Ivory Coast Revealed

Ivory Coast Revealed

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 11 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 - Abidjan

Arrive in Abidjan and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar 

Day 2 - Abidjan to Bouake

This morning we explore Abidjan. Our tour will include the plateau and also a boat trip on the lagoon. We shall also visit the lively market at Treichville and the residential area of Cocody containing interesting colonial architecture. We will also visit the national museum which contains a fine collection reflecting the rich heritage of 62 ethnic groups. We shall also visit the new quarter of Youpugon for an interesting contrast. Before taking an internal flight to Bouake, we have a picnic lunch. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hotel Mon Afrik or similar (BLD)

Day 3 – Bouake – Kong (approx. 5 hours driving)

We spend the morning visiting villages of the Baulé people, known for their intricate handicrafts. We attend the dance of the Goli masks where a round-shaped ‘lunar’ Goli mask is sub-mounted by two horns. This afternoon we drive north, leaving the main road for a track taking us to Kong. You will notice a change in landscape as we enter sub-Saharan Sahel, a dry savannah with baobab trees. Overnight at Auberge de Kong or similar (BLD) 

Day 4 – Ferkessedougou – Korhogo (approx. 3 hours driving)

We drive to Ferkessedougou in northern Ivory Coast, and the largest city on the north/south road to the main border posts of Mali and Burkina Faso. Today the town is known for the local trading of Zebu. From Ferkessedougou we drive to a remote village to witness the old technique of iron melting carried out by blacksmiths, a very rare example of traditional iron metallurgy in Africa. This ‘tribal technology’ will bring us back to the first iron age in Africa. The iron ore comes from local mines and is milled manually. The traditional ‘adobe bellows furnace’ is loaded with layers of charcoal and ore then the fire is set. Fusion takes place overnight so we leave the furnace and travel to our hotel in Korhogo, dating back to the 13th Century and the capital of the Senoufo people. Overnight Hotel Olympe or similar (BLD)

Day 5 – Korhogo (approx. 2 hours driving)

This morning we return to the remote village to see the result of the fusion. The sealed base of the clay furnace will be broken to extract the iron bloom and the blacksmith will pound part of it. Afterwards, with the help of a bellows, they will heat the metal powder obtained until it melts in a crucible and pour it into a mould. The metal is later heated once again and hammered on the forge to the required shape, and then finally polished from imperfections and bumps. We have now seen the whole process of this ‘tribal technology’, once believed that this technique had disappeared for more than 80 years, up until the discovery of this remote village. We head back to Korhogo where we will visit the interesting craft market and we attend a Boloy, or panther dance, performed by initiated young men. Overnight at Hotel Olympe or similar (BLD) 

Day 6 – Korhogo – Boundiali (approx. 3 hours driving)

We visit the villages of the Senoufo people that still maintain today the secrets of their own handicraft production. In these villages we will admire the large clay granaries and the sacred houses with decorated bas-reliefs. We explore regions traversed constantly by herds of zebu guided by the unmistakable Fulani nomads searching for pastures. We will visit some local Fulani villages where we hope to be invited into some of the houses to experience their warm local hospitality. In the afternoon we attend the Ngoro dance, or the dance of the virgin girls, which is part of the Poro initiation performed by the Senoufo. Overnight Hotel Le Paysan or similar (BLD)

Day 7 – Boundiali – Odienne (approx. 5 hours driving)

This morning we travel to meet the Malinké ethnic group. Dressed in their traditional costume and with their shotguns covered with amulets, the hunters will accompany us on an excursion on foot into the savannah to give us a brief introduction to the power of plants. They will also accompany us to visit a Malinké village where to the rhythm of the tam-tam they will dance and demonstrate resistance to fire and knives. Overnight Hotel Les Frontieres or similar (BLD) 

Day 8 – Odienne – Man (approx. 5 hours driving)

Today is devoted to meeting the Yacuba, the people better known as the Dan. We will spend time visiting some of their villages built on hillsides, characterised by big round huts with thatched roofs. Later we will experience a traditional masks dance of the Dan. We then continue south. As Mount Tonkpi comes into view we will approach Man. Overnight Hotel Les Cascades or similar (BLD) 

Day 9 – Man – Danane – Man (approx. 6 hours driving)

This morning we journey out from Man to see the Liana Bridges. We then return to Man where you will have some leisure time where you can relax or explore some of the local craft shops. Later we will be able to enjoy dancing in a nearby village by the Guéré people. Overnight Hotel Les Cascades or similar (BLD)

Day 10 – Man – Yamoussoukro (approx. 6 hours driving)

Today we continue through rubber and coffee plantations and arrive into Yamoussoukro in the afternoon. Visit the Basilica of the Virgin of Peace which is a copy of that of St Peter’s in Rome. The marble and the stained glass that are characteristic of this church make it an excellent monument to the history of the country. Overnight Hotel Le President or similar (BLD) 

Day 11 – Yamoussoukro – Abidjan (approx. 5 hours driving)

This morning we drive to the Ebrié Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. We spend some time exploring Grand Bassam with its crumbling colonial architecture. This afternoon we transfer to Abidjan Airport for your flight home (BL)