North Africa

Benin Sightseeing Places

Visa requirements

Passport: is generally required for trips to Benin, this must be valid for at least 3 months when leaving the country

Visa: also generally required

Period of validity: Entry within three months after issuing the visa

Application: In person or by post at the consulate or at the consular section of the embassy.

Residence permit: Extensions can be requested from the immigration authorities in Cotonou. More information from the embassy.

Documents:

Tourist Visa: passport that must be valid for at least 6 months when applying – 2 completed original applications (no copy or fax) – 2 passport photos (no scans) – valid vaccination certificate (or copy) with yellow fever vaccination – travel booking confirmation – fee.

Business Visa: additionally a company letter from the German company about the purpose and duration of the trip and a confirmation of the cost assumption.

A franked and addressed envelope and proof of payment should be attached to the application.

Cost of issuing a Visa: 90 days of stay, multiple entries: € 75.00 / with express processing € 90.00

Processing time: about two days. Express processing on the same day.

Entry with children:

Germany: Children need their own passport to enter Benin (children’s passport or electronic passport).
Austria: Children must travel with their own passport.

Switzerland: Children must travel with their own passport.

The same visa requirements apply to children as to their parents. If children are to travel alone, they need a passport with enough space for a visa and entry / exit stamp. Minors traveling alone should have a French-language permit signed by both parents. It is recommended that children accompanied by only one parent have a simple confirmation from the other parent that they consent to the trip in French.

Vaccinations: Information on international vaccination certificates that are required for entry can be found in the Benin Health chapter.

Benin Sightseeing Places

Money

National currency: 1 CFA (C ommunauté F inancière d ‘ A frique) franc divided into 100 centimes.

Currency abbreviation: CFA Fr, XOF – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG

Banknotes are in circulation with a value of 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 CFA Fr. Coins are available in nominal amounts of 500, 250, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 CFA Fr.

The CFA Franc (XOF) is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO, State Bank of the West African States) and used by the 8 members of the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The CFA Franc (XAF) issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, State Bank of the Central African States) is not a legal tender in Benin.

The CFA is pegged to the euro at a fixed exchange rate.

Currency exchange: Foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks and larger hotels. The black market is not recommended.

Exchange rate CFA Franc:

Currency converter at OANDA

Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted to a limited extent. With large banks in Cotonou you can withdraw money with the Visa card.

Travelers checks: Travelers checks are only exchanged reliably in Cotonou, most likely if they are issued in US $ or Euros.

ATMs: In Cotonou at larger banks.

Foreign exchange regulations: There are no restrictions on the import of means of payment, however the import and export of foreign currencies must be declared. Travelers residing in Benin may only export an amount equivalent to CFA 2 million. For non-Benin travelers, this amount is limited to CFA 500,000.

Bank opening times: Banks open Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Health and Diseases

A yellow fever vaccination is required eleven days before arrival. Without them, entry is not possible. Children under the age of one are excluded.

The health service of the Foreign Ministry recommends as sensible vaccinations: tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A, for long-term stay over three months also hepatitis B. With special exposure (stay in the country, hunting, jogging, etc.) vaccination against rabies (rabies), typhoid and meningococcal meningitis can be very useful. These and other questions should be decided in a personal consultation with the tropical doctor or the vaccinator with tropical and travel medicine experience: A larger number of tropical diseases are common in the country, which also pose a danger to travelers.

Valid proof of a cholera vaccine is sometimes required when entering the country or from a country at risk of cholera. When traveling inland, cholera vaccination with the drug Dukoral is recommended, which also protects against other diarrheal diseases. The spread of HIV / AIDS is on the rise. It is therefore strongly advised not to expose yourself to any infection risks. Sexual contact, dirty syringes or cannulas and blood transfusions can pose a life-threatening risk.

Various prescription drugs are available on the market for malaria prophylaxis. The selection and personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medications should be discussed with a tropical or travel doctor before taking chemoprophylaxis.

Medical care in the country is technically, apparatusally and / or hygienically problematic. European-trained English or French-speaking doctors are also often lacking. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate cash payments for services. Adequate, valid health insurance coverage and reliable travel return insurance are strongly recommended. An individual first-aid kit should be taken along and should be protected according to the temperature (cold chain!). Here, too, individual advice from a tropical doctor or travel doctor makes sense.

Precautions: schistosomiasis – pathogens are found in ponds and rivers, swimming and paddling in fresh water should be avoided. Well-maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water are harmless.

Epidemic outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis can occur. Every year, meningococcal meningitis diseases are increasingly registered during the dry season or the Harmattan season, which lasts from December to May. For longer stays, vaccination is advisable, as well as avoiding large crowds.

There is a low risk of infection for sleeping sickness. Recommendation: mosquito repellent.

Tick ​​bite fever occurs nationwide.

Health certificate: As a rule, the result of an HIV test must be proven or a health certificate must be presented for longer stays. Tourists are usually not affected.

Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid, Bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases), which are transmitted through contaminated food or beverages. Therefore, careful food and drinking water hygiene measures should always be carried out. In general, water should either be boiled or otherwise sterilized prior to use for drinking, brushing teeth, and making ice cubes. Milk is not pasteurized outside of urban areas and should also be boiled. Avoid dairy products from uncooked milk. Meat and fish dishes should only be cooked well and served hot. Avoid eating pork, raw salads and mayonnaise. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Tourist highlights

Abomey, the former capital of the Fon Kingdom, is located approximately 100 km northeast of Porto Novo. The Fon resisted the French for a long time. You can visit a museum dedicated to the history of the Abomey Kingdom, which is housed in the old royal palace. The Fetish Temple is also worth a visit.

Most government agencies and embassies are located in Cotonou, the largest city and economic center of Benin. A large market is held every four days (Dan Tokpa). The most popular beach in the city is La criqu e. Probably the greatest sights are Ganvie near Cotonou, a pile dwelling village in a lagoon with a floating market. To the east is the port city of Ouidah with an old Portuguese fort from the 18th century and the Temple of Saint Python. Ouidah has long been a center of trade between the Kingdom of Abomey and Europe, especially the slave trade. Ouidah is still the center of the voodoo religion.

In the capital, Porto Novo, it is worth visiting the Ethnographic Museum. The Honmé Museum in the former Governor’s Palace documents the history of the Xogbonou Kingdom. The royal residence and the magic gate in Ketou are also interesting . The Adjarra market is known for drums, pottery and wicker. Here you can buy fetishes, African spices and medicinal herbs. Parakou, located in the center of the country, was once one of the most important centers of the Bariba Empire. The market is worth seeing. Trips to Nikki, the former capital, and to the Kudou waterfalls worthwhile. The north-west of Benin is home to the Somba who hold a weekly market in Boukombe. The Somba are known for the two-story mud castles (Tata) that were built in the past to protect against slave hunters.

There are two national parks in Benin. The wildlife in Pendjari National Park is diverse by West African standards. The park is mostly open from December to June, and there are also accommodation options for tourists. The W National Park in the border area between Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso is hardly geared towards visitors.