Ongolo Proud African

Explore Côte d'Ivoire’s Top Tourist Attractions

19 January 2024

Côte d'Ivoire is a fantastic tourist destination and attracted over 2m visitors prior to the 2020 pandemic. Africa’s 28th biggest country by size is located in West Africa on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea. It shares borders with Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Mali. 

The country boasts breathtaking natural scenery, pristine shores and rich cultural heritage, offering something for everyone.The on-going Africa Cup of Nations 2023 tournament will give the country a much needed tourist boost.

As you start planning your trip to this West African destination, let us guide you with a comprehensive travel guide that will make your journey smooth and hassle-free. 

Top Tourist Attractions in Côte d'Ivoire

#1 Abidjan: The Economic Hub of Côte d'Ivoire

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Explore Abidjan, the bustling economic hub of Côte d'Ivoire. Located on the coast of West Africa, this vibrant city is home to many famous tourist attractions and offers a wide range of activities and sights to explore. Here are some of the top things to see and best places to visit in Abidjan:

Famous Tourist Attractions

Abidjan is known for its impressive landmarks, including the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix, one of the largest churches in the world, and the Pont Felix Houphouet-Boigny, a cable-stayed bridge spanning the Ébrié Lagoon.

"Abidjan is a city that never sleeps. Its lively atmosphere, combined with its rich cultural heritage, makes it a must-visit destination." - Traveler's Magazine

Sights and Activities to Explore in Abidjan

  • Visit the Musée des Civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire to learn about the country's history and culture
  • Take a stroll through the Parc du Banco, a lush nature reserve located in the heart of the city
  • Indulge in some retail therapy at the Marche de Treichville, one of Abidjan's largest markets
  • Enjoy a night out at one of Abidjan's many jazz bars, such as Le Wharf or Le Bridge

Experience the energy and excitement of Abidjan, one of the best places to visit in Côte d'Ivoire. Don't miss out on all the famous tourist attractions and top things to see in this bustling economic hub.

#2 Grand Bassam: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Grand Bassam beach in Côte d'Ivoire
Grand Bassam beach in Côte d'Ivoire

Grand Bassam, a small coastal town located just outside of Abidjan, is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Côte d'Ivoire. The town served as the original colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire, and today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts visitors from all over the world. 

Step back in time and explore the town's rich history, colonial architecture, and charming streets. Visit the Musee National des Costumes, which showcases traditional Ivorian clothing, or the French colonial governor's palace, which has been converted into a cultural centre. Don't forget to snap a photo of the iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse, one of the town's most famous landmarks.

Grand Bassam is also home to some stunning beaches, including the Plage de la Côte d'Argent, which is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many beachside restaurants or take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Grand Bassam is easily accessible from Abidjan, so it's perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Don't miss this opportunity to explore one of Côte d'Ivoire's most charming and historic towns.

#3 Explore the political capital of Côte d'Ivoire: Yamoussoukro

For those interested in politics and history, Yamoussoukro, the official political capital of Côte d'Ivoire, holds great significance as well as some of the most popular landmarks in Côte d'Ivoire worth visiting. The city is proud of its stately architecture and immaculate streets lined with palm trees that give it an air of prestige.

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire

The most famous of Yamoussoukro's landmarks is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, a stunning work of art and one of the largest churches in the world. It was built by the late Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouët-Boigny in the 1980s. The architecture is grand and imposing, with a Roman-style design, stained glass windows, and a golden dome that overlooks the city's skyline. 

The Basilica is open to the public and is often frequented by tourists who come to marvel at its architectural wonder. Its tranquil gardens and peaceful surroundings make it a suitable place for meditation and reflection.

Musee National des Costumes

If you're looking for more insight into Côte d'Ivoire's rich culture and history, the Musee National des Costumes is worth a visit. This museum collects and showcases various traditional textiles and clothing that belong to different ethnic groups throughout the country. Visitors can learn about the history and significance of each piece, including the cultural and social significance of each item. 

