The French speaking country of Cote d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Cost, is popular for its beautiful landscapes rich culture and warm friendly people. Located in West Africa, Cote d’Ivoire offers a fascinating blend of landscapes and cultures that are very unique making for a very attractive destination especially for ecotourists looking to discover new destinations. The country is bordered by Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Guinea and Liberia to the west, Ghana to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Without further ado, here are some of the best things to do in Cote d’Ivoire.
1. Explore Abidjan
The famous city of Abidjan is known for its culture, food and nightlife. Abidjan has been nicknamed “The Manhattan of Africa” because of the shimmering skyscrapers and the beautiful gardens of The Plateau. Giving you the feeling of being in downtown Paris due to the heavy influence of French architecture. With many restaurants distinct from conventional marquis restaurants scattered along the bustling streets of the city, clothing shops with trendy designers, jewelry and bags, there’s hardly anything you won’t find in the amazing city of Abidjan.
2. Visit Grand Bassam
Grand Bassam is a widely recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the coast of Cote d’Ivoire composed of grand Parisian mansions and stylish municipal colonial buildings. It was once the capital of Cote d’Ivoire but in recent times is turning into a dilapidated state. Explore the new Grand Bassam however as this is where you get to catch some fun with beaches spread across the east to west dotted with resort hotels.
3. Explore Yamoussoukro
Yamoussoukro is the official capital of Cote d’Ivoire famous for the Basilica, Presidential Palace and Grand Mosque, It is a great destination for food lovers, history and architecture enthusiasts as well as those looking for picture perfect destinations.
4. Explore Assinie-Mafia
Assinie-Mafia is probably the best romantic destination in Cote d’Ivoire. The coastal town is famo usfor being an ideal beach destination for celebrities and the rich. The amazing seaside beaches and stunning seaside villages of Assinie Village, Assinie Mafia and Assouinde with extensions of Atlantic beaches that flow into each other.
5. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro
This church was listed as the world’s largest church by the Guiness Book of Records covering an area of 30,000 sq ft. The basilica can accommodate up to 18,000 worshippers. It was built by former president Felix Houphouet-Boigny between 1983-1989 as a monument to himself but in recent times has been criticized as a controversial symbol of extravagance. It is one of the most of popular landmarks in the country.
6. Visit The Plateau, Abidjan
This is the business and administrative district of Cote d’Ivoire housing many landmark buildings, shopping outlets and parks. The district serves as headquarters for many domestic and international companies.
7. Explore Man
The rural town of man is surrounded by extensive wraps of plush plantain farms and cocoa plantations. Located here are the mountains of Tonkui and Toura whose peaks are the two highest in Cote d’Ivoire. The most popular spot here is the Cascades Waterfall.
8. Discover the Bini Lagoon
This is an ecotourism location close to Abidjan. This amazing place which is surrounded by lush and healthy vegetation will take you through the village of Kafokoi allowing for the exploration of themes of ecology and solidarity tourism. Go on canoe rides here as part of the fun.
9. Musee National des Costumes
This museum houses historical artefact from the Ivorian culture including clothes, crafts and ancient costumes of the different people that make up the country. Built in 1981, this is a great place to get acquainted with the various Ivorian cultures and traditions.
10. Les Cascades de Man
You should definitely take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of Les Cascades de Man and swim down the moss spattered layers of rock. The waterfall is a great site to cool off after a long day’s hike through the bamboo forest, with colorful plants, butterflies and dragonflies floating around making for an amazing picturesque scenery. The waterfall is mostly crowded during weekends so we suggest you make this trip on a weekday.
11. Enjoy The Delicious Local Cuisine
Have you heard of the local Kedjenou dish? Well, now is your opportunity and also with a glass of Bangui. Dishes range from Maafe (meat cooked in a peanut sauce normally served with rice) to Atieke or Noufou. There’s always a nice dish for you to enjoy.
12. Enjoy Parker Place – Reggae Specialist, Abidjan
For lovers of nightlife, Parker Place is situated in Abidjan. Come here and have a great time in the reggae themed bar/club. Definitely one of the best nightlife spots in the country.
13. Visit L’ile Flottante
L’ile Flottante is one of the best destinations for honeymoons, wedding anniversaries or maybe even romantic getaways. It’s an amazing ecotourism relaxation restaurant, very popular among tourists visiting Abidjan. Built on the Ebrié Lagoon, this floating island restaurant is one of the most exciting places in the whole of Cote d’Ivoire.
14. Go shopping at Treichville, Abidjan
Treichville is arguably the best shopping area in the whole of Abidjan for all types of things. In the ever busy rural streets, the locals sell their products, including fresh foods, textiles, handicrafts and so much more. Everything here can be found at reasonable prices. Also there are other recreational and cultural activities to engage to round up your trip.
15. Visit Taï National Park
The Taï National Park sits on over a 3000 sq. km area making it one of the largest protected areas of what remains of the upper Guinean rainforest; once the dominant wildlife habitat in the whole of West Africa, ranging from Gabon to Senegal. This extensive plush lands is divided by large river valleys, wet woods, monadnock mountains surrounded by the savanna. Wildlife here include the endangered pygmy hippopotamus, colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and duikers.
16. Visit Banco National Park, Abidjan
The Banco National Park, Abidjan is a dedicated centre of research,education and leisure successfully surviving deforestation and development with special recognition to the dedicated staff in their relentless efforts in the conservation and regular security patrols in their 4X4 vehicles. Guided tours are best here as you witness sights of exotic birds, primates and other local wildlife.
17. Explore Le Katoum
Le Katoum is quite the hidden gem when it comes to places in Cote d’Ivoire. A small paradise located on the eastern end of the Grand Bereby, Le Katoum sits on vast stretches of amazing and spotless tropical landscapes. We highly recommend the seafood menu here and the beach is more isolated than those at the Grand Bassam.
18. Visit the International Club & Paintball Park
There are a number of sporting activities available here at the International Club & Paintball Park including volleyball, table tennis, kayaking. Also explore the onsite restaurant and try the local delicacies on the menu or grab a chilled drink while sitting at the pool area.
19. Explore Jacqueville
Surround by stretches of the common Ivorian sands, Jacqueville is situated on the banks of the sea from the distant Ebrié Lagoon. With its sun-kissed beaches surrounded by a bunch of pineapple groves meeting the frothy rollers of the Atlantic Ocean. You can spot old Parisian galleries and colonial buildings sit decayed under shades of palm trees while thatched huts sit with painted timber long boats on the shore.
20. Visit Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
For the lovers of African contemporary art, this gallery features works from the best artists in Africa ranging from photography to painting and sculpture. Visit their website (www.cecilefakhoury.com) for individual exhibitions or just work with the gallery’s time for public exhibitions.
21. Visit Dipi Crocodile Farm
This is a small but very organized and efficient farm located in Assinie, housing a wide range of animals Apart from crocodiles, you’ll find monkeys turtles and some of the big cats here. The staff are excellent at their jobs making for more memorable experiences as visitors can get to enjoy some close contact with the wildlife. You can also kiss and pet some of the baby crocodiles and baby chimps too. Dipi Crocodile Farm is one of the top attractions is Assinie and Assuindé.
22. Explore the captivating Provinces
To make the most out of your holiday here in Cote d’Ivoire, visit Korhogo where you can learn about the country’s history and shop for handicraft souvenirs or explore Bingerville to encounter a typical village setting. Make a stop at the famous Abidjan dubbed the Manhattan of Africa or Yamoussoukro, the capital city. Whatever you do here will always remain a memorable experience.