Ivory Coast: the Gem of West Africa
Africa is still an alien continent for travellers. The prevalence of civil war, deadly viruses and diseases, high crime rate and much more dangers discourage those who plan to visit Africa from moving forward with their plan. In a sense, it is right. Most of the destinations in this continent are not friendly to the modern business of tourism due to various factors. But, it is unfair to generalise. The least known fact is that there are many locations in the continent which are extremely friendly to the highly profitable business of tourism. In this edition, such a tourist friendly nation in Africa is explored. It is none other than Ivory Coast, the Gem of West Africa.
This country is best known for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, impressive architecture, amazing music, admirable art, enviable culture and tasty cuisine. Thus, it is equally suitable for adventure tourists and others.
Ivory Coast is one among the very few African countries which possess a sound pre-colonial history.
Before the arrival of French colonials, the land was separately ruled by several kingdoms including the Kong Empire and Gyaaman. Some of those kingdoms continued to remain in its identity even during the colonial period and after the colonial era.
In the mid nineteenth century, the country became the protectorate of France. In the late nineteenth century, it was completely placed under the clutches of the colonial power by making it a colony in all sense.
It took nearly one hundred years for France, the, so called, the protector and propagator of the rights, to realise that they were denying the right to freedom to a section of people by subjecting the countries like Ivory Coast to the highly oppressive colonial rule.
The West African nation breathed its freedom in the year 1960. Under the leadership of its beloved leader, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, it formed a government in the same year itself. Gaining strength from its people’s confidence, it achieved some impressive successes in the economic, health, infrastructural development and education fronts.
Unfortunately, its happiness did not last long. Soon after the death of the beloved leader of the country, the things went out of control. Post the powerful leader’s demise, the country witnessed economic crisis, civil wars, coups and many more.
Till the year 2011, the country was under severe political and economical turbulence. Post that year, the things started coming back to the normal state.
Now, Ivory Coast is in the path of progress and stability. It has a powerful farming sector. It is the member of several international organisations such as the African Union and Economic Cooperation of West African States. It has a powerful military compared to other countries located in this part of the world. Unlike its part, it maintains good relation with its neighbours and foreign powers such as the US, France and Russia.
The country has a population of little more than two crores. Its total Gross Domestic Product in terms of its Purchase Power Parity is more than ninety-six thousand US dollars. It aims to gain huge progress in its sanitation, education, health and infrastructural fronts.
The country identifies that the new age business of tourism is the only way through which it can achieve the anticipated growth. Though the country’s tourism infrastructure is still week, the country always strives to make its attractions look like heavenly despite the limitations posed by the infrastructure and other facilities. It is the reason why the tourist locations in Ivory Coast stand out from those located in other countries in this part of the world.
Abidjan, Basilica of Old Lady of Peace, La Cascade Waterfall, Tai National Park, San Pedro are the prime attractions of Ivory Coast.
Vibrant life, music, art, night life, happiness, energy, beaches, museum, colourfulness and carefree world are the few thoughts that usually come into our mind when we think about a city. The aforementioned elements are exactly what Abidjan –The Paris of West Africa- offers. There are art museums, shopping malls, cultural houses, cafes, coffee shops, music clubs, night clubs, beaches, cathedrals and many more in this city. The National Art Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral are the most popular tourist attractions in this city.
The people of this country are very religious. Christian and Muslim are the two prominent religious in the country, though some traditional religions and Judaism are practiced by a small section of the country’s population. There are almost equals number of Muslims and Christians in the country; the total population of these two communities makes up to over seventy per cent of the total population of the country. It is to be noted that the country is the home to the world’s largest cathedral, the Basilica of Old Lady of Peace. The famous church is located in the city of Yamoussoukro. No traveller misses the chance to get the glimpses of this amazing church, when he/she visits this country.
There is no one in the world who hates waterfalls. If the La Cascade Waterfall of Ivory Coast attracts visitors, the aforesaid is the reason. This waterfall is located in the interior of a coffee plantation and is surrounded by bamboo forest. Actually, it is not only famous for its scenery, but for its experience.
No land is better known for forest, than Africa. This continent is blessed with the abundance of forest and wildlife. In fact, in the majority of the African countries, the human beings maintain a good relation with their environment, unlike those living in other parts of the world. The people in Ivory Coast is not different. A major portion of the country is covered by the tropical rainforest. The rainforest of this country is located between the rivers Cavalry and Sassandra. Most travellers, particularly adventure tourists, animal lovers and nature lovers, love this place, as it is the home to a large variety of plants and animals.
Finally, it is the time to talk about beaches. There is no happiness in exploring a land which has no beaches. In this terms also, this West African country is blessed. There are several spectacular beaches in this country. The city of San Pedro is known for its beaches. Most of these beaches offer adventure sports. Enjoy these sports or simply sit near the shore of any sea. Both are rejuvenating.
It is to be noted that those from outside Africa may not find this country’s cuisine interesting, so thoroughly go through the menu before ordering a dish. Another important thing is that the crime rate of this country is very high, though it is far less than the crime rate of other countries in this part of the world, so it is not safe to travel in this country without an experienced guide or a security personal. The most important thing is that it is one of the countries where the deadly disease Ebola originated and still its viruses live, so take all necessary medical precautions before going to this country.
Africa is an adorable continent. Don’t miss any chance to explore it. Book your ticket now itself!
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