Note that visas are not required for stays of less than 91 days, though a vaccination certificate for yellow fever is required of all foreign visitors.
Country name : Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
Capital city : Yamoussoukro
Major cities : Abidjan, Bouake, Daloa, Yamoussoukro, Korhogo, San Pedro, Divo
Location : Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Geographic coordinates : 5º 33' N, 4º 03' W
Area : 322, 463 sq km
Population : 21,504,162 (July 2011 est.)
Nationality : Ivoirian(s)
Ethnic group : Akan 42.1 %, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8%
Religions : Muslim 38.6%, Christian 32.8%, others 28.6%
Language : French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
Government : Republic
Time : GMT +0
Currency : West African CFA franc (XOF)
Côte d'Ivoire is divided into nineteen regions (régions):
5. Dix-Huit Montagnes
17. Vallée du Bandama
Côte d'Ivoire is a country of western sub-Saharan Africa. It borders Liberia and Guinea in the west, Mali and Burkina Faso in the north, Ghana in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) in the south. The country lies between latitudes 4° and 11°N, and longitudes 2° and 9°W.
Highest point : Mt. Nimba (1,752 m)
Lowest point : Gulf of Guinea (0 m)S
The coastal regions of Cote d'Ivoire are warm throughout the year, with average highs near 80º. Rainfall here is heavy May through July, with up to 80 inches commonplace,
The forested central region is a bit warmer, with heavy rains March through May (70 inches on average). In the northern reaches of the country the daily high temperatures reach into the 90's, with somewhat more moderate rainfall amounts.
The Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and depends heavily on the agricultural sector. Between 60% and 70% of the Ivoirian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity. The economy performed poorly in the 1980s and early 1990s, and high population growth coupled with economic decline resulted in a steady fall in living standards. A majority of the population remains dependent on smallholder cash crop production. Principal exports are petroleum, cocoa, coffee, pineapples, tuna, rubber, and tropical woods. Principal U.S. exports to Cote d’Ivoire are rice and wheat, plastic materials and resins, craft paper, agricultural chemicals, telecommunications, and oil and gas equipment. Principal U.S. imports from Cote d’Ivoire are cocoa and cocoa products, petroleum, rubber, and coffee.
Cote d'Ivoire has more than 60 ethnic groups, usually classified into five principal divisions: Akan (east and center, including Lagoon peoples of the southeast), Krou (southwest), Southern Mande (west), Northern Mande (northwest), Senoufo/Lobi (north center and northeast). The Baoules, in the Akan division, probably comprise the single largest subgroup with 15%-20% of the population. They are based in the central region around Bouake and Yamoussoukro. The Betes in the Krou division, the Senoufos in the north, and the Malinkes in the northwest and the cities are the next largest groups, with 10%-15% each of the national population. Most of the principal divisions have a significant presence in neighboring countries.
Of the more than 5 million non-Ivoirian Africans living in Cote d'Ivoire, one-third to one-half are from Burkina Faso; the rest are from Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Liberia, and Mauritania. The non-African expatriate community includes roughly 10,000 French and possibly 60,000 Lebanese. As of mid-November 2004, thousands of expatriates, African and non-African, had fled from the violence in Cote d'Ivoire. However, many expatriates are slowly returning. Fifty-five percent of elementary school-aged children attended classes in 2006.
The Fêtes des Masques, held in November in the region of Man (Festival of Masks) is one of the Côte d’Ivoire’s biggest and most well known festivals. Competitions between villages are held in order to find the best dancers, and to pay homage to the forest spirits embodied in the intricate masks. Another important event is the week long carnival in Bouaké each March.
In April there is the Fête du Dipri in Gomon, near Abidjan. This festival starts around midnight, when women and children that are naked, sneak out of their huts and are carrying out nocturnal rites to exorcise the village of evil spells. Before sunrise the chief appears, drums pound and villagers go into trances. The frenzy continues until late afternoon of the next day.
The major Muslim holiday is Ramadan, a month when everyone fasts between sunrise and sunset in accordance with the fourth pillar of Islam. Ramadan ends with a huge feast, Eid al-Fitr, where everyone prays together, visits friends, gives presents and stuffs themselves.
The culture of Côte d'Ivoire is ethnically diverse. More than sixty indigenous ethnic groups are often cited, although this number may be reduced to seven clusters of ethnic groups by classifying small units together on the basis of common cultural and historical characteristics. These may be reduced to four major cultural regions - the East Atlantic (primarily Akan), West Atlantic (primarily Kru), Voltaic, and Mandé -differentiated in terms of environment, economic activity, language, and overall cultural characteristics. In the southern half of the country, East Atlantic and West Atlantic cultures, separated by the Bandama River, each make up almost one-third of the indigenous population. Roughly one-third of the indigenous population lives in the north, including Voltaic peoples in the northeast and Mandé in the northwest.
