Benin Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by Lennyx
  • The New Livingstone Hotel
    The New Livingstone Hotel
    by Lennyx
  • The Italian restaurant
    The Italian restaurant
    by Lennyx

Benin Highlights

  • Pro
    janiebaxter profile photo

    janiebaxter says…

     Lots to see, happy and welcoming, good facilities & food 

  • Con
    Alpha_Ghana profile photo

    Alpha_Ghana says…

     Too many problems to really develop the country 

  • In a nutshell
    Narviking profile photo

    Narviking says…

     VERY INTERESTING AFRICAN COUNTRY 

Map of Benin
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Cotonou

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Cotonou-1931270/TravelGuide-Cotonou.html

103,288,6

Ouidah

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Ouidah-1929529/TravelGuide-Ouidah.html

25,54,0

Natitingou

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Natitingou-1929702/TravelGuide-Natitingou.html

21,37,0

Porto-Novo

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Porto_Novo-1929376/TravelGuide-Porto_Novo.html

7,30,0

Grand-Popo

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Grand_Popo-1930622/TravelGuide-Grand_Popo.html

14,34,0

Abomey

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Abomey-1932067/TravelGuide-Abomey.html

16,41,0

Ganvie

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Ganvie-1930829/TravelGuide-Ganvie.html

15,47,0

Ouidah-Plage

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Ouidah_Plage-1929528/TravelGuide-Ouidah_Plage.html

0,3,0

Tanguieta

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Tanguieta-1928925/TravelGuide-Tanguieta.html

10,17,0

Parakou

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Parakou-1929456/TravelGuide-Parakou.html

0,5,0

Kandi

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Kandi-1930438/TravelGuide-Kandi.html

1,3,0

Dassa-Zoume

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Benin/Dassa_Zoume-1931197/TravelGuide-Dassa_Zoume.html

1,3,0

Cotonou

See all 103 Cotonou Tips

Ouidah

See all 25 Ouidah Tips
  • Corrupt police

    Ouidah Warnings and Dangers

    My best memory of Oidah is the corrupt police. The bush-taxi was stopped by the police for nothing, just to pay a dash-bribe. There were two different road blocks within the city border. I was sitting in the back seat of the car and was told to "hide my white face" when the driver went out to pay the usual 5000 CFA in bribes.You should avoid police...

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  • Ouidah info

    Ouidah Favorites

    Ouidah is the spiritual capital of Benin with a population of 100000 people. The city has some popular attractions like the Market Center, Maison du Brésil art gallery, a voodoo python temple and numerous statues and monuments where the slaves were taken to the beach.

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  • The Python Temple

    Ouidah Things to Do

    The python temple is one of the highlights of a visit to Ouidah – unless you are bothered by being in a room with over 40 snakes! The pythons are Royal Pythons and are sacred, representing the God Dan who is one of the most popular Voodoo Gods, particularly in Ouidah and brings life and fertility. In the big courtyard of the temple there is another...

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Natitingou

See all 21 Natitingou Tips
  • Natitingou Museum

    Natitingou Things to Do

    The Natitingou museum is located in an old French colonial house, built in 1915. As usual with museums in Benin, you get a much better experience if you hire a guide to explain the exhibits, although the guide we had didn’t speak English so Alex translated his explanations for me.The museum mainly details the Somba people’s lifestyle and the...

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  • Somba People

    Natitingou Local Customs

    The Somba are one of the most interesting tribes in Benin, living in the North close to the Atakora mountains. They are one of the main reasons for visiting the North, to see their traditional lifestyle and amazing 3 storey Tatas (houses) They are related to the Taneka tribe who also live in the North of Togo.The Somba have largely retained their...

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  • The Grill on the Hill

    Natitingou Restaurants

    La Brais de Nati is set on a hill just outside the town centre, overlooking the town. You can choose to eat either inside in the traditionally styled hut or outside. We chose to eat outside with a view of the twinkling lights of Natitingou below us.The food is very good, and although it is a traditional grill featuring local meats there are also...

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Porto-Novo

See all 7 Porto-Novo Tips
  • Kings Palace Museum

    Porto-Novo Things to Do

    This is the old Palace of King Toffa and his ancestors, who can be traced back to King Te-Agbalin in 1688. King Toffa signed the Palace and his kingdom over to the French in 1883 for protection against the Kings of Dahomey, who would have sold the people as slaves. Under the French rule, although the Kings still existed, Porto Novo was ruled by...

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  • Ethnographic Museum

    Porto-Novo Things to Do

    This museum is located in an old colonial building and gives an excellent insight into Beninese culture. The displays on the ground floor explain the importance of birth, life and death on society. There is a good explanation of the culture and importance of twins, and explanations and examples of Fa readings (a type fortune telling), as well as...

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  • Songhai Centre - Helping African Farmers

    Porto-Novo Things to Do

    When you have had enough history, a visit to the Songhai centre will bring you bang up to date. This is a centre for sustainable agriculture and it is well worth spending at least a couple of hours here. The Songhai centre specialises in production, development, research and training in sustainable agriculture in order to help African farmers to...

