About this book
Since Bradt first published a guide to Benin over 10 years ago, the country has become more popular with visitors to West Africa. Bradt's Benin remains the original and one of the only comprehensive guides in English to this French-speaking country, arguably the region's best wildlife destination and the birthplace of the much maligned and little understood religion of Vodou (voodoo).
This new edition includes coverage of the growing range of eco-travel and community based tourism options that have sprung up in recent years. Also included is more information on the wildlife and national parks of the north which are becoming more popular with general safari tourists, including the Parc National de la Pendjari (now under African Parks Management), increasingly recognised as the closest place to Europe easily to see lions and elephants. A dedicated chapter on Cotonou ensures the capital is covered in full detail, including up-to-date recommendations for places to eat and stay, while the rest of the country is divided into five easy-to-follow chapters, each replete with listings, hotels and restaurants, background and historical text, as well as recommendations on what to see and entertainment.
Bradt's Benin also includes a field guide to gods, ghosts and dead people: after all, it's easy here to arrange to have a cup of tea with a wizard and buy spells to make someone love you. And what makes Benin so special from a visitor's perspective is that such characters are a visible part of day-to-day life and encounters with them may well form the backbone of a Benin adventure.
But there is more than just storybook magic to this country. It has a huge and varied array of birdlife and two of the finest parks this side of the continent and it is a place in which heart-in-the-mouth encounters with buffalo, elephant and lion are day-to-day events.
Whatever your interest, whether it's wildlife, culture, golden sand beaches or tracing your ancestral roots, Bradt's Benin offers comprehensive and extensive travel information for all price bands and is the perfect companion for a successful visit.
About the author
Chapter 1 Background Information
At a glance, Geography & geology, Climate, Natural history & conservation, History, Government & politics, Economy, People, Voodoo and Beninese Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Gay & lesbian travellers, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating & drinking, Public holidays & festivals, Shopping, Arts & entertainment, Photography, Media & communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Cotonou
History, Getting there, Getting around, Tourist information, Orientation, What to see, Excursions from Cotonou, Where to stay, Where to eat, Entertainment & nightlife, Shopping, Sports & activities, Other practicalities
Chapter 4 West of Cotonou
Allada, Come, Ouidah, Passotome & Lac Aheme, Grand Popo, Les Bouches du Roi, Hilakondji
Chapter 5 East of Cotonou
Porto Novo, Krake, Sakete, Affame
Chapter 6 Central Benin
Ketou, Abomey, Bohicon, Dassa-Zoume, Betekoukou, Glazoue, Save, Savalou, Bassila
Chapter 7 Northwest Benin
Djougou, Taneka Villages, Natitingou, Boukoumbe & The Tata Somba, Parc National de la Pendjari
Chapter 8 Northeast Benin
Parakou, N'Dali, Nikki, Kandi, Malanville, Parc National du W