Ivory Coast – Travel Guide

Facts to assist you when travelling to the Ivory Coast



  • Ivory Coast’s current population stands at 24 million.


Capital and Largest City

  • Yamoussoukro is the political and administrative capital of the Ivory Coast, while Abidjan is the country’s largest city and is considered its economic capital.


Official Language(s)

  • The official language of the Ivory Coast is French. African and Native languages spoken in this country include Yacouba, Senoufo, Baoule, Betie, Attie, Agni and Dioula.



  • The currency of Ivory Coast is the West African CFA Franc.


Office Hours

  • Office hours in Ivory Coast are Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm.



  • Weekends in Ivory Coast is held on Saturdays and Sundays.


Time Zone

  • Greenwich Mean Time. UTC.


Calling Code

  • +225.



  • The usual 10% is always a good tip. Ivoirians themselves are generally poor tippers, possibly because of the constant and chronic shortage of small change. But experience shows that leaving a modest tip is money well invested, as next time you visit the same establishment, you will get better service.



  • Ivory Coast hosts a total of 51 embassies, none of which are in the political capital of Yamoussoukro.



  • The ruling party in Ivory Coast is the Presidential Representative Democratic Republic.



  • The climate of Ivory Coast is generally warm and humid. Its climate ranges from equatorial in the southern coasts to tropical in the middle and semiarid in the far north. There are three seasons. The warm and dry season lasts from November to March, the hot and dry season lasts from March to May, while the hot and wet season lasts from June to October.



  • Ivory Coast’s main airport is the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport, located in Abidjan. Ivory Coast has two ports: the autonomous port of Abidjan, and the San-Pedro port.



  • The main industries for this country’s economy include foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, gold mining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, and electricity.



  • People in Ivory Coast enjoy finding common and light-hearted topics of conversation before moving on to other issues they discuss while getting to know each other better. Acquaintances can show their interests by inquiring about the other person’s extended family, village, and job situation throughout their friendship development process.



  • Greetings are an essential part of the Ivory Coast culture and are usually quite long and elaborate. Generally, the elderly are greeted first. When you meet someone for the first time, it is polite to shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Men tend to clasp hands while greeting, whereas women lightly touch one arm with the other.



  • The West African CFA franc is the currency used by eight independent states in West Africa which make up the West African Economic and Monetary Union. These countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The initialism CFA stands for Communauté Financière Africaine “African Financial Community.’’



  • Transport Infrastructures are much more developed than they are in other West African countries. The nation’s railway system is 1 260 km long and links the country to Burkina Faso and Niger. The Trans–West African Coastal Highway provides a paved link to Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, with paved highways to landlocked Mali and Burkina Faso feeding into the coastal highway.



  • Ivory Coast is a fairly safe country to travel to, but expats are advised to be alert for unpredicted petty crimes. The greatest risks one who is travelling here will have to take precaution of is terrorism, scams, natural disasters. Ivory Coast isn’t the safest of countries for females to explore by themselves. Women are advised against going to beaches alone or entering buses without someone to accompany them.



  • The culture of Ivory Coast is diverse, as many other countries in Africa. This country is bordered by Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, and is exemplified by a multitude of ethnic groups, events, festivals, music, and art. Ivory Coast is home to more than sixty indigenous ethnic groups, which may be further reduced to four major cultural regions.



  • There are a multitude of shopping malls and centres in Ivory Coast that resemble that of Western countries such as PlaYce-Marcory and Abidjan Mall. There are also a number of online stores in Ivory Coast, which are very convenient for expats who have not yet settled in.


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Written by Saudika Hendricks

Edited by Eloise Williams