Top 5 Tourist Destinations In Benin.
Tourists don’t frequent the Republic of Benin like other African countries. However, Benin might as well just be called West Africa’s tourist secret.
Although the government has a National Policy for tourism, attention is particularly focused on the agricultural industry.
This is where all these factors work in your favour. Because tourism isn’t particularly monetized, tourists can soak in Benin’s cultural diversity and history on quite a low budget.
This is the part where we also step in with this article. The goal of this article is to enlighten you on beautiful historic attractions that keep tourists going back to Benin.
Here are the top 5 tourist destinations in Benin.
What usually attracts tourists who have taken the risk of visiting Benin is their yearly Voodoo festival held in Ouidah.
While Europeans and even certain African countries view Voodoo as black magic, it is the only religion that the Beninois would accept and appreciate.
The 10th of January according to the Voodoo Calendar is when the Voodoo religion is celebrated. With constant drumming, singing, and dancing, traditional chiefs and fetish priests come together to perform rituals in praises of the gods. Devoted servants of the fetish priests would assume the position of the gods by dressing in colourful patchworks and emerge from the forest and walk around the town.
Foreigners who would hear these stories come to witness for themselves. The people of Ouidah during these festivities don’t mind an audience. They’re more welcoming. It is however the tourist’s job to mainly watch and enjoy themselves. But be careful enough to not let the masquerades come close enough to touch you.
The Ouidah township is one of the top tourist destinations in Benin for its museum that holds vital information of Ouidah’s participation in the slave trade.
This town has an amazing vibe of African charm. Although known for its Voodoo culture, it rather has a lot more history with its role in the slave trade.
On the brighter side, business-minded citizens have carefully structured hotels and resorts around the beach. The beach however is intricately lined with beautiful coconut palms. Nearby is also the breathtaking Mano river where you can see exotic birdlife and mangrove.
On the main road to the Marché de Grand-Popo(market), you’d find the Villa Karo which is a Finnish-African cultural centre that exhibits art made by the people.
The small community is also one of the top tourist destinations in Benin with a livelihood of fishing.
This town with a population of 20,000 people has the most colonial french buildings in Benin. This is because Tanguieta used to be the departmental seat of government during the French Colonial rule. These french designed buildings are a sight to see.
The main languages spoken in the Tanguieta township are French, Biali, Waama, Natani, and Dendi.
Tanguieta prides itself on preserving wildlife. Most of Africa’s majestic beasts are found in the Pendjari National Park in Tanguieta. There are hyenas, lions, elephants, etc.
Then there is the awesome Tonogou Waterfalls for a scenic photoshoot.
Cotonou is a burst of energy, giving off the vibe as the country’s capital but it isn’t. This place is termed the economic hub of Benin. With most government officials and the president living in Cotonou, most factory works are performed there. From brewing to textiles production, to palm oil processing, the top industries can be found there.
With over a million inhabitants, Cotonou is appreciated for its paradise beaches lined with palm trees. While Cotonou is daunting and adventurous, the town isn’t quite the top tourist destination of the above-listed tourist sites.
Tourists are drawn to the Cotonou “Fetish market”. In the market, you’d find different varieties of deal animals for sacrifices done at the voodoo festival.
Let your curiosity drive you to Cotonou. It’s worth a spot on here as the top 5 tourist destinations in Benin.
Abomey was the ancient capital of Benin between the 17th and 19th centuries. The town had twelve royal palaces that used to be a sight to see. Although in ruins, two still stand tall and that is what attracts the tourists here. These places are called Ghézo and Glélé.
Today, they are the Abomey museum serving the history of the town on a platter of gold to tourists.
Inside, there’s a throne mounted with human skulls and the palace walls are designed with bas-reliefs. This place is very important and it is labelled as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
After hearing the fascinating tales of past kings, you could visit the artisan centre nearby to buy your traditional appliqué textiles. Appliqué is a beautiful needlework art in which patches of fabric are cut in different shapes and sizes, then sewed into a larger piece.
Once you’re in the top tourist destination of Abomey, please get an appliqué as a souvenir.
The best thing about this trip is the moderate prices of hotels unless you have a high standard of living.
You could also get your Popular hotel branches in Benin such as Novotel and Golden Tulip le diplomate.
Visit West Africa’s tourist secret and come back to tell us your amazing experience in the comment box below.
We hope this article on the top 5 tourist destinations in Benin was helpful to you.