Ivory Coast: Holidays, National Customs, and Climate
Every year in February, the Guere and Yacouba mask festivals with their typical mask and stilt dances take place in the villages around the town of Man.
In some regions of the country, snakes are considered sacred.
|January 1||New Year|
|February March||Tabaski (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May||Ascension of Christ|
|August 7||National holiday|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|15th of November||Day of peace|
|November December||Eid-al-Fitre (end of Ramadan)|
|December 7||Félix Houphouët-Boigny Memorial Day|
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival day Eid-al-Fitre, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The Tabaski and Eid-al-Fitre festivals last 2-10 days, depending on the region.
The national holiday on August 7th commemorates the independence in 1960 from France.
Ivory Coast: climate
The climate varies greatly within the different climatic periods and climatic areas.
On the coast
The climate on the coast generally consists of four different seasons.
- Long rainy season
The long rainy season lasts from May to July. During this time, the average temperatures are around 29 °C during the day and around 23 °C at night. In June alone, around 600 mm of precipitation falls. The average humidity is almost 90%.
- Short dry season
The short dry season only lasts from August to September. Here the average daytime temperatures are around 27 °C and at night around 21 °C. Precipitation also decreases so far that in August only about 50 mm of precipitation falls. However, the humidity is still relatively high at around 87%.
- Short rainy season
This lasts from October to November. The daytime temperatures rise to around 30 °C, and those at night to 23 °C. During this time around 140 mm of precipitation falls per month. The humidity is around 85%.
- Long dry season
from December to April. The average daytime temperatures remain at 30 °C and the nighttime temperatures also remain constant at 23 °C. In the month of January only about 30 mm of precipitation falls. The humidity is only about 82%.
- Central Area
In the central area, the average daytime temperatures from November to May are between 31 - 34 °C. From July to October they drop to 28-26 °C. At night the average temperatures remain constant at 20-22 °C all year round. The rainfall is lower than on the coast and the humidity is only around 20-30%. There is no real rainy season here, just a dry season from November to January.
- Northern area
The temperature fluctuations between day and night are even more pronounced here than in the central area. The average daytime temperatures from January to May rise to 33 -36 °C, with February being the warmest month. Between June and October they drop to 31-27 °C. At night the temperatures drop from November to February to 27-16 °C, the coldest is January. From March to October the temperatures remain relatively constant at 22-20 °C. Between June and October the humidity rises to 90% due to the rainy season. The rest of the time, however, it remains below 30%. In addition, the harmattan, a dusty, dry desert wind from the Sahara, occurs during this time.
Ivory Coast: Sightseeing
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Comoé National Park (Parc National de la Comoé)
The Comoé National Park is located in the north-east of the country and is of the same name as the river that flows through the park. The park has an area of 11,500 km², making it the largest national park in West Africa. Since fires are often started at the end of the dry season, forests are prevented from growing and savannas are created. The park is worth protecting because it is home to many goblin antelopes, bongos, waterbuck, roan antelopes and especially many oribis. Different species of monkeys, a few lions and a large number of leopards also live there. The wildlife of the Comoé National Park is severely threatened by poachers. The park was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1983, but was included in the Red List of World Heritage in Danger due to poaching.
Park The park is located in the southwest of the country, its area is 300,000 ha = 3,000 km². The primeval, dense rainforest is home to numerous trees up to 50 m high. A chimpanzee research station has been set up in this area. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 1982.
Nature reserve Nimba Mountains
The Nimbaberge lie in the border area of the three countries Liberia, Ivory Coast and Guinea. The highest point of the mountains is the 1,752 m high Mont Richard-Molard, which lies exactly on the border of the Ivory Coast with Guinea. The Cavalla River has its source in the Nimbabergen. The vegetation consists of rainforest, high grass areas and savannas. The pygmy hippopotamus, various species of monkeys, buffalo and duiker (duiker are small, forest-dwelling antelopes) have their habitat here. The area has been on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger since 1992. All three countries have declared parts of the Nimbaberge to be nature reserves. The nature reserve has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981; protection was extended in 1982.
