Benin things to see and do

Things to see and do

Abomey museum

Visit the museum in Abomey, situated about 100km (60 miles) northeast of the capital Porto Novo. The museum covers the history of the Abomey kingdoms and contains a throne made of human skulls. You can also pay a visit to the Fetish Temple and the nearby Centre Artisanal where local craft products are sold at reasonable prices.


Another market worth a visit is the weekly market at Boukombe in the northwest of the country, where tourists can buy the goods made by the Somba people, who live in this region.


In Cotonou, go to the market, the Dan Tokpa, which is normally open every four days. The museum here is well worth a visit too.


The lake village of Ganvie, 18km (11miles) northwest of Cotonou, has houses built on stilts and a water-market.


The town of Ouidah is notable for its old Portuguese fort and the Temple of the Sacred Python.

Porto Novo

In Porto Novo, the capital and the administrative centre of the country, you can see many examples of colonial and pre-colonial art and architecture. The Ethnological Museum is probably the most notable place of interest for a visitor.


Sail at the Yacht Club in Cotonou, or hire a dug-out canoe or motorboat on Nakoue Lagoon.


Although facilities for watersports on the coast are limited, there are good beaches at Grand Popo and Ouidah but visitors should note that tides and currents can render the sea very dangerous and only the strongest swimmers should venture in at certain places.


See a wide range of wildlife including cheetahs, hippos and crocodiles at Benin's two national parks. Pendjari is normally only open between December and June. Accommodation is available. The 'W' National Park straddles the frontier region between Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso and is less developed.