The diverse culture of the Côte d’Ivoire, a coastal West African country bordered by Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, is exemplified by a multitude of ethnic groups, events and festivals, music, and art.
The traditional diet in Côte d'Ivoire is very similar to that of neighboring countries in its reliance on grains and tubers, but the Ivorians have a particular kind of small, open-air restaurant called a marquis which is unique to them. Attiéké (grated cassava) is a popular Côte d'Ivoire side dish.
Marquis normally feature braised chicken and fish smothered in onions and tomatoes, served with attiéké, or kedjenou, a chicken dish made with vegetables and a mild sauce. One of the tastiest street-vended foods is aloko, which is ripe banana in palm oil, spiced with steamed onions and chili and eaten alone or with grilled fish. Bangui is a local palm wine.
The traditional music style of many of the ethnic groups of the Côte d’Ivoire is characterized by a series of rhythms and melodies that occur simultaneously, without one dominating the other. Music is used in many aspects of the culture; The Dan celebrates Rice, Death, Marriage, Birth, and Weather all with music.
Instruments include the Talking drum, djembe, Kpalogo, Shekere (Youroo), Akombe, and Cleavers, and are typically made with local materials, such as gourds, animal skins, and horns. In the past, music has been the main forte of one social group, the griot (village entertainers).
The Côte d’Ivoire’s Alpha Blondy, the world famous reggae artist, is probably the country’s best known singer, though his music isn’t necessarily representative.
Masks are a prevalent art form in the Côte d’Ivoire. The variety and intricacy of masks created by the people of the Côte d’Ivoire is rivaled by none. Masks have many purposes; they are used mostly for representative reason; they can symbolize lesser deities, the souls of the deceased and even caricatures of animals.
They are considered sacred and very dangerous; as such, only certain powerful individuals and families are permitted to own them, and only specially trained individuals may wear the masks. It is dangerous for others to wear ceremonial masks because each mask has a soul, or life force, and when a person's face comes in contact with the inside of the mask that person is transformed into the entity the mask represents.
The Baoulé, the Dan (or Yacouba) and the Senoufo are all known for their wooden carvings.
Côte d'Ivoire is a juxtaposition of the urban and rural. Its cities, particularly the fashionable Abidjan, are replete with modern office buildings, condominiums, European-style boutiques, and trendy French restaurants. They stand in sharp contrast to the country's many villages—accessed mainly by dirt roads—whose architecture is comprised of huts and simple abodes reminiscent of an ancient time. While the cities are described as crowded urban enclaves with traffic jams, high crime rates, an abundance of street children, and a dichotomy of rich and poor, the villages are filled with farmers tending their fields, native dress, homemade pottery, and traditional tribal rituals. Most traditional village homes are made of mud and straw bricks, with roofs of thatched straw or corrugated metal. The Baoule live in rectangular structures, while the Senufo compounds are set up in a circle around a courtyard. High fences surround many Malinke village of mud-brick homes with cone-shaped straw thatched roofs. The artistic Dan paint murals with white and red clay onto their mud-brick homes.
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Parc National de Tai
Tai National Park is one of the last remaining areas of virgin rainforest in West Africa. Trees grow over 50 m (165ft) high, with massive trunks and huge supporting roots. The towering trees, hanging lianas, swift streams and resident wildlife combine to create a peaceful and enchanting environment. The park is in a very rainy and humid area, so the best time to visit is during the dry spell from December to February. A permit from the Ministere des Eaux et Forests in Abidjan is required and strictly enforced. This however is just the first obstacle as getting to the park is not exactly easy.
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Yamoussoukro is a bizarre, lively city where deserted eight lane highways lined with over 10,000 lights have avenues that end in the jungle and a full scale replica of St Peter’s in Rome stands surrounded by lush jungle. There is no other city like it in Africa.
Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix
Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s vanity project symbolizes the tragedy of Ivorian history. It was the world’s largest Christian place of worship when it was built. it was modeled on Rome’s St Peter’s, although the dome is slightly shorter due to a papal intervention and of course it cost a fortune.
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Fading colonial glory and long stretches of beach lined with hotels and seafood restaurants are the main attractions at this popular getaway. On the weekends visitors used to pack the hotels and beaches but now most expatriates seeks sun elsewhere.
| Year || Amount |
| 2004 || 583, 821 |
OIC Tourism Directory