National currency: 1 CFA (C ommunauté F inancière d ‘ A frique) franc corresponds to 100 centimes.
Currency abbreviation: CFA Fr, XOF – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes are in circulation with a value of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 CFA Fr. Coins are available in nominal amounts of 500, 250, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 CFA Fr.
The CFA Franc (XOF) is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO, State Bank of the West African States) and used by the 8 members of the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The CFA Franc (XAF) issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, State Bank of the Central African States) is not a legal tender in the Ivory Coast. The CFA franc is pegged to the euro at a fixed exchange rate.
Currency exchange: Currency can be exchanged at the airport, in banks and hotels, the best rates can be found in Abidjan. Euros are often exchanged in shops and hotels without exchange fees at the fixed exchange rate specified above. There are no banks in the parts of the country controlled by the rebels.
Exchange rate CFA Franc:
Currency converter at OANDA
Credit Cards: are rarely accepted. There is also a growing abuse and error rate.
ATMs: only available in Abidjan, Yamoussoukro and San Pedro, Visa cards are accepted.
Traveler’s checks: Should be issued in euros or US dollars and are only exchanged in hotels, restaurants and a few shops. The original purchase receipt is often required.
Foreign exchange regulations: Unlimited import and export of the local currency. The import and export of foreign currencies is subject to declaration.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sat 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Health and Diseases
Vaccination protection: According to the WHO, Ivory Coast is a yellow fever infection area. A valid vaccination against yellow fever (up to 10 days old upon entry) is mandatory for all travelers, exception: children under one year.
The Federal Foreign Office’s health service also recommends vaccination protection against tetanus, diphtheria, especially poliomyelitis (poliomyelitis) and hepatitis A, and for long-term stays over 4 weeks, additional hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis (including type A and W).
The standard vaccinations for children according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute should be up to date.
Yellow fever: In recent years, between 30 and almost 300 cases of yellow fever have been confirmed each year.
Malaria: Malaria is one of the most important diseases in the Ivory Coast in terms of both disease rate and mortality. The transmission takes place through the bite of blood-sucking, nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes. If left untreated, especially dangerous malaria tropica (> 80% of cases in the Ivory Coast!) Is often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay. If fever occurs during this time, it is necessary to inform the attending doctor about staying in a malaria area.
There is a high risk of malaria across the country, only in the north with little seasonal variation. Chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is recommended. For malaria prophylaxis, various medications (e.g., Malarone®, Doxycyclin, Lariam®) that are available in Germany are only partially available in local pharmacies. It is recommended to take a sufficient supply with you. The choice of medication and its personal adjustment as well as side effects or incompatibilities with other medications should be discussed with a tropical medicine / travel medicine before taking it.
Due to the mosquito-borne risk of infection, all travelers are advised to
- Wear body-covering clothing (long pants, long shirts),
- Repeatedly apply insect repellant to all free parts of the body all day (dengue, see below) and in the evening and at night (malaria!)
- to sleep under a mosquito net if necessary
HIV / AIDS: 750,000 cases of HIV / AIDS infections are reported for Ivory Coast in 2005. In 2005, 7.1% of the adult population and approximately 44% of prostitutes were HIV positive. Through heterosexual and homosexual contacts, drug use (dirty syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions there is always a high risk. Condom use is always recommended, especially on the occasion of acquaintances.
Diarrhea and cholera: Appropriate food and drinking water hygiene can prevent most diarrhea and especially cholera.
Some basic rules:
Only drink water of safe origin, e.g. bottled water, never tap water. In case of emergency, use filtered, disinfected or boiled water. Use only drinking water for washing dishes and brushing your teeth. The following applies to food: cooking, peeling or disinfecting. Be sure to keep flies away from your food. Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always after using the toilet and always before preparing food and before eating. Hand disinfection, where appropriate, use disposable towels.
Other infectious diseases:
Meningococcal meningitis: The north of Ivory Coast is regularly hit by epidemics of meningococcal meningitis (meningitis) during the dry season from December to April, with several hundred reported cases per year in recent years. The meningococcal vaccination is also recommended during the meningitis season for travelers with a stay of less than 4 weeks. Care should be taken to use a combination vaccine against the four meningococcal types ACWY.
Dengue fever occurs in the Ivory Coast. Dengue is transmitted by the diurnal mosquito Stegomyia aegypti. It cannot be differentiated from malaria based on symptoms alone. In individual cases, serious health problems can result in death. Mosquito repellent is the only precautionary measure.
Schistosomiasis (schistosomiasis):The risk of transmission of this worm infection exists when bathing in fresh water throughout the country. Bathing in open fresh water should therefore always be avoided.
Avian flu: In April 2006, cases of classic avian influenza (highly pathogenic form of avian influenza, avian flu) occurred in Abidjan. Human diseases have not been demonstrated to date. Please note the information “Advice to travelers on bird flu” published by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection at www.bmelv.de.
Medical care in the country cannot be compared to Europe and is often technically, apparatusally and / or hygienically problematic. Abidjan, on the other hand, is still the medical reference center for West Africa, despite the fact that specialists are relocating, even if the standard is falling, especially in public hospitals. French-speaking specialists in almost all specialties are available. German-speaking specialists are not known.
