Why take a Tour in Benin?
Even though the Angélique Kidjo Benin’s musical ambassador is the topic of something nearing hero worship within this tiny West African country, to discover the wonderful music scene of the country is simply to provide simple facts of its diverse culture. Noticeable by impacts from America, Europe as well as other parts of Africa, together with indigenous voodoo practices, the country is not like any other vacation spot on the planet. In fact, although visitors usually arrive for the northern parts with plenty of wildlife, such as lions, elephants and cheetahs, plus over 500 bird species, they usually leave contentedly mesmerized by the country’s unspoiled beaches, amazing native traditions, as well as the excitement and mayhem of the major city – Cotonou.
What to see on a Tour in Benin?
Go to the museum found in Abomey, located approximately 100 kilometers / 60 miles northeast of Porto Novo the capital. This museum covers the great history of Abomey kingdoms and possesses a throne crafted from human skulls. Additionally you can visit the Fetish Temple as well as the close by Centre Artisanal in which local craft items are sold at good prices.
An additional market well worth visiting is the market found at Boukombe that opens weekly in the northwestern part of the country, in which tourists can purchase the items made by the people of Somba that stay in that area.
In Cotonou, visit the market – Dan Tokpa, that is usually open each four days in a week. The museum here are also worth visiting.
Ganvie a lake village found 18km / 11miles northwest of Cotonou, features houses constructed on stilts plus a water-market.
Ouidah town is noteworthy for its ancient Portuguese fort as well as the Temple of the Sacred Python.
Porto Novo which is the capital as well as the administrative hub of Benin, offers amazing examples of the ancient colonial plus pre-colonial architecture plus art. The Ethnological Museum is perhaps the most well known place of interest worth visiting.
Sail on the Yacht Club found in Cotonou, or perhaps hire a canoe or a motorboat on the Nakoue Lagoon.
Watersports in Benin
Despite the fact that facilities for water-sports along the coast are minimal, there are nice beaches at Ouidah as well as Grand Popo however visitors must remember that the tides plus currents can make the sea extremely dangerous and just the best swimmers ought to venture into particular certain places.
View a wide variety of wildlife such as crocodiles, cheetahs and hippos in the two national parks of Benin. Pendjari is generally open from December to June, and Accommodation is also available. The ‘W’ National Park covers the frontier area between Niger, Burkina Faso plus Benin and it is less developed.
Which Tour Company or Tour Operator?
Benin is regarded among the nice tourist holiday destinations within Africa and for lomng has received countless guests traveling from different countries. The great news is that Benin has plenty of tour operators and companies who organize nice tours to a number of tourist sites in the different areas of the country. One can actually contact them and they assists you organize your tour in Benin.
Where to Stay On a Benin Tour?
When planning a holiday, one of the important things you should think about importantly is where you will stay. Fortunately, Benin offers a wide range of accommodation that are categorized from the luxurious 5 star expensive hotels that offer top notch services, good food and top quality facilities, the mid-range facilities ideal for an average travel and then the basic budget facilities that also offer standard services and amenities.
When to Go on a Tour in Benin?
It is advisable to visit in the dry seasons, which starts in the month of December up to February and also from July up to September, when the temperatures are much higher and for overland travel it’s usually less difficult. Benin’s Weather is mainly temperate and enjoyable in the months of August and September. Traveling in mid-January will enable you to see the Voodoo Festival. A number of tourist facilities, especially found in the south, shut down throughout the rainy season.
How much does a Benin Tour cost?
Are Benin’s people Friendly?
The people of Benin are extremely warm and welcoming and the state language of Benin is French. But, several ethnic groups possess their very unique languages: Bariba plus Fulani are used in the northern area whereas; Fon plus Yoruba are used in the south. Also some English is spoken.
Standard courtesies are treasured; it is traditional to shake hands on meeting or when parting ways. But, religious beliefs play a big role in society which must be respected. Voodoo is probably the most stunning and most popular practice, and has obtained significant social plus political power. Just the priests can contact voodoos and the spirits of the deceased. In the event that you are travelling, it is recommended to clear itineraries having district or even provincial authorities. In the majority of places, Casual wear is appropriate.
What is the Weather like in Benin?
Benin is situated close to the equator. Its geographical position allows Benin to enjoy a tropical climate. The average temperatures vary around 27° Centigrade.
Benin weather is described as being humid and hot. There’s a noticeable alteration in the climate experienced in Benin in various areas of the country. Benin’s southern area experiences very hot weather in some months of the year. There is a long dry season that starts in December to the March. the southern part of Benin experiences a dry wind throughout these months. The temperatures range from 22° C to 35° C.
The rainy season in Benin commences in March. It goes on until July. Then the dry season takes place in the months of July, August and September. Within the northern area of Benin the weather consists of just one single rainy season. Temperatures may rise to a maximum of 40° C throughout the summer months. The maximum volume of rainfall happens in the central area of Benin. Vacationers to Benin are encouraged to put on lightweight cottons. in addition Linen trousers are suitable. i recommend that during the rainy months you should carry an umbrella or raincoat when visiting the countries in Western Africa.
What Attractions in see on a holiday in Benin
Benin’s economy is still undeveloped yet but it is much hoped that the tourism industry in the country will soon take ground as the country has a variety of tourist attractions to offer to its visitors. The country is putting into place considerations to ensure that the number of tourists visiting this country increases. Listed below are some of the best tourist attractions in Benin.
