Benin Travel Overview

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.

Important facts

Capital: Porto Novo

Official language: French


Currency (sub-unit)

CFA franc (100 centimes)

ISO 4217 code

XOF / 952


Continent: Africa

Region: west

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


Benin GDP - gross domestic product

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

Demographic data

Residents: 7,863,000

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


Source: Abbreviationfinder


Telephone connections: 78,000

Cell Phones: 410,000

Radios: 3,380,000

TV: 816,000

Computer: 51,000

Internet users: 129,000


Railway lines: 578 km

Paved roads: 1,414 km

of which expressways: 10 km

Cars: 84,000


Number of doctors: 720

Daily food intake: 2,500 kcal / resident

HIV- infected people: 79,000


Illiteracy: 63%


Foundation: 1960

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:

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.

Departure fee


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.


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.

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