whateverBenin Country Information


Benin Country Information



If you are looking for a bit of mystique and country that is rich in its history then Bennin should be your next stop. You have probably seen Hollywood take vodoo and spin it into every possible horror movie possible. Vodoo is a way of life for the Beninese; it is simply a religious practice some of the population even though majority of the population is some form of Christian. About 17% of the population still practice vodoo. Vodoo should not be distorted as a form of black magic you can use to cast curses and wish upon bad circumstances to happen to someone. When you walk through the city streets and peeking into the local shops do not be surprised to see a street lined with local vodoo shops selling anything from live chickens to, bones, and a myriad of animal heads and skins.

This country was originally called Dahomey after the former Kingdom of Dahomey. The Kingdom phase lasted until 1894 and then it became part of the French colonies until 1960 and retaining the same name. Then the name was changed to the Republic of Dahomey which survived until 1975 even after gaining indepedence from the French in 1960. It was finally in 1975 the Republic of Dahomey was lastly renamed to Benin, the official name is Republic of Benin. This is the modern name we refer to this country and it got this name from the body of water that it borders called the Bight of Benin. Benin became the final name because it offered the greatest level of neutrality since the Dahomey territory really only covered one-third of the country. Today you can visit those Dahomey temples and palaces.

If you head over to the city of Quidah, you can still see historical remnants of the bustling slave trade industry. Quidah was a slave's final stop before they were sold and sent off to Brazil or the Caribbean. Benin has a truly fascinating history and culture to experience. This is also a few of the African countries that have not been suppressed by warfare and makes it accessible for travelers who want to come for a visit. If you are thinking about where to go next please save a spot for Benin.


  • Area: 112,622 sq km (43,483.5973 sq mi)
  • Terrain: Mainly flat. Southwest lies the Kalahari Desert
  • Climate: semiarid; very hot in the summer and winters are warm.

The majority of the population of Benin live near the Bight of Benin neart the southern coastline. The country is composed of 42 African ethnic groups where some were indigenous and other groups migrated to Benin throughout history. For example in the southeast region the dominant ethnic group is called Yoruba and they origianlly came from Nigeria during the 12th Century, the Dendi group populate the northern-central region and they migrated from Mali, which is towards the northwest. The Dendi arrived in Benin around the 16th century. There were other groups that migrated here throughout Benin's history so the population is very diverse. There is also a European population living in Benin since it was colonized by the French until 1960. Most of these nationals work at the various European embassies, non-governmental organization, and various missionary groups around the country. There are roughly 5,500 European nationals. There is also a foreign community of Middle Eastern and Asian groups such as the Lebanese and Indian.


Benin, is officially known to the rest of the world as the Republic of Benin. After gaining its indepedence from France in 1960 it now has a republic type of government where it is lead by the President, the Chief of State and the President's appointed cabinet members. The government has three branches that include the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The President and the cabinet members are part of the Executive Branch. The Legislative Branch is the National Assembly that seats 83 members. The judicial system is based off the French legal system.


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