Ivory Coast Reopens Lands Borders for Travelers

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The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire—the Ivory Coast—has officially reopened its land borders, which have been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to growing coronavirus cases, all land borders in the Ivory Coast were closed on 22 March 2020. Almost 3 years later, they have reopened to allow movement to and from neighboring countries.

The changes came into effect on 15 February 2023. From this date onwards, land travel will resume as usual.

Air and sea borders were also closed in March 2020, however they were reopened after a few months to allow exports to continue, as the Ivory Coast heavily relies on exports of cocoa and coffee.

Government spokesman, Amadou Coulibaly, announced the decision after a cabinet meeting, stating:

“The Council adopted a decree opening the land borders of Côte d’Ivoire.”

Ivory Coast Reopens Lands Borders for Travelers

Who Can Now Travel to the Ivory Coast?

The Ivory Coast is open to visitors of all nationalities, who can now enter by any air, land, or sea border crossing.

Passengers can only enter the country if they have the correct travel documents. Citizens of most countries must have a valid Ivory Coast visa for their trip.

Visitors who require a visa can request their travel permit online, through a simple form. The process is then completed upon arrival at Port Bouet Airport.

Those wishing to enter at any of the country’s land borders will need to obtain a traditional visa at an embassy or consulate.

Travelers can check the Ivory Coast’s visa policy to find out more about the application process.

Which Countries Border the Ivory Coast?

The Ivory Coast is bordered by the following countries:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Mali

Many citizens of these neighboring countries live in the Ivory Coast. The complete closure of land borders prevented many people from returning to their home countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closures of official land borders forced people to use back roads to leave, ultimately taking illegal routes out of the country.

The government has commented on this issue, requesting travelers to resume using authorized crossings. Amadou Coulibaly stated:

“We are now in control of the clandestine transit routes, we invite all travelers to use the official routes from now on.”

Employment Boost for Drivers

The Ivory Coast’s transport sector has been greatly affected by the long period of border closures, which has put many drivers and staff out of work.

Daouda Bamba, the secretary general of the Ucrao, the Union of West African drivers said:

“We must rebuild the workforce in lorry depots, because drivers had found themselves out of work.”

Around 24,000 people are expected to be rehired following the reopening of land boarders across the country.