How Safe Is Ivory Coast for Travel?

Ivory Coast
Safety Index:
37

Côte d’Ivoire, also usually known as Ivory Coast is a country located in West Africa with its south-facing the North Atlantic Ocean coast.

It shares its borders with Ghana to the east, Liberia to the west, Guinea to the northwest, Mali to the north, and Burkina Faso to the northeast.

Ivory Coast is the place to visit if you want to experience really West African villages, beaches, and take amazing photos of African nature in its safaris.

Another feature this country offers is the gorgeous ‘Mount Nienokoue’ that you can climb if you’re more of a nature lover.

The 230 meters of trekking will be worth it after you see what it has to offer: it consists mostly of unexploited forests and exotic animals, and you can expect a plethora of breathtaking views along the way.

If you want to mingle with the folks, visit Tanu Sakkasu near Bouake and see how the black pottery is traditionally made or visit the Wananiere Village des Tisserands near Korhogo and learn how the traditional cloth is made.

Warnings & Dangers in Ivory Coast

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Generally speaking, safety in Ivory Coast is not one of a high level. There is petty crime, violent crime, political differences, and you should generally be very careful when traveling to this country.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

Transportation is definitely not safe in Côte d'Ivoire. If you plan on traveling by bus, you should know that car and bus-jackings are common and checkpoints and roadblocks may be encountered. Tourists are highly advised against traveling to the Dix-Huit Montagnes and Moyen-Cavally regions of western Côte d'Ivoire, bordering Liberia as there have been reports of banditry and carjacking.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpockets are generally an issue in this country, especially if you’re an obvious tourist. Travelers are targeted, particularly on public transportation and in crowded places. Be careful and keep your valuables in your accommodation. Refrain from flashing your belongings in public.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to natural disasters, heavy flooding has been known to affect this country, and additional problems that can cause more problems are the facts that Ivory Coast has no natural harbors.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

There is a real threat of being mugged or robbed on the streets of Ivory Coast. Be especially careful when crossing the De Gaulle and Houphouet-Boigny bridges in Abidjan as pedestrians have been attacked and robbed in the past, even during the day. Keep in mind that the risk of being targeted increases at night throughout Abidjan. Armed robberies of hotels and restaurants are also common.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Côte d’Ivoire, and the main danger comes from AQ-M and its associated groups that are persistent in their intent to increase their influence across the region.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Like in any country throughout Africa, there is a heightened risk of being scammed. There are a number of scams performed on tourists, and the locals might use tricks to trick you in order to get money from you. Double-check everything, and negotiate everything in advance.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

Ivory Coast isn't the safest of countries for solo females. Apply basic precaution measures - avoid wearing purses and do not walk alone or roam around deserted or poorly lit streets and areas. Women are advised against going to beaches alone or entering buses without someone to accompany them.

So... How Safe Is Ivory Coast Really?

Ivory Coast is not among the safest countries in the world, or in Africa for that matter.

West Africa is generally not for the fainthearted, as every country in this region has its share of political instability, violence, terrorism, and poverty.

Ivory Coast is no exception to this rule.

After the presidential elections in 2010, the safety situation has been unpredictable, to put it mildly.

The violence erupted and had hundreds of deaths and millions of people displaced as a consequence.

The situation improved after President Alassane Ouattara was sworn in May 2011 and former President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested.

The security situation in the commercial capital, Abidjan, is slowly improving and things are starting to go back to normal, but the atmosphere is still tense and tourists are highly advised against going anywhere at night.

Regularly monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

Another issue to be aware of is carjacking and it is useful to keep this in mind as carjackers tend to attack at stoplights.

Never stop completely at a stop sign or traffic lights, always keep a brisk pace so they cannot carjack you.

The good thing about Ivory Coast is that the locals will usually notice the dangers threatening naïve travelers, and be very protective of them or come to their aid.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Many countries do need a visa in order to enter Ivory Coast. However, it is possible to apply for a visa online. After registering and paying online, the visa can be acquired on arrival at Abidjan airport. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past the date of your arrival at Ivory Coast. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - West African CFA franc is the official currency in Ivory Coast. ATMs are available in the bigger cities but always have a cash stash. Credit cards are accepted only in top-end establishments.
  • Weather - Côte d'Ivoire has a tropical climate along its coast, and semiarid climate in far north. There are three seasons in this country - a warm and dry season that lasts from November to March, hot and dry season that lasts from March to May, hot and wet season from June to October. Due to the fact that the coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors, torrential flooding is highly probable during the rainy season.
  • Airports - Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport also referred to as Port Bouët Airport is the largest airport in Ivory Coast for air traffic. It is located 16 km southeast of Abidjan.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Côte d'Ivoire, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Ivory Coast Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 27° C
Feb 28° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 28° C
May 27° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 25° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 26° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 27° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
313131313029272727293030
Low
°C
232425252423232222232424
High
°F
888888888684818181848686
Low
°F
737577777573737272737575

Where to Next?

