- Benin is a narrow, key-shaped, north-south strip of land situated in West Africa; it’s officially called the Republic of Benin and was formerly called Dahomey.
- It is bordered by by Togo to the west, Bight of Benin to the south, by Nigeria to the east and by Burkina Faso and Niger to the north.
- The coordinates for Benin are 6.4667° N, 2.6000°
- It has a total land area of 43,482 square miles (112,620 square kilometres) – roughly one eighth of the size of its neighbour, Nigeria.
- Benin had a of population 11.49 million in 2018.
Flag of Benin
- Porto-Novo is the capital city of Benin; it has a total area of 42.5 square miles (110 square kilometres) and had a population of 264,320 in 2013.
- The average life span here is 60.91 years (2016).
- Unsurprisingly, Benin experiences a hot and humid climate. The coastal areas receive annual rainfall of 53.5in (1,360mm), pretty normal for coastal West Africa.
- Benin has two rainy and two dry seasons; you can expect to get heavily rained on from April to late July and again (shorter and less intense this time) from late September to November.
- If you’re planning a trip here, expect to see a mixture of terrain, featuring marshy plains, lakes, lagoons, sandy costal plains, rivers, flat lands, rocky hills, forests – sounds like you could have a great little adventure here!
- A rather large 31% of Benin’s land is made up of woodland.
- Animal lovers should visit the Reserve du W du Niger and Pendjari National Park (located in the north and northwest part of the country) where they can expect to see elephants, lions, antelopes, hippos and monkeys.
- French is the official language here – oui, bien sûr!
- The currency here is called the West African CFA franc.
- It is traditional to offer food and drink to visitors here, but beware, it is considered rude to refuse this kind hospitality so we hope you’re hungry!
Atakora, a typical village in Benin
- Benin grows cotton, yams, corn, cassava, beans, peanuts and cashews, rears livestock and produces palm oil.
- Its industry consists of food processing, textiles, cement and construction materials.
- It also exports cotton, cashews, textiles, shea butter, palm products and seafood.
- Want to call your friends in Benin? You’ll need to use the international dialling code: +229.
Do you know any fun or interesting facts about Benin that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!