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Benin | Travel News

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Picture| pixabay

Despite a troubled past, Benin is today an example of stability on the continent and represents the story of a self-made African country with a happy ending. If there is something that impresses Benin, it is because of its exuberant nature represented in the Pendejari National Park and in a coast full of palm trees that seduces lovers of the sea and the beach.

But it also impresses with its houses on stilts, its Afro-Brazilian heritage from Ouidah and Porto Novo, as well as its fascinating Soba culture. Benin is an adventure to live. Will this be your next destination?

When to go to Benin?

The best time to visit Benin is from November to February when the weather is dry and hot, ideal for seeing the country’s wildlife. The hottest time of year is March through May, after the harmattan winds recede when skies are clear and there are isolated showers in the south. The months of June to October are generally synonymous with showers, which from mid-July to September subside in the south.

How to get to Benin?

There are no direct flights from the capital of Benin (Cotonou) to Spain, so to get to this country you need at least one stopover. Flights to Benin depart from Paris, Brussels, Istanbul or Casablanca.

Do I need a visa to enter Benin?

Indeed, but getting it is very simple and fast, since it has an agile online request system on its official website. Once the document is completed and paid for, it is issued within approximately 48 hours with a validity period that begins from the issuance of the visa.

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The only thing necessary is to have a passport valid for more than 6 months from the planned entry into Benin and to choose whether it is for 30 or 90 days.

Are there compulsory vaccinations to enter Benin?

To travel to Benin, the yellow fever vaccine is mandatory. It is also important to have with you the international certificate of vaccination where this vaccine appears in the suitcase. As with recommended vaccines, treatment of typhoid fever and malaria, tetanus, meningitis, and hepatitis A and B is recommended.

What to see in Benin?

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Pendjari National Park

Set amid the majestic landscape of rugged Atakora Mountains and savannah, Pendjari National Park is one of West Africa’s best nature reserves., with a multitude of wildlife such as lions, cheetahs, baboons, hippos, leopards and elephants, among other species. The best time to spot this 2,750 km2 park is at the end of the dry season, when they congregate at the waterholes.

Ganvie

Nicknamed the “Venice of Africa”, in this incredible city of houses on stilts, 30,000 people of the Tofinu ethnic group live in bamboo huts on the shores of Lake Nokoué. They settled in the lake to escape the kingdom of Abomey which sold them as slaves to Europeans. The Tofinu knew that their enemies were afraid of water and that they would never go into the lake to capture them. Today, this floating city called Ganvié continues to exist and can be explored using a boat.

It is an essential place to visit during a trip to Benin because Ganvié is a small piece of history and is part of the culture and way of life of the Tofinu.

Picture| Benin Travel Agency

Lake Aheme

Located in the southwest of Benin, it is a place where time seems to stand still. Its fertile shores are a beautiful place to spend a few days, especially in the most important town: Possotomé.

Here you can make various excursions to discover the surroundings, take a canoe trip on the lake, swim or learn traditional fishing techniques. The hospitable welcome of the inhabitants is a gift because they allow travelers to observe them at work in their crafts or to join a long walk which will delight nature lovers because the endemic plants and their properties are described.

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The Ouidah slave trail

It is estimated that more than two million people captured by the kingdom of Dahomey were sold as slaves to merchants to be transferred to America. On the coast of Benin, in Ouidah, there is still the auction place and you can see a path that goes through the different stages of those who were deprived of their freedom to be sold and embarked on galleons bound for America . A sad memory of what happened to these people centuries ago.

Abomey Palace

Abomey was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, whose kings profited from the sale of slaves obtained in the surrounding towns. Its royal palaces date from the 18th and 19th centuries and are considered a World Heritage Site. Some of them, like the Ghezo or the Glelé, can be visited and bear witness to the power that this dynasty had in Benin.

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