10 reasons why you should travel to Cote d’Ivoire right now
Cote d’Ivoire or popularly Ivory Coast, Africa is not on the top of the international travel heap. However, it should. It is one of the most modern nations on the continent, and the sheer scale of development has been exemplary. The human-made wonders, as well as the natural ones, are a combination worth visiting.
However, before even we begin our journey, the first question we need to answer: where is Cote d’Ivoire?
Where is Cote D’Ivoire?
It is a country located on the south coast of the continent of Africa. It has land borders with Guinea to the northwest, Liberia to the west, Mali to the northwest, Burkina Faso to the northeast, Ghana to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The political capital of Cote d’Ivoire is Yamoussoukro and the economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire, as well as its largest city, is Abidjan. Now that we know where is Cote d’Ivoire let us investigate a bit more on how to travel there.
Travel to Cote D’Ivoire
Most of the international travel happens to be from the economic capital of Abidjan. The city is the international getaway for Ivory Coast. The Abidjan International Airport is connected to most world capitals. Air Cote d’Ivoire is the national carrier which regularly flies to all the leading international airports around the globe. The flight charges vary as per the carriers, but they are not hugely expensive since the country is not a top global vacation hotspot. However, with economic revival, the number of international travellers is rising. This growth has also led to the number of inbound and outbound flights almost doubling. There are regional airports which connect the capital to the other cities. Travel within the country can be mainly via the roads. Ivory Coast has a well-established network of roads. If you wish to get around Abidjan, then the ideal way possible is to rent a car. Do not forget to negotiate whilst doing so. Tourists often wonder where is the Ivory coast and how to get there. Now we know.
Air Cote D’Ivoire
Air Cote d’Ivoire, as mentioned before, is the national carrier of the country. It connects the capital of Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan with most of the world capitals. It is a professionally managed airlines having its headquarters in Abidjan.
Is it safe to travel to Cote D’Ivoire?
One of the relevant questions that visitors ask while travelling to an international destination is always related to safety. Is it safe to travel to Cote D’Ivoire? It is safe to travel to Ivory Coast. The tumultuous past has been left behind. The country has witnessed an economic revival, and the general financial status of the citizens have improved over many years. Ivory Coast is a business destination for many organisations as well as home to many national parks. These ensure that the country has a sizeable number of visitors at all times. The earlier ignorance related to where is the Ivory coast has now given way to unbridled optimism and hope.
Ivory Coast is as safe as any other country in the world. So just pack your bags up and get going. We know where is the Ivory Coast, don’t we?
What is the official language of Cote D’Ivoire?
The official Cote D’Ivoire language is French, though the local languages are spoken in large numbers. Baoule, Dioula, Dan, Anyin, and Cebaara Senufo are the indigenous languages which are spoken widely. There are around 78 different languages that are spoken across the country. The country has a rich and diverse population which reflects in the day to day lives of the people. The cuisine too varies across regions and is one to die for. We know what is the official Cote D’Ivoire language, let us begin to explore more.
What is the capital of Cote D’Ivoire?
As mentioned earlier, the political capital of Ivory Coast is Yamoussoukro while the Economic capital is Abidjan. Abidjan is also the largest city in the country. It is called the Manhattan of Africa, given the number of high-rises and the rapid pace of development. Abidjan is also the nerve centre for most business activities and is the gateway to the outside world. The city has risen from the ashes, now having many shopping malls and entertainment zones. After the civil war, the country along with its capital was in ruins. The efforts of the government and the citizens of the nation helped Ivory Coast to make a turnaround.
Let`s now come back to the root question: 10 Reasons why you should travel to Cote d’Ivoire right now?
1. The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro
It surpasses even the St. Peter’s Basilica, making it the largest church in the world. It was finished in 1990 and was inspired by the Vatican, and covers an area of 30000 square meters. The building is the product of the period Renaissance and Baroque style and is reminiscent of the old European architecture. It has space to hole up to 18000 worshippers though it rarely sees that much crowd.
2. Mount Nimba
It’s surreal, and it is lush. If you haven’t been to Mount Nimba, then you are yet to experience heaven, in reality. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site and is covered in a dense forest. The Mount Nimba is rich with flora and fauna. One can come across some of the rarest breed of chimpanzees here.
3. Comoe National Park
This National Park is one of the largest national parks in West Africa. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and an attraction for tourists.
4. Tai National Park
Again a UNESCO World Heritage site, the claim to fame of this park is its 11 species of monkeys who have made this area their territory. The Tai National Park is famous for the numerous documentaries which have featured the monkeys and their daily business. It is also considered to be the last primary forest on the face of the Earth. The Tai National Park is a haven for eco-tourism. Other than the monkeys, the other animals that can be found there are hippos, Pygmies, Jentink, Zebra duikers and blue monkey. It is indeed one of the unique biospheres in the world and should not be missed at any cost.
5. The French influence
The French have left the country long ago, but the influence remains. So strong is the after effect, that downtown Abidjan is a replica of a French town. It also has the third-largest French-speaking population in the world. The restaurants in Abidjan serve authentic French cuisine, and at one point in time, one might even mistake the city as one from the French mainland rather than an African one. We also know what is the official language of Cote D’Ivoire, so let that French slowly soak in.
6. St. Paul’s Church
Built at the cost of $12 million, this church is an architectural wonder. It has a retro design which reflects the modern methods of designing. The St. Paul’s church is as much a place of worship as it is a tourist magnet. Visitors are equally in awe of the way it has been built as they are of the saviour inside.
If not for anything else the most famous Ivory Coast export is its hospitality. The famous Akwaba or the warm hug is the symbol of the nation’s attitude towards those who visit her. The people of Ivory Coast are not just high spirited but immensely charming and friendly. Just strike a conversation with them, and you will understand how much they value other human beings. One of the reasons maybe is the bloody past and pain of losing loved ones. However, long after you have left the shores of the gorgeous country, the love and respect of the people will linger on.
The cuisine truly reflects West African diversity. From a wide variety of seafood to the numerous local produce, and the gastronomic choices are immense — some of the most famous food items that are a must-have: Allocco, Attieke and Kedjenous.
This is the first capital city of Cote D’Ivoire. It has still been able to preserve its 19th-century charm and has been catapulted to the barrage of rampant modernity. Grand-Bassam was an old French City, and the architecture resembles some of the best constructions of those times. Grand-Bassam is a UNESCO World Heritage site and rightly so. It should be on your travel list, and the experience gets better if you can hire a local guide. The sheer scale of history that this place exudes is enormous, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are government licensed guides as well as private ones. Do negotiate the price before you go ahead fix one for yourself.
The country has 550 kilometres of coastline and having an ideal temperature around the year ensures that a visit to the beach is an enthralling experience. Ivory Coast offers some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the world. There are also plenty of opportunities for water sports. It is an ideal way to spend your vacation in one of the most vibrant nations of the continent.
Ivory Coast or Cote D’Ivoire is an enigma wrapped in a seashell. You simply have to pick it up and listen to its pulsating heart. Get packing. The land is calling.
Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.