There are so many highlights in this fascinating country that it is impossible to list them all here. Our travel consultants will discuss your interests and be able to put a specific itinerary together for you, but below are a few must see!
Grand Popo, located in the far south-west, was originally a colonial port, although coastal erosion has destroyed most of the old buildings. A pleasant village with strong Vodun culture, it may also be possible at low tide, to walk at night in search of Atlantic turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches between November and March.
The small town of Ouidah is one of the oldest centres of Voodun culture and hosts many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. A must visit; the Musée d'Histoire de Ouidah, housed in the Fortaleza São João Batista, a Portuguese fort built in 1721. This building retraces slave-trading history and explores links between Benin, Brazil and the Caribbean.
Ouidah is also home to the serpent deity Dangbé, revered for hundreds of years, and in his honour, the temple is home to dozens of the sacred pythons which freely roam the grounds.
Walk along the Route des Escalves. A four-kilometre road, lying between the Ouidah's History Museum and the shoreline, it is reported to be the same dusty track which legend depicts, thousands of people travelled on their way to board the slaving ships for the New World.
Pendjari National Park
There are nearly 1,700 elephants in Pendjari National Park, making it the highest density of pachyderms anywhere in West Africa. Particularly threatened by trade in ivory, the protection of the elephant is now paramount, and the Lion Recovery Fund has instituted the first satellite collars currently deployed on elephants and lions to better understand their ecology and movement. Pendjari is one of the last sanctuaries of untamed wildlife in West Africa, whose flora and fauna have been almost entirely forgotten since French colonial days.