"The Great Kingdom of Abomey & the Evils of Voodoo" Benin by niamey00

Benin Travel Guide: 444 reviews and 1,749 photos

"Hey! Its Labor Day weekend, and the market in Malanville is on Sunday. Let's all go." On a map, it doesn't look far, but maps can't be counted on if Africa. It looks like a major highway on the map, but in reality it is
the worst road you can imagine. Dirt paths are better...NO road is better! The stretch of road between Niamey and Dosso, perhaps 70 miles, takes at least 3 hours to drive. But things change dramatically once you get through the red tape at the border. You are met with a smooth newly asphalted road that would put many a road in the States to shame.

Benin is incredibly diverse for such a small country: jungles in the south, deserts in the north; Muslims, Christians, and followers of Voodoo; ancient palaces of long ago slave kingdoms; sparkling highrises in the defacto capital of Cotonou; deserted palm-lined beaches in Grand Popo.
And those great roads. After being in Niger for awhile, that is the lasting impression you go away with. Oh, and the market in Malanville? Well, there's cheap liquor and cigarettes, I guess that is what most Nigeriens go for!

Oh, and you can view some of our Benin pictures in our Benin slide show

If in Benin, don't miss these sites!

Abomey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
See our photos here. Also check out the Abomey Historical Museum website.

Ouidah, a former slave port, that has a very unique feel today, given the mixture of Christian, Muslim, and indigenous beliefs. If possible, try to look up Martine de Souza. She has worked with National Geographic, and is very knowledgable of her hometown.

Ganvie, the town built on stilts in a lagoon near Cotonou, is about as close to a tourist trap as you can get in West Africa, but it is still worth a visit.

We never had the chance to visit, but Natitingou and the Tata Somba villages are another highlight in Northwestern Benin.

Please read our travelogues on Benin!

  • Last visit to Benin: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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