Overland Ivory Coast Travel

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Visiting Ivory Coast[edit]

Ivory Coast is a spectacular country with a lot to offer. The beaches are second in the world to none.

Entering Ivory Coast with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: March 2017

Travel Visa for Ivory Coast[edit]

Generally the Ivorian visa is obtained via www.snedai.ci - go online, follow the instructions for a visa at the embassy that is near you and make an appointment. The visa is biometric normally. The visa is 60€ or local equivalent, multiple entry and valid for 90 days.

Alternatively get a Visa Touristique d'Entente which will cover Cote d'Ivoire too

The Embassy in Bamako Mali will issue the visa, though they ask for a signed letter from the hotel you are staying at and a few other strange things. Expect to pay CFA60,000.00 XOF for one month single entry, CFA90,000.00 XOF for two months and progressively getting higher the more you ask for. The Embassy in Cornaky (Guinea) will issue the visa (wear shoes at the embassy). They will ask for a hotel reservation and a motivation letter why you want to visit Ivory Coast (there is a small office in the first street right hand out of the embassy who can make this for a few euro’s. Additional copy of pasport, copy of visa Guinea, copy health vaccinations. Official it takes 72hours but we got it in 5 hours.

Required Paperwork[edit]

(no copies are required)

Process at border[edit]

  • Get yourself stamped in at immigration.
  • Go to Douanes to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out a 'Vignette Touristique' (Passavant), valid for two months.
  • If you are at a small border, they might only issue a hand-written 'Vignette Touristique' (Passavant), you have to go to a major city to get a computerized version.
  • If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.

Cost of entry[edit]

It is FREE to take a vehicle into the country, expect to be asked to pay for the 'Vignette Touristique' (all vehicles will probably be asked whether or not they have a Carnet) up to CFA50,000.00 XOF

When given hassle to pay, threaten to call (or do call/text) this number for the ANTI-CORRUPTION TEAM in Cocody, Abidjan: +225 01 01 36 45 (keep the first 0 in the number!)

Permitted length of stay[edit]

Up to two months

Extension of stay[edit]

Need to leave the country after two months, there aren't any extensions to the Vignette Touristique

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

If you can find somewhere safe to lock up and leave your vehicle then leaving it in Cote d'Ivoire is entirely possible provided that the Vignette Touristique will still be valid on your return. This includes exiting the country via the International Aiport at Abidjan

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

  • Hand in your Vignette Touristique to Douanes.
  • Get yourself stamped out at immigration.

All should be free, do not pay for this.

Driving in Ivory Coast[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Ivory Coast[edit]

Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa: Myths, Miscon...
Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa: Myths, Miscon...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Lonely Planet: Costa D'avorio, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nig...
Lonely Planet: Costa D'avorio, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nig...
by D. Else, A. Newton, J Williams, M. Fitzpatrick, Mi...
From $click on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon

Travel insurance for Ivory Coast[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Liability insurance is required, police might ask to see it.
If you travel through more west African countries get a 'Carte Brun' which is valid in most west African countries at no extra cost.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

Expect to pay CFA10,000.00 XOF to CFA20,000.00 XOF per vehicle per month, depending on engine size and vehicle age (newer costs more)

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

In most towns you will find an insurance company, ask for 'agence d'assurance'

Driving license[edit]

Anything from your home country will be accepted.

Driving side of road[edit]

RHD vehicles are allowed but ensure you have correct paperwork, because it’s a good chance for bribery.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

You need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher.


General Road quality[edit]

Main highways are good pavement, without potholes, especially those recently built. The freeway from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro might be the best road in West Africa, you can easily travel at 130km/h
Minor dirt roads are frequently horrible, especially in towns. Lots are impassable in the rainy season.
Always watch out for potholes on sealed roads - they can be HUGE, and hitting them fast will be very, very bad.

Road signs[edit]

Distances to the next major town are usually shown on the side of highways, and big intersections sometimes have signs.

Toll roads[edit]

The freeway from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro is an expensive toll road - you pay CFA1,250.00 XOF 2 or 3 times to drive the length. Other highways have sporadic tools for CFA500.00 XOF One of the three bridges across the lagoon in Abidjan is a toll bridge. For normal vehicles it costs CFA500.00 XOF to cross either way. Be prepared with small change as they do not accept CFA bills larger than 2000 CFA. Be prepared to have exact change to pay for all peage (toll booths) as there is a shortage of small coins and bills in the country and they often don't have change.

Bribery in Ivory Coast[edit]

Bribery is common, so keep your wits about you. Be polite, and don’t pay. See the bribery tips page for general advice.


There are many checkpoints and random stops where Police will check all your paperwork. Don't pay.

Traveling with pets[edit]

List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.

Gas price in Ivory Coast and Diesel price in Ivory Coast[edit]

Last updated: September 2018

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Unleaded (called Essence CFA620.00 XOF per Liter
Diesel (called Gasoil) CFA610.00 XOF per Liter

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

All towns have stations, all stations always have gasoline and diesel. Both are also available in small containers on the side of the road. Quality is likely very bad when bought like that.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Seemed to be no problem with quality.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Driving at night is not recommended due to armed ambushes, hazards on the road, vehicles without lights and extremely bad roads.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Vehicles are safe enough on the street during the day, secure overnight parking is recommended elsewhere, particularly the larger towns.

Special driving considerations[edit]

As in all of West Africa, expect hazards on the road around every turn - animals, children, pot holes and speed bumps!

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Ivory Coast[edit]

There are a few campsites in Ivory Coast, and a few hotels allow camping. Expect to pay between CFA2,000.00 XOF and CFA5,000.00 XOF per person per night.
Wildcamping is possible in Ivory Coast, especially in rural areas. Try to camp away from villages unless you don't mind lot of attention and lot of demand for ‘Cadeaux’ which means gift. If you do camp in a town, ask the Chief of the village for permission first (he will always say yes).

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Drinking water is generally not considered safe to drink for visitors who are not used to it outside of Abidjan. In Abidjan it should be no problem.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Ivory Coast

National Geographic Traveler: Germany, 4th Edition
National Geographic Traveler: Germany, 4th Edition
by Michael Ivory
From $13.99 on Amazon
Ivory Coast (michelin National Maps)
Ivory Coast (michelin National Maps)
From $11.19 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Ivory Coast[edit]

  • Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
  • Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
Gps Map Of Africa
Gps Map Of Africa
From $click on Amazon

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Ivory Coast[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Ivory Coast[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.