Is Benin Worth Visiting? 35+Reasons Why You Should

Is Benin Worth Visiting? 35+Reasons Why You Should

Is Benin Worth Visiting? Yes, Benin is worth visiting, and it is a beautiful country. To be honest, It depends on how much travel freak you are. Every country has their own charm, own historical places and best places. Each place will give you a different level of experience and sight to witness.

Is Benin Worth Visiting? 35+ Reasons Why You Should

1. Musée de la Fondation Zinsou – Fondation Zinsou

The Musée de la Fondation Zinsou hosts an annual exhibition of works from the Zinsou family collection. We’re struck by the diversity and quality of the Zinsou collection when we look at photography, sculpture, installation, video, painting, drawing, lithography, etc.

In this way, the collection bridges memory and tradition with its contemporary rewriting. Discover how artists of African origin and those who work on topics related to the continent approach their work.

The Zinsou Foundation Museum of African Art is located next to the Sun Museum in Villa Ajavon, behind the Basilica of Ouidah.

WHY A MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART? Why Musée de la Fondation Zinsou?

Culture is a right and should not be regarded as a luxury. The importance of allowing children and adults in Benin to access culture cannot be overstated. The museum is an open proposition that meets the people. In the past eight years, four million people have visited the Zinsou Foundation exhibitions in Cotonou.

It is imperative to provide Africa with a place that embodies its creation. In Africa, no museum embodies contemporaneity; the Cairo Museum or IFAN in Dakar are names that evoke history—creating a museum in Ouidah aims to make the content visible as a real player in the art world.

The outside world can also gain a new perspective that is too often in the spotlight only when terrible events happen.

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 1 pm – 7 pm
  • Wednesday 9 am – 7 pm
  • Thursday 9 am – 7 pm
  • Friday 9 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday 9 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday 9 am – 7 pm

2. Bab’s Dock

Bab’s dock is the perfect place for a fun day trip in Cotonou! The dock at Bab’s dock belongs to a Belgian couple. Finding it, however, is like travelling through a jungle where the final destination is a breathtaking view of an indescribably beautiful open lake.

The lake is about 30 minutes north of Cotonou. It is necessary to call ahead to announce your arrival, as they have to dispatch a boat to take you to this unique and secret location. As you drive through a mangrove, you can observe wildlife. 

It looks almost like an island when you reach the final destination. You are loading onto a dock to walk toward a land surrounded by water.

You can relax, be at one with nature, or take on sports activities like kayaking or playing volleyball at the location. There is also a tiny restaurant that serves delicious local and continental fare. You have to pay a fee to visit this beautiful sight, but it’s a small price to pay for the reward you get.

3.The Artisanal Center

If you are interested in arts and crafts unique to Benin, the artisanal center is a great place to visit. It has a variety of spaces built with an African architectural design. Each space has a craftsman selling goods or sometimes making goods to be sold. The prices are reasonable, and the items are unique.

4.Eldorado Beach Club

The Eldorado Beach Club is located on the beach and offers a variety of activities. It can be considered a one-stop location to relax and enjoy sports such as swimming (beach and pool), riding horses, beach volleyball, tennis, and more. It’s a very relaxing place, and the amenities offered are well kept and up to date. 

5. Wildlife Parks In Benin – Pendjari and W Park

It’s impossible to visit Benin or Africa without visiting a wildlife park. There are 2 beautiful natural treasures in Benin, and they are located in the northern part of the country. Both Pendjari and W are wildlife parks. Both parks feature a variety of wild animals as well as beautiful landscapes.

Visiting both parks during the dry season is recommended since the roads leading to them aren’t paved and can be muddy and dangerous any other time of year.

6. Pendjari Reserve

Pendjari means the large river. A small fee of $20 allows visitors access to this vast and very quiet park. The guides are well-trained and are also safe drivers. To fully enjoy the experience and ensure safety, it is ideal for visiting the park with a guide. 

You can also stay inside the park at a very nice ecolodge called The Pendjari Lodge. There are 7 well-equipped tents at the ecolodge, overlooking a scenic landscape.

