. Based on the Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican and designed by Lebanese architect Pierre Fakhoury, it was constructed between 1985 and 1989, with Italian marble and 7000 sq metres of French stained glass specially imported to build it. The nave is a luminous harmony of columns, with a flamboyant altar taking centre stage. There are well-informed English-speaking guides on duty who will take you around the dome and the grounds.

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Ivory Coast: The Complete Guide

 

 

 

  • Presidential Palace

The presidential palace, where Houphouët-Boigny is now buried, can only be seen from afar, but visitors come to see the sacred crocodiles that live in the lake on its southern side. The keeper tosses them some meat around 5pm, touching off an impressive feeding frenzy. Otherwise, the dozens of sleepy reptiles laze away while curious onlookers take photos. But keep your distance: in 2012, a veteran keeper was killed by one of the creatures.

Presidential Palace, Yamoussoukro | Book Presidential Palace ...

 

 

  • Le Mechoui

In an elegant setting that overlooks the lagoon, Le Mechoui serves fantastic Lebanese food. All the ingredients are fresh, the taste is top-notch, and the choice of the meze is simultaneously authentic and imaginative. Try the lamb tartare, tangy tabbouleh and the classic, creamy hummus – and a serving of hot Lebanese bread. Run by a local Lebanese family.

Le Mechoui | Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire Restaurants - Lonely Planet

 

 

  • Parc du Banco

On the northwest edge of town is the cool and shaded Parc du Banco rainforest reserve. It has pleasant walking trails, majestic trees and a lake, but you'll be lucky to see any wildlife. Rangers are also on hand to give you a guided tour (CFA3000).

Parc du Banco | Afro Tourism

 

 

  • Marché de Treichville

The Marché de Treichville is an ugly, Chinese-built building, but inside it's African to the core and incredibly well stocked, from food to household products and secondhand clothing. There is little you can't find here.

Treichville (Abidjan) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...

 

 

  • Fête de l'Abissa

This week-long ceremony honouring the dead offers a great opportunity to witness local traditions.

Abissa - Wikipedia

 

 

 

  • Silacoro

This celebrated village is famous for its stilt dancing. It's found 110km north of Man.

Stilt Dancer Village of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Part 2/4 ...

 

 

 

  • Musée National du Costume

This museum, located in the former governor's palace, has a nice little exhibit showing the clothing styles of various ethnic groups and a photographic account of the city's (and the country's) time under colonial France. The knowledgeable local guides make the exhibit come alive.

Pico do Fogo, Cabo Verde 2019

 

 

 

  • Nick Amon's Art Gallery

One of Côte d'Ivoire's most respected contemporary artists, Amon will greet you with paint-splattered clothing and a warm smile. His canvases start at around CFA50,000; profits go to an organisation that offers art classes to street kids.

Vernissage - Littoral Magazine

 

 

 

  • Cathedrale St Paul

Designed by Italian architect Aldo Spiritom, the Cathedrale St Paul is a bold and innovative modern cathedral. The stained glass is as warm and rich as that inside the Yamoussoukro Basilica.

Belle vu de la Cathédrale Saint Paul du plateau Abidjan - Ivory ...

 

 

 

  • La Cascade

The area around Man is known for La Cascade, a crashing waterfall 5km from town that hydrates a bamboo forest. You walk a pretty paved path to reach it. Locals come here to swim and visitors are welcome to join in.

La Cascade Waterfall in the bamboo forest Of Taï National Park ...

 

 

  • Musée National

The national museum houses a dusty but interesting collection of traditional art and craftwork, including wooden statues and masks, pottery, ivory and bronze.

In Conversation: The Director of The Museum of Black Civilizations ...

 

 

  • Galerie d'Arts Pluriels

This fantastic art gallery and shop is run by an Ivoirian art historian. You can view and buy paintings, sculptures and jewellery from all over the continent.

African Dandy - Méderic Turay | Out of Africa Gallery | Artsy

 

 

  • Drogba Beach

A nice and simple maquis on the beach, popular with local families at the weekends. Rustic Ivoirian food is served at the simple wooden terrace.

Abidjan Travel Guide for all the things to do next time you go to ...