Yamoussoukro; An African Ghost Town

Join John M. Edwards, a writer for bootsnall.com, as he traverses the almost empty African city, Yamoussoukro, in his article; Capital of Ghosts Cote d’Ivoire.

“We arrived in Yamoussoukro basted and broiled by the crowded bush taxi, feeling like extras from “Apocalypse Now.” When we tried to check into a hotel, the concierge first told us it was full, then ran after us, yelling, “Messieurs!” Of course there were rooms – the town was a veritable morgue; we’d simply broken Ivorian protocol by neglecting to dash him with a little baksheesh. We later met the other guest, a Frenchman who read old copies of Le Monde every day in the lobby.

We walked to a nearby village, where very poor, very friendly people lounged in the shade by a malarial pond to escape the heat. A village elder pointed to the basilica, rising over the landscape like Ayers Rock, and smiled ironically, as if to say the country’s recent economic misfortunes were somehow linked to it.”