This is the only English-language guidebook to focus solely on Ivory Coast, a country of crimson savannahs, sublime mountains and cream-hued beaches that is becoming popular for ecotourism and wildlife, surfing and off-the-beaten track travel. Having only recently re-opened for tourism, Ivory Coast is West Africa's hidden treasure. In-depth and comprehensive coverage of everything from chimp-watching and hiking to food and the Ivorian music and dance scene is featured (including how Twerking originated from the Ivorian mapouka, which was deemed so raunchy in the 1970s that the government temporarily banned it from television.) Packed with vivid descriptions, detailed maps and essential practical advice, this book is invaluable to any visitor, whatever your purpose. The guide organises the country into ten regions and includes western Dix-Huit Montagnes and northern Savanes and Deguél, previously omitted from other, wider-ranging guides. It also includes meticulous maps and suggested itineraries for different timescales. Wide-ranging information on food and accommodation is given for each region. Ivory Coast's nature is as alluring as its culture, whether you want to surf off beaches of Assinie, trek through the savannahs of the north or scale Mount Tonkoui for panoramic views of Liberia and Guinea. In the Comoé, Tai and Marahoué national parks, it's possible to glimpse leopards, lions, chimpanzees, aardvarks, antelopes and 500 bird species. The guide includes sections offering advice on hiking and trekking the northern alpine regions and on birdwatching and wildlife-spotting in the various national parks. There is a section devoted to Ivory Coast's artistic and cultural assets which includes accurate prices for tribal arts and crafts. Distributed throughout the book are fact boxes containing anecdotes about notable Ivorians (such as the dramatic rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story of the singer Francois Lougah) as well as vox pops of average citizens (taxi drivers, shopkeepers, bar staff) expressing their thoughts about Ivorian life, society and culture.
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