The Republic of Ivory Coast was named after the former name of a section of the Upper Guinea coast that expressed what was hunted in the hinterland. There are still elephants in the country to this day, with a little luck the few can tourists who have been attracting the country so far, watch them in one of the eight national parks.
The Ivory Coast is only just beginning to be discovered by tourists. The lonely sandy beaches and bathing bays of the Atlantic coast, made of coconut palms, are uniquely beautiful and the diversity of the peoples and cultures casts a spell over every visitor.
Until the early 1980s, the country was a model country for stability and economic success in Africa, with per capita income in the Ivory Coast reaching one of the highest values on the continent in 1980. Exports of cocoa and coffee in particular ensured relative prosperity. The drop in prices for these raw materials, among other things, led to the economic crisis in Ivory Coast in the 1980s. There was political unrest in the 90s and since 2002 there have been bloody clashes between the north and south of the country.
The Ivory Coast is rich in literary treasures. Like many African regions, the Ivory Coast has an impressive variety of poetic traditions. Many of the stories and tales were not written down, but passed down orally. The extensive stories have only been written down since the 20th century, but only in French. It is surprising for many outsiders that the Ivory Coast has a very distinctive publishing landscape. Many authors from a wide variety of fields publish their works here.
In addition to the great literary tradition, there is also a lively theater and drama. Dramas are very popular. The theater is so important in the Ivory Coast because many illiterate people live here. So the theater and drama has a long tradition in the country and has a large pool of traditional plays that are performed again and again.
Area: 322,463 km² (land: 318,003 km², water: 4,460 km²).
Population: 21.5 million people (July 2011, COUNTRYAAH.COM). The population is made up of more than 60 different ethnic groups, which are divided into 7 groups. The Baule people make up around 23% of the total population. In the west of the country live the beets, which make up about 18%, and the Senufo, in the north Malinke and Fulbe, the Agni in the east and the Kru on the coast.
Population density: 66.7 people per square kilometer.
Population growth: 2.078% per year (2011, CIA).
Capital: Yamoussoukro (population 200,000).
Government seat : Abidjan (with suburbs about 5.0 million residents).
Here you will find a detailed list of the largest cities in the Ivory Coast.
Form of government: The Ivory Coast has been a presidential republic since 1960. The New Constitution dates from 2000. The Parliament (Assemblée Nationale) is made up of 225 members. The Ivory Coast has been independent of France since August 7, 1960.
Administrative division: 19 regions: Agneby, Bafing, Bas-Sassandra, Denguele, Dix-Huit Montagnes, Fromager, Haut-Sassandra, Lacs, Lagunes, Marahoue, Moyen-Cavally, Moyen-Comoe, N’zi-Comoe, Savanes, Sud- Bandama, Sud-Comoe, Vallee du Bandama, Worodougou and Zanzan.
Prime Minister: Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, since November 21, 2012
Head of state: President Allassane Ouattara, since December 4, 2010
Highest point: Mount Nimba, 1,752 m
Lowest point: Gulf of Guinea, 0 m
Language: The common language in the Ivory Coast is French, the first foreign language is English, the second Spanish. In addition there are about 60 different African languages, Dioula is the most common.
Religion: Muslims 35-40%, traditional religions 25-40%, Christians 20-30% (2001). The majority of the foreign workforce are Muslims (70%) and Christians (20%).
Local time: CET -1 h. In the Ivory Coast there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is -1 h in winter and -2 h in summer.
Telephone code: 00225 or +225
Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz.
The Ivory Coast (officially Côte d’Ivoire) is between 5 ° and 11 ° north latitude and 3 ° and 8 ° west longitude. The roughly square country with a side length of about 550 km borders Liberia and Guinea in the west, Mali and Burkina Faso in the north and Ghana in the east. The borders of the former French colony were drawn arbitrarily in 1893, ie they hardly take into account the settlement areas of African peoples and often cut them up. The country has a 600 km coastline on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is slightly smaller than Germany.