Visitors can expect to observe all sorts of wild animals such as baboons, lions, elephants, wild birds, hippopotamuses, antelopes, warthogs, crocodiles, etc. This is the ultimate safari experience with a variety of sights to see.

You can visit the park over several days, depending on your schedule. Hunting is permitted at the park, but few people participate, but it is an expensive hobby.

Pendjari park is a hidden gem in Benin that should not be missed. It’s also a great way to see Benin’s unique traditional mud fortresses called the Tata Somba.

7. The W Park

The W Park is located not far from Pendjari, a wildlife reserve with abundant large mammals, birds, and other wildlife. Because of the bending shape of the Niger River, this park is uninhabited by humans.

Some of the park’s animals are endangered, including the West African Giraffe, the Painted Hunting Dog, and wild African elephants.

BirdLife International has identified the park with important hydrological resources as an Important Bird Area. It also has a diversified landscape with many aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

The admission fee is $20 per day, and it is half reduced with each additional day. Protected areas are home to many endangered animals and plants and have remained untouched for generations.

The park is recommended by a well-trained guide like the Pendjari reserve. The roads aren’t the best and require a lot of patience to drive. This is a beautiful, not commercialized park with a lot to see.

8. Trekking the Hills and Mountains of Benin

A diversified landscape consists of hills, mountains, and various water bodies in Benin. By traveling from the South to the North by road or train, which can be done comfortably in 2-3 days, one can observe the beauty of the different types of landforms to explore.

There are a few areas that are unique and worth seeing. The 4 most popular trekking locations in the area are listed below, from South to North. Mountains and hills can be climbed on foot or by bike in all locations.

9. Les 41 collines de Dassa – The 41 hills of Dassa

It is a sacred site with multiple hills and a cave where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared. Dassa is a small town located about 200 miles from Cotonou. Each May, millions of Benin and the surrounding area pilgrims to the cave named “Grotte Notre Dame D’Arigbo.”

Mountain climbing and biking are also available in the area. If you’re planning a day trip to that area, you should bring food and drink. It is free to visit the Virgin Mary cave and to take excursions.

10.Les Mamelles de Savé – The Double Hill of Savé

There are three equal hills with a characteristic shape resembling breasts (the French word for breast is mamelle). It is easy to miss it since it is very striking and can be seen from miles away when driving towards the North, and it is only about 20 miles from where the 41 hills of Dassa are located.

Trekking in the area is ok. However, you should hire a local guide for safety reasons.

11.Le Belvédère de Koussou Kouangou – The Belvedere of Koussou Kouangou

There is a magnificent steep hill in the region of Atacora, located in the northwest of Benin. This gazebo perched on a cliff offers a stunning view of Gourma and Togo, both nearby. To see the open sight awaiting at the top of the hill is worth trekking.

12. The Mountain chains of Atakora or Atacora

These mountains are located in the province of Atacora, in the northwest of Benin. They are the highest points in the country. This is a wonderful, enjoyable, and beautiful place to climb.

At the highest point, you are always rewarded with an open view of greenery to see some villages on the horizon. Three specific mountains need to be climbed: mount Sokbaro (the highest), mount Tanéka, and mount Birni (the lowest).

13. Dantokpa – The Biggest Market in Benin and West Africa

Dantokpa is the biggest market in Benin, if not West Africa, located in Cotonou, Benin’s economic capital. You can easily find anything you need here.

A lagoon and the St. Michel Boulevard surround the market. There are about 20 acres, and it’s easy to get lost. The Dantokpa market will overwhelm your senses with the sounds of bicycles, taxis, and motors driving around people. Everything in your surroundings will make you feel overwhelmed by the smell and colors.

It is best to take your time, take a few deep breaths, and try to relax and enjoy the sight. Those who enjoy photography will be in heaven as there are so many scenes and images to be captured. However, there is still much to be desired.

The market design has no particular plan or order. Everything and everyone is mixed together. Some vendors carry a variety of items, while others carry only one. Mobile sellers also carry their merchandise on their heads and make phone calls to attract buyers’ attention. All is well in the Dantokpa market. Real estate is being used to its full potential.

