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Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

A map of Côte d'IvoireA map of Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) lies on a flat plateau that slopes gently southwards to the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The coastline is edged by sandy beaches, lagoons and rocky cliffs. Just inland there is a belt of thick rainforest. Further north, the climate becomes drier and the forests thin out into grassland plains, scattered with trees, known as the savanna. The only uplands are the high Nimba Mountains, on the western border. Lying close to the Equator, Côte d'Ivoire has a tropical climate with hot, humid weather all year round and two different seasons: rainy and dry. The south is wettest: some parts receive as much as 200 centimetres (80 inches) of rain every year.

A map of Côte d'IvoireA map of Côte d'Ivoire
Welcome to Ivory Coast
Women carrying waterWomen carrying water


People from Côte d'Ivoire are called Ivorians. The country is home to about 60 different ethnic groups; the largest, the Baoulé, makes up about a fifth of the population. About 1000 years ago, Muslim traders crossing the Sahara introduced Islam to the country; today, Islam is its largest religion, especially in the north. Many others follow traditional beliefs such as animism. Over a century of French rule has resulted in French becoming the official language; some people also speak local languages or a mixture of the two called “français de Moussa”.

In 1983, Côte d'Ivoire’s president Félix Houphouët-Boigny moved the country’s capital from Abidjan to his home city, Yamoussoukro.

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