Top Ten Ivory Coast Attractions

Top Ten Ivory Coast Attractions

       The Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is a country in West Africa, bordered by Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso Ghana and the Gulf of Guinea. The country’s population was estimated to be 20,617,068 (2009). Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Côte d’Ivoire was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire and Baoulé. There were two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and after Côte d’Ivoire’s independence. An 1843–1844 treaty made Côte d’Ivoirea “protectorate” of France and in 1893, it became a French colony as part of the European scramble for Africa. Côte d’Ivoire became independent on August 7, 1960. From 1960 to 1993, the country was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbors, while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny’s rule, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced one coup d’état, in 1999, and a civil war, which broke out in 2002. A political agreement was eventually reached between the government and the rebels, which returned the country to peace. Côte d’Ivoire is a republic with a strong executive power invested in the President. Its de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and the biggest city is the port city of Abidjan. The country is divided into 19 regions and 81 departments. The official language is French, although many of the local languages are widely used, including Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, Anyin and Cebaara Senufo. The main religions are Islam, Christianity (primarily Roman Catholic) and various indigenous religions. Through production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse during the 1960’s and 1970’s in West Africa. However, Côte d’Ivoire went through an economic crisis in the 1980’s, leading to a period of political and social turmoil. The 21st century Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant.

  1. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

    Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site in both Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. A further extension of the reserve to include areas in Liberia hastreahs also been proposed. The park includes significant portions of Mount Nimba, a geographically unique area with more than 200 endemic species. These species include multiple types of duikers, big cats, civets, Chimpanzees and several types of viviparous toads. The nearest major settlements are the town Yekepa to the west in Liberia and Bossou in Guinea.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top Ten Guinean Attractions,,
  2. Abidjan

    Abidjan is the economic and former official capital of Côte d’Ivoire, while the current capital is Yamoussoukro. As of 2011, it was the largest city in the nation and the 3rd largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa. It has, according to estimates a population 5,068,858 (2006) in the metropolitan area and 3,796,677 in the municipality. Only Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, has a larger number of inhabitants in this region. Considered a cultural hub of West Africa, Abidjan is characterized by a high level of industrialization and urbanization. The city stands in Ébrié Lagoon, on several converging peninsulas and islands, connected by bridges. The city grew after the construction of a new wharf in 1931 and its designation as the capital of the then French colony in 1933. The completion of the Vridi Canal in 1951 enabled it to become an important sea port. In 1983, Yamoussoukro was designated as the nation’s capital, but most government offices and foreign embassies are still in Abidjan.
  3. Yamoussoukro

    The District of Yamoussoukro is the official political capital and administrative capital city of Côte d’Ivoire with an estimated population of 242,744 (2010). It is located 240 km (150 mi) north-west of Abidjan, the administrative center on the coast, upon rolling hills and plains, the municipality covers 3,500 square km (1,400 square mi). The department and municipality are split into four sub-prefectures: Attiégouakro, Didiévi, Tié-diékro and the Commune of Yamoussoukro. In total, the district contains 169 settlements. It is the 4th most populous city in Côte d’Ivoire, after Abidjan, Bouaké and Daloa. Yamoussoukro is actually pronounced “Yam-So-Kro” by Ivorians.
  4. Comoé National Park

    Comoé National Park is a national park in north eastern Côte d’Ivoire, located in the Ivoirian Zanzan Region between the towns of Kong to the west and Bouna to the east of the park. It is just west of the Black Volta that forms the border between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. The park has a diversity of plant life present around the Comoé River, including pristine patches of tropical rain forest that are usually only found further south. As a well-eroded plain between two large rivers, the land in the area is home to soils and a moisture regime suitable to a richer biodiversity than surrounding areas. In 2003 it was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to poaching, over-grazing of the park by cattle and absence of management. The floodplains around the River Comoé in Comoé National Park create seasonal grasslands that are the feeding grounds of a population of Hippopotamus amphibius. In addition, all three extant species of African crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, Mecistpos cataphractus, and Osteolaemus tetraspis, call parts of the park home. Numerous migratory birds also use the seasonal wetlands.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks,,
  5. Taï National Park

    Taï National Park is a national park in Côte d’Ivoire containing one of the last areas of primary rainforest in West Africa. Five mammal species of the Taï National Park are on the red list of threatened species: Pygmy Hippopotamus, Olive Colobus monkeys, Leopards, Chimpanzees and Jentink’s Duiker. Taï National Park is approximately 100 km from the Ivoirian coast on the border with Liberia between the Cavally and Sassandra Rivers. It covers an area of 3,300 km² with a 200 km² buffer zone up to 396 m. The Tai Forest reserve was created in 1926 and promoted to National Park status in 1972. The Tai Forest is a natural reservoir of the Ebola virus. The World Health Organization has expressed concern over the proximity of this reservoir to the International Airport at Abidjan.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks,,
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