Benin Overland Travel

The information below concerning Benin is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

The republic of Benin contains a myriad of incredible highlights and more than punches above its weight! Benin is probably most famous for the traditional Vodun (Voodoo) culture, which is widely practiced across the country - in the tiny coastal village of Grand Popo we often are lucky enough to witness an energetic and magical Vodun celebration, where the whole village comes out to the sounds of drumming and singing.

Visiting Benin

Benin, famous for it's Voodoo culture is a fantastic country to visit. Pendjari National Park in the North is one of the last places to view Elephants and lions in West Africa.

Entering Benin with a Car or Motorbike

With the exception of the road linking Cotonou in the south to Malanville on the border with Niger in the north, roads in Benin are generally in poor condition and are often impassable during the rainy season. Benin's unpaved roads vary widely in quality; deep sand and potholes are common. During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, dirt roads often become impassable. Four-wheel drive vehicles with full spare tires and emergency equipment are recommended.

Travel Visa for Benin

The republic of Benin e-Visa is an electronic authorization granted by Benin immigration since April 2018, Benin began issuing e-Visas to a eligible foreign visitors, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave the territory.

Benin e-Visa Types and validity

  • The Benin e-Visa Single Entry (30 days): Fronm the entry date indicated on application form, this type Benin e-Visa allows the traveler to enter Benin once only and stay up to 30 days maximum. It is a one-entry visa and you must leave the country within the 30 days, you will not allow returning with the same visa.
  • Benin e-Visa multiple entry (30 days): this type of Benin Visa is for the traveller who wishes to stay in Benin up to 30 days, with a one-time entry permit. It is a longer stay single entry visa for visitors who wish to stay longer.
  • Benin e-Visa Multiple Entry (90 days): this type of Benin Multiple entry visa is valid for 90 days, from the date of entry. It allows visitors to visit the country multiple times within the 90 days duration.

Benin Overland Required Paperwork

Muamba de galinha or chicken muamba is a dish made with chicken, red palm oil sauce called mu

  • Passport of registered owner.
  • Drivers license of registered owner.
  • Original vehicle registration.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
  • (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
  • (no copies are required)

    Benin Overland Process at border

    • Get yourself stamped in at immigration.
    • Go to Duane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registrationthe officer will write out a Passavant, valid for one month.
    • If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.

    Benin Overland Vehicle insurance requirements

    Liability insurance is required, police might ask to see it. If you travel through more west African countries get a 'Carte Brun' which is valid in most west African countries at no extra cost.

    Benin Overland Cost of vehicle insurance

    Expect to pay CFA10,000.00 XOF to CFA20,000.00 XOF per vehicle per month, depending on engine size and vehicle age (newer costs more)

    General Road quality - Benin Overland

    Main highways are good pavement, without potholes, especially those recently built. The main North-South route is good pavement, the route closer to Togo has many nasty potholes. Minor dirt roads are frequently horrible with lots of corrugations. Many are impassable in the rainy season. Always watch out for potholes on sealed roads - they can be HUGE, and hitting them fast will be very, very bad.

    Benin Overland Road signs

    Distances to the next major town are usually shown on the side of highways, and big intersections sometimes have signs.

    Benin Overland Toll roads

    Tolls are sporadically on the bigger roads, and sometimes small ones. The cost is usually CFA500.00 XOF.

    Checkpoints Benin Overland

    There are many checkpoints and random stops where Police will check all your paperwork. Don't pay.

    Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency

    Gas and diesel are available all over Benin on the side of the road, coming from Nigeria. It's much cheaper than at the stations in Benin, though the quality is probably not so great. Because of that, stations with unleaded and diesel are actually rare. If you want to use a station, fill up every time you see a station.

    Stay safe!

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