A country once ravaged by the slave trade with a culture who still practice voodoo today, Benin is an eerily fascinating place.

Tucked along the West African coast, the tiny nation of Benin takes its stage. Known as the origins of voodoo, many here still practice and traditions are highly visible across the country. The adverse history of the region is marked by the palaces of Abomey, where local Kings fraternized with colonial slave traders. In Dassa-Zoume, the Christian influence is epitomized by mystical visions of Mother Mary at an international pilgrimage site.

Benin travel highlights

Our Benin trips

Benin holiday information

Benin facts

  Capital city Porto Novo Popul...

Local culture of Benin

Like many modern African countries, the people that make up this country are varied and...

Geography & environment

Benin is a coastal country bordered by Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. Most of t...

Shopping guide to Benin

Shopping in Benin can be a treat. In the capital Porto Novo and out in small towns and ...

Benin festival calendar

Voodoo Festival As the global seat of Voodoo, Ouidah hosts several voodoo festivals ...

Food & drink in Benin

Restaurants in Benin serve up local dishes as well as European cuisine introduced durin...

Further reading

To Benin and Back by Chris Starace The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin Show M...

Benin travel FAQs

  • Australia: Yes - in advance
  • Belgium: Yes - in advance
  • Canada: Yes - in advance
  • Germany: Yes - in advance
  • Ireland: Yes - in advance
  • Netherlands: Yes - in advance
  • New Zealand: Yes - in advance
  • South Africa: Yes - in advance
  • Switzerland: Yes - in advance
  • United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
  • USA: Yes - in advance

Aside from nationals of a few African countries and China, most countries require visas for Benin. Visas need to be obtained in advance and cannot be issued at the airport or border. Visa applications require a copy of your itinerary and a WHO yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Tipping is expected from tourists so be sure to add 10% to your bill.

Internet access is available in the largest cities of Cotonou and Porto Novo but it is less common outside this area.

Mobile phone coverage is hard to find outside the major centres of Cotonou and Porto Novo. Activate global warming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while travelling.

You’re likely to find squat toilets in most places including capitals and tourist areas.

  • Dinner at a nice restaurant 3,000 XOF
  • A glass of beer 200 XOF
  • Packet of cigarettes 200 XOF

Benin’s tap water isn’t safe to drink. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.

Credit cards may be accepted in tourist areas of major cities but they aren’t used elsewhere in the country. Arrange to bring cash with you to make purchases in towns and remote areas.

ATMs are in short supply and they may not be internationally connected. Arrange for alternative payment options before you travel.

Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For more information on insurance, please go to: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/how-we-can-help/our-services

For a current list of public holidays go to: