Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Revealed Tour

Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast Revealed – a 13 day Small Group Tour from £2895 per person.


For thirty years Ivory Coast was an exemplar among newly independent West African states. Stability, prosperity and ethnic cohesion reigned. And then, between 2002 and 2011, they didn’t.

However, calm has returned, a new president is in office, and the most recent elections were declared ‘free and fair’ by observers. The country’s continuing ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity is remarkable, as is the contrast between sophisticated city life and that of tribal areas. If West Africa can be conflated into one state, Ivory Coast is it. African, French-speaking, Islamic and Christian, a place for fantastic chicken yassa and also perfect steak frites.

Ancient and modern, rich and poor, efficient and chronically flawed, ugly and beautiful – 11-days are not nearly enough.

Travel with Undiscovered Destinations to a country with a recent troubled past but one which is now once again accessible to intrepid travellers who are looking to delve into the amazing diversity of West African culture.

On this small group tour we will explore the economic powerhouse of Abidjan before heading out to the west and north of Cote D’Ivoire to spend time with the different ethnic groups of this fascinating country such as the Dan and the Senoufo people amongst others.

During village visits we will witness colourful tribal festivals, rituals, initiations and mask dances.

This is a journey full or surprises to a land that can rightly be considered truly off the beaten track.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Busy

Tour style

Pioneer

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in Abidjan where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The evening is at leisure. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar. No guiding or meals are included today.

(Domestic flight)

In the morning transfer to the domestic airport for your internal flight to Bouake. On arrival, transfer to your hotel for a late lunch. Your boarding pass will be given in hand to you by your guide. Later on, we go on a short tour around the city. Overnight at Hotel Mon Afrik or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

This morning we visit villages of the Baulé people, known for their intricate handicrafts. Here, we witness the Goli mask dance, where participants wear round-shaped ‘lunar’ masks, surmounted by two horns, representing the spirit of the bush. In the afternoon we drive north, leaving the main road and taking a rough track to Kong, an ancient trading centre, once capital of the Kong Empire. Along the way the landscape changes as we enter sub-Saharan Sahel, a dry savannah with baobab trees. Overnight at Auberge de Kong or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: three hours)

Today, we drive to Ferkessedougou in northern Ivory Coast, the largest city on the north/south road leading to border crossings with Mali and Burkina Faso. The town is a regional centre for the trading of zebu cattle. From Ferkessedougou, we drive to a remote village to witness ancient iron smelting techniques performed by local blacksmiths. The process is a rare example of traditional iron metallurgy utilising ‘tribal technology’ methods unchanged since Africa’s first iron age. The iron ore comes from local mines and is milled manually. An adobe furnace is loaded with layers of charcoal, set alight and aerated by bellows. The firing lasts all night, so we leave the blacksmiths and travel to our hotel in Korhogo, a town that dates from the 13th century and is the capital for the Senoufo people. Overnight Hotel Olympe or similar basic accommodation. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: two hours)

This morning we return to the blacksmiths’ village. The sealed base of the clay furnace is broken to extract the iron bloom which is then pounded into a powder, poured into a crucible and melted in a bellows-driven forge. Liquid iron is transferred into moulds before being again heated in the forge, hammered and wrought into the desired shape. Afterwards we head back to Korhogo, visit the town’s craft market before attending a Boloy, or panther dance. The dance is performed by recently initiated young men who celebrating the end of a period of isolation in the sacred forest. Overnight at Hotel Olympe or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: three hours)

Today we explore the villages of the Senoufo people who closely guard secret techniques used in the production of their handicrafts. Elsewhere, we admire the village’s large clay granaries and ornate sacred houses decorated by bas-relief carvings. Continuing the journey, we explore a region traversed by Fulani nomads and their zebu herds in search of pastures. En route we visit some Fulani villages and hope to be invited into the houses where we’ll experience warm hospitality. Later in the afternoon we attend the spectacular Ngoro dance, the dance of the virgins, part of the Senoufo Poro women’s initiation ceremony. Overnight at Hotel Le Paysan or similar – the most basic hotel of the tour, with no better alternatives available in the area. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

In the morning we travel to meet people of the Malinké ethnic group. Dressed in traditional costume, carrying shotguns covered with amulets, hunters accompany us on foot into the savannah, offering a brief introduction to locally occurring medicinal plants. At a Malinké village the hunters put their guns down and dance to the rhythm of the tam-tam, proudly demonstrating their resistance to fire and knives. Don’t try this at home. Overnight Hotel Les Frontieres or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

Today is devoted to meeting the Yacuba people, perhaps better known as the Dan. We visit hillside villages characterised by large round huts with thatched roofs. Later, we experience a traditional Dan mask dance. As we journey south, Mount Tonkpi 1,123m, the highest peak in the mountains of Man, comes into view we will approach Man itself. Overnight Hotel Les Cascades or similar (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: six hours)

This morning we journey from Man to see nearby waterfalls and remarkable liana bridges. Afterwards there’s free time in Man to relax or explore local craft shops. Later, we’ll be able to enjoy dancing in a nearby village of the Guéré people. Overnight Hotel Les Cascades or similar. (BLD)

(full day driving including stops in the forest and time for the dances)

This morning we travel by 4×4 to discover a remote forest region where the arrival of foreigners is a rare event. We cross wooden bridges before reaching isolated settlements of the Guéré ethnic group, where we experience a Jongleurs performance, an ancient tradition that is now vanishing. Drumming will announce the start where initiated girls with their faces painted in white Kaolin perform a unique acrobatic dance. This afternoon we continue to Daloa. Overnight Hotel La Grace or similar (BLD) 

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the 5th August 2020 departure the schedule of days 11 and 12 will be adapted to fit with the events of the festival.

