What to see in Benin?
In the west of Africa lies the beautiful and tranquil state of Benin, which has recently become attractive and famous for tourists from all over the world. This place fascinates with its amazing colorfulness and originality, and attracts pure and untouched nature, as well as mysterious culture.
If you want to get acquainted with the tropical climate, travel through the dense evergreen forests of the hot tropics and savannahs, and see real elephants, antelopes, crocodiles and other four-legged inhabitants of Africa, be sure to visit Benin!
Want to visit Benin?
Let's take a closer look at which attractions are worth seeing in Benin first.
Surprisingly, there is actually no actual government in the capital of Benin. The entire governing and governing structure of the country is located in the city of Cotonou, which in turn is the largest city in Benin. Porto Novo is known for its massive production of real palm oil and natural cotton. The food industry and handicrafts are also well developed here. Currently, Porto Novo is an important transportation hub. It is home to the key land routes of the entire country, as well as a port and an airport. In addition, the city is home to many cultural and educational institutions.
It is the largest population center and the unofficial capital of the Republic of Benin. It is the center of major governance and developmental activities in the country. The city is divided into two parts by the Cotonou Canal, which gave it its name.
Back in the nineteenth century, a small fishing village called Cotonou was built on the site of the present Cotonou. In 1868, the entire population and territory were ceded to France under a treaty with the King of Dahomey.
The ancient city of Abomey
Incredibly beautiful city on the shores of the bay, which at the end of the XIX century was the main center of the kingdom of Fon, is now known for its magnificent palaces. They have become true symbols of Benin's cultural and historical value.
More than ten magnificent Royal Palaces are located on a spacious area of almost fifty hectares in the heart of the former capital. Their original purpose was to host various events and ceremonies that could accommodate up to eight thousand people at a time. These palaces concentrated the center of government of the entire kingdom, as well as stored untold wealth.
The entire palace complex is divided into two equal parts. Although these palaces are no longer inhabited by humans, they are well guarded and are home to several unique museums as well as the tombs of the rulers. Each palace has its own individual design that reflects the taste of the particular ruler.
Inside the city, there are also several villages separated by fields, as well as a huge marketplace and a large central square.
On the north shore of the lake is the water settlement of Ganvier, home to approximately 20,000 people. The unique buildings on stilts set in the water were built by runaway slaves that the queen could not catch on the water and return to slavery. Nowadays, the settlement has a school, market, stores and even restaurants. The locals make a living through tourism, fishing, fish farming and some keep pets.
The underground city of Agongointo-Tsongoudo
In 1998, an amazing discovery was made - a series of bunkers and simple dwellings erected at a considerable depth underground. Archaeologists immediately began actively studying the site, interested in its origin and purpose. Apparently, the bunkers were built to provide protection from enemies. According to preliminary estimates, the age of the city is about 500 years. Since then, the underground city in Benin has been added to the list of sites applying for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Punjari National Park
This sanctuary is a unique world of pure wildlife that will amaze all tourism lovers. It has a huge wildlife sanctuary on its territory that attracts tourism connoisseurs of every kind. One of the main attractions is the glacier, which attracts more and more tourists.
In addition, on the territory of the reserve there are several active volcanoes. This magnificence is impossible to describe in words, you should at least once in your life see it with your own eyes. One of the most popular activities among tourists is bathing and dipping in thermal, hot springs, which are successfully located in the ice caves.
This huge national park is home to huge buffalo, elephants, predatory antelopes, African lions and other wild animals that attract thousands of visitors to the park. However, keep in mind that these are wild animals and you need to be careful.
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