Benin Ethnicities and parks

In the heart of the Gulf of Guinea lies a small country of spectacular cultural and natural wealth, its shores reflecting Africa’s colonial history and preserving its ancestral religions, both voodoo and the rites of traditional African religions of different ethnicities. During this trip we will visit important markets such as Dantokpa, and cruise through the canals of the magical Ganvie, a slave refuge in the past.We will meet the Holi, a people preserving traditional African religion and ancient lifeways, their women proudly wearing beautiful tattoos. And we will visit the Agonlin Mountains, where the nomadic Fon and Fula peoples have camps. Benin is a country full of life and religious rituals (voodoo). Throughout the trip our guide will be on the lookout to draw our attention to local ceremonies that may be held.We will behold the royal palaces of a kingdom that still exists in the city of Abomey, marked by a past of tribal wars, a place where history is felt on every street.

Duración:

16 días

Viaje:

En grupo o privado

Desde:

1990 €

Salidas y Precios

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Precio de viajar en grupo

PVP por persona:

desde 1990 €

Precio de viajar en privado

PVP por persona:

desde 2140 €

Route trip

Ask us for the PDF with the complete information of the route

DÍA 1

International flight to Cotonou

International flight arriving in Cotonou in the afternoon/ evening. After completing the procedures for entry into the country and collecting our luggage, the group will be transferred to the designated hotel. Accommodations at the Hotel du Lac.

DÍA 2

Cotonou – Ganvie – Cotonou

Breakfast and chat with the guide about the day’s activities and the trip in general. Visit to Dantokpa, Cotonou’s central market, considered the largest in West Africa. This market draws together all the country’s different ethnic groups, and is a place where you can find absolutely everything. One of the market’s most interesting spots is its “fetish area”. We will also see some of the monuments surviving from the Communist era (Benin was a Marxist state for more than a decade). From Cotonou we will head north, where we will take a motorized canoe to Ganvié, the famous “African Venice”. Ganvié (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a lake town of 60,000 inhabitants, founded in the 16th century as a refuge to evade enslavement. It is fascinating to cruise the canals and observe the inhabitants’ daily lives.Return to Cotonou and night at the hotel. Accommodations at the Hotel du Lac.

DÍA 3

Cotonou – Porto Novo

Breakfast and chat with the guide about the day’s activities and the trip in general. Visit to Dantokpa, Cotonou’s central market, considered the largest in West Africa. This marketplace draws together all the country’s different ethnic groups, and is a site where you can find absolutely everything. One of the market’s most interesting spots is its “fetish area”. We will also see some of the monuments surviving from the Communist era (Benin was a Marxist state for more than a decade). From Cotonou we will head north, where we will take a motorized canoe to Ganvié, the famous “African Venice”. Ganvié (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a lake town of 60,000 inhabitants, founded in the 16th century as a refuge to evade enslavement. It is fascinating to cruise the canals and observe the inhabitants’ daily lives.Accommodations at the Hotel Songhay. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 4

Porto Novo – Onigbolo – Cove

Our route takes us northward to the town of Onigboló, home to one of the most fascinating ethnic groups in Benin: the Ohori, or the Ije, a people embracing ancient African religion and that has maintained its tradition of tattooing and body scarification. We will make an excursion on foot through fields of crops and small sacred forests to discover the Ohori villages, and their inhabitants, not highly accustomed to the presence of western travellers. Our guide will help us communicate with the head of each clan, and we’ll be able to enjoy a world of ancient traditions that, in this part of Africa, has been shielded from Western influences. We will resume our route on to Cove, but first, a brief stop and visit to Ketou, a Beninese commune and one of the first Yoruba cities in Benin.Arrival in Cove.Accommodations at the Hotel TG. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 5

