The French country of Côte d’Ivoire is situated on the West African coastline and is surrounded by Liberia, Guinea, Mali and Ghana. It also enjoys a gorgeous coastline, lapped by the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Tourists from around the world (with the exception of North Americans and those who are citizens of ECOWAS countries, which comprise 15 West African countries) need to present a passport and Visa before entering the Côte d’Ivoire.
Its positioning and relatively untouched nature means that Côte d’Ivoire offers much in the way of natural beauty. Assouinde is beach resort just east of Abidjan. Grand Bassam has also been a favourite amongst visitors seeking a quiet spot in which to relax and enjoy these African beaches.
Most of the beaches are safe for swimming, but, as is always the case, tourists should heed the advice and warnings of the local lifeguards. Avid fishermen will delight in the abundance of good catches in the local rivers and seas. Some tour operators organise fishing trips out at sea, and you may wish to explore this option well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
In terms of cultural and historical appeal, there are many great sights in Côte d’Ivoire. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix in Yamoussoukro is of particular interest for its architectural value. This cathedral boasts more stained glass than what exists in the whole of France! Yamoussoukro is also home to the Palace and Plantations of the President, as well as the Mosque. Popular museums, such as the Ifon and National museums, are located in Treichville. These display stunning art (much of which is made from ivory), statues and the remnants of the first Côte d’Ivoire civilisations.
Côte d’Ivoire ForestCôte d’Ivoire is a land of beauty, with rain forests, beaches and national parks making up the land within its borders. Man has dense forests on mountains and plateaus, which make up the residence of many exciting animals and plant-life. Waterfalls in this region are impressive, and attract many tourists each year, as do the variety of hikes (guide required for longer trips). The national parks are ideal for independent exploration. Comoë National Park is the oldest and largest national park, boasting lions, hippopotamuses, and a variety of buck and other animals. Conveniently situated just outside Yamoussoukro is the Abokouamekro Game Reserve, which also guarantees a variety of fauna and flora.
The jungles of Côte d’Ivoire are currently under threat, but still offer some of the most beautiful and impressive of experiences. Many environmental organisations are working hard to protect and nurture these natural resources. The Tai National Park is large, and contains a wide array of animals and the vegetation in which they thrive. In fact, this jungle has 12 endemic mammal species and over 1300 species of flora. This is a fascinating glimpse into West Africa and its abundance and proliferation of life. This national park is near the border of Liberia, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1982. The Touraco Ecotel is the favourite accommodation in the area and is run in a truly eco-friendly manner, taking its environment impact very seriously.
While staying in the Tai park, visitors will enjoy filling their days with canoeing, guided walks and hikes. Camping facilities are also available, providing an authentically African experience. While in the heart of this continent, visitors will encounter apes, forest elephants, buffalo, leopards and the famous Pygmy hippos. These animals live side-by-side with an array of insects, reptiles and birds.
Côte d’Ivoire remains one of the less travelled countries in the world, and continues to surprise visitors with its variety and rich cultural and historical heritage
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