Is it dangerous to travel to Ivory Coast? Some advices

Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast

Is it dangerous to travel to Ivory Coast? We can start by saying that you have to be very careful, and from there the decision to inform yourself well before deciding to travel is your responsibility. That is to say, it is not a country that you can go to happily without any prior information.

So, if you are interested in this beautiful African country, pay attention to this safety information and tips.

Ivory Coast

Map of Ivory Coast

Officially it is the Republic of Ivory Coast and is on the southern coast of west Africa. Its capital is the city of Yamoussoukro, in the center, but the most important city in terms of economy is the port city of Abidjan.

Maril Coast, Africa

Ivory Coast It has borders with Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. It has a population of around 31 million people, and so is he third most populous country in Africa. It was a French colony so the official language is French, although of course there are many local languages.

The French era officially ended the decolonization processes of Africa in the '60s of the XNUMXth century, but In the '90s there was a coup d'état and two civil wars, so its sociopolitical stability is complicated.

Coffee in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is a presidential country, whose economy is based on cocoa and coffee production and after that turbulent period it has grown again and today has the second per capita income in West Africa behind Cape Verde. But not to be confused, it is still a very poor and exploited country.

With respect to tourism, it must be said that it has grown a lot since the '70s and is fundamentally based on wildlife and beaches. You must check if you need a visa or not, but you can stay up to a maximum of 90 days. Yes indeed, You have to get vaccinated against yellow fever.

Ivory Coast Tourism

Beaches in Ivory Coast

For nature lovers this country is a paradise on earth. You can enjoy Great beaches, wander around rainy forests inhabited by fauna and flora from another world or get to know the local cultures in the tribes, the markets, the villages...

Hen/Stag Ivory Coast beaches They are bathed by a very blue ocean and have coconut trees that give them shade. The country has many coastal destinations in its more than 515 kilometers that open to the Atlantic Ocean, but also add more than 300 thousand hectares of lagoon waters with many marinas and hotels and golden beaches where you can sunbathe or do water sports.

There are two very popular destinations: Grand Bassam, a UNESCO-recognized beach town, and Assini, a resort to the east. To get to the first the most economical way is the bus from Adjame or the minibus from Treichville. To go to Assinie you have to go through Trenchville first. Going to Bassam for a day is very common, or staying for the weekend to enjoy the beaches.

Assinie, Ivory Coast

With regards to cultural tourism You can delve into the national cultures that characterize this country that has always been home to many ethnic groups. Today it is inhabited by more than 60 so it is a real cultural mosaic. You can add to that the possibility of visiting sites of religious importance. Although the country is a secular state, its citizens profess many religions and among them the majority are Muslim and Christian.

Culture, religion and also a lot of history. In the country there are many places of historical importance such as colonial-era buildings, monuments and museums that open your eyes to the past of this land. Some have even been declared World Heritage. Don't miss the 17th century mosque in Sorobango, the Governor's Palace in Sassandra, the monument to René Caille in Tiemé or the House of Samory Toure, For example.

Sorobango Mosque

We all drink coffee and it is one of the most popular drinks in the world. A few years ago I read that since China entered the world of coffee, the supply was in danger because this huge country is like a vacuum cleaner. Hopefully we won't run out of coffee, but here in Côte d'Ivoire you can see both coffee and cocoa plantations, see the production on-site. It's fantastic.

And finally, although it is not to my liking at all, here in the Ivory Coast you can also hunt. The country has a network of protected areas, 14, plus some hunting areas that cover a total of 2.500.000 hectares. Some of these lands are protected by UNESCO and the Ramsan Convention, but you can still go hunting legally. You can also fish.

Hunting in Ivory Coast

And if you prefer the ecotourism Well, you also have many areas where one can escape from stress and immerse yourself in the nature of a rainforest, a canoe ride on a river, walking and nothing more.

Safety tips for traveling to Ivory Coast

Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast

Expert travelers say that the city of Abidjan is not for beginners or African travel virgins. If you go on your own and not as part of a tour, it is not a good idea for the first time. Now, if you go with a tour, go ahead.

The people here are not the friendliest in the world, Almost no English is spoken and it is not very economical either.. If you have no idea of ​​French, the language barrier becomes insurmountable and moving around the city will be difficult. It is also not a good destination for beginners if you are traveling with little money: to sleep cheaply you will have to get away, go to other non-central neighborhoods, look for food in the markets, negotiate in everything, even in a taxi, well. Public transportation almost does not exist. Ergo, no beginners.

The good: Abidjan is a modern metropolis with supermarkets, food chains, electronics stores, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Has a modern and expensive part which is on par with France, where expatriates and the rich live. But it has another side, which is where a lot more people live, there are food stalls on the streets and people live their busy lives without much money.

Streets of Abdijan, Ivory Coast

The gap between rich and poor is tremendous and it can be seen with the naked eye in these two parts of the capital city. There seems to be a growing middle class here, but it's not visible to the naked eye. So, the question is, Is it safe to travel to the Ivory Coast?

Abidjan is a safe city. There are police on the streets and you don't have the feeling of danger in most places, when you see that there are alone women walking, street stalls open until night or children playing in the streets. After the civil wars I talked about before, The military presence increased in the city and it is still seen. You can stop taxis, ask questions and all that.

Obviously, There are areas of the city that you should not go through., like everywhere. And basic care applies here too: Be careful with your cell phone on the street or if you use it in the car, even in a taxi, be careful with your wallet...

Ivory Coast

Another thing: don't drink tap water and always buy bottled water. Don't buy from street vendors, they sell some bags of water but it is filtered water and if you have a delicate stomach it may be bad for you.

Regarding communications, you can always buy a chip. The largest operator in the country is Orange, and you can buy a sim card that gives you Internet. It is enough to go to a store with your passport and know the basics of French to make yourself understood.

Now, I always advise checking what the embassy of your own country says about traveling to any destination. On the Ivory Coast they generally recommend Do not approach the border areas with Mali and Burkina Faso, especially to the regions of Bagoué, Poro, Folon or Tchologo, the northern provinces of Zazan or Savenes and the Boukano region, including the Comoé National Park.

Ivory Coast 3

Approaching Liberia, especially to the regions of San Pedro, Tonkpi, Guémon or Cavally, It is not recommended either., at least not closer than 50 kilometers from the border, where militia attacks have been reported.

If you plan to have sex with someone or even if you have an accident or are attacked and there is blood involved, be careful, because the rate of HIV infections is very high. Beware of yellow fever and malaria, too. Luckily sex between people of the same sex is legal so gays and lesbians have no problems, but be careful with public demonstrations because they can challenge you and even put you in prison.

Ivory Coast

And finally, beyond political or social issues There are natural issues to consider on a trip: Ivory Coast has rainy seasons depending on the region, so be sure to be aware and monitor the media before starting to move around the country.

In short: Ivory Coast is an African country, beautiful wherever you look at it, open to tourism, with beaches and natural settings worthy of those African landscapes that attract us so much. Now, it is still crossed by the African reality that we know and for an independent traveler, or a woman, It is a destination where extreme care must be taken. It is not at war, there are no internal ethnic conflicts or anything like that, but there is a lot of poverty and that in itself is enough to make it a destination of care.

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