Benin is definitely one of the best West african Country for Solo female traveler. Since Martine and I always needed do our own stuff, I was on my own again to travel to this wonderful country. I met so many great people who helped me with everything because I do not speak a word of French. I am really really so grateful for every single one of them:) Below are some of my beautiful experiences in Benin-
-I arrived this modern city in the morning hoping to find internet connection to do some work. I asked a man regarding wifi connection at the restaurant. He told me there was NO internet at this area but he can had his Driver to take me to the nearby Novetel Hotel which I could get excellant internet connection there. His “driver” even buy me a drink for me- AT NOVETEL!! The price is not normal for normal african people there !!
-I arrived Cotonou again after traveling to Abomey and this time I arrive back to this city really late. I forgot the name of the hotel I stayed at last time so I called this “driver” again, he came all the way at the taxi stand for me and took me to the hotel I wanted!!!
-I need to go to Nigerian Embassy for some visa information but I do not speak french and I was scared the taxi driver do not know the way(it happened when I tried to get to Ganvie and taxi driver do not know the way back to my hotel)So, I called this “driver” again! He said he could took me there….period! OM man, This driver really become my “driver”!!!!
-Whenever my “motorbike” driver do not know the way, I call “him” for help!!! he was always there:)
I need to head north to Abomey from Ouidah and some local told me I could go straight from Ouidah to Abomey. The beach resort people took me to the taxi station with his motorbike and help me explained everything in french for me there! also, when I arrive Abomey, whenever I need to explain to someone in French, I called him for “help”. He would always be there for me:)
When I was on the brush taxi to Abomey, the taxi driver is so kind to bought me water and food for free since I do not have”small” money:P He also helped me to arrange a motorbike to take me to the center of town:)
You guys have no idea how many time local people were yelling at me while I tried to (kind of) take photos of them:P But When I was in Abomey trying to get a brush taxi back to Cotonou, I met many nice people who told me there would be no problem to take photo of them. Including this “chief” in Abomey, I am not sure whether he really is a chief but he seems to be an important person. He also told me his daughter is a warriors of the Dahomey Kingdom and gave me a photo of her:)
He was so funny that he took me to his house and changed his clothes for me to take photos!!
During the taxi ride, he even bought me an ice-cream!!! What an awesome experience:)
Travelling around Benin(actually most of Africa) is NOT Cheap at all. At the center of Cotonou a “normal”hotel can cost me US$60 for a night and a regular meal cost me US$12. If you ever want to travel around Benin, do budget yourself(except for backpacker who is really tough:P)