23 Reviews on Ivory Coast

  1. SAFE

    I live in Ivory Coast and the city is a safe place, just stay in the capital and get a trustworthy guide.

    1. How easy!
      1) “Just stay in the capital”? What is the point of going to Africa and lock myself up in the capital? It is the pretty much the same buildings, cars, people and African food I find in New York!
      2) How and where do I find that “trustworthy guide” ? How much does he cost?

      1. S
        Stan from Vancouver Canada says:

        "Trustworthy guide"

        “Trustworthy guide”. Get a recommendation from a local hotel or go to a police station and hire an off-duty or retired officer. I rarely negotiate the price and pay what they ask for, however I also pay for all the gas separately and buy them whatever they want for their family. (within reason). I pay half up front and leave the other half with concierge or at the police station. From their perspective, we are viewed as just another rich tourist who doesn’t know much about their culture, history or culture so I go fully informed and talk with them knowledgably so that we can develop a friendship. Have made friends around the world by doing it this way.

    2. S
      Stan from Vancouver. says:

      Reply to Like

      Agreed. Need someone to speak French, Agni or Twi too. Get a recommendation from a hotel or local police station on who to have a a guide. Always post who you are with and where you are going before you leave.

  2. M
    Michael Breward says:

    WTF

    A real **** hole third world country. Seriously, if you enjoy taking non stop anti malarial drugs and smelling sewage all fu***** day even while you eat, go for it. The people are the nicest you will meet anywhere and their hospitality as well. Ivory Coast has some beautiful scenery further north towards Man and even Yamoussoukro. It struck me strange that even while people live in absolute squalor, they still have cellphones… WTF??? I guess it’s better to be seen as having money as opposed to actually FIXING YOUR COUNTRY!!!! With all the natural resources in the world at your disposal, they still can’t put 2 and 2 together… I digress, if you want to find out what it’s like to live in a country where time stands still and “progress” is of no concern, go!!

    1. D
      Dr.David Kingston Snr says:

      Safety is personal responsibility

      Can I be honest with you? You spoke from a very biased and gross ignominy. If you can’t say something good about a country or somebody you better shut up and don’t come to a public place like this where sound minds and responsible people are to exhibit your folly and ignorance. Ivory Coast is a developing country has its share of challenges which country on earth is 100% good you will see worse than this in the streets of London or New York it’s normal so that come here and make a silly statement to discredit and sleight on the reputation this great nation.

      1. S
        Stan from Vancouver, Canada says:

        Reply to Dr. Kingston

        I agree completely with your comments.

    2. Gee…I wonder who you voted for in 2016…

    3. A
      Anonymous says:

      Thank you for the truth.

    4. Are you sure you ever visited this country? Typical views of a colonial mind. And for this article to say the country is unsafe is another lie!

    5. S
      Stan from Vancouver, Canada says:

      Reply to Michael Breward

      I agree with some of what you say. Countries like Cote d’Ivoire cannot afford to lay cable so cell phones are the only option. Same in Jamaica and most other places I have travelled. True: nicest people, very hospitable and genuine. The French still own and control most of the businesses, real estate and resources. The local Africans are still being economically colonized by the French so they don’t have a fair chance at improving their country. I loved it there and will go back again.

  3. A
    Anonymous says:

    Amazing Country

    Ivory Coast is a safe country and an amazing place to visit! I don’t understand this review at all. So many people go out and play football without worrying about their safety or if anything is going to go wrong! I advise you strongly to go to Ivory Coast. It’s an amazing country with amazing people who do amazing things! The food is spectacular and the culture is wide and you learn a lot! So please before you rethink visiting Ivory Coast, ask an Ivorian person who´s been to Ivory Coast or even lives there first.

    1. S
      Stan from Vancouver, Canada says:

      Cote d'Ivoire is incredible.

      Agreed. I loved my 17 days there. Made friends for life. Will go back again. Hopefully Xmas 2020.

