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Cultural Tour in Benin 16 Days/15 Nights

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Available: 12 seats
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Availability : Jan 24'- Dec 26'
Cotonou Benin
Cotonou Benin
Tour Details

Embark on a transformative journey delving deep into Benin’s spiritual life, rich traditions, and vibrant culture. Immerse yourself in the diverse ethnic groups of Benin, meeting and engaging with various communities. Explore the unique lifestyles of each community as you delve into their customs and traditions firsthand.

 

Cultural Tour in Benin 16 Days/15 Nights

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Operating days: every day

Departure time: 0800 hours

Departure point: Cotonou Accommodation/ Airport pick-up

Arrival point: Cotonou Accommodation/ Airport pick-up

Special instructions: please contact across Africa tours & travel to confirm your departure details at least one week before your first day of the visit.

Departure & Return Location

Cotonou Accommodation/ Airport pick-up

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Transport by airconditioned 4WD with driver and fuel.
  • English speaking guide
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day
  • Entrances and excursions mentioned in the itinerary
  • Music and dances performance mentioned in the tour.
  • Accommodation in hotels mentioned in the tour
  • Breakfast

Price Excludes

  • Tips and Gratuities.
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Insurance
  • International Flights.

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect

Embark on a transformative journey delving deep into Benin’s spiritual life, rich traditions, and vibrant culture. Immerse yourself in the diverse ethnic groups of Benin, meeting and engaging with various communities. Explore the unique lifestyles of each community as you delve into their customs and traditions firsthand.

  • Visit Ganvie Village
  • Hike in Dassa Mountains
  • Somba Villages
  • A Visit to Abomey
  • Voodoo Ceremony
  • Grand Popo Experience
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Cotonou

Upon arrival in Cotonou, you’ll be greeted by our knowledgeable guide who will facilitate your transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation: Paradisia Hotel or Similar

Day 2Visit Ganvie Village

After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we’ll depart for Ganvie, renowned as the largest lake village in
Africa, where over 37,000 Tofinu people reside and carry out their daily activities aboard small pirogues. Known as the “African Venice,” Ganvie boasts a fascinating history, with a significant population of Tofinu fishermen families who sought refuge in Lake Nokoué during the 18th century to escape slavery.

During our tour, we’ll navigate the intricate water channels, interact with locals, and gain insight into the rich culture of the Tofinu people.

Next, we’ll journey to Porto-Novo, the administrative capital of Benin, via Cotonou. In Porto-Novo, we’ll explore the royal palace and embark on a city tour, delving into the city’s historical and cultural significance. Additionally, we’ll be treated to a captivating Egoungoun dance performance in Adjarra, followed by a visit to the sacred black lake of Adjarra.

Accommodation: Ouadada Hotel in Porto Novo or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3Porto Novo- Dassa Zoumey

Following breakfast, we’ll begin our day with a visit to the historic museum, formerly the royal palace of Porto Novo. Delve into the rich history and cultural heritage preserved within its walls. From there, we’ll explore the captivating Afro-Brazilian architectures before journeying to Pobe to encounter the Holli tribe
and explore the intriguing Ketou kingdom.

In the afternoon, we’ll be treated to a mesmerizing Guelede dance performance in Cove, immersing
ourselves in the vibrant rhythms and traditions of the region. As the day progresses, we’ll make our way to Dassa Zoumey, arriving in the late afternoon, ready to continue our adventure. 

Accommodation: TG Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4Hike in Dassa Mountains- Savalou

In the morning, we’ll embark on a scenic hike in the mountains of Dassa to explore the voodoo convents nestled within the rugged landscape. Afterward, we’ll journey to encounter the Fulanih tribe, known for their nomadic lifestyle, often traversing the land with their cattle in tow. Our next stop will be the renowned voodoo Sakpata temple, recognized as one of the most significant in the world. Continuing our exploration, we’ll head to Savalou, where we’ll visit the historical site where slaves were once held captive. Additionally, we’ll have the opportunity to explore the Dankoli voodoo temple, steeped in tradition and spirituality. We’ll conclude our day with an overnight stay in Savalou, ready to uncover more of Benin’s cultural treasures tomorrow.

Accommodation: T&F Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5Taneka - Natitingou

In the morning, our journey takes us to Taneka, with a brief stop at the museum showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Taneka people, just a 30-minute drive from the village. Taneka is renowned for its spiritual significance in the North. Our first encounter will be with the spiritual chief, who plays a crucial role in safeguarding the village from diseases through sacred rituals and sacrifices. Witnessing a traditional dance, known as the circumcision dance, will be a highlight of our visit. In the Yom tribe, circumcision ceremonies are held for men and boys between the ages of 20 and 30, symbolizing their transition into adulthood. The joyous dance performed during these ceremonies reflects their celebration of this milestone. Continuing our exploration, we’ll visit the stunning waterfall in Kota, a natural wonder that captivates with its beauty.

