Benin2021-10-07T17:36:06+02:00
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Latest travel notes on Covid-19 ➝

Travel tips for Benin

Top 5 Experiences

The small country in West Africa, as big as Austria and Switzerland combined, impresses with its varied landscapes, voodoo, world cultural heritage sites and a diverse fauna:

© Afrikit - Pixabay

Voodoo

In no other country Voodoo is celebrated as much as in the West African country Benin. There the old belief, officially recognized as a religion, even has its own holiday. On Ouidah Beach at the coast, on January 10th, the official Voodoo Day, the largest voodoo celebration in the country takes place. At one of the everyday voodoo ceremonies, mask and show dances provide insights into the mysticism of West Africa, full of energy and magic.

©Agbeko Masseme - Pixabay

History

Even today, the ruins of royal palaces, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as many museums are reminiscent of the former, powerful kingdom of Dahomey. The kings of the time profited from the slave trade at the coasts. The first settlers fled slavery on Lake Nokoué and built the water village Ganvié with stilt houses. Around 200,000 people still live there today.

©Jean Wimmerlin - unsplash

Safari

In the North of the country there is an amazing animal population. The Pendjari and W national parks, through which the Niger River runs like a “W”, are among the last refugees for the largest elephant population in the region and the endangered West African lion. Cheetahs, antelopes, buffalo and 568 different bird species can also be observed here on a safari.

© Claire05 - Pixabay

Landscape

Much of the area of Benin consists of vast savannas that mix with dense forests, while the green and majestic Atacora low mountain range is composed of various types of rock. The highest mountain, Mont Sokbaro, is at an altitude of 658m and offers an impressive view over the wide valleys of Benin.

© Fanick Atchia - unsplash

Water world

Benin borders the Atlantic Ocean, which is called the Gulf of Guinea here. The bay impresses with lonely sandy beaches and palm-fringed lagoons, the inland with lakes, river valleys and swamps. Due to the largest rivers Niger and Ouémé, from which many tributaries flow, the area around the capital Porto Novo is very watery and invites to go on boat trips.

Tourist infrastructure

The international airport Cadjehoun (Cotonou) is the starting and ending point of all international flight connections, whereby Benin can only be reached from Europe with one stopover. The tourist infrastructure is still in the development phase. Road conditions can vary depending on the region, but are generally in a relatively good condition, although uneven slopes are standard. In the rainy season, some roads are often not passable. There are bus connections and shared taxis within the country.

Accommodatiosn in different categories can be found in the regions that are better developed for tourism. In the interior of the country and outside the larger cities there is only a very limited number of accommodations, which are usually rather simple.

Climate and travel season

The best time to travel varies depending on the climate zones within the country. In principle, it is advisable to travel during the dry season because many of the unpaved roads become impassable in the rainy season. For the regions in the South, the months of December to March as well as July and August are the ideal travel times. There it is tropical and humid and the temperatures reach a pleasant 27 – 32 ° C during this time. In the North there is a dry South-Sahelian climate, the best travel time is from November to February. During this time, the average daytime temperatures are permanently above 30 ° C and there is no rain. March and April are also relatively dry, but very hot.

Visa and entry

Travel documents must be valid for at least three months at the time of entry and need to have have sufficient space left for visas, entry and exit stamps. Germans, Austrians and Swiss need a visa to enter the country. This must be requested before entering the country either at the responsible embassy of Benin or as an e-visa. The e-visa is usually ready to print after 24 hours. When applying for a visa, the flight ticket and vaccination certificate with a valid yellow fever vaccination must be presented. Depending on the length of stay, the prices for the visa vary between 15 and 30 €. An extension of the residence permit must be applied for in at the Direction de l’Immigration in Cotonou (Avenue Pape Jean Paul II) advance before the visa expires. If a visa is not renewed in time, a weekly penalty fee of XOF 25,000 is due.

Impressions from Benin

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General updates

Federal Foreign Office (GER) ➝

Federal Ministry European and International (GER) ➝

Federal Department of
Foreign Affairs (GER) ➝

Information of the
Tourism Board ➝

Country information

Current accessibility

  • Information on entry:

    Entry and transit by air is again possible for Germans, Austrians and Swiss. All travelers are tested upon entry and exit at their own expense. A rapid antigen test and a PCR test are carried out. If the quick test is negative, one can enter the country without restrictions. If the test result is positive, one has to enter a 14-day quarantine. In this case, departure is only permitted after two negative test results could be presented. Depending on the length of the stay, up to 3 PCR tests must be carried out: Immediately after arrival, after 15 days and 24 to 72 hours before departure. The costs are CFA 50,000 (approx. 77 EURO) per test. Travelers must complete an online health form prior to departure. Registration and payment for the mandatory Covid-19 tests can be completed after completing the online health form.

