Although the population is very diverse and multifaceted in Côte d’Ivoire each with their particularities and cultural features. You will see an Ivorian way of living, an identity, which is alike everywhere.
No matter what their status and ethnical affiliation, Ivorians like their family, practice their tradition and like celebrating.
Maquis, Allocodrome, Attiéké and Alloco
Maquis, Allocodromes, Attiéké (Garba) are all typically Ivorian. Maquis or Allocodrome are places for meeting Ivoirians, mostly younger ones, making friends and spending an evening in the Ivorian way “à l’Ivoirienne”.
Maquis are places where you can discover local food in all its diversity, drink and dance to Ivorian music. You will find them all around the country with different standards. Maquis serve many different dishes such as Attieke and are open from the afternoon to after midnight or into the early morning hours on week-ends.
Allocodromes are similar to Maquis but are open from the afternoon to the evening and serve mainly Alloco dishes. Even though the improvisation could be a problem sometimes there are addresses with very good standards where you can have a good meal and a chat with friendly people. I personally recommend the Allocodrome of Yopougon, Cocody, the Rues de Bars in Cocody 2 Plateaux or San-Pedro.
Gbaka and Woworo
Gbaka or Woroworo are also typical Ivorian. These are transportation means you will find all over Africa mainly used by the working class. But in Côte d’Ivoire as everywhere in Africa they have their particularities.
Gbaka are minibuses for public transportation, commuting between districts of Abidjan and nearby cities. Gbaka shuttlebuses are mainly Japanese brands with very narrowly adjusted seats, very tight inside with a lot of body contact between passengers. But they are affordable for a wide range of the population, flexible, available throughout the day and late into night and mostly quicker than other means of transportion in the city. There are mostly 2 people in every Gbaka, the driver and a second person, a sort of apprentice, who is charged to collect the transportation fees from the passengers.
Woroworo are communale taxis communting within municipalities or districts mostly in big cities like Abidjan. Like Gbakas, Woroworo are very flexibel and affordable. In a nutshell to travel with a Gbaka or a Woroworo you need a “little bit” of tolerence and patience, but you will mostly meet authentic and friendly people in very good mood no matter what time. Also if you are tied to a budget, dont mind body contact and would like to experience Ivorians it is probabily something you should try during you stay in Côte d’Ivoire.
Typical Ivorian is also the Basilica “Notre Dame de la Paix” in Yamoussoukro. This gigantic monument in the capital city Yamoussoukro was built in the 1980s after the model of the Saint Peters Basilica in Rom and inaugurated in 1990. It is claimed to be the biggest church in the world.
Cacoa, Nouchi & Celebrites
Another particularities to Côte d’Ivoire are the world known international football player Didier Drogba, Cocoa und Nouchi. Didier Drogba is so to speak a reference in Côte d’Ivoire and the world when speaking football.
Other feature of Côte d’Ivoire is Cocoa. The country produces about 40% of the cocoa sold on the world market. Last but not least you have the Nouchi. Having been developed from many native Ivorian languages and French, Nouchi is the language of the street but also among young people. Nouchi became very popular in the 1990s. Today to speek some Nouchi is seen as being trendy.