Simple – moderate operations can be performed in Abidjan, in selected hospitals. Nevertheless, Germany should be preferred for predictable operations. In the event of an emergency, several private clinics in Abidjan can be considered.
It is not necessary to bring medication with you, except for a home pharmacy that is also common in Germany, unless individual persons are dependent on special medication. The pharmacies in the Ivory Coast have a good assortment of all important standard medicines, often of French origin. Counterfeit medicines with unsafe content cannot be excluded.
Tourists who come to the Ivory Coast should take out additional travel health insurance beforehand. People who want to stay in the Ivory Coast for a longer period should have private health insurance that covers treatment costs in the Ivory Coast, but also in Germany. It is recommended that you take out air rescue insurance from an air rescue organization.
Before you travel to Cote d’Ivoire, get advice from a tropical medicine advice center or a tropical doctor / travel doctor.
In addition to our general disclaimer, please note the following important note:
A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.
Various travel options
In the current security situation, it is not advisable to travel to the north of the Ivory Coast.
Airplane: Sophia Airlines connects Abidjan to San Pedro.
Cars: Côte d’Ivoire had a well-developed road network for West African conditions with more than 5,600 km of paved roads, but this is declining more and more due to the political unrest, especially in the rainy season, it is becoming more difficult to get around the country. There are enough petrol stations (except in the north). Night driving by car or bus is not recommended. Police controls are common. Right-hand traffic prevails. Bus:Minibuses (Peugeots or Pickups) travel between larger cities and also into smaller ones that cannot be reached by the long-distance bus network. The better-equipped long-distance buses run between all larger towns. Both buses and minibuses leave when the last seat is occupied, minibuses usually go faster. Taxis are available in major cities in the Ivory Coast . Rental cars can be rented in Abidjan, at the international airport and in major cities. Documents: International driver’s license and a regional (West African) supplementary insurance. When entering with your own vehicle, a Carnet de Passage is required.
City traffic: SOTRA operates the (often crowded but cheap) buses and ferries in Abidjan. The taxis in the capital have a taximeter, but often have to be made aware of it and use it.
Beaches: The seaside resorts of Assouinde and Assinie are around 85 km east of Grand Bassam. The most beautiful beaches are in the west of the Ivory Coast, for example in the palm-lined Grand-Béréby, 50 km west of San Pedro and west of the Fanti fishing village Sassandra (Niega or Plage Niezeko, among others). The sandy beaches at the former capital, Grand-Bassam is mainly used by wealthier Ivory Coast residents and expats. The old colonial buildings with their large balconies and verandas, a museum (Musée National du Costume, a former governor’s palace) and the beach make the city interesting. The pile construction town of Tiagba is located southwest of Abidjan on a lagoon.
Bondoukouo, one of the oldest places in the country, is located in the northeast of the Ivory Coast.
In the west of the country, the city of Man (known as the city of 18 mountains) is located in a mountainous and forested region. The Guere and Yacouba peoples are famous throughout the country for their mask and stilts dances. In February, the fascinating mask festivals take place in the villages around Man. The most famous village is near Silacoro, 110 km from Man.
The La Cascade waterfalls, located about 5 km west of Man, are a popular destination (best times to visit between August and November, when the water is at its highest). Worthwhile mountain tours can be undertaken on Mount Tonkoui (1,223 m, second highest peak in the country) or to the steep rock of La Dent de Man. Worth a visit is the village of Biankouma, about 50 km north, with its traditional market.
Abidjan, not the capital but the unrestricted economic metropolis and largest city in the Ivory Coast, is dominated by the business district with high-rise buildings and commercial streets, the plateau. The city still shows a colonial flair and has long been called the “Paris of West Africa”. The older and “African” center of Abidjan is the Treichville district with many restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as a large Marché de Treichville. The art museum shows current works and exhibitions by artists from the Ivory Coast and other African countries.
Yamoussoukro has been the country’s political capital since 1983 and is located approximately 230 km north of Abidjan. The city is best known for its modern architecture, such as the palace of the former president and the mosque with its stylized minarets. Yamoussoukro is the birthplace of former President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He immortalized himself in 1989 with the Roman Catholic Notre Dame de la Paix cathedral. This structure was built within three years, was planned as a copy of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is considered the largest church in Christendom. With its huge dimensions, the cathedral seems out of place, especially in a country where Catholicism is a minority religion.
Korhogo, located about 500 km north of Abidjan, is the main city in the north. The city is the seat of the Senoufo people, whose famous wood carvings can be bought on the market. Other interesting cities include the former capital Bingerville and the second largest city in the country, Bouaké in the country center with the Grand Maché and the Cathédral St. Michel. For all trips to the north you need a laissez passer from the rebels of the New Forces.
National parks: Most national parks in the north are currently not accessible due to the security situation. The best known national parks are Parc du Banco (northwest of Abidjan with 3000 hectares of equatorial rainforest) and Abokouamékro (near Yamoussoukro). Comoé in the northeast cannot be visited at the moment, the park was a huge savannah in the past with lions, elephants, leopards, hippos and antelopes. The Taï National Park in the southwest protects one of the largest rainforest areas in western Africa. A highlight is the chimpanzee trekking offered here.