  4. O
    Oluiji Kate ishioma says:

    For me ivory coast is a nice country I have been living save and they are friendly also
    Is only their money that is too low

  5. e
    emmanuel says:

    this article is really a bullshit better shut up when you don’t know about a country

  6. A
    Anonymous says:

    Can white people travel here?

    1. S
      Stan from Vancouver, Canada. says:

      White people traveling to Cote d'Ivoire.

      I am 100% white. No problem in Cote d’Ivoire. I posted a long comment about my experiences there on this page. Get all your vaccinations, start off in Abidjan, hire a recommended guide and only take taxis if the person speaks English (unless you are fluent in French). Get price written down on paper (take a pad and pencil with you). Never had a problem there. I have been robbed by taxis in Tel Aviv, New York, New Jersey, Cayman Islands, Jamaica .. but Abidjan was completely fine.

  7. Very Nice If You Wanna Be Safe Go To Ivory Coast

    If You Wanna Be Safe Go To Ivory Coast Because Ivory Coast Is Very Safe For Travelers

  8. C
    Cy Edwin says:

    I am from the USA and visited Abidjan in 2018. I traveled their by myself and didn’t know anybody there and I can definitely tell you this, I had one of the best times of my life there. I never had one single problem, I was treated very nice most people were very friendly. I traveled throughout the city got to personally know a few residents there, stayed out many late nights and never had a single problem. I spent my Christmas and New Years there which was very nice. Whoever is spreading all those lies about getting mugged and robbed and all these negative things apparently have never been too Abidjan. I traveled my cab the majority of the time put I also spent a great deal of time walking the local neighborhoods. You need to stop giving this place such a bad name. The crime is much worse in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and many other cities in the USA where people are murdered and robbed everyday.

    1. S
      Stan from Vancouver, Canada says:

      Reply to Cy Edwin

      I am a white Canadian and had a similar amazing time. I agree with all your comments. Cote d’Ivoire is amazing! Loved it and will go back. Downtown Miami, Kingston Jamaica and parts of New Jersey are much more dangerous than Abidjan.

  9. S
    Stan from Vancouver, Canada says:

    I am a white Canadian who has travelled the world for decades. Life is not risk free, no matter where you live or travel to. Everyone should check out Cote d’Ivoire. Beautiful kind people for the most part. Everyone was incredibly gentle, genuine and respectful. I loved it there and will go back. I mostly travelled around Abidjan but also hired a local taxi and even turned out to the wilderness area and beaches far away (2 hours?). The people are relaxed and I never once felt threatened. There is extreme poverty though and it is hard to see how people have to work so hard just to survive. The French are de facto overlords and own most of the prime real estate and businesses. The locals tolerate them because the French have a military presence there that deter Muslim jihadist attacks. The only problem I had was shopping one time for native fabric in a sketchy area in one of the poorer neighborhoods. I was approached by drugged out five men who swarmed my cab when I arrived. I made eye contact with their leader, stared him down when he challenged me in French. I always have my trusty short walking stick when I travel, even in Vancouver. A local shopkeeper came out and intervened. I have no problem with violence and very little intimidates me so 5 on 1 is almost a fair fight. I enjoyed visiting the local shops where people actually make things by hand. No cheap shoddily made Chinese crap. I bought a suitcase full of hand made goods .. purses, carved animals, fabric, … I made friends for life there. I also gave a few hundred to three young entrepreneurs to support their new business. I flew on Air France from Paris. Important: have all your vaccinations completed and keep records with you (Yellow Fever, malaria, etc.). You can buy almost everything you need there so no need to worry about medicines or Pharma items. Recommendation: if you feel nervous about traveling around then hire an off-duty or retired policeman to take you around. I have done this many times and it has always worked out perfectly. I did this in Thailand and Jamaica. Both times it saved me huge grief. A local policeman knows the rules and can get you through roadblocks or others who want to extort or pressure you for money. I was there when it rained heavily, and then followed by mosquitos who feasted on every body part that wasn’t protected with clothing or bug spray. The French pastries were delicious. Local fish was too. Similar to swordfish, not delicate sea bass. I did not go to any nightclubs but I heard they can be a bit dangerous (drugged and robbed). My next trip will include Ghana and Nigeria. It is such a great, wonderful and exciting world. We are all lucky to be able to travel and experience so many different cultures, taste new foods, see new places.

    1. L
      Lynda lyn says:

      Waw. I must say am so impressed with your write up cause am actually planning on visiting the country soon. All thank to you guys for the review. I love them 😍💕❤️

Rated 3.96 / 5 based on 23 user reviews.

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