Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Cote d'Ivoire/Ivory Coast

  • Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 12:02 NZDT
  • Still current at: 29 February 2020

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Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel within 20km of the border with Liberia due to the presence of armed groups and the potential for cross-border attacks.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Côte d’Ivoire due to terrorism, violent crime and the potential for civil unrest.

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There is a threat of terrorism in Côte d’Ivoire. On 13 March 2016, an armed attack on Grand Bassam Resort, near Abidjan, resulted in 18 deaths, including a number of foreigners. Further attacks could be directed against public places or locations known to be frequented by foreigners, such as resorts, transport hubs, places of worship, hotels or restaurants.

New Zealanders in Côte d’Ivoire are advised to be security conscious at all times, monitor the media for information about threats to safety and security  and follow any advice and instructions issued by the local authorities.

Violent crime
Violent crime, including armed robbery, home invasion and carjacking, occurs throughout Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in major urban and densely populated areas. Highway robberies have been reported, including on roads between major centres. There are reports of daytime muggings along the Charles de Gaulle and Houphouet Boigny bridges in Abidjan. Petty crime such as bag snatching and pickpocketing also occurs.

New Zealanders in Côte d’Ivoire should exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times, and avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as jewellery, cameras and mobile devices. Plan road journeys carefully - always drive with windows closed and doors locked and hide valuables from view. We advise against travelling alone, by public transport, or after dark. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations occur from time to time in Côte d’Ivoire and have on occasion led to violence, with clashes between protestors and security forces. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and rallies, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent.

General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Côte d’Ivoire, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who require consular assistance is severely limited.

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious, social and cultural traditions in Côte d’Ivoire to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

Authorities may ask for proof of your identity, so carry a colour photocopy of your passport and visa for Côte d’Ivoire at all times.

Photography of government buildings, airports, military establishments or official residences is prohibited. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Côte d’Ivoire should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Côte d’Ivoire are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Please note: while every care has been taken in preparing this travel advisory, neither the New Zealand Government nor its agents and employees can accept liability for any loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.

See our regional advice for Africa

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