Benin

Note the yellow shirt … this is what the motorcycle taxi drivers wear here

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
They worship all kinds of things here in Benin!
At the Python Sanctuary!

Oman

Oman's beautiful coastline near Salalah, heading towards Yemen This was special homecoming for me visiting Oman again in 2019. The last time I was here was in 1998 … and I vividly remember my time here.  Why? I was with my father, the best traveling partner ever, and...

Turkey

The capital of Turkey is Ankara. There are approximately 81 million people living here. The official language of Turkey is Turkish, but Kurdish is also spoken. The majority of Turks are Muslim, mostly Sunni.  Have been to Turkey twice, once with my dad when visiting...

Kenya

Country Information: The capital of Kenya is Nairobi. About 55 million people live in Kenya and the main languages are Swahili and English. Kenya is primarily Islamic, though there are smaller Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha'i populations as well as believers in...