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About Benin City

Benin City, is the largest city in southern Nigeria, housing an extensive population of 1,495,800 people. Situated on a branch of the Benin River, the city begs to be explored, rewarding travellers with museums, wonderful architecture, and markets that are unforgettable. Atlantic beaches are bordered with palm trees and the national parks are swarming with exotic wildlife.

Cheap flights to Benin City are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be entranced by this beautiful city. Benin City is home to the Benin International Airport (BNI), which is an enjoyable 15-minute drive from the city center. Benin International Airport serves a multitude of airlines - including Arik Airways.

Why visit Benin City

Kings Square Public Park

Sightseeing

The beauty of Benin City has ample to lure keen tourists. From the ecstasy of Atlantic beaches, to the edging palm tree borders, and the national parks abound with wildlife.

Handcrafted Baskets

Arts & Culture

Sense the warmth of the people and deeply entrenched traditions, majestic landscapes and the pulsating soul of the city. Hand-sculpted artwork can be purchased on the streets.

Corned Soup

Cuisine

Entice your senses with some of the alluring fragrances, and flavours of exceptionally prepared food. Some of the favourites amongst the locals are pepper rice, corned soup and omisagwe.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Nigeria
Currency Nigerian Naira
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 23.61 Nigerian Naira
Language English, Hausa, Igbo
Hub Airport Benin City Airport
Airline Arik Airways
Time Zone GMT +1 hour
Travel Adaptor Type D & G

Best time to visit Benin City

The tropical climate of Benin City provides three climate zones. Southern parts of the country are shoreline with very little variety in temperature. Summer season is from November to February, these months harbour the dry Harmattan winds from the Sahara which cause hazy skies. However, it is a great season for wildlife watching. During this time accommodation rates and airline fares are marginally higher. March – May is the hottest period, after the Harmattan lifts. Clear blue skies can be expected with some rain in the south. June – October are usually the wet seasons and uncomfortably humid. This is the city’s low season - accommodation rates are standard throughout and there is less traffic and crowded areas within the city.

Weather & Climate in Benin City

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low (°C) 24°C 25°C 26°C 25°C 24°C 23°C 23°C 23°C 23°C 24°C 24°C 24°C
High (°C) 29°C 30°C 30°C 30°C 29°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 28°C 29°C 29°C
Rainfall (mm) 36 51 104 134 201 338 120 22 82 164 68 19

Overview

Benin City is the capital of the Benin Kingdom, the birthplace of voodoo, is immersed in a rich and complex history that’s very much evident across the country. The first African art forms were internationally accepted form this location and were known as the Benin brasses. These were sculptures created in iron, carved ivory and especially brass. It was unfortunately taken by the British to be displayed in museums all around the world. Even though Benin City was deeply bruised by vandalism in 1897; the rich culture and imperial family is still very much respected here.

Today the city is a cultural hub, and financial-backbone of Nigeria’s rubber trade. It’s an expansive, fast growing city! Here, tourists will experience the real excitement of contemporary life and profound sense of history.

There are art workshops and galleries located in Benin City. The most important art centre in the state is the Benin City Museum, hosting a collection of ancient, modern, and some contemporary arts of Benin City, with some other cultures in Nigeria.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Benin City online with Travelstart!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders need a visa to visit Benin City, Nigeria. Make sure that you have 2 blank pages in your passport and that it has a validity of at least 6 months. The South African Consulate-General in Nigeria is in Lagos at 24 Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Phone: +234 1 461 2067. The South African High Commission is in the capital city Abuja at Plot 371, Diplomatic Zone, 
Central Business District, and Abuja. Phone: +234 9 782 2850.

Health & Safety

All travellers should be up to date with routine vaccinations, as vaccinations are required. Most travellers to Benin City will need vaccinations as well as medications for malaria and travellers’ diarrhoea.

• Vaccinations against hepatitis A & B and rabies are required.

• Be vigilant at all times.

• There is no risk of yellow fever in Benin City. The government of Nigeria requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This applies if you are travelling from a country outside of the US.

• Make copies of bank and credit cards and other important documentation, in case they are lost or stolen.

• Secure valuable, personal belongings within the hotel safe.

• Avoid public or local demonstrations.

• Remain alert when walking around at night, and abide by the local government laws.

Cost of Living

Where to stay?

There are two great hotels to stay in when you’re in the city centre of Benin City. These hotels offer great accommodation fares and have excellent hotel services. They offer a tranquil environment as well as spectacular views of the city.

In the region of the Royal Oba’s Palace, home to the city’s crafts dating back to 900 AD, you will find hotels and lodging with a slightly higher than normal accommodation rate. This area is known to attract renowned politicians, celebrities and businessmen. Just 4 km from the Benin City National Museum you will find a spa and fitness centre. The hotel has an outdoor pool, and guests can enjoy drinks at the bar.

A lavishly royal hotel boast a gallery which displays ancient artworks as well as contemporary pieces; the outdoor Coconut Bar, which serves grilled grub and beer, and a nightclub. These are large, have comfortable beds and good bathrooms. The highlight of a stay here, though, is the excellent live bands at the Coconut Bar.

Getting Around

Bus: Cost-effective and efficient, traveling by bus is the most general mode of transportation used by locals and travellers. A bus route travels throughout the city center as well as suburban areas. However, there are no select bus stops. Upon reaching your destination you have to inform the driver to stop. When being picked up you need to flag the bus, much like you would a taxi.

Taxi: The most costly mode of travelling within Benin City, commuting to-and-fro with taxi services are very quick. Taxis are ready and waiting at all major terminals (both bus and plane) and are ready to assist you upon arrival. Official taxis are painted a deep red colour on the body and bright yellow on the roof.

Motor Bike: Travelling by motor bike is another form of transportation, for licensed drivers. If you decide to do this, there are a number of locations you can rent from but you need to keep in mind that the use of motor bikes is banned during the hours of 7pm and 6am, so you will need to take a bus or taxi at night.

Main attractions in Benin City

Oba Palace

Oba Palace

Zinzou Foundation Museum

Zinzou Foundation Museum

Wildlife Centre

Wildlife Centre

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