14. Dantokpa Market Structure

There is an exterior and an interior. Most merchants outside sell food, fruits, meats, and grains. According to their financial means, some have their merchandise covered while others leave it out in the open.

This does not mean their merchandise is different. Additionally, those without an umbrella wear a huge straw hat to protect themselves from the sun and heat.

The country’s interior sells more expensive goods, such as African cloths, alcohol, bulk grains, and imported items. Like the outside of the market, it is overfilled with people and goods to sell. Some sellers have little kiosks, while others have full-scale Items that can also be displayed and sold in the hallways.

An interesting part of the market is selling goods meant for religious rituals, fetishes, and talismans. Items include animal skulls, herbs, oils, candles, bones, and leather materials. To get an idea of how many items are used during a traditional ritual or to make a fetish or talisman, this is great tool sights aren’t for everyone to see but are fascinating to check out.t.

The most important thing to remember when buying an item is negotiating the price, even if you think it’s already low. The sellers tend to inflate prices if you are a foreigner (they are quite good at recognizing foreigners). Don’t be afraid to walk away, either. They will often call you back and accept the price you are offering or another seller may have.

A great place to try local food and drinks and purchase local and unique gifts at very reasonable prices is Dantokpa. Here you will always find the lowest prices, especially with great bargaining skills.

It’s also a great place to try local foods and drinks. It’s also recommended to go to any foreign country with a local person who can teach you tricks and tips on interacting with locals and bargaining with them.

15. Ganvié – The Venice of Africa

Take your current lifestyle on land and move it to the water to carry out your day-to-day activities. That’s what Ganvié is: a town perched on stilts.

Ganvié lies in the lower southern part of Benin on Lake Nokoué. The name “Ganvié” is derived from the Fon language, and it means, “We’ve survived.” It has about 20,000 inhabitants in about 3,000 homes built on stilts. Inhabitants in about 3,000 homes were built on stilts.

Residents in about 3,000 houses on stilts. Ganvié was established during the Portuguese invasion when they chased enslaved people.

Those who lived in the town of Cotonou fled and took refuge far away from the land and built what is now called Ganvié. Fon’s religious beliefs forbade raiders from approaching people living near water (or perhaps could not swim), making it an ideal escape and refuge for this group of Beninese to build a safe community on the water.

The community is self-sufficient, surviving on fishing (eating and selling) and various other means such as tourism, restaurants, and souvenir shops. They buy goods that can be grown on water and sell them on land during market days.

There is a hotel on the lake, but most visitors come for a one-day excursion or stay at nearby hotels near the boarding boats. That is not because the hotels on the water aren’t accommodating. Many people do not find it pleasurable to adapt to living by the lake. Lakeside amenities aren’t for everyone.

A man crosses the lagoon on a boat in Ganvie on January 6, 2012, in Cotonou, Benin. Often called the Venice of Africa, Ganvie is a large, stilted fishing village on Lake Nokoue near Cotonou in Benin, the largest of its kind in Africa and home to 20,000 people.

A man navigates his boat across the lagoon in Ganvie on January 6, 2012, in Cotonou, Benin.

Ganvie, often called the Venice of Africa, is a large stilted fishing village near Cotonou in Benin, the largest in Africa. It has about 20,000 residents.

Visiting Ganvié is an experience unlike any other. This is the largest community known to live on the water until today. Everything is conducted on the lake. 

When you arrive, you will rent a boat that will show you how life in this community is lived. Many of the boats are hand carved from wood trunks.

Children, women, and groups of individuals can all move around with grace in their boats. The way they all manage to get along in such an uncomfortable environment is amazing; everything is on the water (including the supermarkets) except for the schools on land. 

Some residents keep domesticated animals on their plots. A cemetery is also being built on the property. The homes are built differently. A few homes have terraces to enjoy the shallow water; others have added sand to a lake to build a beach. It can only be imagined how many boat trips were required to complete such a project.

It is a very peaceful, magical, mystical, and very enjoyable experience that will take your breath away. One question that will keep crossing your mind during your visit is how they can live on water and be so happy. As humans, we can adapt to any environment if necessary.

