Over 310 miles long facing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, the Ivorian coast combines sandy beaches, amongst the most beautiful and wide-ranging of the region, surrounded by coconut plantations to the South-east (Abidjan, Grand-Bassam, Assinie) with a succession of rocky cliffs and sandy creeks to the South-west (Lahou, Fresco, Sassandra, San-Pédro). Add to this coastline 740,000 acres of artificial lagoon lakes allowing the practice of all forms of aquatic or water sports. In the future, seaside tourism will no doubt strongly rise due to the recent investments, particularly on the west coast with the development of places like Monogaga, Taki, Poliplage, Niéga and Toholou.
Despite the fact that Yamoussoukro, the native village of the country's first president Félix Houphouët-Boigny, is its official political capital, the sprawling city of Abidjan remains the beating heart of the Ivory Coast. The city is composed of many different districts, each of which has its own unique ambiance. For this reason, it is unlike any other city in the country. North of Abidjan is Bouaké, the second largest city in the Ivory Coast.
Côte d'Ivoire is particularly rich in fauna and flora. To preserve it from poaching and deforestation, eight National Parks that cover up to 6% of the land have been created.
Côte d'Ivoire combines a great variety of landscapes including dry and wet savannahs, tropical and equatorial forests, palm trees and banana, coffee, cocoa and rubber tree plantations scattered in the middle of the hills.
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