Country Background: The capital of Benin is Porto Novo. There are approximately 11 million people living in this beautiful coastal country. The official language of Benin is French, but Fon and Yoruba are widely spoken in the South and other languages such as Bariba and Fulfulde are widely spoken in the North. Beninese practice both Islam and Roman Catholicism. The time zone is 5 hours ahead of EST. Major exports of the country include cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, and seafood.
Benin was once a powerful kingdom, and has many temples and abandoned palaces. When visiting, visitors cannot miss out on the port city of Cotonou! Contonou in Fon means “The mouth of the river of death”. Two place of interest here are the Notre Dame des Apotres, a cathedral with beautiful striped tile architecture. The Benin Artisanal Center is another place of interest with its distinct Beninese art galleries.
Jim’s Perspectives: In 2017, really enjoyed my time at this lovely little country wedged between Togo and Nigeria! Overnighted in the Azalea Hotel, which is the only nice beachfront property.
Highlight of my time in Benin was seeing some of the cool things in the spiritual capital, Ouidah.
Top things to do while in Benin:
- Visit the enchanted forest
- Visit the python sanctuary