Benin is in West Africa. It is considered a developing country and borders Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is not considered a safe travel destination. See Andyeducation for education in Benin.
|Telephone Area Code||+229|
Fast facts to know
- A third of Beninese live below the poverty line.
- The country has poorly developed infrastructure and high national debt.
- Widespread and practiced voodoo (photographing = bad idea!).
- At the time of the royal palaces of Abomey, the kings ruled here very cruelly and encouraged the slave trade.
- Increased vigilance is advised when traveling into the country.
- Half of the Beninese belong to Christianity, a quarter to Islam.
- Diverse art scene.
Exciting cities in Benin
- Porto Nova
- Port city of Ouidah
- Water town Ganvié (“African Venice”)
History of Benin
- Part of the Kingdom of Dahomey since the 17th century.
- From 1805 occupied by the French under Napoleon.
- Later protectorate of France and then part of the Federation of French West Africa.
- Independent from 1960 as Republic of Dahomey.
- In 1974 Marxism-Leninism became the state ideology.
- 1975 renaming to the People’s Republic of Benin.
- 1990 Abandonment of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, founding of a presidential democracy.
Climate & travel weather in Benin
- Tropical weather, consistently warm all year round, high humidity.
- South: hot and humid climate with 2 dry and 2 rainy seasons (May – June / October – November).
- North: Influenced by the Sahel zone, only one rainy season (June – September).
- Recommended travel time:
- Drying times:
- South: December – March & July – August.
- North: November – February.
- In rainy season many roads impassable.
- Drying times:
Ideas for trips in Benin
- Traditional equestrian games in Nikki.
- Observe African wildlife in the national parks.
- Voodoo-Feste in Ouidah.
- Ruins of the Royal Palaces at Abomey.
- Market in Adjarra.
- Völkerkundemuseum in Porto Novo.
- Royal residence in Ketou.
Eating & Drinking in Benin
- Heavily influenced by French cuisine.
- Traditional cuisine is very spicy and based on corn and cassava.
- Couscous, rice, beans are also served.
- Yams (root vegetables) as a staple in the north.
- Close to the coast: Fish and seafood popular.
- Street vending widespread.
- Beef, pork and chicken are very popular, but goat and turkey are also often featured.
- More exotic meats: opossums, snakes or monkeys.
- Local pubs call themselves Buvettes.
- Beers, whiskey and palm wine very popular.
- Land of delicious fruit juices.
- Typical dishes:
- Accra Funfun (Fried White Bean Balls).
- Lamb shoulder in peanut sauce.
- Beautiful coastal scenery with lagoons and white beaches.
- National Park W (World Heritage).
- Atakora mountain range.
- Kudou-, Tanougou-, Koto-Wasserfälle.