Benin played a key role in the development of the African slave trade and was also the birthplace of the voodoo arts. The nation is relatively small and has only a few large cities but Benin begs to explore and rewards travelers with museums, wonderful architecture, and markets that are truly memorable. This article will provide you with a list of the best destinations in Benin to explore.
Best destinations in Benin
It may not be the true capital city of Benin but Cotonou sure does feel like it. The city is an intense blast of urban energy combined with African charm. If it is your first time in Africa, the city can be a little bit daunting and full-on but for those willing to risk the adventure, Cotonou has plenty of rewards. These rewards include a number of stunning paradise beaches with golden sand and palm trees.
The Pendjari National Park is also a must-see in Cotonou and is seen as one of the leading animal reserves in Africa.
Ouidah is a city that has a mix of influence from the French and the Portuguese due to various events in history. The city is located about 40km away from Cotonou and in contrast, is more relaxed. If you are interested in African history then this city should be on top of your itinerary.
It has fantastic museums exploring slavery and voodoo. If all the history gets too much for you, there are more stunning beaches to laze on in Ouidah too.
3. Porto Novo
Porto Novo is the capital city of Benin and the former French capital of Dahomey. If you have visited Cotonou first, you will probably struggle to understand why Porto Novo is the official capital city, the population is only around 250,000 and the pace is much more leisurely than Cotono.
The influence of the Portuguese in this area is still clear to see in the present day. Sights in the city include the Royal Palace and gardens as well as the museum of Porto Novo kings.
Not the effortless portion of Benin to get to but worth a look, however, Malanville is nearly 35km away from Karimama via a bumpy and ready dirt route. The finest way to manage the trip is perhaps a taxi as it is totally a thrill. The marketplace is the key tourist attraction in Benin although some natives would insist that the chicken and chips provided by the Niger River Bridge are also worth an indication.
Malanville is another instance of a village that is a wonderful spot to travel if you are expecting to stay away from the traveler beaten track.
Another city with an attractive bazaar, Boukoumbe is situated nearly 40km west of Natitingou. The city is a wonderful base for visits to the loftiest point of Benin; Mount Koussou-Kovangou. Boukoumbe has its own draw however, the tata sombas, conventional two-story castle-like edifices that were actually established and populated by the Dita Mari people. The ground floor of the residences was used to keep farm animals and the upper level was utilized by the families living there.
The city has a “tats touristique” which is an instance of the edifices for travelers which is accomplished via a guided hike or a lighter motorcycle. Resting on the tata somba’s roof is also probable.
It is another wonderful tourist attractions in Benin to get away from the well-trodden visitors’ trail (if there is a well-visited track in Benin). The city of Pehunc is familiar for its ornaments so the bazaars in this place are further special. Throughout the year rituals occur in Pehunco presenting the native king’s horse. There are not plenty of views as such in Pehunco, it is only a usual Benin village and this is the key cause for traveling.
A short visit to Pehunco is a wonderful lesson and insight into the rural life of the mass people of Benin.
The epicenter of historical Bariba, Nikki is also the abode to an old mansion that even now controls a big region incorporating some of Nigeria. Nikki is a comparative visitor free which makes it a wonderful tourist attraction to find Benin in all of its unharmed prestige.
Additionally, the bazaar in this place is well worth exploring as well as the city center which has amusing stores and locations to eat. The key vision, however, is obviously the Royal Palace and the museum of the Royal Palace which is ever developing and enlarging.
In conclusion, these are the best destinations in Benin for visitors to make a trip.