Fly To Cotonou, Benin
Cotonou is Benin’s commercial capital and a great example of an African city on the brink of modernity. Find cheap tickets to Cotonou with Travelstart.co.za today and experience a city that boasts the best hotels, shops and nightlife in Benin as well as the sprawling Grand Marche du Dantokpa.
The name ‘Cotonou’ comes from the Fon language and translates as ‘the mouth of the river of death.’ Ominous! During the time of the Dahomey Kingdom the area was settled as a fishing village and the French were granted permission to build a trading post until they were given full reign in 1868. The city was then used to defend against the British.
Cotonou went on to become the largest city in Benin right up until independence. The capital can be found at Porto-Novo and remains Benin’s population and economic centre. The area attracts numerous embassies and government institutions which led to it being referred to as the country’s de-facto capital.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South Africans do require a Visa to enter Benin. Ensure that your South African passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your return and has a couple of pages available for stamps.
- The South African Embassy in Benin can be found at Lot F4, Cotonou. Phone: +229 21 307 217.
See and do
A good place to start your Cotonou sightseeing is the museum where you can learn about centuries of royalty in the country. For older remnants of bygone days, head to the ancient capital. If you prefer to be in the midst of a thriving city, though, stay in Cotonou.
Ganvie is another must-visit when in Benin. This area is like a Venice in Africa owing to it being a small village that has been built on stakes in the middle of a lake. Ganvie can be found just a short drive from Cotonou.
Boulevard St. Michel comes highly recommended and it has often been compared to Paris. Make sure you have spending money when you visit – you won’t want to miss out on the Dan Topka market for souvenirs and unique artefacts.
For a bit of regal touring, visit the Royal Palace of Abomey where all the kings in the West African Kingdom of Dahomey built their strongholds. Owing to the area’s historical importance it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport – COO
Cotonou Airport serves direct flights from Johannesburg on South African Airways. The airport can be contacted on + 229 21 30 14 13 / 02.
Airport Hotels: No on-site hotels but there are a few nearby including Ibis Cotonou and Novotel Orisha Cotonou.
Car Hire: National Car Rental.
Airport Hub: Cadjehoun Airport (code COO) is a hub for Benin Gulf Air and Westair Benin.