For Educators

Where in God’s World is Cote d’Ivoire?

Fascinating Facts about Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. Its neighbors are Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Mali. Cote d’Ivoire is a little larger than New Mexico.

Temperatures in the northern part of the country vary, but the south has a tropical climate with warm, humid days. The country receives a lot of its precipitation during rainy seasons.

Home to three national parks, Cote d’Ivoire is the most biodiverse country in all of West Africa. The parks help protect the country’s beautiful waterfalls, rivers, grasslands, rock formations, and rainforests, as well as the animals living there.

Among the more than 1,200 animal species here you would find egrets, pink-backed pelicans, spotted-necked otters, Diana monkeys, African giant toads, and pygmy hippopotamuses. Cote d’Ivoire is also home to the Nimba reed frog, which was once thought to be extinct.

Food in Cote d’Ivoire reflects the influence of various countries, such as France and Lebanon. Pan-fried frog legs and attieke (meat or fish with ground cassava, which Americans call tapioca) are popular dishes. Ivorians often snack on aloko (fried bananas with chilies and onions) and eat local fruits like coconuts and pomegranates for dessert. People typically eat with their fingers here, using a basin to keep their hands clean.

In addition to football (soccer), boxing, rugby, and basketball are popular sports here.

A little more than 46 percent of the people here are Christians, and about 40 percent are Muslim. Both Christian and Muslim holidays are celebrated publicly. Ivorians celebrate their independence from France on August 7. Independence Day is marked with parties and parades.

Learn the Language

French is the official language of Cote d’Ivoire, though 60 local dialects are also spoken throughout the country. Try these French phrases:


Good morning. — Bonjour.

 Let’s go to the football game! — Allons au jeu de football!

I’d like to try the aloko, please. — J’aimerais essayer l’aloko, s’il vous plaît.

Happy new year! — Bonne année!

Sweet dreams. — Fais de beaux rêves.



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