10 things I wish I knew before going to Cote D’Ivoire
Before one makes a journey, certain things must be considered and put in place. These will make the trip memorable, safe and successful. People often leave their home at certain points to go to other countries for various reasons. Some of the reasons people travel include vacations, business trips, and recreational purposes. Cote D'Ivoire, otherwise known as Ivory Coast, is one of the countries in the Africa continent that people prefer to go to. While many travellers who have travelled to the country have good and bad experiences, it is important to know certain best things about Ivory Coast. This information will help you prepare better, know where to visit, and avoid it when you come to the country.
From this article, you will get to know and understand some of the things you would love to know before going to Ivory Coast.
Things to know before travel to Cote D'Ivoire.
1. Biggest Church
One of the things you would love to know before travelling to Cote D'Ivoire is the church know as the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. This church which is located at Yamoussoukro, the capital of Cote D'Ivoire is the biggest in the world. It is much bigger than St Peter's Basilica. The church has 30,000 square meters of exterior area, and it was completed in 1990. According to history, the Vatican City siblings is the inspiration behind the design. It has a baroque and Renaissance style. Over 17,000 worshippers can be in the church. However, it is rarely full. You can consider that site as one of the places to visit when you travel to Cote D'Ivoire. Take many pictures and show them to your loved ones when you travel back to your country. You can worship at this church if you are a tourist or came for vacation.
2. Crime in Cote D'Ivoire
Cote D'Ivoire has a high risk of crime. The typical kind of crime is the jacking of buses and cars. You may encounter different and many roadblocks and checkpoints. If there is anything, you must avoid it, so you prevent any confrontation with the security forces such as the police. There is weapon such as guns, knives and grenades circulation in the country which calls for a high level of carefulness when travelling to the country. Armed robbery is one of the country's common crimes, and this is experienced in restaurants and businesses. Is it safe to travel to Cote D'Ivoire? The safety of travelling in the Ivory Coast largely depends on sticking to the travel guides, being careful and knowing where you are going. It would be best if you exercise caution, especially when you are crossing the Houphouet-Boigny bridge. Another bridge you should be careful with crossing is crossing the De Gaulle bridge in Abidjan. The reason why is that many pedestrians are victims of robbery and diverse attacks in the past.
These crimes even take place in broad daylight. You are prone to these attacks at Abidjan if you are out during the night. Your credit cards should be kept in a place you can see when buying anything like credit card fraud or duping is expected in this country. Before you travel to Cote D'Ivoire or arrive in the country, have all your relevant documents photocopied. Some of the documents you should have duplicates include visa, passport, and ticket. While you keep a copy, you should leave the other copy to a trusted individual at home. You do not need to show off while in the country. Minimize the cash you carry around. Your money and expensive watches, necklaces, cameras, phones, and jewellery are tempting materials for criminals. If possible, avoid visiting certain places in the country such as Guiglo, Northern parts of Bouak, and Seguela towns. You should seek the advice of professionals before going to Ivory Coast. The country is not the right choice for inexperienced travellers.
3. Didier Drogba
Drogba is a former Chelsea football star hail from Cote D'Ivoire. He is the country's pride and the most significant son. His time at Chelsea football club made many to start thinking of coming to his country. The professional striker and goal poacher was born in Abidjan. He has 104 caps in the country's national team, scoring 65 goals. From 2006, Didier Drogba was the captain of the national team. A role model to both young footballers and the citizens as a whole. He hanged his football boot as the highest goal scorer in the country. He had built many facilities to make the lives of the people better.
4. Habitat to lush mountain
There are different mountains in Cote D'Ivoire, and one of them is Mount Nimba. This mountain rises over the nearby savannah where the country has a boundary with both Liberia and Guinea. You should come to Cote D'Ivoire if you love to see this lush mountain. A dense forest that has a fertile type of fauna and flora covers the mountain. You will see a lot of chimpanzees here. It would be best to come with your camera to this mountain when you travel to Cote D'Ivoire to capture these chimpanzees.
5. Peculiar Nickname of the National Team
Just as super eagles are the nickname to the Nigerian football team and indomitable lions are to Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire national team is nicknamed the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire (Les Elephants). The country's national team won the 1992 and 2014 African Cup of Nations. Defeated Ghana on these two occasions on penalties. Some of the football players representing the national team include Solomon Kalou, the Toure Brothers (Yaya and Kolo), Wilfried Bony, and others. It is good to know that Cote D'Ivoire is not only involved in football as a sport. The country has proven itself on global stages. In Rio 2016, the state won the gold medal in Taekwondo and other silverware. The gold medallist is known as Cheick Sallah Cisse.
6. Booming Tourism
One of the common reasons people leave their country is for tourism purposes. There are many eye-catching places to visit when you are in the country. Ivory Coast is known for its unique golden beaches. Other things that have made the country a place for tourism include the unique traditional Senufo cultural and French colonial heritage. The number of visitors who travel to Cote D'Ivoire is always increasing, which shows that the country is attracting foreigners. As of 2010, 250,000 visitors came to the country. Five years later, close to 1.44m have visited the country. During the 1980s, the country was never a place tourists or visitors considered to spend their vacation. Ivory Coast was not seen as a welcoming country; hence it experienced two Ivory Coast civil wars. It changed as a result of development and stability.
7. Largest Producer of Cocoa
One more thing you should know before, it should be their cocoa mass production. Through this, many of their citizens have been gotten a means of livelihood. You should think of coming to the country if you want to get involved in cocoa exporting. As of 2013, the country shifted over 1.400 million metric tonnes of cocoa beans, while this alone generates 31.6% of the world's total cocoa beans. It was close to double of its nearest Africa rival, Ghana. Travelling down to Ivory Coast now is the best time to go into cocoa products production. You should also travel if you are planning to invest in it. The country will welcome you.
8. Cote D’Ivoire has two capitals
It is usual for you to be surprised just like others who never knew. Unlike most countries of the world, this African country has two capitals. Abidjan is the country's economic capital. It is the largest and populous city you will see in the country. The country's national political capital of Cote D'Ivoire is Yamoussoukro. You should not forget this, especially if you are a scholar or researcher.
9. The official language of Cote D'Ivoire
Do you know what is the official language of Cote D'Ivoire? The official language of Cote D'Ivoire is one of the most frequently asked questions online and offline. This question is often asked to know if communication with be accessible or not. The country gained its independence from France and as expected has France's mark. Abidjan, the country's economic capital, is the 3rd largest population on earth that speaks French. With over 4 million people residing in the capital, Abidjan is one of the most populous places on the continent. According to some studies, it is the 4th most crowded place in Africa.
10. Low Life Expectancy
The countries in Africa have the lowest life expectancy that is often under 60. As Ivory Coast, there are 21 other African countries where you will see their average life expectancy is under 60. Ivory Coast or Cote D'Ivoire is the 5th lowest at 53.3 years. Their neighbouring country, Sierra Leone, is the first from behind with life expectancy under 50.1 years.
Chima Nnaemeka Eberechukwu fondly known as C. N. Ebere is a writer, blogger, and author of Stairs in the Storm. He has written more than 4000 web and blog articles. He is a digital skills trainer and has trained more than 300 individuals on Logo, Whiteboard Animation, 3D Animation, et al. Also, he is a personal development coach that helps people to discover and develop themselves.