As evening approaches, we’ll make our way to Natitingou, where we’ll spend the night, ready to continue our adventure the following day.

Accommodation: Totora Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 06Somba Villages- Natitingou

After breakfast, we’ll embark on an exploration of the Tata Somba villages in Benin. These villages, commonly referred to as Somba, are inhabited by the Betamaribe people, who practice animism. Situated mainly southwest of Natitingou in the plains of Boukoumbé near the Togolese border, the Somba people live in isolation amidst their crop fields, rather than in clustered villages. Their dwellings, known as Tata Somba, are distinctive constructions resembling miniature fortresses.
With over 10 different types, including Otchaou, which bears resemblance to the constructions of their
Togolese neighbors, the Tamberma, these structures showcase the unique architecture of the Somba
people. Since 2004, UNESCO has recognized the uniqueness and sophistication of this architecture,
designating it as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO praised it as “an outstanding example of territorial occupation by a people in constant search of harmony between man and the surrounding nature.” During our visit, we’ll also experience the dance of women initiation, immersing ourselves in the cultural practices of the Betamaribe people. Upon returning from Boukombe, we’ll explore the regional museum of Natitingou and browse through the arts shops, further enriching our understanding of the local heritage and craftsmanship.

Accommodation: Totora Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast 

Day 07Visit Nikki

In the morning, we’ll journey to Nikki, the historical heartland of the Bariba tribe. Our first stop will be the royal palace, where we’ll delve into the regal history and cultural significance of the Bariba people. Additionally, we’ll visit the Danri Museum, offering insights into the rich heritage and traditions of the
region. During our time in Nikki, we’ll have the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing dance of the horse, a traditional performance that showcases the vibrant culture of the Bariba tribe. Exploring further, we’ll also visit the majestic royal palace of Nikki, steeped in history and architectural splendor. As the afternoon unfolds, we’ll make our way to Parakou, the largest city in northern Benin, where we’ll spend the remainder of the day exploring its bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere.

Accommodation: Kobourou hotel in Parakou or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 08A Visit to Abomey

In the morning, we’ll embark on a comprehensive city tour of Parakou, exploring its various monuments and landmarks, which bear testament to its rich history and cultural heritage. Following our tour, we’ll set out for Abomey. Along the way, we’ll make a stop at the pottery village and the underground houses in Agongointo, immersing ourselves in the traditional craftsmanship and unique architecture of the region.

Accommodation: Auberge Abomey or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 09Abomey

In the morning, we’ll make our way to Abomey, a city steeped in history and significance in Benin. Known as the historic heart of the country, Abomey was once home to the powerful kingdom of Abomey, the most influential kingdom in the southern region of Benin. The kings of Abomey played a pivotal role in the transatlantic slave trade, leaving a lasting impact on the region’s history.

During our visit to Abomey, we’ll explore the royal palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which served as the seat of power for the 12 kings of Abomey. Additionally, we’ll immerse ourselves in the vibrant culture of the city by visiting the fetish market and admiring local arts and crafts. Our exploration will also take us to the Chameleon, the battlefield of the former president Behanzin, known as Place GOHO, and other points of historical interest. Additionally, we’ll have the opportunity to visit some private palaces, gaining insight into the rich heritage and traditions of the region.

Accommodation: Auberge Abomey or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10Voodoo Ceremony

In the morning, our journey takes us to Lokossa, where we’ll witness the captivating Zangbeto dance, a traditional performance deeply rooted in the local culture. From there, we’ll continue to Possotome to partake in a voodoo ritual, immersing ourselves in the spiritual practices of the region.

During our time in Possotome, we’ll also visit the site where skulls of individuals associated with black magic or victims of the voodoo HEVIOSSO, also known as the voodoo of justice or Thunder, are kept, gaining insights into the spiritual beliefs and traditions surrounding justice and retribution. As the day progresses, we’ll embark on an excursion on the sacred lake, exploring the various deities that hold significance in the local folklore. Our journey will also take us to the sacred island of Mitogbodji, nestled in the heart of the lake, offering a unique glimpse into the spiritual heritage of the region.

Accommodation: Chez Theo hotelor Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11Grand Popo Experience

In the morning, we’ll journey to Grand Popo, where our first stop will be the Salt Island, a site of historical and cultural significance, where salt production has long been a tradition. From there, we’ll visit the Heve voodoo village, immersing ourselves in the spiritual practices of the local community.
Continuing our exploration, we’ll head to La Bouche du Roi, a picturesque location where the river meets the ocean, offering stunning views and a serene atmosphere. As the day progresses, we’ll partake in the twins ritual in Grand Popo, a sacred ceremony steeped in tradition and significance, honoring the unique bond between twins in the local culture.

