SAFETY AND SECURITY
REGION BORDERING LIBERIA
Rogue security forces and other armed groups engage in banditry and extortion in the western regions. Clashes between armed groups and the security forces have taken place in the area.
REGIONS BORDERING MALI AND BURKINA FASO
There is a heightened risk of terrorist activity due to the presence of armed groups and militias in the northern border areas. Clashes between armed groups and security forces could take place in the area.
The level of crime (violent crime, car theft, armed robbery, etc.) is high. The majority of crimes against foreigners are non-violent situation crimes (pickpocketing, theft of unattended property). Be vigilant, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Abobo, Adjamé, Treichville, Yopougon and Attacoubé due to a high level of crime. Avoid driving at night in these neighbourhoods.
Refrain from crossing the Charles-de-Gaulle, Henri-Konan-Bédié and Félix-Houphouet-Boigny bridges by foot, even in broad daylight, because of the risk of assault. In the evening, it is recommended to avoid walking, including in the Plateau district, after offices and shops have closed.
Crime levels are higher at night. Be especially vigilant in the evening in festive neighbourhoods such as Zone 4, where nightclubs, restaurants and bushes are located due to the increased risk of assault.
Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
In recent years, various social or protest movements have rocked Abidjan and other cities in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to disrupting traffic, these demonstrations can occasionally lead to violent confrontations with law enforcement.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Exercise caution
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Criminal activity is the main threat to your safety and security in Côte d’Ivoire. In Abidjan and other cities in the country, you could be the target of crime of opportunity such as purse snatching. Petty criminals will use force when faced with resistance.
Burglaries, break-ins and violent assaults are also frequent. Car theft occurs. Luxury and four-wheel drive vehicles are targets of choice. Keep your vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed at all times.
Crime increases significantly at night. Be especially careful after sunset, and avoid travel late at night.
- Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as wearing jewelry, and carrying large sums of cash
- Keep valuables and bags out of sight
- Vary your schedule and travel patterns
- Carry certified photocopies of your identification and travel documents
Highway robbers are armed criminals operating mainly in rural areas, who assault passengers in private cars or public transport. They set up roadblocks to intercept vehicles or force vehicles to stop at gunpoint.
Although this phenomenon has become much less common, incidents occur regularly along primary and secondary roads. These criminals are particularly active in agricultural production areas (cocoa and cashew nuts) or gold washing. They operate at any time of the day, including at night.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Côte d’Ivoire due to the threat of terrorism. Although Côte d’Ivoire has experienced only one terrorist attack on its territory, killing 20 people in March 2016 in Grand-Bassam (a beach resort located some 40 kilometres from the capital), the terrorist threat is real. The risk is particularly high in Abidjan and in the northern regions along the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso where terrorist groups have been operating for some years.
In Abidjan and urban centres, the following areas could be targeted:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship, airports, stations (bus/train/boat)
- public areas frequented by foreigners, such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other tourist destinations
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Caution should be exercised, as road safety is one of the major risks in Côte d’Ivoire. It has an extensive road system, including a two-lane highway linking Abidjan to Yamoussoukro. Main roads are generally paved. Side roads are laterite roads (earth roads). The general condition of the road system varies greatly from one area to another. Many road sections are difficult to drive on because of poor road conditions, with potholes and deformities in some places.
Road accidents, often fatal, are common, due to poor road conditions, excessive speeds and careless driving. Note that the ability of emergency services to respond to an emergency is limited or non-existent depending on the region.
Drive carefully and comply with the traffic regulations, including the speed limit. When driving in a vehicle, doors should be locked and windows closed at all times. You should always carry your identification and vehicle documents. It is recommended that you avoid travelling after dark, as there is a higher risk of accidents or incidents.
Avoid using buses and other means of public transport, especially the “Gbaka” whose drivers are generally poorly trained in traffic regulations. Buses of the Société des Transport d’Abidjan (SOTRA) are overcrowded and robberies are frequent.
There are many taxi companies in Abidjan, most of them identifiable by colour, whose quality varies considerably from one vehicle to another. Taxis are frequently involved in traffic accidents. If you must absolutely take a taxi, either insist that the meter be turned on and pay only the indicated price, or negotiate the fare in advance.
Taxi passengers have been robbed and assaulted by drivers, so be very cautious. Do not allow the driver to pick up any other passengers on the way to your destination, as this may be a prearranged scheme to attack or rob you.
Avoid using informal taxis (woro-woros)
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Avoid swimming in the sea, especially in Grand-Bassam, as it is dangerous, even for excellent swimmers. Coastal ocean currents are powerful and dangerous. Many people drown each year.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report – International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
Cases of attempted fraud are frequent. Victims of fraud or cybercrime originating from Côte d’Ivoire can report it to the Plateforme de lutte contre la cybercriminalité.
More about overseas fraud