Benin Republic has sort of become a yearly destination for me. Since my first visit to Fidjrosse in 2016, I have visited the country four more times now, going there twice in 2017 to Ganvie and Grand Popo and to Pendjari with Mark in 2018 for my first West African Safari.

This year, Mark and I got the chance to visit again from Lagos. Since we had just 3 days to spare, inclusive of travel days, we figured we’d limit our trip to the country’s economic centre, Cotonou.

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019- Bab's Dock

PS: Read about a transportation cost breakdown from Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip for less than ₦1,000

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Getting to Cotonou from Lagos

We decided to go to Cotonou in a hired vehicle. My friend, Omolara recommended a driver to us and he arrived promptly to pick us up at our agreed time. We left Lagos at 6 am and got to the Seme-Krake border at around 12 pm.

The journey was particularly tiring due to traffic and road conditions. The roads leading to the Seme border from a large part of the Lagos mainland were in terrible condition and that, combined with terrible driving habits, caused slow-moving traffic and standstills.

I was so glad when we arrived to better road conditions from the border and onward into Cotonou.

Crossing the new Seme-Krake Joint Border

In my previous visits to Benin, I have always gotten my passport stamped at the back road borders. These were mainly make-shift shacks on dirt roads that served as a border control for travellers.

This time, our driver drove us straight to the fairly newly commissioned administrative building that serves as a joint border for both Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Joint border Seme Krake

It took us a little over 30 minutes to get our passports stamped. The immigration officers on the Nigerian side spent this time passing our documents from one office to the next and back again. One positive thing about the whole experience was that we weren’t asked for money in the usual forceful way.

One of the officials did ask me to ‘give him something’. When I told him I didn’t have anything, he handed my passport back to me without pushing further. Our interactions with the Beninese officials, on the other hand, was much faster.

Cotonou – Eat, Sleep, Do

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019

Once we arrived in Cotonou, we headed straight to Guesthouse Haie Vive, our accommodation for the night. The rooms in the guest house came with the basic amenities needed for our stay. After settling in, we took a walk around the city before going to lunch at the Livingstone restaurant.

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019 Living Stone Cotonou

Lunch was fantastic and the service, even more so. We spent the rest of the day hanging out at another restaurant (Puravida) with some of Mark’s friends from his days with the Peace Corps.

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019

The next day, after having breakfast at Puravida, we set out to Bab’s Dock to spend our second day. The first time I couch surfed with Mark, he brought I and the other surfers here for dinner. It felt really nice coming back and seeing all the notable changes the place had undergone.

The biggest one was the road. When I first visited, it was just a sandy beach road and it took quite some time to drive down from Fidjrosse. This time, our ride only lasted about 10 minutes.

Spending a day at Bab’s Dock

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019 (20)

I loved everything about the beautiful cabins we checked into. Well, everything apart from the compost toilet. I’m quite embarrassed to say that I am not a big fan of toilets like this even though they are actually better for the environment.

We spent the rest of our time here just relaxing. There was the option to go kayaking or sailing across the lake but I just wanted to stay in bed and finish the book I was reading.

Later in the evening, Mark organized a lovely dinner and evening for us. It was such a lovely way to end our visit to the country that has captured both our hearts.

Bab's Dock Benin RepublicLagos to cotonou road trip Bab's DockLagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019 - Bab's Dock Bab's Dock

We left Bab’s Dock after breakfast the next morning and made the journey back to Lagos from Cotonou. I am always excited to visit Benin Republic. Each trip has given me incredible memories and this last one gave me one to remember for a lifetime.

I have received a ton of emails and messages requesting the number of the driver who took us. I would still continue to provide this via email but I feel inclined to mention that his price is pretty steep for the average budget traveller.

I love to hear from you, Leave a comment here!


  1. Hi Amarachi
    Hope you’re are doing good
    Thanks for your review pls can i have the drive contact Thanks

    • Hi Glory, I’ve sent it by email. This post is a little old, I don’t know if he still does the route but sent anyway. Have a good trip!

  2. Hi Amarachi,
    Please can i get the driver’s number. Thank you

  3. Hello Amarachi,
    I trust you are well. Thank you for your insightful post. I would like to have the contact of the driver who took you to Cotonou. if you don’t mind.
    I hope to hear from you soon.
    Thank you.

