Benin Travel Facts

Image - Benin Travel Facts

Natural Features: Mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains

Rainy Seasons: May-Jul & Sep-Dec.

Travel Highlights: Benin has several museums, the best is housed in the former Dan-Homey palace in Abomey. Porto Novo also has two museums, one is actually the residence of the former King Toffa. The museum in Ouidah is dedicated to Vodoo religion. There are also significant concentrations of wildlife especially in the Pendjari and ''W'' du Niger National Parks.

Accommodation: Camping centres and luxurious hotels are some of the possibilities. Bodega and Dulac are some of the hotels in Cotonou.

Post and Communications: The telephone code for Benin is 229. International calls can be made from the telecommunication building in Cotonou. Post and fax services are also available nearby.

Culture: The museums and art centres will give you an overview of the country's culture. A wide varienty of local products can also be seen or bought at Centre de promotion de l’ Artisanat or Grand Marche’ de Dabtikpa in Cotonou.

Entertainment: New York and Le Must are the popular night clubs in Cotonou. There are also some other entertainment centres for music and drinks.

Getting There:

Air: Most direct flights to Cotonou from neighbouring countries in West Africa are handled by Air Afrique which flies from Abidjan three times a week. Air France, Ghana Airways and Sabena all run services to and from Benin. The international airport, Cotonou Cadjehoun (COO), lies 5km (3 miles) west of the city.

Rail: The National Railway Company operates the only railway line still running in Benin. Built in 1900 and 1939, the northern line covers 438 km from Cotonou to Parakou, via Bohicon, Dassa and Save.

Road: There are two good main roads, one connecting Cotonou with Niamey in Niger and the other connecting Lagos with Porto Novo, Cotonou, Lome and Accra. Buses and taxis are available. In 1991 work started on a road to link Benin with Togo and Burkina Faso. The first stretch will run from Djougou to Natitingou via Parakou.

Sea: Several shipping lines run regular cargo services from Marseille to Cotonou. Local shipping from Lagos arrives in Porto Novo.

Best Time To Visit: November to May

Travel Around:

Air: Government planes run services between Cotonou, Parakou, Natitingou, Djougou and Kandi. Domestic air transport is handled only by travel agents who occasionally charter planes from Cotonou to the country's three main airports - Parakou, Kandi and Natitingou.

Road: The roads are in reasonable condition and many that run from Cotonou to Dassa, and Parakou to Malanville, are paved. Tracks are passable during the dry season but often impassable during the rainy season.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International Driving Permit required

Passport and Visa: required but not by the following:

  • Holders of National Identity Cards or passports expired a maximum of 5 years issued to nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Rep, Chad, Congo, Cote d 'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal & Togo.
  • Holders of a valid Seaman Book travelling on duty.

Please contact nearest Embassy / Consulate. Visas required but not by the following:

  • For an unlimited stay by nationals of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Rep, Congo, Cuba & Romania.
  • For a stay up to 90 days by nationals of Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone & Togo.
  • Holders of United Nations Diplomatic Passports issued to normal passports travelling on duty. 4) Holders of normal passports travelling as relative services, or house servants of such diplomats issued to nationals of Cuba.

Recommended Immunisation: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaris, yellow fever, meningitis, polio, TB, tetanus, typhoid recommend in

Compusory Vacination: Yellow fever certificate required by all. Exempt infants under 1 year.

Museums: Musee de la Porte Akaba Idena, Musee enthnographique, Musee historique de Quidah, Musee historique d`Abomey, Musee Honme, Musee pleint Air de Parakou

Religion: Christian, Indigenous, Muslim

Languages: Fr, Yo

GDP: $390 per capita

Currency: Franc CFA (100 Centimes)

Time: GMT+1

International Dialing Code: 229

International Radios: BBC KHz:(daytime) 17830,15400, 6005,(evening)17830, 15400,11835

Business Hours: Government offices are opened from 0800 to 1230 and 1500 to 1830 Monday to Friday. Business hours are from 0800 to 1230 and 1530 to 1900 Monday to Friday and from 0900 to 1300 on Saturday.Banks are open from 0800-1100 &1500-1700 Monday-Friday, Shops are open from 0900-1300 &1600-1900 Mon-Sat.

Weekly Days Off: Saturday and Sunday

Public Holidays: New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), May Day (May 1), National Day (Aug. 1), Assumption Day (AUG. 15), Assumption Day (Nov. 1), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whitmonday, Ramadan, Ad-el-Fitr, Maouloud. Education (Variables).

Last Updated on Monday 30th November 2009