Located on the south coast of West Africa, Cote d’Ivoire or the Ivory Coast is one of the hidden gems of Africa. Blessed with French colonial influence has left a major impact on the country’s architecture and food. Cote d’Ivoire is also home to the world’s largest church, surpassing the St. Peter’s Basilica. Relish lip-smacking dishes made with cashew nuts, a crucial part of their cuisine. Visit Ivory Coast and witness one of the largest production of cocoa and cashews in the world. Here are the top things to add to your itinerary while visiting the land of cocoa.
Top Things To Do In Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
1. Smell Some Fresh Cocoa
Ivory Coast is the largest producer of Cocoa in the world. They have so much of it that in an interview when a french tv presenter asked a cocoa farmer, whether he had ever tasted his produce. The farmer naively answered ‘No’. So make sure to try and taste the cocoa in its natural fruit and post-fermentation stage.
Recommended for: Gourmet and Cocoa Lovers
Location(s): West of Ivory Coast & Centre-west
Average price: Tasting is generally free
Timings: January & August
Pro-tip: For chocolate lovers who have not tried 100% cocoa before, be ready for a sweet-bitter experience.
2. Visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix
Ivory Coast holds the Guinness world record for the largest catholic church in the world. Every year The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro’ attracts many tourists from across the globe. On completion, the church was known to dethrone St. Peter’s Basilica located in the Vatican as the largest church in the world.
Recommended for: Architecture and Church Lovers
Location(s): Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
Average price: Free of Cost
Timings: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Pro-tip: Avoid going on weekends to skip the crowd.
3. Get Closer to Nature at the Comoe National Park
Spread across an area of 11,500 Km², Comoe is one of the largest national parks in the country of Ivory Coast. It is home to several different species of animals ranging from dwarf crocodiles, chimpanzees, pygmy hippos, and several different species of birds.
Recommended For: Nature Lovers and Photographers
Location(s): Northeastern Corner of Cote d’Ivoire
Average Price: Entry Visa for tourist
Timings: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Pro-tip: Make sure to carry a pair of binoculars.
4. Discover Ivory Coast’s Heritage at the Civilization Museum
The Civilization Museum or ‘Musée des Civilisations de Côte d’Ivoire’ is an extremely famous museum in Abidjan to explore the rich past of the country. The place is known to have housed several artifacts that were largely used during colonial times. The exhibition is based on many years of research on the ethnic arts and the personalities who performed them.
Recommended for: History and Architect Lovers
Location(s): Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Average price: Free
Timings: Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Pro-tip: Do not click pictures inside the museum, if you do not want to be banned from the place.
5. Meet the Ancient Beast at the Crocodile House
Situated in the heart of Abidjan, a local architect built himself a house in the shape of a crocodile. The outside of the structure resembles a massive grotesquely smiling crocodile, hollowed out to design living space inside the reptilian structure.
Recommended for: Architecture Lovers
Average price: Free
Timings: Anytime, but keep in mind that the structure is somebody’s house.
Pro-tip: You might not always be welcome at the house.
6. The Jardin Botanique de Bingerville
Home to the world-famous bamboo alley, Jardin Botanique de Bingerville in Abidjan is a famous spot for peaceful and calming walks into nature. The spot is a popular picnic destination and attracts many visitors year-round.
Recommended for: Nature Lovers, Couples, Family and Friends
Average price: $5 per person
Timings: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Pro-tip: Plan accordingly, as the place is also a picnic spot.
7. Have Fun at the Paradisia Abidjan
An Amusement/theme park for kids and adults alike is located in Abidjan. The park has numerous attractions and includes theme restaurants for people of different tastes. The park has activities and rides enough to keep one busy for days to come.
Recommended for: Family and Kids
Average price: $ 15
Timings: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Pro-tip: Buy the 2nd top ticket as it includes every ride and a happy meal. Otherwise, you can go for the one below that and dine in an on-site restaurant.
8. Travel Back In Time at Sassandra
The place is famous for its historical and architectural marvels that have been built around the city. The area witnessed a lot of trade traffic back in the ’90s which led to the construction of major structures for storage and trade purposes. But, post decline of trade the structures were left abandoned and are still standing strong.
Recommended for: History and Architecture Lovers
Location(s): Town of Sassandra
Average price: Free
Timings: Before sunset
Pro-tip: Be careful when exploring these structures.
9. Cool Off at the Beaches of Grand Bassam
The entire south coast of Ivory Coast faces the ocean, but it is only the capital city of Abidjan that opens to the ocean. The famous beaches of Grand Bassam are the only accessible beach on the entire Ivory Coast. The beach is known for its golden sands and cool waters making it a must-visit.
Recommended for: Beach Lovers, Family & Couples
Average price: Free
Pro-tip: Make sure to carry your sunscreen.
10. Take a Refreshing Dip in the Waterfalls of Man
Hidden in the little town of ‘Man Cote d’Ivoire’, this little gem is a major attraction. Even among locals, this place is a major hype similar to the tourists. So whenever visiting the Waterfalls at ‘Man Cote d’Ivoire’, be sure not visit on a weekend, because it tends to get crowded.
Recommended for: Water Lovers
Location(s): La Cascade
Average price: $1
Timings: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Pro-tip: Take extra pair of clothes and sneakers for walking.
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