Ivory Coast

A mix of simple villages, stunning coastline, European architecture and modern cities, Ivory Coast is a country of surprises. Despite its turbulent history, there's a rousing spirit that travels the breadth of the country and its cultural diversity, friendly people and distinct landscapes are sure to enchant.

Ivory Coast Tours & Travel

All our Ivory Coast trips

USD $4,446
CAD $5,947
AUD $5,590
EUR €3,776
GBP £3,000
NZD $6,163
ZAR R58,664
CHF FR4,441
Travel from Dakar to Ghana on a road trip across this unspoilt and fascinating region of Africa, discovering the...
USD $2,574
CAD $3,447
AUD $3,229
EUR €2,183
GBP £1,735
NZD $3,561
ZAR R33,771
CHF FR2,573
Journey from Sierra Leone’s remarkable capital to the coast of Ghana. Relax on beautiful Bureh Beach, explore Tiwai...
USD $3,330
CAD $4,362
AUD $4,605
EUR €2,986
GBP £2,302
NZD $4,950
ZAR R52,904
CHF FR3,325
Explore the mysteries of West Africa on this extensive journey from Ghana to Sierra Leone, taking in Kumasi, Grand...
Travel from Dakar to Ghana on a road trip across this unspoilt and fascinating region of Africa, discovering the...

About Ivory Coast

At a glance

Capital city: Yamoussoukro (population 245,000)
Population: 21.9 million
Language: French, Dioula, Baoule, Dan, Anyin, Mande
Currency: XOF
Time zone: (GMT) Casablanca
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)
Dialing code: +225

Best time to visit Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s tropical climate has two wet and two dry seasons. December to April (dry season) is an ideal time to travel, as is August and September. Expect a lot of rain from May to July, especially in the north of the country.

Geography and environment

Ivory Coast’s undulating countryside rises to savannah in the north, mountains in the west and a long, languid coast along the Gulf of Guinea. The coastal plains are dotted with rivers and lagoons, which attract thousands of birds. Ivory Coast shares borders with Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Liberia.

Top Picks

Top 5 Souvenirs from Ivory Coast

1. Senufo Masks

Pick up a hand-crafted ceremonial mask or sculpture from the artisans in Korhogo. These intricate designs are made using techniques handed down over centuries.

2. Traditional Cloth

Remember your adventure by taking home some hand-woven cloth. Each design represents a different cultural group or event.

3. Jewellery

Be sure to pick up some beautifully handcrafted piece of jewellery at one of the many local markets – they make wonderful gifts.

4. Antiques

If vintage is your thing, there’s plenty to choose from at the crazy Korhogo markets.

5. Music

The beat of the drum resounds throughout Ivory Coast, and there's a thriving local music scene here. From traditional through to hip hop, be sure to check some out.

FAQs on Ivory Coast

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance

British citizens must apply directly to the embassy for this visa rather than through a visa agency. Australians can apply for this visa through their visa agency. All other nationalities must check with their respective embassies/consulates and visas agencies for the application procedure. Please check early and allow plenty of time.

Visas for Cote d’Ivoire require quite a lot of documentation, generally including 2 visa application forms, 2 passport photos, Employment letter, proof of departure showing round trip travel and onward flight, plus a copy of confirmed hotel reservations is required.

Dragoman will be applying for the hotel reservation letter for you approximately 3 months in advance of the trip and once received, we will forward this to you. In order for us to be able to do this you must provide us with your passport details in advance. The application for this letter can only be made once we have received passport details from everyone in the group so any delay in us receiving these details will delay when this letter is received. Please note that this letter can take some time to issue and we cannot guarantee a specific date for receiving this letter. We therefore recommend that you wait until you have received this letter before making any appointments at the Cote d'voire Embassy or consulate.
A 10% to 15% service charge is usually included in the bill. However it’s customary to tip taxi drivers and hotel staff.
Internet is available in major towns but scarce elsewhere.
Mobile phone coverage is fairly good in major towns. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Ivory Coast’s toilets may be basic. Be prepared for squat toilets, even in major centres.
Bottle of soft drink = 450 CFA
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 600 CFA
Simple lunch = 1000 CFA
Three-course meal = 3500 CFA
Short taxi ride = 500 CFA
Tap water isn’t safe to drink in Ivory Coast. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring water purification tablets or ask your leader where filtered water can be found.
Credit cards are widely accepted in major towns.
ATMs are available in the larger towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 24 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammed)
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 9 Ascension Day
May 20 Whit Monday
Jun 5 Lailat al Miraj (Night of Ascension)
Aug 3 Lailat al Qadr (Night of Power)
Aug 7 Independence Day
Aug 8 Korite (End of Ramadan)
Aug 15 Assumption
Oct 15 Tabaski (Feast of Sacrifice)
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Nov 15 National Peace Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/ivory-coast/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Ivory Coast Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Ivory Coast

1. Be considerate of Ivory Coast’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African VillageSarah Erdman
Tarnished Ivory: Reflections on Peace Corps and BeyondPeter Bourque
In the Shadow of the Sacred GroveCarol Spindel