A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Ivory Coast

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Relocating to Ivory Coast

The Land and its People

Ivory Coast, or Côte d’Ivoire in French, is a country located on the coast of West Africa. Its population of nearly 24 million people is divided between a number of indigenous ethnic groups and expatriates.

The vast majority of people, around 70%, identify as Akan, with the Voltaiques or Gur and Northern Mandé groups the next largest, at 16.5% and 11% respectively. The rest of its native inhabitants are either Krous or Southern Mandé, which account for around 10% of the population each.

Due to its historical ties with France, there is also a large French community, as well as groups of other expatriates, who are located mainly in the cities. Although the official language of Ivory Coast in French, most people also speak one of the many indigenous languages, including Cebaara Senufo, Baoulé, Dioula, and Dan. With regards to religion, there are various indigenous faiths, but Christianity and Islam are the major religions.

The Climate in Ivory Coast

Expatriates moving to Ivory Coast will need to adjust to a warm and humid climate. The climate varies throughout the country, with some areas experiencing an equatorial or tropical rainforest climate, characterized by varying temperatures, humidity, and high levels of precipitation throughout the year, whilst some areas have a tropical climate, with consistent temperatures, high humidity, and wet and dry seasons.

There are roughly three seasons: a warm and dry season that runs from November to March; a hot and dry season, usually from March to May; and a hot and wet season from June to October. Temperatures vary throughout the country, but on average expatriates living in Ivory Coast can expect temperatures between 25°C and 32°C, with it sometimes reaching as high as 40°C.

Getting to Ivory Coast

Expatriates moving to Ivory Coast will usually enter the country by air, arriving at its major international airport, Port Bouet Airport, which is located in Abidjan, the largest city. Port Bouet Airport is home to the national flag carrier, Air Côte d’Ivoire, which runs almost all of the flights in and out of the country. Although there are six other airports with paved runways in Ivory Coast, many of these only accommodate local, chartered aircrafts. So many expatriates moving to Ivory Coast fly to Port Bouet Airport, and continue their journey by road or rail.

Ivory Coast also has a number of ports, including Abidjan, to which expatriates can have their belongings shipped.

The Trans-West African Coastal Highway connects the country with Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso.

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