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Thatch huts, BeninThatch huts in Kobli, Benin
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authorshipJacques Taberlet
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Places in Benin on this website

Benin is a small country in West Africa. It covers 112,622 sq km and has a population of about 9 million people (2011 estimate). Benin is bordered by Togo to the west, Niger and Burkina Faso to the north, and Nigeria to the east. The capital is Porto-Novo while the biggest city is Cotonou.

Benin is a multiparty democracy with the president as head of state. The official language here is French, although indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are also commonly spoken. The Roman Catholic faith is the predominant religion in Benin, followed by Islam, Vodun and Protestant.

Benin is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. Traffic is on the right side of the road. Phone IDD code here is +229. The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency. In 2009, Benin has a nominal GDP of $6.6 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $709. The per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $1,440.

Benin was originally the Kingdom of Dahomey, a name in used in the colonial period until the country gained independence on 30 November, 1975. The new name was chosen to achive neutrality for the different ethnic groups, as the former Kingdom of Dahomey only covered the southern third of the present country.

Ruins of the Kingdom of Dahomey are today the major tourist attractions in Benin. The country is also the birthplace of Voodoo, known here as Vodun. It remains the official religion of the country.

Farm shed, BeninA farm shed on stilts in Benin
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Koussoukoingou, BeninMud huts with conical roofs in Koussoukoingou, Benin
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authorshipJacques Taberlet
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Planning your visit to Benin

Visitors who do not need a visa to enter Benin include the citizens of Algeria, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Taiwan, and Togo.

The Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport (COO) is the main gateway to Benin as well as the airport serving Cotonou, the biggest city of the country. There are regular flights from Paris and Brussels.

Major Cities in Benin

  1. Porto-Novo - capital
  2. Cotonou - biggest city
  3. Abomey
  4. Grand Popo
  5. Kétou
  6. Malanville
  7. Natitingou
  8. Parakou
  9. Tanguiéta

World Heritage Sites in Benin

Benin ratified the World Heritage Convention on 14 June, 1982. It has one World Heritage Site, in the Cultural category, as of March 2010. Benin has also submitted a further six sites presently on the World Heritage Tentative List. Sites in Benin on the World Heritage Tentative List.
  1. Site Lacustre de Ganvi&eacture; (1996)
  2. La ville d'Ouidah: quartiers anciens et Route de l'Esclave (1996)
  3. La ville de Porto-Novo : quartiers anciens et Palais Royal (1996)
  4. La R&eacture;serve W du Niger et l'habitat vernaculaire du nord Bénin (1996)
  5. Village souterrain d'Agongointo-Zoungoudo (1998)
  6. Parc National de la Pendjari (2009)

Places of Interest in Benin

  1. W National Park

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