(approx. 5 hours driving including stop for dancing masks)

In the Daloa region we attend the dancing masks of the Guro People, known as Zaouli. The Zaouli was created in the 1950s, reportedly inspired by a girl names ‘Djela Lou Zaouli’. This afternoon we continue to Yamoussoukro. 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)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

After breakfast, depart to Abidjan. On arrival enter the town by the new quarter of Youpugon and visit the Plateau district and also cross the lagoon by boat for a view of the Plateau from a water’s perspective. We visit the lively market at Treichville as well as 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 then drive south towards the Ebrié Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. We spend the afternoon exploring Grand Bassam with its crumbling colonial architecture. The old post office is a jewel of French colonial architecture and we visit the Costume Museum, in the former governor’s palace, with its large outer staircase is a true architectural gem and its unique collection of tribal costumes, masks, ornaments and ethnographic photographs gives an interesting perception of the country history and culture. Overnight in Grand Bassam at the Hotel Afrikland or similar. (BLD)

We spend some more time exploring Grand Bassam and, later in the afternoon we transfer back to Abidjan. A room will be available for you to freshen up before your transfer to the airport and your onward flight. Please do not book a flight departing before 18:00 today. Day use at Hotel Onomo or similar. (BL)

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-04
    Start Saturday November 7, 2020
    End Thursday November 19, 2020
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,895.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 20-05
    Start Saturday December 26, 2020
    End Thursday January 7, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,995.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-01
    Start Wednesday January 20, 2021
    End Monday February 1, 2021
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-02
    Start Wednesday February 24, 2021
    End Monday March 8, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-03
    Start Wednesday March 31, 2021
    End Monday April 12, 2021
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-04
    Start Wednesday August 4, 2021
    End Monday August 16, 2021
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-05
    Start Wednesday November 3, 2021
    End Monday November 15, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-06
    Start Wednesday December 29, 2021
    End Monday January 10, 2022
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £3,199.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Ivory Coast Revealed (IVC) Single Supplement
    £ 430.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

This departure includes ‘Tchin-Dan’ Festival (Festival du Pagne). Days 11 and 12 will be adapted to fit the events of the festival.

Please note that this tour is operated and sold in conjunction with our local partner, and so you are likely be travelling with people of different nationalities and from companies other than Undiscovered Destinations. Depending on the mix of nationalities in the group, and the group size, the guiding may be conducted in English plus additional languages, and there may be more than one guide with the group.

The maximum group size on this tour is 16.

Single supplement from £430.

Please note that in the Ivory Coast we are unable to offer solo travellers the option of sharing with another traveller. Hotels in the Ivory Coast do not offer twin bedded rooms and some accommodation on the tour do not accept travellers of the same sex to share the same room. Therefore, couples sharing a room should expect double bedded accommodation, and we must ask all solo travellers to pay the applicable single room supplement. Should you have a specific request, then please contact us.

Flights from London to Abidjan start from £390. Please contact us for details.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Abidjan costs from £90 per person, per night sharing a double room and £145 per person in a solo occupancy room.

For extra night accommodation post tour in Grand Bassam, please contact us.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

We include airport transfers in the price of your tour if you are arriving on the first day and leaving on the last day of the advertised itinerary. These will be provided by our local representative or on occasions by the hotel used for the first and last nights of the tour. When the transfer is provided by the hotel this will often be via a shared shuttle bus operated by the hotel. If you are planning to arrive before the start date, and/or leave after the end date of the tour, Undiscovered Destinations can arrange private transfers at an additional cost, starting from £45 per way (Abidjan city center). Please check with us at the time of booking.

Please note that if you have arranged extra pre and/or post tour accommodation, either through Undiscovered Destinations or directly with the hotel or an agent, airport transfers are not included in the price of your tour. Please contact us if you would like Undiscovered Destinations to arrange private airport transfers at an additional cost.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Ivory Coast - Ivory Coast Revealed Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers – See notes below
  • All accommodation as per mentioned in the itinerary, or similar
  • Services of English-speaking guide / tour leader (there may be more than one guide with the group and the explanations may be in additional languages)
  • Transport throughout
  • Domestic flight from Abidjan to Bouaké
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  • Drinking bottled water in the vehicle – please bring your own flask/bottle to refill
  • Visa support documentation if required

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa (e-visa available)
  • Drinks
  • Water at hotels and restaurants
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)

Even though I have been in 143 countries, including many in Africa, I found that this trip to Ivory Coast was one of the most fascinating trips that I have ever been on. The itinerary and the opportunity to interact with villagers, some in very remote areas, constituted a really enriching experience which gave me many images and ideas to reflect upon even a month after arriving back home.

 

Recent traveller, USA