In addition to being the origin of the voodoo arts, Benin was also a significant contributor to the growth of the African slave trade. Benin begs to be discovered and rewards visitors with fascinating museums, gorgeous architecture, and unique markets. Many tourists find Benin’s rich history and the ruins that bear witness to it to be its main draws. The historical legacy of the continent includes the magnificent palaces of Abomey and associated museums. Visitors can enjoy the country’s stunning natural surroundings. Here are the best things to do in Benin.
Top 7 Things to do in Benin
The city’s primary draw and purpose for travel are the Abomey Royal Palaces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has great historical significance, and the legends of the monarchs who formerly lived here are interesting. However, the palaces have been completely obliterated and are in a decrepit state. A freshly built, 3 km long “Rue des Enclaves – Walk of the Slaves” represents the last leg of the slaves’ journey before they arrived at the door. Statues and memorials honor individuals who were seized and sold into slavery along the path that starts at the location of the former slave market. One of the best things to do in Benin is to visit Abomey Palaces.
2. Grand Marché du Dantokpa
Cotonou’s beating heart is the Grand Marché du Dantokpa, surrounded by the lagoon and Blvd, and is one of the best things to do in Benin. Its winding pathways sell everything under the sun, from seafood to soap, plastic shoes to goats, pirated DVDs to aftermarket auto components. The market structure has more conventional items, including batiks and Dutch wax cloth. The market’s northernmost part has the unusual Voodoo fetish market. Till you cross the plastic bottle section, keep going. This market appears more genuine than the Voodoo market in nearby Lomé.
3. Pendjari National Park
Various of the last communities of some species, including West African lions, hippos, buffalos, and elephants, can be found in Pendjari National Park. It is one of the top things to do in Benin. The remote reserve, which spans an area of 2,755 sq km (1,603 sq mi), features some of the most picturesque locations of the nation tucked away among its hills and cliffs. The equatorial climate’s yearly rainfall allows the luxuriant vegetation to flourish in this area. To see grand mammals, reptiles, birds, and fearsome carnivorous hunters in their natural habitat, you can join a qualified guide on a safari excursion. It is advisable to wear sunscreen or a hat on hot, sunny days.
4. Porto Novo Benin
Porto Novo is the capital of the Benin republic and the old French capital of Dahomey. It is easy to witness the deep-routed Portuguese impact in this region. The Royal Palace, its gardens, and the museum of Porto Novo rulers are among the city’s attractions. A Porto Novo Benin visit is one of the best things to do in Benin.
Bohicon is more of a stopover than a destination to stay for a lengthy period. The market, which is undoubtedly the biggest and greatest in Benin, is worth visiting even if the town is virtually entirely modern. The contrast between the crowded market and the adjoining town of Abomey’s relative tranquility is stunning. Mornings are the busiest periods for the market, so try to avoid them if you can.
Tchaourou, which is about 60 kilometers south of Parkou, is predominantly an agricultural town but is also well-known for its role in the trafficking of fuel with Nigeria. The town’s primary attractions include the weekly market and YayiBoni’s extravagant and out-of-place homes, which are both easy to overlook yet are nevertheless interesting to see. A low-cost guided tour is available at the neighboring cashew factory; however, photography is not permitted. It is one of the top best things to do in Benin.
7. Cathedral de Notre Dame
This Catholic church, with its striking red and white stripes, serves as a place of prayer and a tiny bookstore, stocking books by local authors and a few scholarly works. Sandstone and cream-colored arches continue the pattern. Beyond its lovely stripes, it offers a calm and refreshing respite from the city’s hustle.
The Bottom Line
Benin’s natural beauty also has a lot to offer travelers. From the tropical Atlantic beaches lined with palm trees to the national parks filled with rare bird species and exotic animals like lions, cheetahs, and elephants. There are many best things to do in Benin and it is worth visiting. Benin is an untouched area and is exceptionally well-suited to tourism. The facilities for passengers are superior to those in many other African nations, and the roads are excellent.
There remains so much to learn about Benin that a vacation there will seem like a true adventure. It is a terrific place to start learning about Africa since it has it all: animals, beaches, people, and culture. It also caters to tourists well without appearing like a vacation hotspot. You can keep the capital of the Benin republic and the states in the Benin republic at the top of your travel list. For more such travel updates, follow the Trailfollow website.