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Practical information

 

Time difference
1 h behind France in winter, and 2 h in summer.
Flight time
6h40 
Location
in the southern region of West Africa
Currency
CFA FRANC (XOF)


Surface area
2 119 km²
Distance
6 732 km
(from Paris)

Population
1,929 million 
Languages
French
 

Capital 
Abidjan
 

Formalities :

French citizens with standard or official passports must have a biometric visa in order to enter Côte d'Ivoire. Furthermore, the traveller’s passport must be valid for six months after the return date. The visa and return or onward ticket are requisites for entering the country.

 

Obtaining the visa

You must be in possession of a biometric visa to enter Côte d'Ivoire. The visa request must be made to the Ivorian Embassy in Paris. 
Allow for around 7 days and 110 euros of consular costs to obtain a two-month visa.

 

Information on customs and security formalities is provided as a guide.
Under no circumstances may Corsair be held responsible if your official documentation is not in order.

To prepare your trip, we suggest you contact the island’s tourist office:

Ivorian Embassy in Paris

102, avenue Raymond Poincaré
Tel.: 01.53.64.62.62  |  Fax: 01.45.00.47.97

Helpful tips

Vaccines against yellow fever and malaria are obligatory. Watch out for what you eat and drink locally. Vaccines against tetanus, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, meningococcosis, typhoid, hepatitis A and B are recommended.

Shopping hours


Most shops are open from 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday.

Transports


  • Buses: Urban bus and taxi transport in Abidjan is run by SOTRA (Abidjan Transport Company) and SOTU (Urban Transport Company).
     
  • Taxi: There are 2 types of taxi in Abidjan. Red taxis go anywhere in the city, while the yellow collective taxis or woro-woro are restricted to a particular district.
     
  • Boat: Pinnaces and boat buses link several districts of Abidjan.
     
  • Car hire: Abidjan has lots of car hire firms, such as Avis, Hertz or Europcar.

Safety


Risks primarily concentrated in Abidjan (theft, assault).

Services


Administrative offices are open between 08:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday

Holidays and celebrations


  • 1st January: New Year’s Day.
  • February: Festival of Masks (Man region).
  • March: Bouaké Carnival.
  • April: Festival of Dipri (commemoration of Bidyo’s sacrifice).
  • March-April: Easter.
  • June: Ascension; Pentecost.
  • 7 August: Independence Day.
  • November: Festival of Abissa, for one week.
  • 7 December: National Festival.
  • December: Festival of Tabaski (sheep festival).
  • 25 December: Christmas.

Going to / Leaving the airport

See detail

Must-visit

Located in the south of the country, Abidjan is the economic engine of the country, with everything you could find in a Western city.

 

To discover the wealth of the various communities in the country, we recommend visiting the Museum of Ivorian Civilisations. You can also discover traditional Ivorian art in the National Museum.  Located in the centre of the country, Yamoussoukro is the political capital of the country. It has the world’s largest Christian building, the “Basilica of Our Lady of Peace”, in which you can admire the magnificent stained glass. At a stone’s throw from the Presidential Palace, we recommend making a stop at the “Sacred Crocodiles Lake”, where you can find beasts weighing nearly one tonne. Guaranteed to provide a spectacle! You can do your shopping in a festive atmosphere at the central market.

 

Want to get out into nature? There are several national parks to admire, primarily comprising savannah and equatorial forest… Côte d'Ivoire also has magnificent lagoons, hills, and palm, lemon, guava, banana and coffee plantations, etc. The most famous national park is Comoé, the most extensive in West Africa, known for its many lions, elephants, monkeys and cats, etc. Other species such as buffalos, kobs, rhinoceroses or giraffes live in the heart of Abokonamékro National Park.

If you fancy some sun, the coast has lots of fine sandy beaches perfect for water sports or taking it easy.


Gastronomy

Côte d'Ivoire has a diverse and generous gastronomy, in which you will be able to discover a range of national dishes extremely rich in flavours and tastes.

 

Hence you can discover various specialities such as roast chicken and guinea fowl soup, accompanied by rice or pasta.  Ivorian drinks are just as far out as its cuisine.

Between the succulent fruit juices like bissap (African infusion based on hibiscus flowers), Gnamakoudji (ginger juice) and other grapefruit based juices, your taste buds will be in for a treat. For alcoholic drinks, you might like to try “Kotoukou”, an artisanal brandy.


Culture

Ivory Coast can boast a great cultural wealth. It is a crossroads where around sixty ethnic groups live together in peace, each with their own cultures and rites, characterised by rhythmic dances to the sound of the tams-tams.

 

You can also admire the finest traditional dances in the west of Ivory Coast. There are many local traditions and customs, with a strong presence, and it is important to respect them.  Oral tradition is still very strong in the villages, where griots (a traditional communicator in Western Africa) pass down the stories. They are regarded as the "memory of the village". Finally, "the word tree" is the tree under which wise men meet, to settle conflicts or other family-related problems.

 

You will find that the hospitality and friendliness are authentic.

Note that craftsmen still use the ancestral bronze working technique of “cire perdue”.


Climate

The climate of Ivory Coast changes varies by region; so the best time of year to go depends on where you wish to visit. If you are planning to stay on the coast, the best time of year is the dry season, which runs from December to April.

 

If you are planning to stay inland, we recommend going between October and February, or December and February to check out the savannah region.

Note that the seasons, whether dry or wet, are always accompanied by fairly high temperatures (28°C on average).



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