  • Information on return:

    Since March 30, 2021, all travellers, no matter from which country they are coming and which means of transportation they use, must present a negative PCR or PoC test, a proof of complete vaccination, for instance the digital Covid-Certificate from the EU (Green Pass), or a proof of recovery from a Covid-19 infection, which was completed at least 28 days ago and is maximum 6 months old, before entering the Federal Republic of Germany. The PCR test must be performed at the earliest 72 hours and the PoC-test 48 hours before the start of the return journey. In addition, travellers must register their entry at the entry portal www.einreiseanmeldung.de➝ before arriving in Germany and carry proof of the corresponding registration with them. For stays in high risk areas classified by the RKI➝ there is a 10-day quarantine obligation. The quarantine can solely be prevented when a proof of complete vaccination or a proof of recovery from a Covid-19 infection, which was completed at least 28 days ago and is maximum 6 months old, was submitted on the entry portal. After five days at the earliest, travellers who are not vaccinated or did not recover from a Covid-19 infection can undergo a Covid-19 test. With a subsequent negative result, the quarantine obligation can be ended early. For stays in virus mutation areas a negative PCR-test, which must be performed at the earliest 72 hours before entering, needs to be shown before return and a fourteen-day quarantine must to be entered without possibility to shorten it.

    All travellers older than 12 years, must present a negative PCR or PoC test, a proof of complete vaccination, for instance the digital Covid-Certificate from the EU (Green Pass), or a proof of recovery from a Covid-19 infection before entering Austria. The PCR-test must be performed at the earliest 72 hours and the PoC-test 48 hours before the start of the return journey. Since January 15, 2021, travellers must register their entry here ➝ („Pre-Travel-Clearance“) before arrival. With the above mentioned certifications a quarantine can be fully prevented when entering from a country classified as safe. The certifications can be handed in 24 hours later if no hotel stay is planned. For vaccinated people arriving from countries not classified as safe or from virus mutations areas the quarantine does not apply neither. Non-vaccinated people however need to present a negative Covid-test or a proof of recovery as well as enter a 10-day quarantine. After five days at the earliest, travellers can undergo a Covid-19 test. With a subsequent negative result, the quarantine obligation can be ended early.

    All air as well as transit passengers who are not fully vaccinated or did not surpass a Covid-19 infection within the past 6 months must register their entry on www.swissplf.admin.ch before or during arrival in Switzerland and need to carry the generated QR-code with them. Air passengers older than 16 years must present a negative PCR or PoC test, a proof of complete vaccination, for instance the digital Covid-Certificate from the EU (Green Pass), or a proof of recovery from a Covid-19 infection before entering. The PCR-test must be performed at the earliest 72 hours and the PoC-test 48 hours before the start of the return journey. Air as well as transit passengers who are not fully vaccinated or did not surpass a Covid-19 infection as well need to enter a 10-day quarantine and present a PCR-test. In addition, they need to inform their corresponding cantonal authority latest within two days after arrival. After seven days at the earliest, travellers can undergo a Covid-19 test. With a subsequent negative result, the quarantine obligation can be ended early. The obligation to test or enter quarantine does not apply to fully vaccinated people who can present a certificate such as the EU Digital Certificate or a Swiss Covid certificate.

Für Einreisende in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, die sich in den letzten 10 Tagen vor Einreise in einem Risikogebiet aufgehalten haben, besteht seit dem 08. November 2020 die Pflicht, sich unverzüglich in eine zehntägige Quarantäne zu begeben. Darüber hinaus müssen Reisende vor ihrer Ankunft in Deutschland ihre Einreise unter https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de ➝ anmelden und den Nachweis über die entsprechende Anmeldung mit sich führen. Nach frühestens fünf Tagen können sich die Reiserückkehrer Covid-19 Test unterziehen. Mit einem anschließenden Negativergebnis kann die Quarantänepflicht frühzeitig beendet werden.

ACHTUNG: Wer sich in den letzten 10 Tagen vor Einreise in Deutschland in einem Hochinzidenz-Gebiet oder einem Virusvarianten-Gebiet aufgehalten hat, muss bereits bei Einreise einen ärztlichen Nachweis oder ein negatives Testergebnis bei sich tragen und diesen bei Aufforderung der zuständigen Behörden vorlegen können. Der Test darf nicht älter als 48 Stunden vor Einreise sein. Darüber hinaus ist das negative Testergebnis auch vor Antritt der Rückreise dem entsprechenden Beförderer vorzulegen. Sollte es den Einreisenden aus etwaigen Gründen in einem Hochinzidenzgebiet oder einem Virusvarianten-Gebiet nicht möglich sein, sich vor Abreise testen zu lassen, können die entsprechenden Beförderer vor Abreise einen Schnelltest durchführen und bei Negativergebnis die Beförderung vornehmen. Der Beförderer darf den Test maximal 12 Stunden vor Abreise durchführen. Dieser Test muss den Anforderungen des RKI entsprechen: https://www.rki.de/tests ➝

Covid-19

Corona precautionary measures

  • Restrictions in the country:

    Only vaccinates people with a proof are permitted to attend events and meetings. Furthermore, the usual hygiene and distance rules must be maintained.

  • Mouth and nose protection:

    It is mandatory to wear a mouth and nose protection in public spaces.

  • Hygiene measures in the country:

    There is currently no information available on a uniformly applicable catalogue of measures.

Status: 01.10.2021

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