Accommodation: Awale Plage hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12Ouidah Ceremonies

At 8 o’clock, following breakfast, we’ll set off for Ouidah, a vibrant city renowned for its tourism in Benin. Upon arrival, our first destination will be the chief of the voodoo house, where we’ll gain insights into the history and practices of Voodoo. We’ll learn about its journey from Benin to various countries worldwide, particularly its influence in the Americas, and explore the diverse manifestations of Voodoo.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit the sacred forest, a site steeped in legend and mystique. Legend has it that the forest served as the resting place of the king of Kpasse, who wished to conceal his body from his enemies upon his passing. Today, visitors can pay homage to the king by making a wish under the Iroko tree,believed to embody his spirit. Additionally, we’ll encounter the tree that mysteriously broke and was raised again after 41 days, a testament to the enigmatic history of the forest. Continuing our journey, we’ll visit the python temple, where the python holds significant reverence in Ouidah. Here, we’ll encounter numerous live pythons, revered as totems by the HOUEDA people, the largest community in Ouidah. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with these revered creatures, take photographs, and learn more about their symbolism in local culture.

Accommodation: Djegba Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13Ouidah Ceremonies

In the morning, we’ll embark on a journey to Allada to meet with King Da Glele Milonon II, who will enlighten us about the voodoo religion and the practice of Fa divination. Fa, known as the African oracle, serves as a guide to understanding the future and navigating challenges by uncovering hidden knowledge. During our visit, we’ll have the opportunity to participate in voodoo rituals and ceremonies, deepening our understanding of this ancient spiritual tradition. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Ouidah to explore the city and witness the vibrant preparations for the upcoming festival. As we roam the streets, we’ll immerse ourselves in the lively atmosphere, observing the bustling activities and soaking in the rich cultural heritage of Ouidah.

Accommodation: Djegba Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 14Ouidah Ceremonies

In the early hours of the morning, we’ll drive into the city to witness the solemn rituals conducted by priests and kings as they make sacrifices to inaugurate the commencement of the ceremony. Afterward, we’ll return to the hotel for breakfast, preparing ourselves for the monumental day ahead. Today marks the pinnacle of the Voodoo festival, drawing devotees from far and wide, spanning from Africa to America and the Caribbean. Despite misconceptions propagated by some, the Voodoo religion stands as one of the world’s most significant spiritual practices. Those in attendance will come to understand that Voodoo and Evil are distinct concepts; rather, Voodoo emphasizes the influence of ancestors and natural forces in shaping believers’ lives.

In Ouidah, the epicenter of this revered cult, thousands of adherents gather to seek blessings from the city’s Voodoo leader. The day unfolds with great priests and their faithful from across Benin and neighboring countries uniting to exalt the deities through a tapestry of songs, dances, rhythmic drumming, animal sacrifices, libations, and fervent prayers. It’s a momentous occasion, attended by esteemed dignitaries and crowned heads, offering a profound glimpse into the spiritual heart of the region.

Accommodation: Djegba Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 15Ouidah - Cotonou

In the morning, we’ll set off for Cotonou to embark on a captivating city tour. Our first stop will be the Amazon square, a bustling hub of activity and culture. From there, we’ll visit the iconic Place of the Red Star, steeped in historical significance and adorned with vibrant symbolism. Additionally, we’ll explore the arts market, where local artisans showcase their talents through an array of traditional crafts and artworks. Finally, we’ll marvel at the longest Graffiti wall in the world, a testament to urban creativity and expression.

In the afternoon, our journey continues as we drive to Drabo to encounter the enchanting red-bellied monkeys. Nestled amidst lush surroundings, these unique creatures offer a rare opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to observe them in their natural habitat, providing a memorable and enriching experience.

Accommodation: Paradisia Hotel or Similar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 16Cotonou City Tour

In the morning, we’ll start our day by exploring the vibrant arts gallery in Calavi, where we’ll immerse ourselves in the diverse array of local artwork and creative expressions. From there, we’ll venture to the bustling Dantokpa market, one of the largest markets in West Africa, known for its bustling atmosphere and wide variety of goods. In the afternoon, we’ll unwind and relax on the beach, soaking in the sun and enjoying the tranquil surroundings. It’ll be a perfect opportunity to reflect on our journey and savor the final moments of our time in Benin. Later, we’ll transfer to the airport, bidding farewell to this captivating country with cherished memories and experiences to carry with us.

Meal: Breakfast

Map
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