Yamoussoukro has a lot to offer, from its famous landmarks to its rich history and culture. The La Rotonde des Arts showcases traditional and contemporary art. The Presidential Palace, where former Houphouët-Boigny is buried, is not open to the public and can be seen from afar.

#4 Assinie: A Beach Lover's Paradise

Assinie is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. This beautiful coastal town is located on a peninsula, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and dotted with pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. It offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy, from swimming and sunbathing to surfing and jet skiing. Visitors can also take a boat trip to explore the surrounding islands and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at one of the local restaurants.

#5 Tai National Park: A Wildlife Haven

When it comes to biodiversity, Tai National Park is one of the best places to visit in Côte d'Ivoire. Located in the southwestern part of the country and covering an area of over 3,300 km², Tai National Park boasts an incredible array of rare and endangered wildlife species, including chimpanzees and pygmy hippopotamus.

Home to dense forests and pristine rivers, Tai National Park offers many opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife safaris. Visitors can immerse themselves in the unspoiled beauty of the park and observe a diverse range of flora and fauna.

If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive African golden cat, a rare and endangered wild feline found only in the forests of West and Central Africa. Moreover, the park is home to a wide range of bird species, including the white-breasted guinea fowl and grey-throated rail, making it a top tourist attraction in Côte d'Ivoire for birdwatchers.

You can explore Tai National Park with the help of a local guide who can offer knowledge about the park's history and wildlife. Make sure to follow park regulations, and do not disturb the wildlife or the natural environment.

#6 Comoé National Park: Explore the Wilderness

Comoé National Park, Côte d'Ivoire
Comoé National Park, Côte d'Ivoire

Located in the northern part of the country, the Comoé National Park is home to a vast expanse of savannahs, dense forests, and diverse wildlife. 

The park covers an area of over 11,500 square kilometres, making it one of the largest protected areas in West Africa. Its unique combination of ecosystems provides a habitat for over 90 species of large mammals, including elephants, lions, and buffaloes. Visitors can also spot a variety of primates, such as chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, and olive baboons.

Comoé National Park boasts several landmarks that are popular among tourists. The Sindou Peaks, a geological formation of granite rocks, is a breathtaking sight to behold. Visitors can also explore the ancient ruins of the Banfora Kingdom, which date back to the 16th century.

#7 Man: A Scenic Mountain Town

Man, situated in the mountains of western Côte d'Ivoire, is a must-see destination that showcases the country's cultural heritage. This charming town is known for its picturesque landscapes and traditional tribal villages, offering a glimpse into the local way of life.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore Man's lush forests and cascading waterfalls. Trek through the nearby Mount Tonkoui, the highest mountain in the country, and enjoy the stunning panoramic views from the top.

The Cascading Waterfalls of Man

The cascading waterfalls of Man, otherwise known as Les Cascades de Man, are a breathtaking natural wonder. These seven magnificent falls are located just a few miles from the town center and are surrounded by lush vegetation and thriving wildlife. Visitors can hike to the falls or take an organized tour to enjoy the picturesque views.

The Traditional Villages of Man

Man is home to several traditional villages, including the wooden stilted village of Sinfra and the ancient village of Biankouma. Both showcase the traditional mud-brick architecture and provide an authentic look into the country's cultural past. This offers visitors a chance to connect with locals and learn about their customs and traditions.

The World's Largest Kente Cloth

Man is also home to the world's largest Kente cloth, a stunning piece of woven fabric that measures 3,000 square feet. This incredible artwork is made from local materials. It is a testament to the local craftsmanship and artistic prowess of the region. Visitors can see the Kente cloth on display at the Museum of Civilizations in Yamoussoukro.

#8 Sassandra: Coastal Beauty and Rich History

Sassandra, Côte d'Ivoire
Sassandra, Côte d'Ivoire

The coastal town of Sassandra is a hidden gem that combines natural beauty with a rich historical past. It is located on the eastern edge of the Ivory Coast, on a lagoon that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can take a bus or taxi from Abidjan, which is about 185 kilometres away from Sassandra. The town's pristine beaches and colonial architecture provide a unique experience for visitors looking to explore the country's attractions.