Cove

The day begins with a trip to Gbanamé, a town from which we will make an excursion to the hills of the Agonli Mountains to learn about the ways of life of the two ethnic groups that inhabit this relatively unknown region of Benin: the Fon people, animist farmers; and the Fulani, a quintessentially nomadic African people.The Fon people, aka the Dahomey, is the country’s main ethnic group. In the 17th century theirs was one of the most powerful kingdoms, and actively participated in the slave trade. Despite external influences, they have preserved much of their religion and tradition (voodoo). The Fulani, or Mbororo, meanwhile, despite having been influenced by Islam, continue to maintain their own deep-rooted religious traditions. Men and women wear facial tattoos. We will do some moderate hiking through the mountains, visiting traditional Fon villages and sharing moments with their inhabitants. One of our aims is to visit one of the camps of the nomadic Fula people, and learn about their way of life, based on cattle, transhumance, and a penchant for beauty, in both men and women: hairstyles, hats, tattoos … a fascinating people!Accommodations at the Hotel TG. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 6

Cove – Dassa Zoumé

Route to Dassa, an area of great rocks and boulders. We will stop along the way in the village of Panouignan, home to farmers where women produce gari and tapioca, all derived from cassava tubers.Afterwards, we will continue on to the city of 41 hills. Each granite mound houses a voodoo temple that is accessed for the funerals of kings and princes, rituals, and ceremonies. This area constitutes the heart of Yoruba country, where many of their traditions have been preserved.Accommodations at the Auberge de Dassa. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 7

Dassa Zoumé – Djougou

After breakfast, we’ll continue on our way to Djougou. The buildings of their villages are made of adobe, with conical ceilings. Around its villages are its sacred forests. Despite the pressure of Islam, the Taneka maintain traditional African religious beliefs. We may have the opportunity to talk to the village shaman, one of the most respected people, along with the figure of the king, who will be able to answer our questions about his culture and tradition, and we’ll be able to observe a little bit of his daily life.Then it is on to Djougou, where we’ll spend the night.Accommodations at the Hotel du Lac. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 8

Djougou – Taneka – Natitingou – Pendjari Park

In the early morning we’ll continue visiting this placid people, who live in small villages surrounded by sacred forests. Then it is on to Natitingu, the capital of the area, before heading into the Pendjari National Park, where we’ll spend the night before getting up early to observe the animals there.Accommodations at Pendjari Lodge. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 9

Pendjari Park

Early in the morning we’ll travel to Pendjari Park, bordering on Burkina Faso. This natural park is one of those whose wildlife can be best observed in the wild, given the limited tourism that it receives. Several types of mammals can be spotted, including baboons and gazelles. The park harbors over a hundred lions, and it is relatively easy to spot crocodiles, hippos and elephants.Trails in the park must be driven at low speeds, to keep from disturbing the animals. At the watering holes there will be stands from which we can observe the fauna that comes to drink.Accommodations at Pendjari Lodge. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

DÍA 10

Pendjari Park – Boukoumbe

We leave Pendjari to head for Boukoumbe, a city bordering on Togo. Here we will wander through its market, taking in the daily life of this rural area of Africa. Boukoumbé is a city located within Tamberna, where we will discover this ethnic group, related to the Somba, with very similar constructions standing out.Accommodations at Tata Kubiti. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)

Essential information of the country

Best time to travel to Benin

Benin has a dry season from October to April and a rainy season from May to September. In the dry season, the maximum temperature is 32ºC and in the rainy season it is 28º. The best time to travel to Benin is during the dry season, between October and April, but rainfall during the rest of the year does not prevent you from making the trip.

Health – Vaccines

Yellow fever and hepatitis vaccinations are mandatory and malaria prophylaxis is recommended. However, it is important to visit the international vaccination centre for more information.

Visas

To obtain a visa, you must have a passport with enough pages for the stamps and which is valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure. The visa can be obtained online at https://evisa.gouv.bj/en/ and can take from a few hours to several days, so we recommend doing it a week before.

