On a stopover or simply passing, Abidjan can let you discover the time of a weekend. A day in the hustle and bustle of the capital and a day in its quiet spots will give you a good overview of the city.
Start by immersing yourself in the frenetic excitement of the city with a visit to the Plateau, a bustling business district and the historic heart of Abidjan. In the afternoon, we head for the markets: the CAVA (Centre artisanal de la ville d'Abidjan), the Cocody market or the large Belleville market in Treichville. In the evening, a short walk to Ambroise or rue des Mille-Maquis is a must
Direction the Plateau, with a breakfast to start in the hushed lounges of the Pullman, which offer a breathtaking view of the lagoon boulevard and Cocody Bay. Or, a coffee on the terrace of Hôtel Ivoire, from where you will have a beautiful view of the skyline of the Plateau. Then, on the way to the Banco - and provided you are accompanied, you can stop at Adjamé's black market, before going to soak up the calm in this beautiful national park. For a trendy evening in the direction of the city's lounge bars and gourmet restaurants.
At the entrance to the city, with its straw huts on either side of the tar, you will find the largest artisanal market in West Africa. After having taken a look at the old colonial buildings in the France district, head for the beach and its host of hotel restaurants, without forgetting the canoe rides on the lagoon and finally Bassam by night.
In Assinie, 60 km further east, idleness on the long sandy beaches or water sports (fishing, skiing, buoys, wake-board or Flyboard). Possibility also to make excursions in pinasse or 4x4 to discover the surroundings.
With its lush hinterland, colonial remains and hilly escapades, it is probably one of the country's most authentic stopovers. Besides walking, you can also undertake a variety of excursions in 4 x 4 to search for the surrounding sandy beaches. You can also practise different water sports.
A must see: the mouth of the San Pedro river, behind the wooded park, a superb corner of still wild and preserved nature. On your left, the coastline, extending for miles with the beach of Monogaga in the distance, lost in the sea mists. To the right is a brown sand cove topped by a mountain covered with primary forest. A real beautiful emotion.
Ta National Park is a unique nature reserve with more than 300,000 hectares of dense rainforest. The park contains 140 species of mammals, 234 species of birds, 56 species of amphibians and 42 species of reptiles. The different species of fish, insects and other invertebrates are still poorly known.
If there was only one reason to come to Man, it could be the beautiful waterfall of Ypou on the way to Mount Tonkoui. An enchanting place. The path gradually rises above the basin where Man lies. The gorge is reached by a stone staircase that leads into the semi-darkness of a forest. The open-air cave is adorned with a pretty vine bridge. The bravest can also attack Mount Tonkoui (1,293 m).
The main attraction of the city, the market is open from 7am. Weavers' stalls, food from the surrounding villages, stainless steel utensils and tools made by blacksmiths, poultry corner or plant market, it's quite impressive You can also go to the edge of the sacred monkey forest (forbidden to foreigners) to try to see the monkeys.
This day will be devoted to the road to Korhogo, located nearly 400 km away. As we move forward, the relief flattens out, dotted with wooded savannah. And in fact, going up "to the Great North" is for many people, to go and meet the true Africa, imbued with the supernatural and the mystical.
Apprehend this city confusing and go to the meeting of its artisans, especially the painters on the canvas of the artisan center. Then you can go to the market and, at the end of the day, the rapid ascent of Mount Korhogo offers a superb view of the city and the hill alignments.
Comoé National Park is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is the savannah of children's stories. There are elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, birds of all kinds, etc.
A long road then awaits you to the fascinating Yamoussoukro. After a good night's rest, you will be able to explore the birthplace of the late Felix Houphouët-Boigny.
The basilica deserves a few hours. Besides that there are also the large schools, the lake to the sacred cayman, the Foundation for Peace, the Barrage dam... Some nice restaurants await you to spend the evening.
You can take the afternoon to stroll through the damaged streets of Bingerville, visit Normandia Farm, the Botanical Garden (or rather what remains of it), the former Governor's Palace, the Combes Museum, the flower plantations..
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette