Embark on a journey over the water through the hidden beauty of the Ivory Coast lagoons. From Assinie to Sassandra, in the heart of the Ivorian coastline, one can discover a unique ecological system formed from an inextricable tangle of lagoons, unique in Africa.
The Ivory Coast is blessed by its rivers. Four major ones, the Sassandra, Bandama, and Comoé, generously irrigate the country before flowing into the Gulf of Guinea. Hundreds of kilometers behind a fragile coastal strip, stretches a succession of lagoons punctuated by the mouths of large rivers.
The Ghanaian border in Sassandra, in the West, this tangle of lagoons is an exceptional ecological and human system in Africa.
The former colonial cities of Assinie, Adiaké, Grand-Bassam, Bingerville, Jacqueville, Dabou, Grand Lahou, Sassandra, and the modern metropolis of Abidjan offer benchmarks and a common thread along this discovery.
The walk starts at the Ghanaian border, with the seaside village of Assinie up Adiaké nestled above the majestic Aby lagoon.
We then carry on until Grand-Bassam is reached. Stroll through its faded charm streets and take a boat ride through the endless meanderings of the Comoé to discover the universe around the city.
The lagoon then reaches Bingerville before flowing through Abidjan, booming city entirely built on the banks of the Ébrié lagoon. There, dugout canoes, fishing vessels and large container vessels navigate the waters of a lagoon that became an area of intense activity.
Jacqueville is the next city on our way. Once arrived, we slip amid a string of islands comprised of Beninese and Ghanaian villages that have mushroomed on the banks. A few dozen kilometers away we are in Dabou where stands the only French fortified structure. From there we continue towards the original lakeside village of Tiegba.
Next stop is the old town of Grand-Lahou whose ghostly mansions facing the ocean in a sumptuous lagoon setting are shrouded in the mist.
One can extend his trip up to Lozoua, Port Gauthier and Sassandra, the final stage of our journey.
Roadmap of the lagoons
Wine – Dine – Sleep
African Queen Lodge in Assinie +225 21300666 – +225 07933872
La maison des lagunes in Azuretti +225 02189441
L’autre rive Hotel in Dabou tel +225 75028384 – +225 78008877
Hôtel le Ravin in Grand-Lahou +225 23576425- +225 08911717
Camp Hotel, Jacqueville
La terrasse, in Sassandra 04983226
Crocodile Dipi in Assinie +225 07933872- +225 21300666
Adiaké’s Market opens every week on Wednesday
Ehotilés Islands National Park (OIPR in Adiaké)
Grand-Bassam’s old town ( Quartier France )
The governor’s former palace which is now an orphanage in Bingerville
Jacqueville’s old town, former English colony
Azagny National Park (captain Binger from the OIPR 08961037)
Grand-Lahou’s old town
Le Quai at Christian’s in Grand-Bassam +225 07696975
A lot of street restaurants offer grilled dishes along the national road Abidjan-Bassam.
You will enjoy a large variety of restaurants in any city you visit.
Culinary options are quite important in Ivory Coast.