To arrive at Wafuo is to be transported deep into the Sahel. Only minutes from Abidjan’s airport, this innovative hotel and restaurant complex is built in the wattle and daub style normally associated with the ancient kingdoms of the Mali Empire. Ingeniously tucked away from the street, the complex makes you feel as if you have entered another world, far removed from the modern, urban sprawl just outside its gates. Upon entering this tranquil space, you cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief, temporarily allowing the cares of the workaday world to recede.
Wafuo’s restaurant surrounds a sparkling azure pool, complete with a jacuzzi and water feature, making it the essence of tropical relaxation. The pool is what makes this restaurant a real find in a city with limited family entertainment. At Wafuo, children and adults can swim all afternoon with the purchase of a full meal.
Fortunately, Wafuo has very good food, with generous portions, at reasonable (though not inexpensive) prices. My husband and I have tried a variety of dishes at Wafuo, including salads, local specialities, and even a meal cooked on a hot stone. They were all very good. However, the kebabs are our personal favorite.
The kebab portions are generous, well seasoned, and perfectly cooked. The chefs at Wafuo always manage to cook the meat thoroughly, while keeping the veggies nice and crisp, with lovely caramelized bits around the edges. Even the children adore them.
Wafuo’s children’s menu includes international standards, such as burgers, while also featuring local specialities, such as kebabs and poulet braisé. Even children who are not accustomed to international food are bound to find something familiar and kid-friendly on the menu. We love the fact that kids are encouraged to select a side dish of their choice, and vegetables are among the options. So, a trip to Wafuo can be a healthy outing.
Wafuo happens to have excellent fries, though – crispy, golden and fresh. So, if you’re not averse to this indulgence, it is worth choosing the fries.
Last but not least, Wafuo’s service is excellent. The staff are friendly and efficient, and are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure customers of all ages have a terrific experience. I have been pleasantly surprised a few times when I have had to send an item back for one reason or another. There was never a fuss, or even an unpleasant moment. Instead, I have always felt like Wafuo valued my business and wanted to ensure I was satisfied, which is such a rarity in today’s world, that I would be doing them a huge disservice if I didn’t mention it.
Kids’ Eye View
“I love the kebabs and the pool. I wish I could go to Wafuo every day.”
–Chloe, age 9
“I like the pool because there’s a shallow side where I can stand up and play.”
-Yves, age 6
Our Verdict: Wafuo is an ideal setting for a family outing that will make you feel like you’ve accessed a piece of paradise without leaving town or losing your shirt in the process.
Hotel Le Wafuo
Boulevard de Marseille
Zone de Bietry
Tel: +225 2125 6201/02
Hours of Operation:
Daily: 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Price Range: Moderate