Cotonou Benin Travel
I was able to travel to the Republic of Benin last weekend And it was amazing, but the constant interruptions in life kept me from making the journey. About a year ago I wanted to look at it and, as I mentioned in my other contributions, travelling to a republic like Ben never really occurred to me.
I always had the idea of going to West Africa, from my home country of Nigeria to Morocco, to the overland coast. It seemed impossible, but it was actually quite easy for me to spend two weeks in Benin and travel from Nigeria via the Ivory Coast to Nigeria.
The bus ride was uncomfortable, the flight over such a tiny distance was astronomical and the cost of getting me back to Lagos for four hours was about $100.
If you are planning a meeting for your trip, this site is a great place to see when a country like Benin is on vacation. Travellers travel through Ganvie, known as Africa's Venice, looking for special sights. If you are lucky enough to find someone to take you to Ghana or Nigeria, you should definitely work with an expert in travel documents. You can arrange transport across the border and have your visa processed at the consulate in Ben. A trip to Benin can be worthwhile, especially if you work in Benin or can obtain a visa through the consulate.
Much of Cotonou is based on an easily navigable grid system, making it ideal for those who want to wander around without the squeak of retreat to Zemidjan. It can also be seen from the air, but it is not a particularly attractive city for walking. If driving through the city is simply unnecessary and uneconomical, I would not recommend it. However, if you travel from Zemidsjan on foot or back, you can venture out to Benin on your own for a day or two, and it is a great experience.
If you are from America, you might want to consider coming to Benin on business and completing all border formalities, including customs and immigration, as well as arrival and departure, before taking on the travel risk. Air travel is the more likely option, and although Lagos has a direct flight to Atlanta, another option is to fly in from Cotonou if you are arriving exclusively in Benin or its neighbouring countries for business or leisure, although Lagos airport is an even crazier experience than in Nigeria, which can be dangerous. You have to stick to the safer areas of the lake and take travel risks, but it is not an easy or particularly safe overland journey.
Drink-driving is very common in Benin and drivers in major cities are sometimes involved in criminal rings, so choose your driver carefully.
In recent weeks, Benin has introduced a new policy for incoming passengers: arriving passengers must have a negative Covid 19 test within the last 72 hours and undergo a medical check and quarantine in a government-designated hotel. A negative test does not have to be quarantined if the passenger enters a country that is on Slovenia's green list and a credible laboratory is operating in Slovenia or the EU's Schengen area.
US citizens must have a visa to travel to Benin. Make sure that your US passport is still valid and valid for 6 months from the day you intend to leave Benin. Your passport should look as if it is valid for another 6 months before your planned departure date. If you have questions about your trip to Benin or if you are wondering what jab you need for your trip, you can now make an appointment by phone or online.
It is best to always carry a notarized photocopy of the photo page of your passport with you when you travel to Benin. Travelers cannot obtain visas to Benin from Nigeria or Ghana, but visas from other countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and the United States.
This post will be just a summary of our trip, but later we will talk more about our couchsurfing experience in Cotonou and our experience crossing the border to Seme. In the next travel post I will talk more about the places we visited and about this special journey.
As for the attractions of Benin, I start with the fact that it is the birthplace of Vodun, widely known as voodoo. The 18th and 19th centuries flourished under the Dahomey kings, and in northern Benin, the Abomesy Palace was home to a powerful Fons - the Dahomey king, who was an enemy of Porto Novo Yoruba. Cotonou itself is a beautiful city with a rich history, a rich culture and a rich heritage. If you want to know more about the history of this city and its cultural heritage, take a trip to the city of Côte d'Ivoire, the capital of Niger.