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Benin – Journey of Exploration

Day 1 Cotonou

On arrival at the International Airport in Cotonou your guide/driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Benin’s second capital. Your overnight stay is on a bed and breakfast basis.

  • Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage, Contonou

Day 2

In the morning enjoy an excursion on Lake Nokoué to visit the village of Ganvié, also known as the Venice of Africa. From Abomey-Calavi set out on the lake by pinasse (a motorized wooden boat) for a trip of about 2 hours to visit the stilt village and get an impression of local life on the lake and in the village. All means of travel is by boat, observe men and women on their way to Abomey-Calavi as well as to the local floating market and children paddling their boats to and from school.

Back ashore the journey continues to Abomey, the former capital of the Dahomey kingdom. This kingdom used to be one of the most powerful in West Africa and royal palaces were numerous, though, sadly, nowadays only few are left. In the afternoon visit Abomey’s historical museum, located in one of the remaining palaces, where knowledgeable guides explain the region’s history on a tour of about 1/5 hours. Overnight in Abomey where the evening is at leisure and dinner is on your own.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Auberge d’Abomey, Abomey

Day 3

Today is a long journey of about 500 kms north to Tanguiéta. However, the overall well-maintained roads make the drive pleasant. Leaving the coastal area the landscape changes as you travel through different climate zones, including mountain ranges, to the beautiful, hilly highlands.  Several stops along the way for sightseeing and lunch ( at your own expense) . Overnight in the town of Tanguiéta with the evening is at leisure.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel Baobab

Day 4

An early start of the day to arrive at Pendjari National Park, a Unesco biosphere reserve. Home to a range of game, including elephants, buffalos, hartebeasts, hippopotamus, harnessed bushbucks, bush duikers, warthogs, crocodiles, hyenas, lions and cheetahs as well as over 300 species of birds, this is one of the most impressive wildlife parks of the country, as well as of West Africa. A knowledgeable local guide will take you on a safari through the park. Overnight at the park’s hotel.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel de la Pendjari, Pendjari

Day 5

Return to  Pendjari for a another game viewing drive – the early morning is usually a great time of game spotting. There maybe time for a quick swim before heading. In the afternoon you’ll leave the park to drive south to Natitingou, for overnight.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel Tata Somba, Natitingou

Day 6

In the morning visit the ethnographic museum before setting out for Somba Country in the Atakor and Donga regions near the Togolese border. Somba people are known for their traditional architecture. Visit a Tata – a two-story house built of mud and clay in a fortress like style to protect against enemy tribes, in early days as protection from the slave traders.

In the afternoon a drive southward of about 350 kms to Savalou for overnight.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Auberge de Savalou, Savalou

Day 7

After breakfast the journey southwards continues, about 260 kms to the coastal town of Grand Popo, where overnight is at a hotel right at the beach. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or the beach.  Local fishermen and their families crowd the beach in front of their villages in the early mornings and late afternoons to land the days catch from colorful wooden fishing boats. Nets are pulled in by dozens of men, while everybody helps to collect the fish. Or venture out to independently explore the town of Grand Popo.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  •  Accommodation: Hotel Awalé Plage

Day 8

In the morning visit the town of Ouidah – the voodoo capital of Benin. It is well-known for the annual festival on January 10th, national voodoo holiday, as well as for its important role in slave trading in the 18th century. The town offers a wealth of sights to be visited, including the historical museum and the python temple. The museum gives an impression on Benin’s diverse past – its the voodoo culture, slave trade and the history of the Dahomey and Xwéda kingdoms. The python temple is located directly across the basilica, proof of the peaceful cohabitation of religions in Benin. Dozens of pythons live in the temple and where close contact is possible. A four kilometer sandy track leading from Ouidah to the coast, known as the slave road, tells the story of the last hours before the slaves were boarded for their long journey to the Americas. Landmarks, such as the tree of forgetting and the gate of no return, remind of this dark period in Beninese history.

Continue on to Cotonou and the hotel. At a suitable time you will be transferred to the airport.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage, Cotonou


  • Each of two persons CA$ 2190.00
  • Each of four persons CA$ 1435.00
  • Single supplement CA$ 130.00


  • Private transport throughout in an air-conditioned four-wheel drive vehicle
  • English and/or French spoken guides, traveling with the party and/or local guides and assistants
  •  Day and side trips as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 8 nights accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary (or similar, depending on availability)
  • 7 breakfast
  • Contributions to the Papillon emergency fund and the Papillon project fund
  • Kola nuts and coins to pay respect to village chiefs and elders
  • All tourist taxes related to the program
  • Entry fees related to all activities mentioned in the itinerary


  • Additional side trips and/or excursions
  • Upgrade for rooms, accommodations and transport
  • Drinks and additional meals
  •  Tips
  • Any and all personal expenses

Please note: Prices and dates are subject to change at any time. Please call (647) 231-0067 or email us ( for current pricing.