Benin

Sandwiched between Togo and Nigeria, Benin is notable in the region for its stability and safety, depite much unrest in the 60s and 70s. French, Dutch and British traders all influenced the country as it became the centre of the slave trade in Africa, before it eventually became a French colony. Abomey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was the capital of the wealthy 19th Century Dahomey Kingdom.

There are a number of well-run national parks in the country, while in the north are grasslands dotted with tiny villages which gradually give way to jungle. 18% of the population practise the Voodoo religion, which travelled with slaves to the Caribbean.

Country

Benin flag

Why you should go:

It's the safest option in the region.

Why you shouldn't:

Getting around is difficult and can be expensive without a local.

Map of Benin