Historic city center of Grand-Bassam
The city of Grand-Bassam is located on the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The city is also located on three waterways, the Comoé river, the Ebrié and Quladine lagoon. To escape the slave drivers, many people from the Gold Coast fled to the Ivory Coast.
In 1842, a French lieutenant and resident named Attekebele signed a treaty to establish the town of Grans Bassam. In 1893 it became the capital of Ivory Coast for three years, when a yellow fever epidemic broke out in 1896 and the colonial administration was transferred to Bingerville - named after the city's first governor.
In 1897 an ambitious project began and a landing stage was built, creating the first port on the Ivory Coast in Grand Bassam. The bridge was approx. 200 m long and thus defied the strong surf, so that the ships could dock safely. In 1923 a second landing stage was built. When it was completed, a violent storm caused the old bridge to collapse. In 1915 a lighthouse about 25 m high was built between the ocean and the Ouladine lagoon
The old town of Grand Bassam was largely built in colonial style. Often the once neat houses urgently need renovation, otherwise the building fabric cannot be preserved. Art markets enrich the old town as many artisans have settled here. Their wood carvings and fabric paintings are exemplary. The historic city center of Grand-Bassam has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012
The former capital of the Ivory Coast (until 1983) is now a metropolitan region consisting of ten cities, which is located on the Gulf of Guinea. It is estimated that about 3,692,000 people live in Abidjan. The region has a university, numerous technical colleges and is the seat of the regional exchange of the Union Monétaire Ouest Africaine. The city's port is also important. It is mainly a trading center for wood, cocoa, coffee and pineapples.
In March 1983, Abidjan was replaced by Yamoussoukro as the capital. With its 200,000 residents, it is only the fourth largest city in the country, after Abidjan, Bouaké and Daloa. Yamoussoukro is known in particular for the massive Notre-Dame de la Paix basilica, a gigantic structure that Félix Houphouët-Boigny had built based on the model of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome - but not without receiving a lot of criticism for it.
Notre-Dame de la Paix basilica
The Roman Catholic basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro is one of the largest churches in the world with an area of 30,000 m². It goes back to Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the country's first president. Not only did he make his native city of Yamoussoukro the new capital of the Ivory Coast in 1983, he also initiated numerous large-scale construction projects. The Notre-Dame de la Paix basilica is its highlight. The colossus, designed by the Lebanese architect Pierre Fakhoury, was built between 1985 and 1988. The 36 stained glass windows made by hand in France are certainly the most impressive. Pope John Paul II consecrated it in 1990. With its height of 158.1 meters (with a cross) it is one of the tallest church towers on earth. Looking at the base, the basilica is larger than the Roman model, but the actual church building is smaller. Criticism has been expressed about the building because it is far too showy for a poor country like Ivory Coast and the money should have been better spent on social causes, apart from the fact that the majority of the country's residents are not Catholic.
Ifon Museum in Abidjan
There are regional sculptures as well as gold jewelry and weights on display.
Museum in Grand-Bassam
The exhibition is housed in the former governor's palace.
Marahoué National Park (fr. Parc national de la Marahoué)
Located in the center of the country extends the established in 1968 and about 1,000 square kilometers Marahoué National Park. The landscape is structured by hills and valleys, offers a fauna worth seeing and a breathtaking animal world. If you are lucky you can see them all - chimpanzees, antelopes and elephants. Unfortunately, poaching and slash and burn were serious problems in the past and have seriously reduced the number of animals. The EU aims to address these devastating effects.
National Park Mont Péko (French: Parc national du Mont Péko)
This national park got its name from the mountain of the same name, the highest point in the 340 km² large park. It spreads in the west of the Ivory Coast and is crossed over large areas by rainforests. The park, which is inhabited by monkeys, hippos and buffalos, is best reached from Abidjan.
Parc du Banco northwest of Abidjan
The park consists of tropical rainforest with an area of around 30 km².