Benin Republic

Benin Republic – Cost & Trip Breakdown

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As a follow up to the Benin Republic online diary I have on this blog, here’s a breakdown of travel costs and some logistics details about the trip.

Transportation

In order to keep costs as low as possible, I used only public transportation. This wasn’t always convenient. I had to wait until the bus or taxi got full, deal with the multiple stops that involved calling and picking up passengers, share the front seat of a small car with another passenger and so on. On my way back, the bus I was in broke down around the Victoria Island area.
Route: From Lekki, I took a bus to CMS and got down on top of the bridge. There were buses to Mile 2 from there for N200 and a shared taxi directly to the Seme border for N1500. I took the bus and got down at the last stop. From there, I took another bus to Badagry for N400. Again, there was a shared taxi going to Seme border for N1200. A shared taxi from Badagry took us to the Seme border for N150 and stopped at the ‘Connoil’ filling station.
There are bikes from the garage around there that cross people without passports to the Benin Republic side. I walked through immigration instead.
ghana cost to visit

Crossing the Border

Crossing the border should be free but unfortunately, those guys would not let you prosper. What this means is that you can and shoulhaggle your way through immigration if you must get your passport stamped. Or be prepared to wait for hours if you refuse to pay.
Sometimes, smiling and being friendly with the officers on the Nigerian side worked for me as I either didn’t have to pay anything at all or only a fraction of what they had initially asked for. Other times, not so much plus the guys at the Beninese side were not falling for that at all!
 
Of course, you can escape all of this by taking a ‘luxurious’ bus from Lagos. They manage all the border formalities on your behalf.


Documents Needed

Passport & a yellow card

Money

You can change money once you get to Seme town. At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is N1000 to 1325CFA, which is pretty bad compared to a 1:3 ratio obtained before.
Accommodation
I tried couchsurfing for the first time. This is a service that allows people host travellers in their homes for free or just simply meet up with them. It’s great for budget travellers because, you don’t have to pay for a hotel and it is safe once you’re cautious and put safety measures in place. Mark (who was my host) will be sharing some tips about using this service later on.

Travel Cost Breakdown

Click to Expand
Lesson Learned
N20K was not enough money. Might have been okay with a good exchange rate and no fees at the border.
Couchsurfing has its pros and cons. Please do your research and know the risks associated with using a service such as this.

6 Comments

  1. Hi Amara,

    Google search popped up your blog and now I’ve been one hour in…..sigh….can’t get enough. Really love seeing things through your eyes.

    I and my friends are planning a weekend drive to Benin so two questions biko. What’s the likely maximum cost of stamping one’s passport at immigration? Is it possible((and safe) to drive to the Border and pack there for a few nights whilst we hustle the rest of the way with local transport?

    • Hey Chichi, I’m so happy you found my blog and glad you liked it too. If it’s your first time traveling, you should budget between N5,000 – N6,000 (if you’re not ready to stand your ground, beg/negotiate your way through the border). I’m not sure of where to park your car if you drive. I literally can’t see anywhere in my head.

  2. Gosh!!!!!!!! Your blog is the real deal! Not all the “boujeeness” that Nigerians like to form for a trip. Makes traveling possible for every middle class working person. You dont need to make a million before you make a trip! Thank you sooo much!

    • 🙂 Thank you! That’s the exact message of this blog. Travel can be expensive, but doesn’t always have to be.

  3. Banks Moshood

    Hello Amarachi…this is really nice. I am looking to do a road trip for 5th of september up to ghana. The idea of couchsurfing sounds appealing. Thanks and will be glad for any additional info.

I love to hear from you!