Assinie, for the abidjanese people, is the guarantee of a change of scenery. On weekends, the privileged few migrate to this piece of land in search of calm and voluptuousness. Distancing themselves from the city to get closer to nature for a short break.
If this is not paradise, it is pretty close to it. The elegant terns twirl in the sky in search of food in a fishy water. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean entering tumultuously the Aby Lagoon gives it an appearance of lightness or darkness depending on the tides. An overloaded pinasse boat is heading towards the eastern shore of the lagoon, probably Adiaké. Nestled between lagoon and ocean, Assinie, or the Assinies should we say, is stitched on a long strip of sand, nestled in a green cocoon bordered by coconut palms gently swaying in the wind. Pinasses and fishing canoes peacefully sail along its banks. Silence is sometimes interrupted by some boaters boat engines. Most often it is enlivened by the singing of the many colorful birds in the area, due to the proximity of the renowned N’ganda N’ganda bird sanctuary.
Assinie’s strip of land is now colonized by the wealthy abidjanese in search of tranquility. Away from the hustle and bustle of Abidjan’s city-life, they have transformed this narrow 22 kilometers strip of land in a mini Florida. There, on this wonder of nature were built hundreds of modern “huts”, as beautiful as each other. Some beautiful hotels either held by European expats or by Ivorians people were built along the lagoon, away from the ocean spray and the tumult of the ocean often capricious, especially during the high tides of summer.
Assinie is the first trading post and the first fort (Fort Nemours) of the Ivoirian coastline built in the eighteenth century. The city saw the birth of the first Ivoirian colony after a signature between the Abourés local chiefs and the King of France representative, Treich Laplène. Some abandoned structures still stand along the lagoon….witnesses of the past.
Nearby, on the way to Ghana, one can discover on the Ehotilé islands the graves of explorers dating from the seventeenth century as well as old cannons, remnants of the colonial expeditions of King Louis XIV of France.
Farther inside the lagoon, opposite Adiake separated by the Aby Lagoon, in Elima, is the former coffee plantation managed, during the colonial era, by Amédée Brétignère and Marcel Treich Laplène. This cradle of modern agriculture, now abandoned, is sadly overlooked by the ruins of the splendid white house built in 1883 by Arthur Verdier, friend of the king of the Agnis people of Krindjabo.
The best adresses of Assinie
- The beautiful zoo of Crocodile Dipi in Assinie 07933872- 21300666
- Adiaké’s market every week on Wednesdays
- The Nature Reserve of the Ehotilés Islands (OIPR in Adiaké)
- On a pinasse boat, the estuary (la passe) of Assinie at KM 22
Hotels / Guest Houses / Restaurants
- Carré blanc (Guest House) +225 09090994 [email protected]
- African Queen Lodge in Assinie +225 21300666 – +225 07933872 – [email protected]
- Guest house (km 5) chez Alain : +225 05 13 67 32
- Zion Lodge PK 7,5 : +225 07 05 62 84 / +225 09 19 42 42 / +225 54 33 33 43
- Les Marines de Babihana km8 : +225 07 07 57 40 / +225 07 93 55 32
- Coucoué Lodge (Assinie) : +225 21 30 81 81 / +225 07 07 77 69
- Village Bakea km 9,5 : +225 09538803 (maison d’hôte)
- Akwa Beach (km 9,5) : +225 08 83 33 74/ +225 21 00 06 66/ +225 05 49 49 19
- Ehotilé lodge (km 11) +225 06 67 77 97 – [email protected]
- The Splendid Hotel situated in Assinie Mafia : +225 07 99 56 20/ +225 03 58 99 74 – [email protected]
- Assinie Lodge in Assinie Mafia +225 09 09 33 35 / +225 01 48 33 02 – [email protected]
- Cool mafia (km 22) on the delta +225 67342061
- Cotton Beach Club (Assinie) : +225 20 32 99 99 – [email protected]
Each of the above mentioned hotels include lovely restaurants.
In the Assinie village in Assouindé, one can find an abundance of local food stalls offering the best of traditional Ivoirian cuisine.
Text & photos : Nabil Zorkot