  4. Thanks for this post, am currently in Cotonou, pls can you send me the driver’s number so he can come to Cotonou to take me to Lagos? Thanks

  5. Hi Amara, thanks for this. Very helpful!
    Pls can you provide directions to Bab’s dock once I cross the Seme border.
    Also, how do I book a weekend stay there seeing they are not on the popular hotel booking platforms.

  6. Dear Amarachi,

    I have had to plan and cancel my trip to Cotonou severally because I get scared of pple’s narration about the roads.
    I will appreciate having the drivers number.
    Also, can you tell how much i should have to stay in Cotonou for 2 nights?

    Thank you in anticipation.

    • Hi Olufunke, you’re right about the roads – they’re quite bad going out of Lagos. If they haven’t been repaired, I’d suggest travelling during the dry season as they’re more manageable and motorable then. I’ve sent you the driver’s number via email.
      Regarding how much you have to stay: this depends on several factors (including your type accommodation and the activities you want to do in Cotonou). I have spent less than N15,000 and also more than N100K traveling to Cotonou. So it really depends on you. I’d say on the average, N100K seems like a good budget for 2 days.

  7. ubaidurrahman Sulaiman

    Hi, Amarachi I would be traveling to Cotonou this September for the first time and I really loved your photos, I’ve seen alot of comments would love to get a travel buddy and yes could you do me a small favour and send me the drivers contact.

  8. Hello Ama,
    I want to make this trip this month. kindly forward the driver phone number.
    Thanks for the good job.

    • Hello Vincent, sent it to you by email. Good luck and please come back to update on road and border conditions once you make your trip.

      • Hi Amara, first time on your blog and I must say that it’s very captivating. I went to Cotonu once last year and to be honest, its a beautiful place but the roads out of Lagos are terrible. I particularly loved the place you lodged and I wouldn’t mind trying it out. Please could you send me the number of the driver that took you there? Would like to plan a trip for the new year. Thank you.

      • Thank you, Adaeze! You’re right about the roads out of Lagos being terrible. Maybe it’s better now? I don’t know. I have sent you the driver’s number via email. I hope you enjoy your time there when you visit again.

  9. Olayinka David-Afolabi

    Hello Amarachi,
    This looks soo beautiful and I would like to tr this soon.
    Please can you send the driver’s details?

    Thank you.

  10. Abimbola Akinyemi

    Hi Amarachi , Bab’s place looks like the place to be can you share the contact number of the driver please .Is the road trip dangerous in anyway, I have heard horror stories.

    • Hi Abimbola, apart from poor road conditions on the Nigerian side and potentially numerous stops by immigration officials/police, I’d say it is safe. I’ve sent you the driver’s details by email.

  11. Thank you for your blog. Please could you put me in touch with the driver who took you.

  12. Amarachi, great post. I will be doing this trip later this year and would love If you could share your driver’s contact info as well. It is exactly what I am looking for! thank you!

  13. I found Benin quite interesting and hauntingly beautiful in its way. Great post!

    • Thanks Andy, Just caught up with your posts on Benin as well. I wasn’t aware there was a train that ran from Cotonou to Parakou. That was quite the journey for you.

  14. Is it important for children to go with their yellow cards aswell.
    If I go by bus can a child under 5 years be laped?

    • Hi Tomilola, technically, yes. You can get their cards by showing the Port Health officials a copy of their immunization certificate.

      Some buses won’t let you carry a child over 2 or 3. Some offer discounts. You need to confirm from the service you choose to use. The trip from Lagos to Cotonou is quite long and with the current road conditions, it may not be the best idea to carry a child on your lap for that long.

  15. Amarachi it’s a great post!! I love the pictures, it seems to be a very quiet and relaxing place to go and take a special time with someone (or why not for yourself) and just relax and get a change of vibes! The place where you stayed looks awesome, very comfortable! I wish I could go there for a quick trip!

  16. Nice post! I’d be travelling to Bénin soon and I’d love to go to Bab’s Dock too. Sadly I’ve not seen any info on how to get there from Cotonou.

    And again I’d need the driver’s number. Thanks

    • Thanks Cindy. I would think it’s a pretty easy find from Cotonou. Seemed like a straight road to me. But I will ask Mark for specific directions and update this post/comment. I’ll send the number via email.