Living in Ganvié, the people are content with their lifestyle and show no desire to abandon their lifestyle to relocate to solid ground. Seeing them navigate the water exudes a sense of pride. You will only wonder what other unknown wonders are left in the world.

16. Porto Novo – Capital of Benin

One of the sides of the Big Mosque of Porto-Novo, a replica of the Catholic Church in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil

Porto Novo, Benin’s capital and second-largest city, is located about one hour from Cotonou. The town was named after the Portuguese colonists in the 15th century. There are a lot of interesting sights and cultures in Porto Novo, and the Portuguese influence is still present today.

The best way to get to Porto Novo is by minibus or taxi from Cotonou. The fare should be less than $2 (600 FCA), with the trip lasting about 45 minutes. The best way to move around Porto-Novo is with a local and popular Motor taxi named Zemidjan or Zems upon arrival. You can rent one for a whole day for around $10 – $12.

While in Porto-Novo, there are many places to see and things to do. The town has historical monuments and artifacts dating back to slavery that has been preserved well.

17.The da Silva Museum

Afro-Brazilian with a lineage back to Benin, Urbain K. Elisio da Silva founded the Da Silva Museum in an old colonial home that houses a wide range of artifacts from slavery to traditional religions and simple items used by the colonists during the 19th century. 

For those who want to learn about Benin’s history, the museum is the place to go. It is also a great way to learn about Afro-Brazilian culture and its influence in Benin. The museum also has a restaurant with local and international cuisine, a great cyber cafe with high-speed internet, and special concerts featuring local artists from time to time. 

The da Silva Museum sponsors a large festival celebrating its Afro-Brazilian heritage in January. 

18.The Ethnographique Museum of Porto-Novo

Porto Novo’s first museum, founded in the 1960s, holds a great collection of historical artifacts. Visiting the museum will give one an idea of Benin’s cultural diversity and ethnicities.

The museum is famous for its masks and art collections reflecting each ethnic group in Benin. 

19. The Honmé Museum – Royal Palace of King Toffa

Walking into the Royal Palace is like stepping back into Beninese history (based on African standards, not European ones). You can learn how African royalty lived at this very well-curated museum.

You can also learn about the Yoruba ethnic group artifacts through masks, costumes, and instruments. The museum also has original photographs of the Porto-Novo royal families and their royal carriages.

20.The Songhaï Center

Founded in 1985 by a Dominican priest, brother Godfrey Nzamujo, a non-profit research, and training center that aims to educate young Africans about agriculture. 

The mission of this center is to promote agricultural entrepreneurship and facilitate the emergence of a new African society based on socio-economic dynamics. Songhai Center serves the people of Benin and all Africans interested in learning and/or researching agriculture in Africa.

Additionally, the Songhai Centre doubles as a hotel for those visiting Porto-Novo. You’ll get a great sense of how some African countries empower themselves through agriculture. 

There is also a shopping area where visitors can buy local goods. The center has been recognized and promoted by the United Nations as a Centre of Excellence that contributes to the development and growth of Africa.

21. Tata Somba – Traditional Fortress in Northern Benin

Tata Somba is unique habitat found only in the Northwest of Benin. Traditional homes are built like fortresses to protect inhabitants from wild animals or intruders. The word Tata refers to a regular habitat or home in the sense of a fortress. 

Those living in the Atacora region of Benin are called Somba, a tribal grouping name. The Batombou tribe is the only ethnic group within that region excluded. Tata Somba is the fortress of the Somba. 

Tata Somba TerraceTata Somba is usually conjoined multistory homes built in a circle. Family members live in each conjoined home.

Below the bottom level are areas for keeping livestock at night, internal alcoves are used for cooking, some rooms are used for sleeping, and the top floors or terraces are used to dry grains or as an entryway to the interior huts. Once they reach adulthood, male children are expected to leave their parents’ home and build their own Tata.

However, there is a tradition that the paternal home is inherited by the eldest son of the family, while the women’s homes are the ones they inherit from their husbands.

Red mud is used to make them, which keeps the temperature balanced. Houses tend to be ornately decorated with fetish items, such as cow horns monkey skulls, to ward off evil spirits. Some are painted with tribal drawings.

