Apr 13, 2013 - Cotonou, Benin
Cotinou was busy but fine until we hit the dirt roads in full sized buses/coaches. Then it got awfully bumpy. Sean was getting banged against the window & I actually put on my seatbelt to keep from being bounced into the aisle. Trying to work the crossword puzzles the ship had given out didn’t last long in those conditions. The folks in Benin didn’t seem to react to the police escort the same way as they did in Togo. They just moved to the other lane & keept going, so this was not as quick a trip as yesterday, despite the gendarmes...Jump to full entry
Nov 12, 2011 - Nov 12 - Natitingou
On Saturday we had a long drive from Abomey to Natitingou. Before leaving Abomey we visited two of the palaces and temples built by the kings of the Dahomey kingdom. This is a World Heritage site and more parts are being restored all the time - at the moment the only parts restored are the palaces of Ghezo and his son Glele. They were a very bloodthirsty lot and as each king had to increase the size of the kingdom, there was a lot of fighting going on with neighbouring tribes. In the museum there was Ghezo's throne, which was supported by...Jump to full entry
Nov 11, 2011 - 11 Nov - Ouidah & Ganvie Stilt Village
We left our nice hotel at Ouidah early for a quick look at the town. Ouidah has a long history as a slave trading town and it was from here that many slaves were shipped off to Haiti years ago - they know this from the voodoo traditions in both countries which are the same. Apparently any person from Haiti coming back to Benin is automatically given land here, in recognition that this is their home. A group of people visiting to "find their roots" were upset that there was no memorial to the slaves and asked UNESCO to remedy this - there...Jump to full entry
Jan 14, 2008 - Cotonou
Its not where we wanted to stay but needed to go in to get tickets at SMTV bus station, get ATM action, and check out the NIGERIAN visa situation...all went well except visa deal, Nigeria just plain sucks, they are very unhelpful, actually rude...this is our second time attepting to get visas just to transit their lovely country, no more! We head N. to Niamey, Niger where we will attempt to get visas thru Chad and then into Cameroon! Bus leaves at 2 a.m. the 16th! Lots of trips around this fine town of pollutants via zemijohns(motorbikes)...Jump to full entry
Jan 12, 2008 - Porto Novo via Cotonu
A hike to Point of No Return memorial where slaves left for the Americas at up the a.m. being a 4 km jaunt plus breakfast at seaside hotel...slaves last hike did not incl food tho. Saw many groups of H.S. kids touring the area, wonder what they are being told about the history of their ancestors...Dahomey civilization here managed to capture most of the future slaves for the western ¨market¨. Back in town the others visited the Sacred Forest where King Kpasse the founder of Oidah turned himself into a tree. Waiting for the minibus I watched...Jump to full entry
Jan 11, 2008 - Ouidah, Benin
Since no go on visas to Djibouti we decided after some discussion to stop in Togoville on our way out of Togo. At Hotel Le Lac in Agbodrato we hired a pirogue to cross Lake Togo. As the historic center of voodoo in Togo Togoville is a bust, we saw not a single fetish but many fishermen on the lake tossing their nets and catching a few tiny silvery fishes. The lake is never more than waste deep so many of those fishing were just standing in the water. Hiked back to the highway, caught a taxi which barely made it to Ouidah, Benin having...Jump to full entry
Feb 12, 2007 - Voodoo Africa: TOGO & BENIN
Copyright 2007 David Rich 1200 Words firstname.lastname@example.org 500 CFA (Benin & Togo)=$1 V O O D O O A F R I C A: T O G O & B E N I N Have you been in Benin, or thought to go to Togo? This miniscule slice of Africa's Atlantic coast is the source of Voodoo, surely the world's most exotic religion. Voodoo spread to the Americas through the slave trade that mostly exited Africa from present-day Benin. The ancient kingdom of Ouidah in Dahomey, renamed Benin by French colonizers, carries on merrily as Benin's original port and the fountainhead of...Jump to full entry
Feb 5, 2007 - Abomey, Our first stop in beautiful Benin.
Our first stop in french speaking Benin is a small town called Abomey. Abomey is part of the traditional Abomey Kingdom where it seem most people of the south belive its recent history begins. While in Abomey I (Terry) fell sick for the day of tours. I believe for those who wish to know my illness was caused by simple dehydration. Easy to forget how much water is required when the mercurey hovers around 36 degrees c. daily. We often found ourselves drinking 3-6 litres of water a day! By not drinking I found myself minding Oscar's big bench...Jump to full entry
Nov 23, 2006 - Cotonou (BENIN)
Es un pueblo grande, la 'ciudad' mas grande de Benin, lleno de 'zemidjans', osea mototaxis, por todos lados. Son baratos y rapidos, pero son un peligro cada vez que te subes en uno: van para adelante, para atras y para los costados en cualquier calle o avenida, se meten entre los carros, y botan un humo intoxicante. Lo bueno es que cuesta $0.40 para ir a casi cualquier lado! La gente tiene una actitud medio rara en Cotonou, como si te estuvieran haciendo un favor al atenderte. Pero cuando vas al interior en general son bastante mas...Jump to full entry
Jan 6, 2005 - Zemi John Madness......
Abomey the former heart of the Dahomey empire was our next port of call.Here was an actually place that lived up to what the guide books actually wrote about it. After my previous rant about being bored sh1tless by the dodgy tours on offer,I actually did a tour that was enjoyable and somewhat informative.Four of us took a tour on the back of zemi johns of the city of Abomey with our guide Janvier.Now he actually new what he was on about which has been a very rare thing for us recently. The highlight for us all though was the p1ssing about...Jump to full entry
Jan 5, 2005 - Crazy,Crazy Cotonou.......
Now this is a crazy place.The largest city in Benin and you have to witness the masses of motorbikes that run riot through the city streets.The best part is they are the actual taxis called Zemi Johns in this part of the world. You require balls of steel to get on one of these bad boys as they pretty much are death traps from both the state of the bikes and the way they are ridden. Again as with alot of this part of Africa,you can see the big colonial influence with the buildings and the wide bike filled boulevards.Again with alot of this...Jump to full entry