One of the top things to see in Côte d'Ivoire is Sassandra's beautiful beaches. The town boasts multiple pristine beaches, including Plages des Boucantiers and Plages des Pêcheurs, which are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beaches are tranquil and surrounded by lush vegetation, providing the perfect setting for a relaxing day in the sun.

Sassandra's colonial architecture is another draw for visitors. It has well-preserved historic buildings such as the Governor's Palace and the Church of Sainte Marie still standing today. Walking tours of the town allow visitors to learn about the area's colonial past and its role in the country's history. It is recommended to spend 2-3 days exploring Sassandra.

#9 Korhogo: Cultural Capital of Northern Côte d'Ivoire

Traditional celebration in Korhogo, Côte d'Ivoire
Traditional celebration in Korhogo, Côte d'Ivoire

Korhogo, located in the northern region of Côte d'Ivoire, is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional crafts. 

Explore Local Art Galleries

One of the main highlights of Korhogo is its vibrant art scene, which is deeply rooted in the Senufo culture. Visitors can explore local art galleries and witness the stunning creations of local artists, from sculptures to paintings and textiles.

Some of the most famous art galleries in Korhogo include the Centre des Arts Plastiques et de la Culture, the Mamelon, and the Centre d'Artisanat et du Tourisme.

Traditional Craft Markets

Another way to experience Korhogo's culture is by visiting the traditional craft markets, where visitors can find a variety of handmade goods such as pottery, baskets, and textiles. These markets offer a unique opportunity to witness the traditional crafts and techniques of the Senufo people.

Some of the most popular craft markets in Korhogo include the Marché des Femmes, the Marché des Artisans, and the Grand Marché.

Immerse Yourself in the Senufo Culture

Korhogo is also an ideal destination for those who want to immerse themselves in the Senufo culture. Visitors can witness traditional ceremonies and performances, such as the Poro society initiation rites and the Guelede mask dance.

Additionally, the Musée des Civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire in Korhogo offers an impressive collection of Senufo artifacts and cultural objects, providing visitors with an insightful glimpse into the Senufo way of life.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Côte d'Ivoire offers a diverse range of top tourist attractions that showcase its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the bustling streets of Abidjan to the tranquil beaches of Assinie, there is something for every traveller to explore and enjoy in this remarkable country.

So start packing your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. Book your trip to Côte d'Ivoire to experience its warm hospitality, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable landscapes. Happy travelling!

FAQ about visiting Côte d'Ivoire

When is the best time of the year to visit Côte d’Ivoire?

December to April, when it is drier and less humid 

Which airlines fly to Benin?

  • National Airline: Air Côte D’Ivoire
  • Regional Airlines: ASKY Airlines, Air Algerie, Air Burkina, Air peace, Air Senegal, Mauritania Airlines International, Tunisair
  • Star Alliance: Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines
  • One World: Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways
  • SkyTeam: Air France, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airline
  • Others: Emirates, Corsair

Are visas required and how much do they cost?

Most visitors to Côte d’Ivoire will need a visa. The only visa-exempt countries are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Cong, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Togo and Tunisia.

I used Global Visa Services to obtain a three-month, multiple-entry e-visa to travel for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. I signed up on the website and received an email requesting my passport page, passport photo, proof of hotel and flights and a signed letter (!) to the Director of immigration. It took just three days to process and cost $132 of which $93 was the government and admin fee. That is very expensive and frankly, unnecessary.

Do you need any shots?

It is also important to check health advisories before travelling. The recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus and Yellow Fever. 

Is it safe?

Due to the recent military coups in Burkina Faso and Niger, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is advising against visiting the areas that border these two countries, including the Comoé National Park. Check here for the latest travel advisory.

SHARE 

Comments

chevron-down