Tips and recommendations for healthy travel to top destinations
Learn more about your flu vaccine options
Learn more about the travel visa requirements for top destinations
While the country itself is small Benin is a destination full of culture, art and natural attractions.
Known as the birthplace of vodun, or voodoo, there are many festivals and events that take place in Benin revolving around the traditions. In the beach city of Ouidah, travelers can attend the local market, or learn about the history of vodun and the city at the Ouidah Historical Museum.
For travelers looking for unique sights, traveling to Ganvie, known as the ‘Venice of Africa’, might prove worthwhile. All the huts in this village are built on stilts, making them look as if they are floating on water.
From the beaches in the south, the metropolitan architecture in the central region, and the wildlife reserve in the north, Benin offers a range of activities.
Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Benin. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Benin: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, and influenza.
There is a high risk of contracting malaria in Benin. Our expert staff will help you identify the key risk factors and suggest the best antimalarial for your health situation.
There is medical care in larger Beninese cities and towns. But the extent of treatment is limited. For those staying in rural areas, there may be a need to travel far to get to the nearest physician.
For more details on any of the above vaccinations, visit our vaccination page or book an appointment by calling or book online now.
There is currently no cholera outbreak in Benin. Cases are rare and can be avoided with some health precautions. Despite the lack of a current epidemic, the cholera vaccine is still recommended before travel.
Passport Health locations throughout the United States carry Vaxchora, the only US-approved cholera vaccine.
Travelers cannot obtain a visa at the airport upon arrival in Benin. Visa arrangements must be completed at least a week before departure.
For more information, see our Benin visa page. Or contact a Passport Health Passport and Visa specialist by calling 1-844-366-8472 or by filling out our online form.
Benin tends to have a hot and tropical climate. From January to April, the climate tends to be hot and dry. The rainy seasons lasts from May to July and September to December. The best time to visit Benin is during winter, November through February, when it’s drier.
While travel within the country is relatively safe, exercise caution during times of political turmoil. Public demonstrations are a common sight, especially on Friday afternoons.
Benin’s beaches are not recommended for swimming as water conditions tend to be dangerous with strong waves and rip currents. The towns along the coastline are dangerous at night, and petty crime targeting tourist frequented spots occurs.
Travelers should keep their bags and belongings close to their bodies, and avoid traveling too far from their lodging at night.
The U.S. government has more safety travel tips for visiting Benin, if needed.
Around 20,000 people inhabit the village of Ganvie in huts that seem to float upon lake Nokoue. Some have even dubbed it the ‘Venice of Africa’.
Traveling from the Cotonou airport to Ganvie takes approximately 20 minutes by taxi. If you are coming from Porto Novo, the capital, travel time increases to one hour. The only way to enter the village is with a travel tour boat as only locals are allowed to board the regular boats going in.
Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Benin:
All Americans visiting Benin should register online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This will inform the office of your travel plans within the country and will allow them to reach out in the case of an emergency or evacuation
U.S. Embassy Cotonou
01 BP 2012 Cotonou, Benin
Telephone: +(229) 21-30-75-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(229) 21-30-75-00
Fax: +(229) 21-30-66-82
Visit the U.S. Embassy in Benin before leaving to confirm correct contact information.
If you have any questions about traveling to Benin or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, schedule an appointment by calling or book online now.
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