The Guide

Cote d'Ivore Guide 2013

Abidjan and its surrounding areas present visitors and locals with a host of activities for their enjoyment, leaving no excuse for those on business trips from abroad to remain in their hotel rooms. Although the crisis-ridden decade that came to an end in 2011 certainly hampered Abidjan’s vibrant nightlife, the security situation has been largely stabilised since President Alassane Dramane Ouattara came to power. The economic capital’s infamous roadblocks were dismantled in March 2013 as a new force – known as the Coordination Centre for Operational Decisions and comprising officers from the police, gendarmerie and the military – was established to maintain security. As security improves and economic growth has resumed, the “Pearl of the Lagunes” is once again flourishing. WHAT’S IN A NAME?: Legend has it that the name Abidjan resulted from a misunderstanding, when the first colonists asked a local man the name of the place. He replied “min-chan m’bidjan,” meaning “I just cut the leaves” in the Ebrié language, thinking he had been asked what he was doing. Today, visitors with a firm grasp of French are not hindered by such misunderstandings when out on the town, though it is often possible to get by with English, owing in part to the influence of neighbouring Ghana and Liberia. In any case, getting around this cosmopolitan city and finding the best places to wine, dine and have a good time is quite easy and very enjoyable.