About Grand Bassam
Filled to the brim with French colonial charm, Grand-Bassam is a town within the Lagunes region of Côte d’Ivoire. It was the capital city of the French colonies in the region from 1893 until 1896, until the administration was transferred to Bingerville after a severe bout of yellow fever. The city’s inhabitants recovered, and it remained a key seaport until the growth of Abidjan from the 1930s, which crushed its golden era. By independence in 1960, Grand-Bassam was little more than a ghost town, until a surge of tourism in the 1970s led to its resettlement. Today, a modest 5,000 people call the town their home, although some areas remain largely abandoned.
Getting to GrandBassam
The easiest way to get to Grand Bassam is through the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport, also known as Port Bouët Airport, is the main hub of the national airline Air Côte d’Ivoire; that offers connections to a number of destinations in West and East Africa. Abidjan is well-connected internationally with regular flights on:
- Air Côte d’Ivoire
- Air France
- Brussels Airlines
- Emirates via Accra
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Kenya Airways
- Middle East Airlines via Accra or Lagos
- TAP Air Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
- Royal Air Maroc
Airport to Grand-Bassam
From the Airport to Grand-Bassam is only 24 Km from the which takes about 30 minutes by road. Bush taxis from the Gare de Bassam in Abidjan are the best option, and will cost about 500 CFA. Buses are an alternative, which leave from Gare Routière d’Adjamé in Abidjan for 500 CFA. Grand-Bassam’s 1 gare routière (bus station) is in the centre of town, just beside the Place de Paix roundabout. Getting around the town is largely divided into two distinct halves. On the south side of the Ébrié Lagoon is Ancien Bassam, the old French town where most of the colonial buildings and attractions are located. Nouveau Bassam lies to the north of the lagoon, and grew out of the old servant quarters to become the main business centre. The two are connected by a small bridge. The main area of town is quite compact, so walking is an easy way of getting around. If you feel like venturing further, you will need to organise a bush taxi.
Travelling by Road
- STC - From Accra and Cotonou to Abidjan
Recommended Minimum Amount of Money for food (2400 calories, Western food types)
|Milk (regular), (0.25 liter)||237.50|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (125.00 g)||59.38|
|Rice (white), (0.10 kg)||72.00|
|Eggs (regular) (2.40)||270.00|
|Local Cheese (0.10 kg)||695.00|
|Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (0.15 kg)||750.00|
|Beef Round (0.15 kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||575.00|
|Apples (0.30 kg)||427.50|
|Banana (0.25 kg)||87.50|
|Oranges (0.30 kg)||435.00|
|Tomato (0.20 kg)||196.00|
|Potato (0.20 kg)||123.33|
|Onion (0.10 kg)||135.00|
|Lettuce (0.20 head)||76.67|
- Daily recommended minimum amount of money for food per person = 4,139.88 CFA
- Monthly recommended minimum amount of money for food per person (assuming 31 days per month) = 128,336.12 CFA
Safety and Security
Grand Bassam is a generally safe town with hospitable inhabitants. However, caution should be exercised in the following scenarios as a means of enforcing safety and security:
- Avoid carrying valuables in bags while walking around, especially during the night time. This reduces the chances of falling victim to thievery.
- Whenever you are lost, give an impression of the opposite to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. In such a situation, you can hail a taxi that would drop you off at your destination, or you could wander into a safe area such as a shopping mall to check your map.
- Whenever you want to take a taxi, ensure you have checked the map to your destination to ensure you have an idea of the route you’re supposed to be following.
- While traveling in a taxi, enforce safety by ensuring the doors are locked and the windows rolled all the way up.
- The Grand Bassam beach is a marvel. However, beware of strong currents and the lack of lifeguards. In effect, ensure you avoid visiting the beach alone and do not go deep into the water if you are not a good swimmer, or in the company of one.
Interesting Place to Visit
Grand bassam is home to a lot of interesting places. The town owes most of its heritage to the colonial rulers who changes the landscape with their french architectural building, monuments, and to a large extent lifestyle. Prominent places of interest you will find are:
- The lighthouse
- Grand bassam beaches
- Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro
- Cathédrale du Sacré Cœur.
- Centre ceramiqué
- Musée National du Costume (Costume Museum)