Benin Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide
“Benin is as varied in its landscapes and weather as it is by peoples and customs. It the south you can relax on a beach and watch the whales in season while a journey to the north will take you to village-covered hillsides. From the wild weekly market of Boukombe to the National Park of Pendjari, Benin can offer a fascinating holiday to any traveller.”
Benin Holiday Highlights
One great reason to come to Benin is to see the whales that pass through every August to November. You can take a boat out and may even be lucky enough to see an entire whale surface or their blowholes.
Benin has all that can be offered for a country lying between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The landscape is pretty flat, with an average height of just over 200 meters; however, there’s plenty to see at the beaches, savannas, rivers, hills, jungles and forests. The Pendjari National Park is one of the highlights of any trek to Benin. The Atacora Region in the north of the country has some of the best walking and trekking routes too. You’ll have chances to spend the night with locals and really get to know a unique area. In and around Porto Novo (Abomey), you can visit the newly “discovered” primeval forest, by pirogue or walking. If you want coastlines and greenery, then staying in the south affords greener, though wetter, trekking conditions.
Getting out in Benin by mountain bike is great way to explore. The coastline provides some nice routes if you like views. The south will give you greenways while the north will give way to savannah and rolling hills, great for those in normal bike fitness. There are Baobab trees as you make your way north and a stop at the Pendjari Park will afford views of buffalos, elephants, warthogs, antelopes, bocks, hippos, monkeys and lions.
Fishing is a sustainable livelihood for the people of Benin. Lately, it seems that fishing is a popular way to attract the tourist. It’s possible to go out and fish off the coast, where an array of fish awaits your live bait. It was actually the Ghanaian fisherman you see that brought deep-sea fishing to the Beninese. Millions of dollars are earned annually by the exportation of fish to other countries. Inland fishing, such as in lagoons and lakes, is also an important part of the Beninese economy. With the right permits, you can venture off to fish some of the inland waters with a tour group or alone with guide. Lake Nokoue lies in southern Benin, and though not very big, offers some nice fishing and bird watching venues.
Benin offers up great wildlife tracking and viewing in the Pendjari and “W” National Parks.
When To Go
Benin is longer than it is wide. Therefore the weather up north can be quite different from the weather down south. The south, then, has an equatorial climate: hot and dry from January to April; the rainy season extends only from May to July and September until December. The north is hot and dry in November and June, with wetter days and cooler evenings around July to October. If you’re going to travel from the coast to the north (or vice versa), then bring appropriate clothing for all the seasons.
- Benin’s weather can change rapidly. From flooding to strong winds and dust storms in the north, always be ready for a dramatic alteration in the weather.
- Though prices for Benin are less expensive than say Europe or the USA, be sure that you have accommodation pre-booked through your tour operator. Rooms can run upwards of $300-400 dollars per night if you don’t book ahead of time.
- Pendjari & “W” National Parks
- Grand Popo & Ouidah Beaches
- Whale Watching
- Atacora Region