Within the Somba tribe, different modifications are made based on specific groups. Tata Somba Tribes have five distinct architectures.

22.Tata of Bètammaribè or Tata Otammari

Translated literally, the word Bètammaribè means sand molder or, in other words, builder. These individuals are known for their building skills. Most houses have four floors. The first three floors are rooms, and the last floor is a storage room for food and other items.

A ladder is required to access the top floor, with three terraces facing different directions. One can access the interior of a home through the terraces.

23.Tata Tayèba or Tata Natemba

The Tayèba live in a town called Tayacou. This Tata is completely constructed with a roof. There is an entrance directly at the bottom of the building, and a ladder can be used to reach it. There are two floors. 

The first floor has 2 rooms and a terrace, and the second floor has up to 6 rooms. The storage room is located outside the fortress or on the second floor. Also, there is a back entrance to access the interior from the bottom.

24.Tata Ossori or Tata of the Bèssoribè

Located in the area of Natitingou, the Bèssoribè tribe is a Peuhl tribe. These fortresses are made up of a very large terrace, from which access is granted. The first floor has three bedrooms. There are also four storage rooms located around the compound.

25.Tata Otchao or the Tata of the Bètchabè

Tata Otchao is a slight modification of Tata Otommari. Only the paved terrace and ladder give access to two small terraces that differ. To access the largest terrace, you must cross a second terrace.

The terraces are interconnected like railroad apartments. A hole is usually made on the side of the fortress where the kitchen is to let fumes out of the interior and create better ventilation.

26. Tata Berba

Tata is unique because it doesn’t have multiple floors. The wall around the compound remains tall, and a ladder must be used to enter the open court, surrounded by a tall wall. Inside the court are nine huts and two storage units. The ladder entrance is located nearer the two biggest huts interconnected with walls.

These are unique, traditional, and original habitats in the North of Benin. Increasingly, new generations are choosing to build or move into more modern homes, making this type of habitat an endangered rarity. 

Nevertheless, quite a few are still standing and can be visited at the discretion of the chief of the house. Unless they are known to you, it is suggested that you give them money to thank them for allowing you to visit their compound. Visiting this African architectural treasure will leave you astonished.

27.The Temple Of Python

The Python Temple in Ouidah is an interesting historical site to visit in Benin. The temple has an interesting history. The temple faces Ouidah’s basilica, and the adoration of pythons started after a war in 1717 when the kingdom of Dahomey still existed. 

Ouidah (Formerly called Houeda) was not part of the kingdom of Benin at that time, and it was defeated during that war. King Kpassè, the ruler of the kingdom of Ouidah, fled the town and fled to a big forest so as not to be captured by the notorious Ghézo warriors who were watching out for him. 

Many pythons emerged from the forest during the search, so king Kpassè of Ouidah was protected from being captured by them.

The king was saved from death by building three huts as a monument to commemorate pythons in these forests and was inspired to honor pythons. Benin worships pythons as Royal Pythons, especially in Ouidah.

Benin has snakes as a totem, especially in the religion of Voodoo. Pythons are not harmful and are not to be killed, or bad luck will strike if they are. In the temple, the adepts celebrate the symbolism and value of pythons every seven years.

Everyone is welcome to visit the Temple of Pythons. It usually costs about $3 to enter the park, and a guide will take you around and inside the huts to see the pythons. Unless you are initiated, certain huts are inaccessible. The guides inside the temples are initiated, and their faces are marked with scarification.

Do not be surprised if you see a few lingering around in the courtyards and corners. The chickens are fed very well, and you can pitch them up and take pictures with them. Tip the guide as a gesture of appreciation.

28. Sacred Forest

There are many symbolic statues and shrines to see in the sacred forest. During voodoo initiations, the forest is not open to the public during those times. You can learn when it is not accessible and what each symbolic statue means with the assistance of a guide.

This is an exciting and unique experience that is recommended for anyone who is not afraid of reptiles. Also located in Benin’s spiritual and religious mecca, Ouidah should be on any visitor’s list when exploring the region. 

29. La Porte Du Non-Retour – The Door of No Return

Benin was one of the places on the Western Coast of Africa involved in the slave trade. Ouidah (pronounced wee dee) is a historical town with lots of cultural riches and is also where a very special and important monument called “La Porte Du Non-Retour” or “The Door of No Return” sits.

