Benin Republic Travel Mini-Guide and Advice
Benin Republic travel Guide and advice. Travel agencies in Benin Republic can help in organizing an effective journey to this country and save money on such things as visas, flight connections, hotel rooms, or other types of accommodation.
Benin Republic is a small West African country. One comes here to meet with the tribes, whose way of life remains almost as it was in the Stone Age. This is one of the few places on the planet, where one never celebrates birthdays, where no one reads newspapers. Instead, the people hold the magic rites of sacrifice, worship voodoo and believe in the existence of spirits. Such a lifestyle cannot but impress the modern man. It seems to be a return to the distant past.
In Benin Republic, it is easy to imagine what the earth was like in its original form, before the rapid development of mankind and the advent of progress.
The architectural landmarks of Benin are represented by historic cathedrals, botanical gardens, and numerous museums. Tourism began to develop in the country not so long ago, but the number of people wishing to get acquainted with the pristine nature of the country is constantly increasing.
The main natural attraction of Benin is the jungle. However, the tropical evergreen forests could not resist the onslaught of civilization. Most of them have been cut down, so the landscape of Benin is predominated by tall-grass savannah. The animals, however, are quite diverse and include elephants, antelopes, buffaloes, and panthers.
Porto-Novo is the nominal capital of the country, but the government and most businesses have moved to Cotonou. However, Porto-Novo, with its 180 thousand inhabitants, is a quite beautiful historic site. Its proximity to the Nigerian border offers certain advantages in trade. The famous Grand Marche d’Adjara is still functioning and you can buy tom-toms, fabrics, handmade baskets and the best in Benin pottery here.
The Ethnographic Museum of Porto Novo has a large collection of Yoruban religious objects. One can also admire the decorative style of the Brazilian Church, which is now a mosque. Covered with palm leaves, the fishing villages in the lagoon near Porto-Novo look very unnatural, as if being aliens from the past.
The largest city of the country is the port of Cotonou. First of all, tourists are attracted to the Cotonou National Museum and the Botanical Gardens. Cotonou offers a huge selection of local and international restaurants, as well as a lot of bars and nightclubs in the Zhonke area.
To the north of Cotonou lies the town of Ganve. Its 20 thousand people live in bamboo huts on stilts, scattered over several kilometers along Nokue Lake. The local buildings, restaurants, shops, and even a hotel are only 2 m above the water. The local residents object to being photographed, so it is recommended not to take pictures on the territory of Ganve.
The city of Abomey is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Dahomey. The main attraction of the city is the restored Royal Palace and the museum inside the palace. Most of the buildings, constructed in 1645, were destroyed by fire. The remaining houses are very beautiful and attract the attention of the visitors with the reverend age.
The interior of the Palace is decorated with unique bronze bas-reliefs, which have been declared by UNESCO as universal heritage objects. The museum has an extensive exhibit showing the ‘voodoo’ cult objects, encrusted skulls, the items of Portuguese colonization period, and traditional homes of local people. Photography is strictly prohibited here, too.
Several hundred kilometers to the north-west of Cotonou, on the border with Togo, there is the city of Bokumbe, widely known for its market, which is regarded as the best market in the country. Only here you can buy rare, authentic traditional folk sculpture and pipes made of precious wood. These items are the pride of local craftsmen.
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