Grand Popo is a resort town on the coast of Benin adjacent to the border of Togalese in south west Benin. The main attraction in this place is the beautiful beach lined with a stunning stretch of sand and interfered with gentle waves of clear clean water. The place is a wonderful destination to unwind and enjoy the various beach activities.
Benin’s capital is Porto-Novo and it is the second biggest city in this country. This inland city is worth adventuring because it is very stunning and holds two major attractions which are museum and the Kings’ palace. These give a profound overview of the ancient lives of the kings displaying their masks and the costumes they used.
Ouidah is a small town and a spiritual haven of Voodoo. In the ancient past, Ouidah served as a major hub for slave trade and today it is remembered as an ancient Portuguese Fort. The culture of Voodoo people is confirmed in the Python Temple which is a very significant site for the ancient snake cult of the Ouidah people.
The country has two national parks, one being W National park whose largest half lays in the neighboring country Niger. This park is famous for its resident large mammals such as buffalos, lions, leopards, African Elephants, cheetahs and many others. The second National park which is located in the north western part of the country is Pendjari national Park named after river Pendjari. It has a wide variety of wildlife and a rich diversity of birdlife boasting with more than 300 species of birds. Furthermore, the park offers scenic views of some parts of the country such as Atakora range cliffs and several rolling hills.
The Royal Palaces of Abomey
The Royal Palaces of ABomey where constructed by the twelve kings of Dahomey an influential West-African kingdom. Each of these kings build his palaces within the same walls but today only two of the palaces are still standing and are used for cultural ceremonies and traditional rituals. The decoration that were made on the walls are a clear representation of the battle scenes of this vanished great warrior kingdom. By touring this place, you will get the opportunity to watch the Geladan-Mask Ceremony in which the local residents communicate with various spirits and also entertain visitors.
Ganvie found on Lake Nokoue
Ganvie is a unique village situated on Nokoue Lake. Back in the sixteenth century, this area was occupied by the Tofinou ancestors who were then running away from slave traders. From then they become permanent resident of the village who can be reached using traditional canoes called pirogue which are also used by the local people when fishing.
Benin is actually a small country but promising to reward on Benin holiday tours through foreign travel and holidays in Benin as well as adventure enthusiasts. There are many ways to experience Benin holiday tours for example camel riding, outdoor camping, cruises on Niger river, experiencing the thrill of Benin cultural festival and touring each of the different national parks and nature reserves.
Tourist attractions on Benin Holidays
In Port Novo, also known to be the capital of Benin are lots of sights of Portuguese colonial era, ethnographic museum, the royal palace of King Toffa and museum, vibrant markets and good nightlife. Cotonou is the largest Benin City with the international airport, the old Cotonou Cathedral and the central mosque.
Grand Popo is a popular beach resort town located west of Benin, good for Benin beach holidays and adventures. Remember to visit the charming fishing village of Ganvie, take a trip on the lagoon using a dug out canoe and try fishing too. Abomey town is the former capital of Dahomey Kingdom and most of its building and life pay tribute to this great kingdom. The royal palaces here are a world heritage site worth visiting
In the northern part of Benin, there are two national major nature conservancies that form the base of Benin Tourism, safari tours and travel. Benin is surrounded in the northeast by the Niger River and still collaborates with the bigger Airli-W-Singou complex to have conservancies that enclose the national of the Niger River that conforms to a W shaped series of bends.
The area is taken to be the most vital conservation region in West Africa along with the two crucial parks of Benin such as Pendjari National park in addition to W national park, these parks settle so many wildlife species although the birdlife specie is the most common because of the coast of Benin along with the sandy beaches that easily attract the species.
Culture is very vital in this country with different languages along with ethnic groups as it is in West Africa. The difference in these cultures has made the country a beautiful place to stay with a diversity of music, dance and art. Besides the traditional, they have hip hop, reggae as well as local folks that remind people of the ancient times.
Culturally, Benin remains extraordinarily diverse, with the population divided unevenly between a Christian majority and a Muslim minority, overlaid by an intermingling of traditional worship and custom. The latter is defined mainly by the organized animist/monotheistic religion of Vodun, a precursor to Voodoo, thought to have been exported to the Caribbean by the slave trade from this particular region of West Africa.
When to Visit Benin
It is not easy to schedule Benin holiday tours but it worth the try. Benin has equatorial climate, temperatures and humidity vary in the south and north. The southern part of the country usually enjoys the tropical climate of the West African coast where as the northern part receives nothing because the area is a Sahel, dry and an arid area.
Benin has two seasons thus wet and dry and the worst months are April, July, September to October. The hottest months are between February and April of which the temperatures tend to rise to 40 C. The Harmattan winds are between December and March and this is the best time to visit Benin
Benin Tours and Travel tips
Benin is such a great Africa safari and tour destination that is trying to boost its tourism industry so as to be recognized by other Countries. You can make Benin Holidays as add-ons to safari and holidays in either Senegal, to Togo or for Nigeria holidays.
There are plenty of Benin city hotels in almost every town with luxury five star hotels from Cotonou Benin hotels and others in Porto Novo.
Remember that Benin is with Malaria zone thus the need to pack your Malaria treatment, drugs and prescriptions. Good safari clothing is a must with trousers and long sleeved shirts, a camera, binocular, a pair of good walking shoes and anything you may need on the real Benin African safari.