In the south, the Parc National de Tai hides secrets, species and nut-cracking chimps under the boughs of its trees, while the peaks and valleys of Man offer a highland climate, fresh air and fantastic hiking opportunities through tropical forests.
The beach resorts of low-key Assinie and arty Grand Bassam were made for weekend retreats from Abidjan, the capital in all but name, where lagoons wind their way between skyscrapers and cathedral spires pierce the blue heavens.
Abidjan is a challenging city to move around it’s vast and connected by mini-motorway and you’ll have to get in the swing of hailing taxis, negotiating fares and buzzing down the busy roads in order to get from one spot to another. But each neighbourhood’s distinct feel gives you an insight into the vast scope of Abidjan’s character and contradiction; it’s quite common for sharp luxury to exist right next to painful poverty.
Make sure to dip into the markets, street-food stops, art galleries and a sleek bar or two.
You can swim here, but watch the rip tides â€“ they can be powerful.
The city is laid out on a long spit of land, with a quiet lagoon on one side and the turbulent Atlantic Ocean on the other. Weekenders fill the beach and enjoy the sun and the sand, but swimming is not advised due to the strong currents â€“ people drown ever year, especially tourists.
Parc National de Taï
Parc National de Tai is one of West Africa’s last areas of primary rainforest, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1982. The park is mostly known for its chimpanzees, who famously use tools in their daily activities, but the general wealth of the flora and fauna inside the park is incredible. Besides forest elephants and buffalo, there are at least eleven types of primates, 250 species of birds and 1300 species of plants, more than 50 of which are endemic to the region.