Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Revealed Tour

Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast Revealed – a 13 day Small Group Tour from £3099 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 – 13-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 Onomo or similar. No guiding or meals are included today.

(Approximate driving time today: five hours)

Our journey begins after breakfast, departing towards Ghana, where we meet with the Anyi monarchy, from the Akan large ethnical lineage group and learn about the history of the region and the role of traditional Kings in a modern republic. If available, the king will receive us. Later, we meet with a community of Komians and will possibly attend the divinatory dance. Overnight at Hotel Royaume or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: five hours)

This morning 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 Royal or similar (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: five hours)

We enter today the territory of the Baulé people, known for their intricate handicrafts. 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’. Later, we continue with the dance of the Goli masks, where a round-shaped ‘lunar’ Goli mask is sub-mounted by two horns. Overnight at Hotel Mon Afrik or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: six hours)

After a short tour around the city and its colourful market, we drive north on a dirt track taking us to Korhogo. You will notice a change in the landscape as we enter sub-Saharan Sahel, a dry savannah with baobab trees. Khorogo dates back to the 13th Century and is now the capital of the Senoufo people. On arrival in the late afternoon, we will visit the interesting craft market. Overnight at Hotel Olympe or similar – basic accommodation. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: two hours)

After breakfast, 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 back to Korhogo. Later in the day we will and we attend a Boloy, or panther dance, performed by initiated young men. Overnight at Hotel Olympe or similar – basic accommodation. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

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 then leave the main road to 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. 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 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)

We start our day by exploring 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. Later, we travel to meet the Malinké ethnic group, and more specifically the initiated hunters, Dozo. 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 at Hotel Les Frontieres or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

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)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

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)

(Domestic Flight)

This morning we travel 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 take a flight back to Abidjan. Overnight Hotel Onomo or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: one hour)

We take today a full city tour of Abidjan, the modern economic capital of Ivory Coast. We visit the Plateau district with its large modern buildings and skyscrapers 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 to reach Grand Bassam. Overnight at Hotel Croix du Sud or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: one hour)

We spend the morning 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. There is some time at leisure to enjoy the nice beach 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 21-04
    Start Wednesday August 4, 2021
    End Monday August 16, 2021
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

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

    - +
  • Tour Code 21-05
    Start Wednesday November 3, 2021
    End Monday November 15, 2021
    Guaranteed
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,099.00 /Person

    - +
  • 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

    - +
  • Tour Code 22-01 FEB
    Start Wednesday February 2, 2022
    End Monday February 14, 2022
    Available
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,315.00 /Person

    - +
  • Tour Code 22-02 MAR
    Start Wednesday March 23, 2022
    End Monday April 4, 2022
    Guaranteed
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,315.00 /Person

    - +
  • Tour Code 22-03 AUG
    Start Wednesday August 3, 2022
    End Monday August 15, 2022
    Available
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,315.00 /Person

    - +
  • Tour Code 22-04 NOV
    Start Wednesday November 2, 2022
    End Monday November 14, 2022
    Available
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,315.00 /Person

    - +
  • Tour Code 22-05 DEC
    Start Wednesday December 28, 2022
    End Monday January 9, 2023
    Available
     

    Adult ( 1 Pax - No size limit. ) £3,420.00 /Person

    - +

Tour Notes

The minimum group size on this tour is 2 travellers and the maximum group size is 16.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

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 tour notes
  • 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 Man to Abidjan
  • 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 if arriving in Abidjan airport)
  • 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