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A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Benin

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  • Jaromir Novy

    There's only a small expat circle here in Cotonou, but this gave me the chance to say hello to everyone on InterNations!

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Relocating to Benin

The Land and its People

Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin is a small, key-shaped country on the coast of West Africa that is situated in between Togo and Nigeria, and bordered by Niger and Burkina Faso to the north. It has a total territory of 114,763 square kilometers and is home to over 10 million people, although the vast majority of its population lives on Benin’s southern coastline, which is known as the Bight of Benin.

Benin’s population is made up of over 40 different African ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Fon and Adja peoples, who account for 39.2% and 15% of the population respectively. As a result of this ethnic diversity, although French is the official language of Benin, many people will also speak their indigenous language. In addition to the native population, there is also a large number of people of European ancestry, as a result of the French rule in Benin in the 20th century, as well as many European aid workers and missionaries.

The Climate in Benin

Expats moving to Benin will need to adjust to a hot and humid climate, which is characterized by two wet and two dry seasons. Although it still experiences heavy rainfall compared to most European countries even in the dry seasons, which run from December to April and July to September, Benin has a comparatively low average yearly rainfall (around 1,360 mm (53.5 in) in the coastal areas) when compared with similar West African nations.

The wet seasons run from April to July and September to November, and bring with them extreme rainfall, high winds, and high humidity. As Benin is a geographically diverse country, the average temperature varies according to where you are in the country, but at its hottest the average annual temperature in Benin is around 31°C (87.8°F).

Getting to Benin

At present Benin only has one international airport, Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport, which is located in Cotonou, the largest city; it has flights to many other African nations as well as regular services to Paris, Brussels, and Istanbul. Although there is currently a rail service in Benin, it is limited to a few cities across the country, so if you are travelling onward from Cotonou you will probably do so by road.

Cotonou is also the location of Benin’s only seaport, to which many expatriates moving to Benin will ship their belongings and furniture. However, it is also just as easy to have it shipped elsewhere in Africa and brought to Benin by road. A new seaport at Porto Novo, the capital city, is also under construction; however, there are currently no plans for the construction of any new airports in Benin.

Hello Again, It has been a while!!! Happy new year to all our members (new and old) and we are delighted to welcome you guys again for the first event of 2020. Unfortunately, due to busy schedules we
Hello guys!!! First of all we would like to thank everyone who showed up at the last meeting. We hope you made meaningful meetings and enjoyed it. The holidays are around the corner so we decided to
Hello guys, We are back!!! Well, when we all meet together our welcoming party will be complete. So InterNations Cotonou took a long break due to various reasons and as many of you have requested it,
Let's go to the beach! Put on your swimsuits for an afternoon swim at El Dorado Beach Club. For those who have already been there, you obviously know that it's next to the best beach to swim in Coto

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  • Jaromir Novy

    There's only a small expat circle here in Cotonou, but this gave me the chance to say hello to everyone on InterNations!

  • Jessica Johnson-Hanevolt

    Before I came here as an expat, I only knew Benin as home of actor Djimon Honsou. But now Cotonou & InterNations is my home too.

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