The city of Abidjan is the former capital of lush and tropic Ivory Coast and still its largest city. When thinking about Western Africa there are many countries to consider. Average tourists might consider such destinations beyond the norms of a trip, but as this city shows there is much to see and discover here.
In this part of the world one might not expect to find the well established scene of hotels tourism and the like, but in Western African large cities there is good infrastructure and it is growing at its own pace with the rest of the world.
Transit, getting in and hotels
Most flights into the county originate from Africa, The Middle East and Europe. Those coming from further away or looking for a good regular service should consider Turkish Airlines, which has many connections from further away. Taxis are the most reliable way to get around as the public bus services can be crowded and should only be used if one has a basic familiarity with the routes. Ferries to cross the lagoon are a good option for city transit.
The city of Abidjan is well known and loved for its scenery. The town has famous lagoons and the orientation of the city is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This makes water scenery and tourism a must. Boat rides are some of the best ways to see natural beauty up close and to explore more remote spots which are undisturbed and scenic. The city has a population of 4 million and as such it is considered one of the liveliest and most metropolitan areas in West Africa. The nightlife is acclaimed by many. The Cathedral of St. Paul and the national library are considered must see spots.
Museums and Culture
The Ivory Coast has a storng tradition of art and culture. The National Museum is home to the more traditional art forms while the museum of Contemporary Art has the most recent innovations in the changing art scene of the society. Both of these museums are located in the neighborhood known as Cocody. This is also an upper crust part of town with specialty shops, cafes and luxury items.
Getting out to Explore
If you’ve made it all the way to Ivory Coast chances are you will want to see some of the interior attractions outside of the beautiful urban sprawl. Just around 100km from the city lies the Assine Mafia Region. This is a top spot for tourists full of dazzling natural beauty. Here sea, sun and sand come together in a place full of recreation, water sports and relaxation. This is a cash only place and getting here is usually a combination of bus and taxi rides, other forms of transport may be recommended by Abidjan hotels. Bassam is considered the city’s number 1 beach and it is an old capital in the colonial style that is being restored to its former splendor. The 45 minute road journey can be taken in a taxis from the Gare de Bassam in Abidjan for around CFA 500. An alternative is a bus departing from Gare Routière d’Adjamé in Abidjan for about the same price.
City day trip
If you want to see the charms of nature even closer to Abidjan, you can observe one of the country’s best tropical forests just nearby. The UNESCO world heritage site called Parc National du Banco is full of plains, forests and abundant wildlife akin to a tropical rainforest or safari.
Title photo: “Lagunesebroko” by Ivoire8 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons http://tinyurl.com/qgysbnt