A few days in CI
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jan 24, 2013 10:43 AM Last Post By: Kira
Nov 18, 2012 11:48 AM
A few days in CIPlanning for a 3,5 week christmas trip in W Africa, flying in to Dakar and out of Accra. Senegal and Ghana were the countries we were focusing on, but looking on how to get between these we are not really sure how to do it. Some research has showed that flying into Abidjan from Dakar and then travelling overland to Ghana seems to be one of our best opportunities, and I would also love to see CI, even just for a few days. Since the thread on CI is not extremely active and I dont really know anyone who´s been there, I have a few questions;
I have figured Abidjan itself is not too tempting, but I guess we want to see it for a day and a night. Where (city part/hotel) would be a good place to spend a night to see the city day and night, maybe catch some live music? Further east, I think we would stop in Grand bassam and Assinie before crossing into Ghana. We are travelling on a budget but not really supercheap, so I guess hotel prices around 40-50 euro per room (double) would be ok. Could anyone recommend someplaces to stay that would fit this?
Also, would it make sense to hire a driver for transport, or is this not really necessary? Buses, shared taxis are ok and safe? I´ve read about surf in Assinie, is there anywhere to rent surfboards? (My guess is there isn´t, but would be awesome if there were...)
And as for the border crossing, is this one easily made? We are travelling on Swedish passports, and have visas for Ghana. Visa for CI should not be a problem either, we can get this at home.
And lastly, I´ve tried to read up thourougly on the security situation. We are both experienced travellers, but sure wouldn want to risk anything unnecessary. The Swedish Foreign ministry advices not to travel to CI, with the exception of Abidjan and Grand Bassam which can be visited. Can anyone give a word on the current security situation for travellers?
A lot of questions, thank you in advance for helping me!
Nov 18, 2012 12:28 PM
1Base yourselves in Bassam to see Abidjan & it's easy to get there with a shared taxi or bus unless you really want to go out at night in Abidjan - there's a place in Doukui, Abidjan that's about 23euros a night that's good, colleague stayed there on Wednesday - will get you the address.
In Bassam I would stay in town rather than on the beach in Quartier France, you can't really safely swim in Bassam & the beach hotels aren't too cheap. There's a fair few in town where you can really get involved.
Assinie - you could stay at Le Jardin d'Eden for about 30,000CFA +225-07-13-53-00 (keep the first 0 when dialling/texting) right on the beach & can lend you a surfboard. Mr Brights may be around too when you go, but currently in Ghana with his surf school
Security is fine, but as with most places in Africa, you need to check local news nearer the time you leave.
Nov 25, 2012 10:25 AM
2I stayed at Hotel Trois Cocotiers in Bassam last year. It's lovely and was only about 12'000 CFA for a bungalow. Others on the beach aren't much more expensive either. I don't see why you would stay in town with that beautiful beach at hand :)
Flying to Abidjan from Dakar is certainly your best or only option. 3,5 weeks isn't much when travelling around West Africa... I went from Conakry to Abidjan which took 6 weeks - the roads in Guinea are atrocious and the border crossing into CI is only recommended if you're in for a motorbike adventure.
If you can afford hiring a car, do it! It's certainly not necessary if you're only travelling between Abidjan and Bassam, but for longer distances I would recommend it because you can stop, take pictures, look at places on the way - and travel in comfort. The buses in CI are ok, in spite of being uncomfortable and taking forever due to a million stops with passengers being forced to change buses every now and then.
Security is ok too. It was ok last year already so I assume it's even better now, and you will not be in any of the so-called dangerous areas either (I was, but did not notice anything dangerous).
Have a great trip!
Nov 25, 2012 1:00 PM
3Munkele, because the beach in Assinie is 110% nicer, better beach, good swimming (but there are still rip tides so watch the sea first!) and very relaxed in comparison! If you're heading into Ghana there's a stunning 'back' route that can be accessed via Assinie, highly recommended; done it several times!
If you're using Bassam as a base to see Abidjan - it's easy enough to get in.
Unless you've driven in Africa before I'd recommend turning left out of the airport with a rental car, rather than right & into Abidjan's 4 lane traffic; at least the drive east to Bassam will be less fraught!
I'm in constant touch with CI via skype on a daily basis, should be returning shortly again ...
My only concern is if you're flying Dakar - Abidjan, you're probably looking at Senegal Airlines ... I'd keep searching & look at other options such as flying to Accra first!
Nov 26, 2012 8:01 AM
4Kira! Thanks för your replies, I was hoping to get some tips from you. Reading on the Africa branch shows it´s obvious you know your ways around... :) And thanks to Munkele to, a lot of good advice!
