A bustling city on the Ivory Coast, West Africa’s capital Abidjan is a place where cultures come together to celebrate and do business. The city offers numerous interesting sights and activities, from St. Paul’s Cathedral to Abokouamekro Game Reserve to Vridi Beach. History buffs, nature lovers and urban adventurers alike will enjoy discovering this enticing destination. Beyond the usual tourist attractions, there are three things in Abidjan you don’t want to miss.
An Entrancing Local Tradition: Dipri Festival
Spirituality is vital to West Africa’s cultural life, and the highlight of the year in this regard is the Dipri Festival. Taking place each spring in Gomon, just outside of Abidjan, this is a marathon religious ceremony hosted by the Abidji tribe. Designed to drive away evil spirits, this street festival features participants who go into trances and are possessed by friendly spirits. It’s not uncommon to see frenzied festival-goers cutting themselves with knives, so Dipri is not for the faint of heart. But it is one of the most unique cultural events you can witness in the region.
Arts, Crafts, and Local Colour: Cocody Market
One of the major trading posts in the city and a hub of local life, Cocody Market is an ideal place to mingle and haggle with locals while purchasing everything from fresh fruit to arts and crafts. The iconic African tribal masks are probably the most popular item for travellers to purchase here, though the hand-made jewellery is also quite impressive. The crowds in the market can be a little overwhelming, but you’ll have fun hunting for that special souvenir to treasure along with memories of your trip to Abidjan.
Brews on the Go: Abidjan Hash Run
If you’re a beer lover or just looking for an adventurous way to see some of the city’s social life, there’s one activity you don’t want to miss while you’re in Abidjan: a Hash Run. Begun by British colonists as a fun way to combine exercise with drinking, a Hash Run today is basically a pub crawl that will show you some of the city’s most historic pubs and unique neighbourhoods. You can organise your own Hash Run if you’re traveling in a larger group, or put one together with locals.