French is the official language of Ivory Coast, but many locals speak native dialects. There are 60 in all, mostly stemming from other African tounges. The most widely spoken is Dioula, but native Loftus Africanus, Hamdunga, Oloofid, Gigala, and Ulam can also be heard throughout the country. A working knowledge of French is important to effectively communicate with the locals as English is usually not understood.
The Communauté Financiére Africaine franc (CFA) is the official currency of Ivory Coast. It is equivalent to 100 centimes and CFA notes come in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country, including popular brands like American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Currency exchange facilities can be found at airports, hotels and banks.
The Ivory Coast has 220-240 V of electricity standard, as opposed to 110-120 V that is used in North American territories. The primary socket type is also different, which means gadgets from the US will need a plug adapter and a step-down transformer or a voltage converter to work.
The international dialing code for Ivory Coast is +225. Telephone land lines are reliable though mobile phones are becoming more popular. Internet providers like Aviso and Africaonline offer dependable services.
Port Bouet Airport in Abidjan plays host to a duty-free outlet selling all kinds of products from perfumes to chocolates and liquor. Import limits are imposed on cigarettes, wines and perfumes. Passengers over the age of 15 may bring up to 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars, 250 g of tobacco, or 100 cigarillos, as well as a bottle of wine, spirits, and up to 0.25 liters of perfume without incurring customs duties.
Office Ivoirien du Tourisme et de l’Hôtellerie: +225-2025-1600 or www.tourismeci.org
Consulates in Ivory Coast
US Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2249-4323
Canadian Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2030-0700
Belgian Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2021-9316
Danish Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2121-9100
Egyptian Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2022-6231
French Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2020-0505
German Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2244-2030
Italian Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2244-6140
Russian Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2243-0390
South African Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: +225-2244-5963
Emergency services: 110/111/170 Police: 180