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BENIN

Location - West Africa; Capital - Porto Novo; Population - 10 million; Currency - CFA Franc MORE BENIN

I spent 3 weeks in the small West African state of Benin, flying into Cotonou in February 2005.

 

bennoteAll Francophone countries in West Africa, along with Guinea Bissau, use the CFA Franc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben1The Gulf of Guinea as seen from Hotel de la Plage, Cotonou. Many oil tankers can be seen going to/from Nigeria

 

 

ben6Moped taxis, called zemidjans, are the speediest way of getting around Cotonou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben7Taking our Charlie Brown pirogue across Lake Nokoue to Ganvie

 

 

ben10Fishing nets on Lake Nokoue

 

 

 

 

ben12A glimpse of Ganvie village on Lake Nokoue, a fascinating place worth staying the night to soak up the atmosphere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben13Most buildings in Ganvie are made of bamboo and built on stilts - this is the main 'street'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben14The dining area of Chez M Hotel in Ganvie, where I stayed with my friend Christina

 

 

ben18The market area of Ganvie, where people bring their produce by boat

 

 

ben20Opposite the hotel, locals queue up in their pirogues to replenish their freshwater supply from a pump - Ganvie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben21A voodoo (or vodou) shrine in Lake Nokoue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben22Christina at a cafe in Porto Novo, Benin's capital

 

 

ben25Porto Novo's Hotel Beaurivage has lovely views of fishing pirogues in the lagoon below

 

 

ben26There are many colonial buildings in Porto Novo, this one now housing the Ethnographic Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben24A map of Benin and a vodou feticheur on the walls of Musee da Silva, Porto Novo

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben28The grounds of the Hotel Tata Somba in Natitingou, northern Benin

 

 

ben33Drinking at the shores of Lake Bali, Pendjari National Park. Baobab trees are common in the Sahel regions of West Africa

 

 

 

 

ben31An elephant at Pendjari National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ben37Warthogs in Pendjari National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben41Impala, Pendjari National Park

 

 

ben43Hippos laze in the Sacred Lake, Pendjari National Park

 

 

ben47I think these are waterbuck, Pendjari National Park (I must write the names down..)

Link to Pendjari National Park website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben48Taking shelter from the fierce heat at Pendjari Hotel - Pendjari National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben50Walking to Tanougou Falls, close to the national park entrance

 

 

ben52Tanougou Falls - the perfect place to refresh yourself after working up a sweat in the park

 

 

ben56Making our way down from the top of Tanougou Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben57Tanguieta is the main town between Pendjari and Natitingou

 

 

ben58Driving past a pen of harvested cotton near Tanguieta

 

 

ben60The Betamaribe people of northern Benin live in tata somba houses, made from clay.
This tata somba house is between Natitingou and Boukoumbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben61Tata somba houses, between Natitingou and Boukoumbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben62The gardens of Chez Monique in Abomey

 

 

ben63Some of Chez Monique's residents greet us in Abomey

 

 

ben66Traditional song and dance was laid on for a Belgian delegation who were eating at the guesthouse (little did they know there had been no running water all day, but the food was good anyway) Abomey

 

 

ben68The dancers are blurred but I like the effect - Chez Monique, Abomey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben71Vodou symbols on the walls, Abomey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben72Hwemu Temple is a vodou temple in Abomey

 

 

ben73Houndossou, a vodou god, painted on Hwemu Temple in Abomey

 

 

ben74Abomey was the capital of the Dahomey kingdom, which existed from the 17th century until 1894.
Ganyehessou was the first Dahomey king, his symbol here painted on Hwemu Temple, Abomey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben903 Dahomey kings were represented by different images - Abomey.
I want to acknowledge the copyright owner of this postcard but don't have the details (HPS?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben75Agonglo Palace in Abomey

 

 

ben77Agonglo's image is on the left, Guezo on the right (see postcard above) - Agonglo Palace, Abomey

 

 

ben78On the walls of Agonglo Palace is the voodoo symbol of Segbolissa - Abomey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben79Tegbessou is one of the Dahomey kings, as depicted at Agonglo Palace, Abomey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben81Semassou Temple is another vodou temple in Abomey

 

 

ben80The vodou god Legba is the gatekeeper and, with his erect penis, an obvious symbol of fertility - Semassou Temple, Abomey

 

 

ben82The painting gives a warning to those doing wrong. To its right is Legba - Semassou Temple, Abomey

Voodoo explained

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben84Statue of Behanzin in Abomey, the Dahomey king from 1889-1894 who was defeated by the French

 

 

ben85The Royal Palace of Abomey is now a museum

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2011 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.benintourisme.com - Benin tourist board

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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