Currency

Benin’s currency is the CFA franc. It is not easy to pay with a credit card or withdraw money from ATMs, so it is best to exchange euros or dollars for local currency either at the airport, banks or hotels. Currently, 1 euro is equivalent to 655 CFA.

Incluye

  • English speaking guide throughout the route.
  • Local guides
  • Vehicles, drivers and gasoline.
  • Boat rental
  • Double rooms and breakfast.
  • The tours described on the itinerary.
  • Farewell dinner.

No incluye

  • Visa and other paperwork and procedures.
  • International flights.
  • Beverages and meals not specified.
  • Tips.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Any service not specified as included.

Route photo gallery

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    Benín

    Opiniones de viajeros

    104 viajeros han realizado esta ruta con Rift Valley

    Rift Valley Expeditions

    Eleni Domazinaki
    Eleni Domazinaki
    22. Enero, 2024.
    Traveled with Rift Valley Expeditions in the South of Ethiopia . Mehari was an excellent guide and driver . Made the trip unforgettable and unique.He was very organised and was making sure we enjoyed every second of the trip. Would definitely recommend him and for sure will travel with them again!
    Sitges Travel
    Sitges Travel
    14. Enero, 2024.
    Gracias Rift Valley por hacer de nuestro viaje a Benín una espectacular experiencia con los 5 sentidos. Ya hacía tiempo que queríamos viajar con vosotros a título personal, y ahora que ya lo hemos hecho, sin duda os recomendaremos a todos nuestros clientes aventureros. ¡¡Ya estamos deseando volver a África para descubrir con vosotros otro destino!! Queremos agradecer especialmente a nuestro guía en Benín, Oumar Farouk, eres una joyita de persona, ¡no cambies nunca!, y a Rafa Martín por todo lo que aprendemos y nos enamora más el continente africano cada vez que hablamos contigo ;)
    Natalia Valencia Pineda
    Natalia Valencia Pineda
    3. Diciembre, 2023.
    Estoy en estos momentos regresando de un viaje en Kenia y simplemente espectacular. Recomiendo la agencia y sobre todo a sus guias. Siempre dispuestos a todo!
    Teresa Pubill
    Teresa Pubill
    8. Octubre, 2023.
    Al Setembre vaig fer una safari a Tanzania amb Rift Valley. L’ organització ha estat fantàstica des del primer moment que vam contactar amb ells. El guia un gran professional, ens va resoldre tots els dubtes que teniem i ens va fer disfrutar molt del safari. Els hotels, recomanats per l’ agència van set extraordinaris. Realment son molt professionals i fan que sigui un viatge inobidable. Segur que tornaré a viatjar amb ells i els recomano a tothom que vulgui viatjar a Africa
    Ana Olivar
    Ana Olivar
    14. Septiembre, 2023.
    Viatges diferents i culturals
    Kira Josende Camacho
    Kira Josende Camacho
    14. Septiembre, 2023.
    ¡Experiencia increíble en Kenia! Muchas gracias por toda la organización! Repetiremos seguro! :)
    Nerea Tabernero
    Nerea Tabernero
    2. Septiembre, 2023.
    Nuestro viaje a Etiopía no podría haber salido mejor. Recorrimos el sur del país durante semana y media acompañados por Salomon y Mente, los mejores guía y conductor posibles. Tanto los alojamientos como la coordinación de horarios y visitas han sido perfectos, incluso cuando ha habido algún imprevisto.
    Jorge Pam
    Jorge Pam
    1. Septiembre, 2023.
    Tras viajar con ellos por Etiopía, recomiendo sin dudarlo a Rift Valley para viajar por África. Tienen multitud de experiencia, contactos y saber hacer. Gracias en especial a nuestro guía Salomon y nuestro conductor Mente. 😃

    Etnias

    etnia Yoruba Benin

    Etnia yoruba

    Esta etnia, presente en Benín, esconde un largo recorrido histórico. Los expertos en Antropología cuentan con datos que atestiguan movimientos migratorios de...

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