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Benin Visitor Information

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South of Savalou, especially in the west, the climate is typically equatorial - hot and humid, with a long dry season from December to March, in which the dry harmattan blows in the northeasterly to southwesterly direction. The great rains fall from March to July; there is a short dry season from July to September and a short wet season from September to November. In the southwest, average rainfall is considerably lower and the dry season longer; at Grand Pope, for example, average rainfall is about 32.4 inches as compared with 40 inches further east and north, Northern Benin has a typical tropical climate, with only one wet season (May to September, with most rain in August) and a hot dry season in which the harmattan blows for three or four months.

The highest midday temperatures are in January and the lowest in August, but throughout the year the range between midday and night temperatures is great, as much as 15.5C (28F) in the hot season. Although rainfall, which is highest in central Benin (53 inches), decreases as one moves northward, it remains high (40 inches) in most of northern Benin.

The best time to visit the Southern area is from December to March and July/August, visiting period for the Northern part of the country is best between December and April

Visa are required for all except nationals of Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden and many African countries. A 15 day visa generally requires 2 photos and is issued within 24 hours, If travelling overland it is possible to get your visa are the main Togo-Benin border crossing at Ouidah.

Visas can be extended for up to a period of three month in Cotonou from the Ministry of Interior on Ave Jean Paul II and costs approximately US$20. Three photos are required are they take up to 3 days to be issued. Applications are only accepted in the mornings up to 11:00 a.m.

Visa requirements can change at any time,so we do recommend that you contact your local representative for the latest information.

Listing of BeninTourist offices, Consulates or embassies located around the world

Official Currency:    CFA (Communauté Financière Africane) Franc=100 centimes.
Current Exchange Rate:    Today's Exchange Rate

Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club are accepted, but on a limited basis.

Banking and Business Hours

Banks:     Monday to Friday: 0800 - 1100 and 1500 - 1700
Business:     Monday to Friday: 0800 am to 12:30 and 15:30 to 19:00     Saturday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Government hours:     Monday to Friday: 0800 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 18:30

Air

Domestic Flights:
There is a internal service offering flights between, Cotonou, Parakou, Djougu, Kandi and Natitingou and it is also possible to charter 2 seater planes

Railways / Train Services

Benin has one operational railway line, linking Cotonou with Bohicon, Savé and Parakou. Upholstered seats are only available in first class, existing only on the route to Parakou. Children under the age of four travel free and between the ages of four and nine pay half price. It takes approximately 13 hours to travel from Cotonou to Parakou.

Bus

Taxis are available in the main towns. Minibuses and bush taxis are the main form of travel throughout the country.

Road

The roads are in a reasonable condition and some of the main ones are sealed. Some tracks are impassable during the rainy season. Traffic drives on the right hand side. You are required to have an international driving license.

There are a number of local firms offering car hire in Cotonou.

1st January - New Year's Day
Easter Monday
Ascension Day
1st May - Workers Day
Whit Monday
1st August -Independence Day
15th August - Assumption Day
26th Oct - Armed Forces Day
1st November - All Saints' Day
30th November - National Day
25th December - Christmas Day
Ramadan
Ad-el-FITR
Maouland The dates of Muslim holidays are observed following the sightings of the moon

Electric Power is 230V - 240V running at 50Hz.
The Plug type used is: "Type C, E and F"

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