The second largest city in the Ivory Coast, Bouake is a great jumping point to the sun-drenched beach resorts and lush rainforests that dot the West African country. It was founded as a French military post in 1899 and is now an important hub for the nation’s cotton industry. If you want to experience the Ivory Coast beyond Abidjan, Bouake offers an off the beaten track experience.
Things to do in Bouaké
While it’s much smaller than Abidjan, Bouake still offers a fascinating glimpse at Ivory Coast culture. It’s home to a large community of indigenous Baoule people who fashion handicrafts, masks and beautiful cotton clothing.
If you want to understand more about the Ivory Coast’s past, a visit to the Centre for Culture and Reconciliation is a must. From the legacy of the Baoule people to the devastation of the civil war, it offers a fascinating glimpse at the nation’s historical narrative.
At just 50 kilometres north-east of Lake Kossou, Bouake is a great base for those wanting to visit the country's largest lake. It’s part of the Bandama River and is a great place for visitors who want to spot local wildlife.
Every year, the city hosts its annual Bouake Carnival. Held from late March to early April, it’s a vibrant celebration of life and friendship. It’s a great time to visit, as the city comes to life with traditional African dance, live music and tasty street food.
Getting around Bouaké
Taxis are an easy way to get from A to B, with motorcycles and minibuses also cruising the streets. The fastest way to make the trip is by car, with the drive taking around four hours. Bouake Airport is a 15-minute drive out of town and offers flights to a handful of nearby African countries.