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Grand-Popo

See all 14 Grand-Popo Tips
  • Grand Popo Old Town

    Grand-Popo Things to Do

    Grand Popo Old Town was important during the slave trade, but now is half deserted and run-down in parts. It is well worth taking a walk around the old town though because it is very charming and quite a lot of people still live there. You can see the abandoned old Dutch warehouse, and the quaint old crumbling colonial houses mixed in with the well...

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  • Great Food and Lovely Location

    Grand-Popo Restaurants

    The Auberge Grand Popo has a lovely restaurant overlooking the beach, set in beautiful gardens. It is open on 3 sides to take adfantage of the cooling sea breezes.Food here is excellent. I had lamb tagine which was very nicely cooked and there was plenty of it. As usual in Benin the meat is of the highest quality and being organic is very tasty....

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  • Visit a Village on the Mono River

    Grand-Popo Things to Do

    We visited one of the small villages along the riverbank as part of our boat trip on the Mono River, as we couldn't get into the Mangroves to explore because the water level was too low for our boat. This village was called Avlo, with a population of 600, and as our boat approached the landing area the group of children standing on the bank...

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Abomey

See all 16 Abomey Tips
  • Traditional Fortune Telling

    Abomey Things to Do

    Fa is the god or spirit of Fate and a Fa reading is a type of fortune telling that dates back thousands of years, performed by a specially qualified Fa priest using traditional materials of cowrie shells and beads. To get a Fa reading it is best to go through a local guide who will organise a reputable one. You need to take gifts and plenty of...

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  • A Voodoo Ceremony

    Abomey Things to Do

    A Voodoo ceremony is very interesting. The one I attended was held in a rural village outside Abomey and was dedicated to the Warrior spirit Cokou. It was organised by a local guide who went ahead to the village to ask permission and allow the villagers to make the preparations. He also paid for the required ingredients to be bought – chickens,...

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  • Outdoor Bar with Live Music

    Abomey Nightlife

    This is a buzzing outdoor bar with a DJ and live bands. I visited on a Sunday night and it was packed and very lively, which may have been because it was Easter Sunday.The tables are outside in front of a big stage and the DJ was playing popular West African and reggae stuff, all very good and great to dance to. Later a live band appeared who were...

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Ganvie

See all 15 Ganvie Tips
  • Excellent Fresh Food for Lunch

    Ganvie Restaurants

    We stopped at the Hotel Germain for lunch after our boat tour of Ganvie. The restuarant is spacious, not crowded and quite cool and airy. The beer and the mineral water were served quickly and were cool enough and the food was really lovely. We had a buffet with a really nice variety of food, a mixture of European and local food. A nice fresh...

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  • Some People Don't Want to be...

    Ganvie Warnings and Dangers

    Ganvie gets quite a few tourists now, and some of the people who live there are fed up with being photographed every time a tourist boat comes past. In the main streets, which are quite wide, you are not so close to the houses. But in some of the narrower streets you are quite close.It is mostly the women who object, probably because they are the...

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  • Abomey-Calavi

    Ganvie Things to Do

    Abomey-Calavi is the departure point for Ganvie and is the main town of the area. It has the largest university in Benin with 28000 students. The university was built here because there was not enough land in Cotonou. There is small hotel by the jetty where you can get a room or a drink. We didn’t try it as we were staying in Cotonou which is...

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Tanguieta

See all 10 Tanguieta Tips
  • Antelope in Pendjari

    Tanguieta Things to Do

    The are many antelope in Pendjari Park.We saw a lot of herds of Roan Antelope which look a bit like horses with horns, Defassa Waterbuck by Mare Bali, Reedbuck and a duiker, which are quite small and difficult to see.The best places to see Antelope are by the Mares when they go to drink.

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  • Lions, Leopard and Cheetah in Pendjari

    Tanguieta Things to Do

    Lions, leopards and cheetah all live in the Pendjari Park. We saw Lions twice on our visit - one sighting each day. The first lion was stalking some antelope but suddenly stopped and roared, basically announcing its presence. We couldn't understand why it did this but then I thought I saw a hyena through the binoculars so maybe the lion was put off...

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  • Crocodiles and Hippos in Pendjari Park

    Tanguieta Things to Do

    There are many crocodiles and hippos in the "Mares" in Pendjari park. You can sit in the shaded hide at Mare Bali and watch the hippos, which are usually lazing around in the water in the middle of the Mare.The crocodiles can be seen surfacing sometimes or basking at the edges of the Mare. They are quite small crocodiles - even so I wouldn't walk...

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Dassa-Zoume

See all 1 Dassa-Zoume Tips
  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo
    Catholics Praying at the 14th Shrine 1 more image

    by janiebaxter Written May 7, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The busiest time of the year in Dassa Zoume is the 12th to 15th August - the time of the annual pilgrimage to the Marial Grot when Catholics from all over Africa and some from the rest of the world visit.
    Visiting on Sunday is also extremely busy with many people visiting the grot and the hills behind to pray.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

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Benin

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