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Unique Sites In Benin Republic

The Benin Republic, a historic country rich in African culture, was home to the Dahomey Kingdom from about 1600–1900 AD. Known across the world as one of the places where “voodoo” is highly regarded, the country shares a border with Nigeria.

Although it has as its capital, Port Novo, Cotonou, the largest city and economic capital is the most popular among Nigerians.

Here are some of the unique sites in the country:

Voudou (Voodoo) Market

“Why would anyone want to visit the voodoo market?” Voodoo is the official religion practised by the Beninese. The market, popularly known as Akodessewa Fetish Market, is believed to be the home to charms that treat illnesses, and items used to offer sacrifices and remove curses. It is believed that every creature is a potent source of divinity. As such, it is common to see dead animals including soon-to-be-extinct animals up for sale. A trip not for the fainthearted, you must pay before you take pictures.

Historic Museum of Abomey

If you are curious for more, you should visit this historic museum. There is a throne mounted on top of human skulls.

Cotonou Cathedral

Cotonou Cathedral. Photo: Wikipedia

The Cotonou (Catholic) Cathedral, known as Notre Dame de Misericorde or Apostre, cannot be missed. It sits close to the historic Ancien Pont Bridge built in 1928. Dated 1883, its unique white and red stripes distinguish the Roman Catholic archdiocese from the buildings surrounding it.

Pendjari National Park
Named after the Pendjari River, this is one of the most impressive parks in Africa. It is home to some of the last populations of big game such as the African forest elephant, West African lion, buffalo, antelopes and birds. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also has rocky cliffs, a massive gallery forest including the Sudan, and Northern Guinea savannas.

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