The tourist season is the dry season and therefore also the opening of the parks. It covers approximately mid-December in mid-May.
DiversitySea, lagoon, rivers. Water dominates the south with its flat relief, while Atakora rocks form a chain of small mountains in the north, a region with a dry climate.The cradle of voodooVoodoo is the traditional religion of the adja-Fon and yoruba communities. Catholics and Muslims, all Beninese people remain followers of voodoo. Born in West Africa, he was then exported by slaves to South and Central America (Caribbean, Brazil, Haiti). And it is in Benin, thanks to the services of an experienced local guide, that you can close to this mysterious cult.The AdventureTourism is slowly developing in Benin and any visit can turn into a real adventure. A local agency will be able to organise the circuit you need.The VillageBenin is still a very rural country, where life continues in villages and where everyone perpetuates his or her own. Even long-time Urbanized Cotonois keep a strong bond with their village.Political stability in the countryBenin is one of the first countries in Africa that came to democracy, bringing together a round table all the actors in political life, without exclusivity, and it is also the first West African country where the political alternation has proceeded smoothly, through the ballot box.Foreigners, especially if they are white, are considered to be rich people. Indeed, the only price for the airfare to go to Benin is a fortune for the vast majority of the population. To have an idea of the gap between income and living levels, it should be remembered that the minimum wage is 40 000 FCFA CFA in Benin, equivalent to just 60 .A lot of things will be going on for you in comparison with what you are accustomed to. However, in order to travel, you may be interested in expensive services ?: rental of cars, tours organised by travel agencies, luxury hotels or high-end restaurants. So the note quickly becomes salty. Conversely, the bourlingueurs can easily get out if they travel by taxi or by bus, eat in a maquis and sleep in small hotels.FormalitésIn addition to a valid passport, you must have a visa (50 for 30 days with two entries) and your vaccination booklet to prove that your yellow fever vaccine is up to date.
The official language is French, and it is often also the language of communication between different ethnic groups, because it is the language of instruction in schools. In general, therefore, those who have not been educated and who live in disadvantaged areas or remote villages are not proficient in French and speak Fon, Bariba, Dendi, Yoruba, Nago, Adja-Ewe, Le...
The CFA franc (for African Financial Community) is the currency that has legal status in Benin. It is issued by BCEAO (Central Bank of West African States), headquartered in Abidjan. Benin is part of West African states, such as Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Guinea Bisssau and Togo. These countries all use the same currency: So you can use the CFA franc in these eight countries. The ISO code is: XOF.Banknotes are available in denominations of 500, 1 ? 000, 2 ? 000, 5 ? 000 and 10 ? 000 ? FCFA ?; the currency is presented in parts 25, 50, 100, 200, 250 and 500 ? FCFA. Most transactions are carried out with small currency and notes of 500 and 1 ? 000 ?. Inaccessible for most Beninese, the large cuts of 5 ? 000 and 10 ? 000 ? FCFA are difficult to use, in markets for example and in small street restaurants (maquis). It is therefore always necessary to have money on oneself and to do so as soon as possible, in other words in hotels, supermarkets, petrol stations...
The south of the country has a infratectal climate marked by two dry seasons, from November to April and from August to mid-September.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette