Benin is a country in West Africa with a population of approximately 12 million people. The majority of the people live on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin by the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital is Porto-Novo, but the government sits in Cotonou, the largest city and economic capital in the country. Furthermore, there are three official languages spoken in Benin. French is the official one, while there is also Fon and Yoruba, and then there are at least six different tribal languages found, preferably in the north. The country is a large exporter of cotton and palm-oil and focuses on agriculture. Here you can enjoy flavorful dishes and Beninese cuisine, which includes exotic ingredients. It is believed that Benin is the cradle of voodoo, and often called Vodun by the locals, which means spirit. This is their religion believed in the country, which advocates peace. 

Kota Falls

If you fancy a refreshing dip, the Kota Falls, 15 km southeast of Natitingou is where you should head. You can go hiking in the forest, swim at the bottom of the falls, or just sit down and relax by the shade. You can take a zemidjan, also called zem, here. This is a taxi found in Benin. 

Zinsou Foundation Museum

This beautiful well-kept museum showcases contemporary African art. Housed in a stunning 1920’s Afro-Brazilian villa, it displays paintings and sculptures as well as video and sound installations. Book a guide for a more detailed and informative tour.

Cathedral de Notre Dame

This Catholic cathedral with its bright red and white stripes is not only a place of worship but also home to a small bookshop selling titles by regional authors as well as a handful of scholarly texts. With sandstone and cream-coloured arches, the lines extend into the inside. It’s a quiet and cool escape from the city’s bustle, beyond its pretty stripes.

Crowd1 Benin quick facts

Country: Benin
Capital: Porto-Novo
Official languages: French
Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)

You might also enjoy