Dedicated in 1995 by former Beninian president Nicéphore Soglo, this monument represents the departure of captive slaves leaving for the West. 

This was the last place slaves walked before embarking on a slave ship. They knew at that point they would not be able to see their loved ones again and were forced to leave Benin. 

Slavery in Benin lasted for over 200 years, and the last trade took place in the mid-19th century. The four specific gates in Africa were located at Ouidah in Benin, Elmina in Ghana, Gorée Island in Senegal, and Albreda in the Gambia.

How did the transaction between a slavemaster and a King work? It was done on a barter system. Each slave trader was worth a cannon. Sugar and clothes were also considered to be valuable and in high demand.

During the slave trade, the slave ports were the main places where captured slaves gathered before being put on slave ships. However, in Benin, the port was not located right by the sea. The slaves were located a few miles inland.

Therefore, slaves who left Benin had a long journey to complete: walking a longer distance to get to the embarkation point. Furthermore, it is important to remember that the ports today use the symbol of “The Door of No Return.” 

Although the act ended a pathway slaves had to take to leave their homeland, that title was created in Benin to commemorate ancestors who lost their lives to slavery. It is also important to keep in mind that there are records of former slaves (mainly from Bahia in Brazil) who have returned home and shared their experiences.

Anyone who visits this unspoiled and remote monument will be overcome with a chilling spirit. Every time I’ve visited a site along the slave route, I’ve cried. I feel connected to history every time. There is also a lot of pride and strength from my experiences. 

The Beninese are very strong people. They cannot be stopped. It is the spirit of those who were forced to leave that remains. People have shed tears, and some can’t cross the gate while others are left dumbfounded while trying to imagine what went through the minds of the few unfortunate people who were enslaved. 

Just imagine! No doubt about it: your spirit and soul will be moved. You will leave here more empathetic and changed. If you would like to experience an extraordinary experience that will awaken and change your soul forever, then you should visit “La Porte Du Non-Retour.”

30. Etoile Rouge

Etoile Rouge represents the resistance of the local people during the socialist era. The name translates to “red star,” which is the central point of this square. A statue rises above the star, and you can see a man holding three items: a gun, a wood piece, and a hoe.

All of those symbolic items have special significance to Benin’s national history and mindset. Near the monument, you’ll find shops, cafes, and markets where you can mingle with the locals.

31. Emotan Statue

In Benin City, the statue depicts a stately woman in a traditional wrapper and headgear associated with the Benin royalty. Emotan, a patriotic woman who traded in foodstuffs at the spot where the statue stands, was honored with a statue dedicated to her. 

The (11th) Oba Uwaifiokun (1430AD-1440AD) usurped the throne of Benin from his senior brother, Prince Ogun (1430AD-1440AD). During those turbulent times, Ogun made secret and nocturnal visits to Benin from his exile.

Market woman Emotan warned Ogun on many occasions of impending dangers and advised him against interacting with some treacherous chiefs who might reveal his presence. Emotan once hid Prince Ogun from his adversary.

32. Lake Aheme

Lake Ahémé’s alluvial waterside is a beautiful place to spend some time, especially around Possotomé, the region’s largest village. The lake is a great place to cool off or discover the wildlife in the area.

Learn about traditional fishing methods, observe craftsmen at work or join a two-hour botanic trip to learn about regional plants and their medicinal properties.

33. Ouidah Museum of History

Ouidah Museum of History is a historical museum in Ouidah, Benin. Visitors to the Museum will see objects and illustrations of historical and cultural significance, which together will give them a deeper understanding of the region’s past. 

The museum’s collections are grouped into six main themes: the Portuguese Fort (in which the museum is established), the Kingdom of Xwéda, the Kingdom of Dahomey, the Slave Trade, Vodun, and the Cultural Links between Benin and the New World.

It is located within the compound of the Portuguese Fort in Ouidah. The Portuguese slave trade was conducted within the compound’s walls from its earliest days. Until the Kingdom of Dahomey took it, the compound served as Portugal’s diplomatic presence in the region. 

