"The Tata Sombas" Natitingou by janiebaxter
Natitingou Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 37 photos
Natitingou is the principal town in the North of Benin, with a population of 40,000, and is the base for trips to the Pendjari National Park and to the Tata Somba region.
Although not large, the town has plenty of facilities – banks, shops, hospital, internet and places to hire 4WD vehicles and driver to go to the Tatas or Pendjari.
The Tata Somba region is slightly South of Natitingou in the Atakora Hills. You will need a 4WD to visit the Tata Sombas as the roads are not paved and can get quite muddy even in the dry season. However, it is well worth the trip to see this unique group of people called the Somba whose lifestyle is hardly touched by the modern world and who live in 3 storey houses called Tatas. The houses were originally built for defence purposes – against raids by the Dahomey slave traders and by neighbouring tribes. They are still built the same way today and each man has to build his own Tata when he wants to marry and start a family.
The Somba people have retained much of their traditional way of life including the making of Shea butter by the women
For more info and details of the rest of the places I visited in Benin visit my Benin page
- Pros:Fascinating traditional culture
- Cons:Difficult to get to - may be a good thing for the Somba
- In a nutshell:Well worth the trip - Respect the culture if you visit!
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