With is bustling energy and status as the economic capital of the country – with the nation's political and administrative centres being established in Yamoussoukro – Abidjan truly lives up to its reputation as the “Manhattan of the Tropics”. But sometimes we all need to get away from the hustle and bustle around us and escape in search of tranquillity. In Abidjan, nature lovers can recharge their batteries in Banco National Park, an expansive green space and hydraulic reservoir in the city. Bordering the city's northern motorway, the park's 3,500 hectares of primary forest are home to a number of specimens of chimpanzees, dwarf antelopes, birds and butterflies. It might surprise you to know that, along with Rio de Janeiro, Abidjan is the only metropolis in the world where a true virgin forest flourishes.
Further east, less than 20 km from the city centre, you can relax in the centuries-old Bingerville Botanical Garden, which has been classified as a historical monument since 1991. Initially a scientific laboratory in its capacity as a test garden, when cultivating cocoa, coffee and palm plants was first introduced to Ivory Coast, it now showcases the thriving Ivorian ecosystem. With its pathways also accessible to cyclists, the Botanical Garden is the perfect place for families in search of calm and rejuvenation.
Banco National Park
+225 22 41 40 59
Bingerville Botanical Garden
+225 48 22 70 98