After the fort became Dahomey’s property in 1961, the government began restoring it, and in 1967 it became the Ouidah Museum of History.

Permanent collections at the Museum of Ouidah document the history and traditions of the region’s inhabitants. 

With the inclusion of artifacts from the old Portuguese Fort (where the Museum of Ouidah is located), the collection continues to describe, through objects, imagery, and artifacts, the history of the kingdoms of Xwéda and Dahomey, which both traded enslaved individuals with Europeans for riches and power. 

In photos and artifacts, we can see how people from Benin affected the cultures of New World societies and the effects of mass repatriation after the slave trade ended. Finally, local religious traditions are represented by many current religious items and photos from local ceremonies.

34. Saint Michel Church

Throughout the day, many people go in and out of this large catholic church. During service hours, there is a large hall (for francophones and anglophones) where the Sunday service is held and several other areas for prayers, priests, and even Sunday school.

35. Cotonou Cathedral

Almost half of Benin’s population follows some of the other views of Christianity. There are also many followers of Islam and Voodoo. Other than these three main religious groups, there are many others.

Cotonou Cathedral is one of the most prominent places to visit in the city of Cotonou. A striped tile exterior in white and burgundy gives it a distinctive appearance. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

36.Musee en Plein Air de Parakou

The Museum en Plein Air de Parakou is located approximately 1.5 kilometers south of the center of the city Parakou, Benin, in the suburbs. There are five circular complexes representing the traditional housing of the Batanou people.

37. Natitingou Regional Museum

The Natitingou Regional Museum is located in the restored ancient colonial-style prefecture and celebrates the civilizations of the Atacora people of Benin.

Most of the collections are collected by the Otammari socio-cultural group and cover history, colonization, and local ceremony. Other collections include clothing and musical instruments.

38. Chutes de Tanougou

The Tanougou Falls lies 30 kilometers from Tanguiéta, on the edge of the Punjabi National Park, discouraged by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Located in the Atakora Mountains, they are surrounded by greenery. The falls are a natural wonder. Their access usually requires a 4×4. There is an accommodation camp nearby. The right of access is 1000 CFA francs.

The small downstream falls were not difficult to reach. On the other hand, access to the large waterfalls (25 meters), located further upstream, required walking on sometimes slippery rocks, but the guides were attentive and quite efficient. Swimming was common.

Several years ago, the visit to the falls could be complemented by visiting the Pendjari National Park, an animal reserve that extends to Burkina Faso (the Arli Reserve) and whose main entrance gate is in Batia, some ten kilometers beyond the falls. Because of the security environment, we have not returned to this area recently.

39. Arli National Park

The park is located in the southeast of Burkina Faso, bordering Pendjari National Park in Benin to the South and Singou Reserve to the West. On the banks of the Arli and Pendjari rivers, it covered approximately 760 square kilometers and was gazetted a national park in 1954.

This park is part of the greater WAP Nature complex, including Pendjari Park in Benin and the W of Niger National Park in Benin and Burkina Faso. Arli National Park’s habitats consist mainly of dense riparian forests, waterlogged savannah grasslands, and the undulating hills of Gobnangou.

The park is home to several species of mammals, many of which cross borders to enjoy the lush grasslands in different countries.

Elephants, hippos, lions, baboons, buffalo, western hartebeest, warthogs, boars, waterbucks, duikers, roan antelopes, bushbucks, and red & green monkeys endemic to the forests in western Africa are among the animals seen there.

Wrap UP: Is Benin Worth Visiting? 35+Reasons Why You Should

Benin is undoubtedly worth visiting, offering a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. From the diverse art collections at Musée de la Fondation Zinsou to the tranquil beauty of Ganvié, the sacred forests, and the poignant history of the Door of No Return, Benin promises a unique and enriching travel experience.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, nature lover, or history buff, Benin has something captivating to offer. Don’t miss the chance to explore this beautiful country and its hidden gems.

Al Amin Sagor

Hi, I'm Al Amin Sagor. Join me as I share travel tips, personal insights, and amazing experiences that have shaped my adventures. Let's explore together and make lasting memories.

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