CI is definitely advancing from being a necessary transfer to something I reaaly look forward to, might have to spend a few more days there... As for the driving, I think we´ll skip that. Basing ourselves in Bassam for a days or two and then going on to Assinie seems like our plan. I´d love to hear more about the back route into Ghana from Assinie, sounds like a great route for our onward travel.
We are looking for tickets with an airline called Kingfisher Red, flying Dakar-Abidjan direct. Any comments on this airline?
We´ll for sure stay at the Jardin dEden, especially if they can lend me a surfboard for a few hours (or days...) :)
I am also looking for recommendations for a music venue to visit in Abidjan, would love to see some live music.
Also, I recall you (Kira) mentioning cocoa plantations in some thread here, do you know if it is possible to visit any of those? I know there are a lot of issues with these, their working climate etc, so naturally we would want to support an "ok" one...
Nov 26, 2012 9:11 AM
5I'm surprised that Kingfisher Red even flies in Africa. Kingfisher Red used to be a subsidiary of Indian Kingfisher Airlines, which itself is practically bankrupt. Be careful and pay everything with credit card.
Nov 26, 2012 9:22 AM
6You beat me to it; I work in aviation in Africa & had NEVER heard of them
Just googled & they don't appear to exist, if you have bought tickets - please send the link & warn your bank!
Will answer the rest in a min!
Nov 26, 2012 12:28 PM
7Havent booked anything yet, and Kingfisher did strike me as strange since I flew with them in India a couple of years ago. I looked into it, and they show up either as Kingfisher Red or Air Deccan in a number of Swedish search engines for tickets, when searching for flights Dakar-Abidjan. Someone has done a good job tricking the Swedish travel agents... (These are credible pages that I have used before)
Fortunately I have found tickets for more or less the same price with Kenya Airways, which I suppose has to be regarded as one of the better airlines...? Also direct Dakar-Abidjan, I guess that would be enroute to Kenya.
Nov 26, 2012 3:56 PM
8Please do not tell me that you've paid??? Although from what you've said above, you haven't - I sincerely hope so - but ..
If so, contact your bank immediately! There are various pages with Afriqiyah (Libya) that are fraudulent also!
Surf boards & cocoa plantations are easy, can put you in touch - if you have money left over from this fraudulent airline deal!!!
Nov 26, 2012 10:24 PM
9Yes, Kingfisher Red/Deccan used to be an Indian airline. Generally, Scandinavian travel agencies and search engines are not able to book flights for smaller regional African airlines. There are exceptions though.
If you can find a good deal with Kenya Airways, book that. Dakar-Abidjan is enroute to Nairobi and Kenya Airways is
definitely one of the better African airlines.
Nov 27, 2012 10:16 AM
10Kira, I appreciate yout concern, but we havent booked any tickets yet, I would for sure do some more investigations before handing over such amounts of money, the tickets weren´t that cheap... But as I said we´ve found a decent deal on Kenya airways, so will look into booking that as soon as our visas are secured...
I am considering however to letting these agencies know what they have on offer...
But GreatEscape, you´d be surprised by the airline tickets you can find at some of these agencies; Air Burkina, some Nigerian airline that I dont remember (dont fancy Lagos layover...) etc... and obviously also nonexistent Indian airlines... :)
Nov 27, 2012 11:13 AM
11Air Burkina is an excellent airline in the region, some seriously good standards & EASA allow them to fly to Europe, whereas Air Senegal I would give a very wide berth! KQ are good so you'll be fine there!
Will send you a PM in regards to cocoa plantations etc
Dec 5, 2012 1:36 AM
12Have now found excellent tickets with Air Burkina, if all goes according to plan I will pick up the visas later today and then book the tickets... And its winter chaos in Sweden now, looking forward to some sun and heat...
Would also love some pointers on the "back route" to Ghana from Assinie, music venues and cocoa plantations... :) And if anyone has anything to say about the surf...
Dec 5, 2012 1:47 AM
Jan 17, 2013 1:08 PM
14Am back to chilly Sweden after some time in Africa, and we enjoyed CDI greatly! Thanks everyone for advice...
We took a taxi straight from the airport to Bassam, and stayed there two days, walking the city and the beach. After that we went on public transportation to Assinie, after a small mishap taking us to Assinie Mafia which was just 20 km the wrong way... Assinie saw a heavy military presence, and we where told the presidents wife was celebrating new years there, with the president arriving too. Except for expats and businessfolks, we seemed to be more or less the only "tourists" around, and that we were just that raised some curiosity.
After that we crossed into Ghana on New years eve, and nit having internet access for a few days made us unaware of the accident in Abidjan, and we heard about it from worried friends at home.
To conclude, we had a great time in CDI, everyone was really welcoming and nice, travel was straightforward and hasslefree, and one can just hope that it stabilizes further for more tourists to go there.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$78.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.14 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$9.63 per night