Benin Travel Overview
At a glance
Capital: Porto Novo
Official language: French
Currency: CFA franc
Continent: West Africa
Travel to Benin
Benin offers many old and new cultures and all kinds of symbioses of old and new.
According to Countryaah, Benin is located in West Africa and borders Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and the Atlantic.
Oidah is a place of pilgrimage for many voodoo devotees and altars can be found all over the city. Like Venice, Ganvie is built on stilts and Dassa Zoume is characterized by its grottos and rock formations.
The lingua franca in Benin is French. In addition, Yoruba and Fon are common in the south. Benin was part of the old kingdom of Dahomey and therefore offers art historical sights in many places. Until 1990 it was the only Marxist state on the West African mainland.
Capital: Porto Novo
Official language: French
CFA franc (100 centimes)
ISO 4217 code
XOF / 952
Geo coordinates: N 9 ° 18 ‘27.7 ” E 2 ° 18’ 57″
Highest mountain: Mont Sokbaro (658 m)
Total area: 112,620 km²
Mainland: 110,620 km²
National border: 1,989 km
Coastline: 121 km
Dependency: France until 1960
UN member since: 1960
Other political affiliation: African Union
Form of government: Presidential Republic
Export goods: Woods, cement
BSP: $ 4,298,600,000
GDP: $ 4,452,000,000
GDP purchasing power parity: $ 8,921,000,000
Economic growth: 3.7%
Inflation rate: 3.8%
State budget revenue: $ 827 billion
State budget expenditure: $ 984,000,000
Export: $ 944,000,000
Import: $ 1,127,000,000
Gold and currency reserves: $ 743,000,000
Gas reserves: 1,218 million m³
Oil reserves: 4 million m³
Oil production: 400 million m³
Oil consumption: 13,600 million m³
Cultivation area: 26.13%
Bovine: 1,740,000 pieces
Sheep: 640,000 pieces
Fishing: 37,400 t
Residents in cities: 3,261,000
Average age: 17.6 years
0-14 years: 44.1%
15-64 years: 53.5%
> 65 years: 2.4%
Population growth: 2.73%
Birth rate: 41.99 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 12.22 / 1,000 residents
Migration: 0.67 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 0.98
Fertility: 5.2 Children / woman
Infant mortality: 79.56 ‰
Life expectancy men: 51.9 years
Life expectancy women: 54.22 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: BJ
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: BEN
ISO 3166 numeric: 204
Top Level Domain: bj
IOC country code: BEN
UN / LOCODE: BJ
Telephone connections: 78,000
Cell Phones: 410,000
Internet users: 129,000
Railway lines: 578 km
Paved roads: 1,414 km
of which expressways: 10 km
Number of doctors: 720
Daily food intake: 2,500 kcal / resident
HIV- infected people: 79,000
Last sovereign since: 1960
Main religious group: Natural religions
Prison inmates: 5,800
Armed forces (troop strength): 5,000
Defense Spending: $ 106,300,000
Arriving by plane
Benin does not have its own airline. The most important national airline is Air Burkina (2J) (Internet: www.air-burkina.com).
From Europe there are direct connections with Air France (AF) from Paris and with Brussels Airlines (SN) direct connections from Brussels to Cotonou. There are no direct connections from Frankfurt / Main, Vienna and Zurich.
Arrival by car
There are three main roads, one connecting Cotonou with Niamey (Niger), another Lagos (Nigeria) with Porto Novo, Cotonou, Lomé (Togo) and Accra (Ghana); a third connects Parakou with Kara in Togo. Two roads lead to Burkina Faso, one via Banikoara, the other via Porga. Buses and taxis are available.
Arriving by train
There are still no rail connections to the neighboring countries. A connection between Parakou and Niamey in Niger (via Gaya) is under construction.
Arrival by ship
Ships from local shipping companies connect Lagos with Porto Novo. International cargo ships commute between Marseille and Cotonou.
ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
There are flight connections between Cotonou, Parakou, Natitingou, Djougon and Kandi. You can also charter two-seater planes.
On the way by car / bus
There is right-hand traffic. The roads are in relatively good condition, most of the roads from Cotonou to Dassa and from Parakou to Malanville are paved. Unpaved roads are only passable during the dry season. We do not recommend driving overland at night due to the risk of assaults and accidents. Buses operate on the main roads . Minibuses are cheaper but slower.
Car rental: There are several rental car companies in Cotonou. You can also rent a car or minibus with a driver.
Documentation: International driver’s license.
Traveling in the city
Taxis are available in the larger cities. The fare should be negotiated in advance.
On the go by train
The rail network covers 600 km. Trains run daily from Cotonou to Pobé, as well as to Ouidah and Parakou. An air-conditioned express train runs on the Cotonou – Parakou route; there are no sleeping or dining cars, and snacks are available on some trains.
Children under 4 years of age travel for free, children between 4 and 9 years of age pay half the price.
Note on rail travel
Average train travel times:
Cotonou – Parakou: 12-14 hours; Cotonou – Sègboroué: 2 hours 30; Cotonou – Pobé: 4 hours