Savannah Grace

BENIN Photo Essay

We had intended on staying much longer in Benin but when you’re on an adventure you’re susceptible to unexpected changes. After meeting England’s Ben Southall (who would later win “The Best Job in the World”) and my now Dutch partner, Kees in Ghana, we joined forces and headed south to South Africa at a much faster pace than we’d initially planned as a family.

Benin is a West African country which sits on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, touching Togo, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. I had been looking forward to getting to plunge into the country and especially explore Benin’s infamous voodoo culture.

One of the strangest things we saw were local boys collecting sand or broken shells from the ocean floor. They would duck under harsh waves, which practically broke their backs as they crashed down on them, to scoop the ocean floor into netted bags then proceed to drag them onto shore. One of many African mysteries.

We camped at the beach in Grand Popo and swam in the nearby hotels swiming pool.  We stayed in a very unusual “hotel” with lots of beautiful wooden carvings for sale. Another strange happening was bottle feeding two adorable dik-diks (tiny deers) who were wandering around outside our room. Bottle just happened to be lying on the floor…

Benin Map

Grand Popo

The lovely beach on the Atlantic ocean where we set up camp. Grand Popo

Grand Popo

Checking out the water and waves. There was too much undertow so we came right back in. Grand Popo

 Grand Popo

Our group camp-out right at the beach. – Grand Popo

Grand Popo

Hold your breath contest at the nearby hotels swimming pool. Grand Popo

IMG_1034 (2)

It is such a great climate here and always half naked kids enjoying it.

Grand Popo

Very colourful clothing and bold patterns. Grand Popo


Life in the small town.


There is always room for 4

gas station

The local gas station on the side of the road.

The motorcycle taxi stand. -Abomey


Abomey is a city in the Zou Department of Benin.


This is a regularly full bus. – Abomey



Abomey is the former capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dahomey


Heading out of the city Abomey.



Railway tracks of old.


Entering into the city of Porto Novo


A great day to go to church.

Porto Novo

This isn’t looking too good for the blue truck. – Porto Novo


We rented a room for the night here in Chez Monique “A La Lune” – Abomey

Chez Monique "A La Lune" - Abomey

Well you have to wonder what this message is! Chez Monique “A La Lune” – Abomey

Chez Monique "A La Lune" - Abomey

We couldn’t decide if they are playing or “I’m going to kill you” statue. Chez Monique “A La Lune” – Abomey

Chez Monique "A La Lune" - Abomey

Savannah found a couple very cute babies to play with. Chez Monique “A La Lune” – Abomey

- Abomey

Love the colour of the ground – Abomey

It was only a short stay in Benin before moving onwards through Nigeria.

Stay tuned for more #FridayFotos. Next week is Bosnia

Savannah Grace

View more photos of Benin here.

For more of my travel photography, check out my Instagram account! See you there!

15 replies »

  1. Hi Savannah. Thanks for some brilliant photos and an interesting insight into this relatively unknown country. The local gas station looks particularly interesting > can you drink it as well? ha ha

  2. Hi Savannah. So glad to see some pictures of this country. I sponsor a little girl in Benin and often wonder what her life looks like! I love the pattern on her dresses when I get a picture and can now see those patterns are everywhere! Strange contrasts of pool and ocean to the dry red earth where nothings much grows. Did you speak French? I’d love to visit one day.

    • Hey Julia! Thank you so much for your comment. So glad to hear this kind of story and can see you really appreciated this photo essay 🙂 You should visit Benin and your little girl one day! And let me know if you do, I’d be very interested to hear your story. No! I can only speak English (and understand most Dutch). Wish I could speak more languages. Do you speak French.

      • Hi Savannah, thanks for your reply! Yes I speak a little French but not enough, so I write letters to my girl in Benin in English, and they get translated for her. I have been her sponsor for 7 years now, and I would love to actually go and see her one day, show her I am real, and give her such a big hug! 🙂 But I don’t think I will ever be able to financially. If I do, I’ll tell you about it, promised. Until then, you are our eyes and ears out there. Keep up the journey, we love accompanying you in our minds!

    • Thanks Maggie, yes it looks very intriguing! It is especially good to hear and see your reports of lesser known areas as not many travellers seem to get there. Makes us feel we embrace the whole planet! 🙂

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