Côte d'Ivoire's most powerful attraction is its people, so if you're interested in African history, art or music, this is the place to be. There's also a whole lot of physical beauty, from towering mountains to fishing villages, easily reached on some of the best roads in Africa.
For many years Côte d'Ivoire was the jewel of West Africa. Its strong economy attracted thousands of workers from neighbouring countries, and sizable French and Lebanese communities established themsleves in Abidjan. In recent times, the country has been rocked by huge debts and a military coup.
The country has always had enviable exports but thanks to spendthrift bureaucrats, collapsing crop prices and rebel conflicts, it is now massively in debt. While Côte d'Ivoire was figuring out how to recapture its former days of gloire, the military got jittery and chucked the government out in late 1999. Since then, civilian rule has returned, but there is little stability, and even less confidence about the future, with Christians and Muslims battling (literally) for political supremacy, and parts of the army threatening the government's control.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track