TOURIST ATTRACTION SITES TO VISIT AT BENIN REPUBLIC
The Benin Republic lies in West Africa and is home to many historical structures and is home to voodoo arts. It shares the border with Togo to the West, Nigeria to the East, Burkina Faso and Niger to the North. Its capital is Porto Novo which is Benin Republic’s second-largest city.
Talking about places to visit about Benin, if you love temples, historical structures, tall palm trees, colorful beaches, beach houses, and diverse cultures then Benin is just the place to check out.
Couples who are planning for a romantic getaway can book a trip, get a beach house and spend some days at the beautiful rich colored beaches in the Benin Republic.
For tourists who love a good sight and go for group tours can check out a few of these places there;
The Cathedral of Notre Dame of Miséricorde:
Just as most African countries have proof of colonialism such as ancient buildings, churches, schools, etc, Benin Republic also has some of those structures in place. The Cathedral of Notre Dame also known as Cotonou Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou and was built in 1883 close to the Ancient Pont Bridge.
Apart from the fact that it’s a place to worship for residents, it’s vibrant burgundy and white stripes are notable features of this historic structure. Inside the building is the white and cream stripes that leave a warm note to anyone who visits.
It’s also a cool and quiet place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and for social media fans too, it’ll be a feed-worthy picture for one’s timeline.
It’s the country’s third-largest trade center, Bohicon also boasts of numerous shops in the city which offer varieties of commodities. There are a few things to love about Bohicon which the excellent roads and rail networks and the markets.
Tourists would definitely find the markets very handy when they need some type of souvenir to remind them of their visit to the Benin Republic.
Also, there is the underground village of Agongointo-Zoungoudo where the ancient village chiefs and their families resided when the kingdoms were under attack. The underground village is almost quite similar to the cave and has some artifacts from that time. Artifacts such as the ancient water pots, ancient altars to mention a few.
Temple of Pythons:
Humans have always had something to do with snakes either they wear them or kill and eat them. Even in popular music videos too, artistes are jumping on this trend of showing themselves off-putting on a snake on their bodies.
At the Temple of Pythons (just as the name sounds…. pythons!), dozens of these pythons are housed and worshipped at the temple of Vodun.
As gory as it sounds, it’s a religious practice to other similar Western African countries such as Ghana and Togo. These snarls of snakes aren’t harmful to humans and they are important religious symbols and are respected by the worshippers.
The story behind this worship according to local legend happened sometime in the 1700s then the King of Ouidah took refuge in a forest from assassins. As he took refuge in hiding, the pythons prevented him from being captured. To show appreciation of this event, he ordered the creation of three monuments.
In the temple, there are about 60 pythons that get tangled around themselves and from time to time, the snakes are released into the village to feed on preys but they make their way back to the temple.
Tourists find this story intriguing and especially those who haven’t seen live pythons have the opportunity to hold them, take pictures and get familiar with the worship of the temple.
Benin’s Pendjari’s National Park:
For some time, most people recognized the Eastern part of Africa as the home for safari but little did tourists know that West African countries such as the Benin Republic to have a safari.
Although the East African and South African wildlife parks are great and very diverse, Pendjari’s National park is worth giving a try. It has animals such as warthogs, baboons, birds, lions, leopards, antelopes, etc.
The Pendjari’s National Park was named after the Pendjari’s river which forms a border between Benin and Burkina Faso in the north.
It is located in North-Western Benin and it’s known for its market, whipping ceremony and tradition of pipe making. If you are a true lover of culture and want to witness a diverse culture, then Boukoumbe town is a must-visit.
Apart from its impressive market and culture, it is close to Mount Kousso-Kovangou which is the highest point in Benin. Some interesting things about Boukoumbe also are the tata somnbas, the traditional two-story castle-like building which was originally built and inhabited by the Dita Mari people.
The tata sombas are like mud houses which are built like a fortress with thatched roofs to protect habitats from wild animals or intruders while the sombas are tribal names given to the residents living in the region of Atacora in Benin. The name Tata Somba is simply fortresses built to protect the Somba people.
These houses located in Boukoumbe are perfect for sight-seeing because they are not regular houses built with bricks, cement or woods and their culture still remains intact.
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