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See the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Côte d'Ivoire for additional information on U.S.-Côte d’Ivoire relations.
A passport, visa, and proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever are required for entry into Côte d’Ivoire. For additional immunization information, visit the CDC’s Health Information for Travelers to Côte d’Ivoire.
Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire website for the most current visa information. The Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire is located at 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 797-0317.
Although e-visas are available at the airport upon arrival, they must be requested online prior to arrival in Côte d’Ivoire. You can find more information online at Côte d’Ivoire evisas.
An export permit issued by the National Museum is required for all high-value pieces of art being removed from Côte d'Ivoire. The export permit costs 2,000 CFA plus 500 CFA per object.
U.S. citizens intending to establish a residence in Côte d’Ivoire must apply for a residency permit (titre de séjour) at the Office d’Identification Nationale. (Note: Titres de séjour are not issued to children under the age of 16 who are documented on their parents' visas.)
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Côte d’Ivoire.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack –including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
Côte d’Ivoire remains under threat by extremist organizations in the region, including those active across the border in southern Burkina Faso, which has witnessed increased jihadist activity of late (though Côte d’Ivoire is not considered a base of operations).
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Crime continues to be the major public security concern in Côte d’Ivoire. Armed carjackings, robberies of businesses, and home invasions target residents, including expatriates, who are perceived as wealthy.
U.S. citizens should exercise caution when visiting Abidjan’s Abobo, Adjame, Angre, Koumassi, Marcory, and Yopougon districts as well as popular neighborhoods for nighttime entertainment, including Plateau, Treichville, and Zone 4.
Carry identification at all times to minimize the risk of harassment at police checkpoints.
Côte d’Ivoire has undertaken security sector reform actions, and, as a result, its national police and gendarmerie are in a transitional period. The military often performs what might be considered traditional civilian law enforcement functions for which it is not properly trained.
Weapons left over after the civil war present a continuing security threat exploitable by criminals and rogue soldiers. Political factions and their supporters armed with these weapons pose an ongoing risk to Côte d’Ivoire’s fragile democratic institutions.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. Election-related violence comprises another concern; national elections are scheduled for October 2020.
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Côte d’Ivoire. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 03-79-91-44 or 03-32-37-64 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+225) 22-49-40-00 or after-hours at (+225) 22-49-44-50. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: No formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment may not be available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Customs: Ivoirian customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, call (212) 354-4480 or e-mail ATA Carnet Headquarters.
If traveling to another West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) country, expatriate residents leaving Côte d’Ivoire must declare the amount of currency being taken out of the country. Residents traveling to countries that use the CFA franc currency, but are not WAEMU members, are prohibited from taking CFA francs out of Côte d’Ivoire, and are authorized to carry up to the equivalent of 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately 4,000 USD) in any other currency. You can take funds in excess of that amount out of the country in the form of travelers or bank checks.
If traveling to any other non-WAEMU country, tourists are prohibited from taking more than 500,000 CFA francs (approximately 1,000 USD) and business operators are prohibited from taking more than 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately 4,000 USD) without government approval.
Corruption: Government corruption remains a serious problem in Côte d’Ivoire, and has an impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. Uniformed security forces (police, military, and gendarmes) routinely stop vehicles for traffic violations and security checks. If you are stopped, politely present your identification. Police and security officials rarely speak English. If you are stopped at one of these checkpoints and asked to pay a bribe, politely refuse and present your photocopy of your U.S. passport, visa, and entry stamp.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Côte d’Ivoire. The only mention of same-sex sexual activity in the laws is as a form of public indecency that carries a penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment, the same prescribed for heterosexual acts performed in Côte d’Ivoire that contravene the law. Antidiscrimination laws exist, but they do not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Societal stigmatization of the LGBTI community is widespread, and police, gendarmes, and members of the armed forces reportedly beat, imprison, verbally abuse, extort, or humiliate members of the LGBTI community. The few LGBTI organizations in the country operate freely, but with caution.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Individuals with disabilities should be aware that there are almost no accessibility accommodations made for individuals with disabilities in Côte d’Ivoire. This is true virtually everywhere, from the airport to hotels and public buildings.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Abidjan has privately-run medical and dental facilities that are adequate, but do not fully meet U.S. standards. Good physician specialists can be found, although few speak English. While pharmacies are well-stocked with medications produced in Europe, newer drugs may not be available. If you plan a lengthy trip to Côte d’Ivoire, you should bring enough medication to last the entire stay in your carry-on luggage. Medical care outside of Abidjan is extremely limited.
The rainy season is typically from June to September, and often includes heavy rains and flash flooding, particularly in low-lying areas. U.S. citizens should monitor local weather and news reports, avoid driving through flooded areas, and keep a supply of water and emergency provisions in their residence.
For emergency services in Côte d’Ivoire, no reliable public service is available, but a private service, SAMU – “Service d’aide Medicale Urgente,” at +225 22 44 94 09, is available for a fee.
Ambulance services are:
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general:
The following diseases are prevalent:
*Extremely high malaria transmission occurs throughout Côte d’Ivoire year round and in all areas, including large cities. Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended for even short visits.
Road Conditions and Safety: Road safety is a major concern in Côte d’Ivoire, and U.S. Embassy officers are prohibited from driving outside of major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie. Visibility is often poor, even in developed areas with streetlights. Roadway accidents involving large commercial or privately owned vehicles are common along roads connecting major cities. It is common to see overturned or broken down vehicles that may block routes and create traffic congestion. Cargo transport vehicles are often overloaded and do not follow standard safety practices.
The Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, outside of the Abidjan area is limited. Many areas of Côte d’Ivoire are difficult to access, and travel in these areas is hazardous. Outside the major cities, infrastructure is poor, medical care is limited, and there are few facilities for tourists.
Carjacking incidents have been reported in Abidjan, including vehicles with diplomatic plates. While stopped in traffic, allow enough room between your car and the one in front to maneuver out if needed. Before getting into your car, look around to see if there is anyone paying unusual attention, and if someone appears to be watching, do not go to your vehicle. If confronted, remain courteous and calm and, if threatened with violence, in most cases do not resist. Street criminals often employ threats of violent tactics when accosting their victims. When victims hand over their valuables, the encounter normally ends without further incident or harm. However, street criminals have a track record of following through on violent threats when victims resist handing over their possessions. Please report any incident to the U.S. Embassy.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Emergency services, such as ambulance service (SAMU), exist in Abidjan and larger towns, but such service is unreliable. Call 185 or 2244-5553. In smaller towns, there are usually no emergency services available.
Traffic Laws: The U.S. Embassy advises its employees to remain at the scene of an accident only if it is safe to do so. If you believe the situation might become hostile, report to the nearest police or gendarmes station.
Impatient drivers frequently disregard traffic laws and drive recklessly. Cars and trucks frequently travel without functioning headlights.
Public Transportation: Abidjan has a poor public transportation system. If you choose to travel by bus, the “Express” line is believed to be the safest and most reliable service. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive; you may be able to negotiate a better rate. They are, however, poorly maintained and notorious for not respecting the rules of the road. There have been reports of robberies in metered or orange taxis, though they are still widely thought to be the most secure form of public transportation.
Communal taxis (“woro-woros”), used only within the limits of each commune, are not metered and may be dangerous. Do not use local vans (“Gbaka”) because they are frequently involved in accidents. Always travel in groups and avoid driving on roads outside of Abidjan at night.
Aviation Safety Oversight: While there are direct commercial air services to the United States operated by carriers registered outside Côte d’Ivoire, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet assessed the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance under International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Côte d’Ivoire should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings.