5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Trip to Benin Republic

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Benin Republic is fast becoming a favorite travel destination among Nigerian travel enthusiasts (especially those based in border cities like Lagos). The country is no longer being seen only as a used car shopping haven but also as a place to go kick back, relax and escape crazy city life for a while.

If you have never considered visiting this country, here are five reasons why you should.

1. It is relatively affordable to visit…

auberge de grand popoWith as little as a N1,000 (naira), you can find yourself in Seme, one of the towns between Nigeria and Benin Republic. Depending on how you choose to travel, you can have a good time without leaving a gaping hole in your pocket.

You can explore different sites and enjoy relaxing days in beautiful beaches for only a fraction of what it would cost you in several other places. And who doesn’t love cheap thrills?!

2. Proximity to other countries…

If you have dreams of exploring countries in West Africa, Benin serves as a good starting point. You can take a day trip to Togo and explore a bit of Lome or use it as a stopover for a trip to Ghana.

As I mentioned in this article, getting to Accra from Lagos can be quite the journey. Breaking the trip in cities like Ouidah or Grand Popo certainly makes the experience more enjoyable.

3. Benin Republic has the best wildlife safari option in West Africa…

Another reason to visit Benin is for the wildlife safari option available in her Pendjari National Park. This park is arguably the best the region and is definitely worth visiting if you love safaris. Granted, it is no Serengeti or Kruger but the safari experience feels pretty much the same.

The entire experience, from game drives to anticipation for a sighting to camping in the heart of the Savannah is very exciting. It makes the journey there worthwhile.

4. An opportunity to experience a different culture…

python temple ouidahVisiting places away from home provides an opportunity to learn and connect with people. I am constantly fascinated by how much there is to learn about the similarities and differences between the culture there and here in Nigeria. Especially seeing as we are very close neighbors.

It’s also interesting to see where Nigeria ends and Benin starts. You can literally tell the difference as you move further away from the border towns. Benin is also the closest country to Lagos, Nigeria, where French is the official language, so getting to visit and practice my French is always a plus.

(Well, except when I travel with Mark. Then, I’m just plain lazy)

5. Ease of touring sites…

Ganvie womanIn my opinion, it’s relatively easier to tour sites in Benin than it is to do so in Nigeria. Like Nigeria, Benin’s tourism is far from perfect but it’s still an organized chaos. Visiting similar sites is less of an hassle compared to Nigeria. You only need to visit Makoko (Nigeria) and Ganvie (Benin) – two very similar attractions – to understand what I am talking about. While the latter is pretty straightforward to tour, the former can be a nightmare.

In essence, this ease of exploring sites definitely makes it an attractive destination to visit.

So, what do you think? Have I convinced you to add Benin Republic to your wanderlust list yet? – or nah? PS: you’re not allowed to say ‘nah’ 🙂

and 

Have you visited Benin before? Tell me about your experience…

8 Comments

  1. Benin is on my list and I can’t wait to explore all Benin has to offer

  2. I never realised that Benin was the used car haven! Anyway I hadn’t considered it before but now you’ve honestly provoked my curiosity. Perhaps I’ll make a short trip the next time I’m in Ghana.

    Madeline
    http://www.madelinewilsonojo.com

    • Amarachi

      Oh it is.. or rather, it used to be before the great fall of the Naira. I’ll look forward to reading about your trip if you do get to visit.

  3. Cheers to you for promoting travel in Benin! With that said, I heard there are two safari options here in Senegal that look more interesting than Pendjari to be honest – Banda and Fathala. Hopefully I can check one if not both out before I leave so we can shamelessly boast about our “alternative” Seregenti and Kruger lolol || http://www.lorikemi.com

    • Haha, please do. We need more alternative safari options in our zones that match Serengeti and Kruger!

  4. Yessss to all the reasons to visit Benin! I have visited Benin and it’s a really nice place

  5. PS. You’re not allowed to say nah…that actually made me laugh out loud!
    I have been thinking about going somewhere outside Nigeria that will be (extremely) affordable after my internship, and this has jumped to the top of ze list. Thank you for the recommendation, Amarachi!
    http://www.desireuba.WordPress.com

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