Formerly called the Kingdom of Dahomey, Benin or the Republic of Benin is a country located in the Western region of Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. A majority of the population live on its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, which is a part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northern-most tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is called Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is Cotonou, which doubles as the country's largest city and economic capital.
Where to go
Porto Novo – Known as the country's original capital, Porto Novo defies the contemporary description of a capital city. Instead of the usual grey and industrial setting, Benin's Porto Novo opted for a fresher aura with its wonderful colonial architecture and leafy streets. Apart from which, its fast-paced industries provide a stark difference in its airy surroundings, and gives additional character to the already pretty city. Visit the Centre Songhai here, the Musee Honme, the Musee Ethnographique de Porto Novo, and check out the delicacies.
Cotonou – Known as the second capital, the economic centre, and the seat of government in Benin, Cotonou is a bustling and vibrant city that also doubles as a major port and a favourite tourist destination in the West African region. When going here, make sure to try at least a slice of each attraction in the city. Sample the French-African fusion cuisine in various restaurants, go through the labyrinthine bazaar of Grand Marche de Dantokpa, and even take a pint or two to finish the day at Jammin Bar. Additionally, travellers may also visit the Fondation Zinsou to get an idea of the Beninese contemporary African Art.
From Cotonou's Cadjehoun Airport, travellers may try and check other destinations within Africa. Fly to the cities of Addis Ababa, Douala, Lome, Niamey, Johannesburg, Brazzaville, or even in Kinshasa, Libreville, and Malabo, and explore the many national parks in the continent. Additionally, if planning on exploring the east section of the continent, do not miss out on exploring the African Great Lakes region. Note that most flights from the Cadjehoun Airport land on major international airports, so make sure to check as to how much to pay for taxes and terminal fees. Always prepare extra funds in case of emergencies.
From the Cadjehoun Airport, travellers may only fly to three long haul destinations. These destinations include Paris, nestled at the heart of France, Brussels in Belgium, and Istanbul, which serves as the capital of Turkey. Otherwise, there are no other international long haul flights available from the airport. Those who are planning to visit other countries apart from the above-mentioned can fly out from Cadjehoun Airport to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris or the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg (nearest international airport with heaps of flights) to check on the available long haul destinations. The said airports have plenty of flights on their roster.
How to get out
The Cadjehoun Airport is the main airport serving the city of Cotonou in Benin. Airlines that travel to the destination include Air Burkina, Air Cote d'Ivoire, Air France, ASKY Airlines, Brussels Airlines, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines, Westair Benin, and many others.