There's no shortage of sights or history in Benin. What was once the chief port in the slave trade is now a country full of African culture and tourist markets with idiosyncratic architecture spread generously throughout the country. It is not uncommon to find mud houses or fishing villages elevated on stilts in Benin.

What to do

The royal palaces in Aborney are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The palaces are the dwelling places of the last twelve kings of the palace of Abomey which ruled over much of the territory that now makes up Benin.

Benin is also thought to be the birthplace of Vodun, or Voodoo and that it spread to the Caribbean via the deportation of slaves to the Americas. January 10 is the national Vodun Holiday.

Getting there

Benin is well connected to Europe, with flights from Amsterdam, Moscow and Paris. There aren't any trains or buses running between countries in Benin, so you'll have to fly in from somewhere.

Where to stay

Once in Benin, most of the hotels and hostels are in Cotonou. You can choose from a couple of different options, however none are luxury suites.

Benin has a lot to offer the independent traveler. If you want to gather more information, check out the message boards where you can ask your travel questions about Benin and the rest of Africa and pick the brains of folks who have been there.