The state name indicates a former wealth of ivory, which the French colonial power exploited. Today elephants in the country are almost extinct.
For a long time, the poor accessibility of the coast prevented the formation of European bases.
Here you will find a detailed topographic map of the Ivory Coast.
The Ivory Coast is defined from south to north by the typical ecological zones in West Africa, which increase in aridity (dryness) to the north: coconut palms grow on the coast itself, and mangrove forests in the lagoon zone. On the average 200 m high coastal plain in the south of the country, first the tropical rainforest zone (mostly on red earth soils characteristic of the tropics) to the north, followed by a plateau of up to 500 m, the transition and finally the savanna zone: first the humid savannah, which finally extreme north of the country in dry savannah transforms. here, because of the drought, there are frequent soil incrustations.
The north of the country is also traversed by part of the Upper Guinea threshold. The hilly landscape gradually rises towards the savannah plains in the north and the mountainous western border. To the west or exactly on the border with Guinea is Mount Nimba, which is the highest mountain in both states at 1,752 m.
The Sassandra, Bandama, Comoé and Cavally rivers (border river to Liberia) flow south into the Atlantic, where they form numerous lagoons. The mouths of these rivers are impassable.
The western part of the 550 km long coast on the Gulf of Guinea has steep rocks, bays and capes. The eastern part (from Fresco, for example) consists of sandbars, lagoons and swamps with mangrove forests. This coastal strip has no natural access and is difficult to access.
The wildlife of the Ivory Coast corresponds to the life forms of the tropical rainforest and the savannah, but has been greatly reduced by humans.
Most of the country belongs geologically to the base of the African shield and consists mainly of Precambrian, very old rocks, granites, gneisses and critical slates. The deposits on the coast, however, are much younger.
Ivory Coast population
This map of the population distribution in Ivory Coast was created by the Worldmapper team. Densely populated areas appear bloated, the area of sparsely populated areas is reduced. The shape of the grid has been preserved; an underlying map with the original geographical extent helps interpret the map. The distorted map should help to present abstract statistical information clearly.
Passport: Generally required, must be valid for at least 6 months after the stay.
Visa: Generally required
Transit: Transit travelers who fly on the same plane or the next connection on the same day, can show valid documents for the onward journey and do not leave the airport do not need a visa.
Validity period: three months.
Application: personal appearance of the applicant at the Ivory Coast embassy in Berlin (see Ivory Coast – important addresses). It is currently not possible to apply for the Ivory Coast visa through placement agencies.
Documents: Tourist Visa: passport, must be valid for at least 6 months when applying – 2 completed, original visa applications (no copy or fax) – 2 original biometric passport photos (no scans) – travel booking confirmation – hotel reservation – fee.
Business Visa: additionally a company letter from the German company about the purpose and duration of the trip with a confirmation of the assumption of costs. A franked and addressed registered envelope and proof of payment should be attached to the application by post – invitation from the Ivory Coast
It is important that the signature on the visa documents corresponds to the signature in the passport.
Visa costs: € 110.00
Processing time: 3 to 7 days when issued at the embassy.
The visa can be extended in the Ivory Coast. The fees for this are currently CFA 20,000 (around EUR 30). Foreigners who want to stay in the country for more than three months must apply for a residence permit. The Embassy Abidjan provides information on the procedure on its website. The fee for issuing the residence permit is CFA 300,000 (around EUR 450).
Sufficient funds: Foreigners must have sufficient funds during their stay and be able to show proof of their accommodation.
Vaccinations: Upon entry, proof of a yellow fever vaccination that is no more than 10 days old is required. For more information on recommended vaccinations, see the Ivory Coast – Health chapter.
Entry with children:
Germany: Children need their own passport (children’s passport or electronic passport) to enter the Ivory Coast.
Austria: own passport for children.
Switzerland: own passport for children.
The same visa requirements apply to children as to their parents.
Minors traveling alone must be accompanied or picked up by the parents to the airport. There are no special formalities to be observed. A declaration of consent from the parent who is not present (with a certified signature) should be available as a precaution.