Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) is facing directly south which means it will pick up swell almost year round. Even though you won’t find big and clean world class waves it still is a perfect country to go explore the African surf in.
The down side is the civil unrest there has been lately with the political struggle in 2010 and 2011, but that seems to have diminished now so you can travel safely through the southerne part of Ivory Coast again. Check the situation if you want to venture into the north though.
The Waves in Ivory Coast
Generally November to April will be the best time for surfing in Ivory Coast even though the biggest swell hits Ivory Coast from April to September.
The smaller swells are working better at most beach breaks in Ivory Coast, even though the wind is mostly onshore you can get nice offshore winds from December till may. Surf before lunchtime and the wind will rarely be a problem here.
And remember you can ride in your board shorts all year round this close to equator.
The Fruit yard of Africa
A lot of the exotic fruit eaten in Europe or even other places in Africa comes from Ivory Coast. The lush green background you see on land when you surf tells the whole story of a fertile land where you can grow the most beautiful fruits.
What better way to relax after a day of surfing than with a fresh fruit shake followed by a bunch of cold bear and a beach BBQ party with the friendly locals.
Look out for…
The rainy season is April till September where you have to consider the risk of getting Malaria.
Visa to Ivory Coast
Purchase a visa before you arrive, as they are rarely giving at any entry points. US citizens used to get in without a visa, but that has changed and everyone except ECOWAS residents needs a visa to Ivory Coast now.
Ivory Coast Surf Spots:
Assini: The most eastern surf spot in Ivory Coast towards the border to Ghana. You find the spot 50 Kilometers east of Abidjan. In Samo you turn right towards the coast and you will be at the beach break as soon as you cross the bridge. Works best if the swell is not too big.
Monogaga: In the small village of Monogaga you’ll find this long left that only works in swells well above 2 meters as it is in a protected cove. You‘ll probably be alone in the water but curious locals will follow you from the beach and cook you cheap meals after your session.
Grand-Lahou: Just west of Abidjan you find the Grand-Lahou where tourists relax on the sand seperating the lagoon from the Gulf of Guinea. Here there is a nice beach break and all the facilities you could wish for. Surfers have noted it is best on an incoming tide so check to tide schedules. This spot works best from April to September.
Sassandra: Some 200 kilometers west of Abidjan you’ll find Sassandra. SE of the town there is a beach that offers a long pink reef which under the right circumstances can produce very long rights. Several point breaks dot this cove west of Sassandra.
Dabego: Plain beach break east of Sassandra. Works best in swells around 2 meters or less.
Ivory Coast Links:
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