Kuwabo or Welcome on the Home page of L’ iroko
Liroko-Inter-SARL-300x106Benin VlagCoat_of_arms_of_Benin

Benin is an interesting country for a visit/holiday.

It has to offer you a lot.

  • The rich history of the Dahomey Kingdom, is where you will find the old palaces of the kings. The last three kings of the nineteenth century were Guézo, Glélé and Gbéhanzin, before being  conquered by the French, and becoming the French Dahomey. You can also discover  and visit the underground houses of the warriors.

    Abomey, Kingdom Dahomey
    Abomey, Kingdom Dahomey
  • Do you know Benin has the most beautiful wildlife parcs of West-Africa? The 2 Parks, Pendjari National Park and National Park W, are located in the north of Benin. You can spot West-African elephants, different types of Antelope, like the Wildebeest, lions, hippopotamus, crocodiles, hyenas, many species of birds and much more.

    Elephant at Pendjari National Park Benin
    Elephant at Pendjari National Park Benin
  • Have you ever heard of the African Venice? You can find it in Ganvie the stilt village close to Cotonou. Another half stilt village is Aguegue close to Porto Novo.

    Ganvie stilt village in Benin
    Ganvie stilt village in Benin
  • Interested in arts? Benin has many artists; we can arrange a meeting with Benin’s most famous artist Kouas.  Arrange painting workshops with local artists.

    Interview with artis Kouas during exhibition
    Interview with artis Kouas during exhibition
  • Ever wanted to visit Tata Somba? The typical Somba houses built with clay of the Tammari people is very interesting.

    At the roof of a Tata Somba house
    At the roof of a Tata Somba house
  • Ouidah is also famous about the Voodoo festival, which is celebrated every year on the 10th of January.

    Voodoo house at the beach of Ouidah
    Voodoo house at the beach of Ouidah
  • We can’t forget the slavery time. In Ouidah you can walk the slavery route.

    Statue in remembrance the slavery time
    Statue in remembrance the slavery time
  • Join a dancing workshop in traditional African clothes.
  • Did you ever wake up in a silent traditional village where the birds are singing early in the morning?
  • For the beach lovers, unspoiled beautiful beaches can be found at Grand Popo.
  • But also for more sporty people, hiking, walking or mountain biking at the Dassa-Zoumé region with its 41 hills.
  • Join a motorbike tour through the country.
  • See the endangered primates in the forest?

    Cercopithecus Erythrogaster
    Cercopithecus Erythrogaster









These are some examples what Benin has to offer you. Are you enthusiastic to know more about Benin? Send us an email at: info@lirokotours.com

Facts and figures about Benin:

Official name: République du Bénin

Surface: 112 622 km2

Number of inhabitants: about 10 million population

Density: 62/km2 national

Anthem: l’Aube Nouvelle

Official language: French

Capital: Porto Novo

Residence: Cotonou

Form of Government: presidential Republic

Administrative Division: 6 provinces

Population: Fon (39%), Yoruba (12%), Adja, Bariba (8%), Somba (7%)

Religion: Ethnic religions (65%), Roman Catholicism (18%), Islam (15%), Protestantism (3%) 

Average life expectancy: 53 years to alphabetize: more than 50% of men is illiterate, almost 80% of women

Time zone: UTC + 1

National holiday: 1 August (Independence Day)

Currency: Franc CFA (Communauté Financière Africaine); 1 € = 665 Franc CFA Export: worth around 600 million euro per year


In the 17th century the Kingdom of Dahomey covered a significant part of West Africa. It was a prosperous state that slaves traded to the Europeans, especially on Portuguese and Dutch. It then hit the coast also known as the “Slave Coast ‘.   From the 18th century the Kingdom fell apart, so that the French managed in 1892 a large part of the area under control. In 1899 the country was incorporated into French West Africa.   In 1958 the country autonomy as the Republic of Dahomey. On 1 August 1960 Dahomey became completely independent.
The next twelve years the country would be plagued by ethnic conflicts. There were several coups and power swings. The political scene was dominated by Sourou Apithy, Hubert Maga, and Justin Ahomadegbé, each of which represented a different part of the country. These three figures closed a agreement after the 1970 elections flawed by violence to form a Presidential Council.   In 1972 this Presidential Council overthrown by a military coup led by Mathieu Kérékou. He led a Marxist regime and baptized the country in 1975 to République Populaire du Bénin, to the people’s Republic of Benin.

"Dahomey Amazons going to war, with the king, in front 1793 (source: http://www.nypl.org/ New York Public Library'
“Dahomey Amazons going to war, with the king,
in front 1793 (source: New York Public Library)

Most inhabitants of Benin are living in the southern coastal plains. There are also the largest cities, like Porto Novo (the capital) and Cotonou (where the Government resides).   By the country flows different rivers, such as the Shirin, the Mono, Zou, the Ouemé that Porto Novo, the Okpara flows that are a part of the border with Nigeria and the Niger River marking the border with the Republic of Niger.   Cotonou is the largest city of the country with 691,000 inhabitants (2005), with a sea port and the only international airport of the country. Another big city in the South is Abomey (386,000 inhabitants), the former seat of the Court of the Kings of Abomey.  The official capital Porto Novo with 234.000 inhabitants the third city of the country. Further north are the towns of Djougou (203,000 inhabitants), Parakou (164,000), Bohicon (125,000) and Kandi (108,000).   The country has several national parks: Pendjari in the Northwest, on the border with Burkina Faso, and the Parque w. in the Northeast, on the border with Niger. In the Northwest is the Atacora mountain range.


In Benin life about 40 different ethnic groups. The largest group is formed by the Fon. The main other ethnic groups or tribes, the Yoruba, Somba and Bariba the Adja, the. Most tribes have their own language. The French, that especially in the big cities is spoken, is the official language. Beside that French Fon and Yoruba are the most common languages.   Local religions, such as the vodun, form the largest group of religions in Benin, though a significant proportion of the population (also) Christian (especially Roman Catholic) and Muslim. The local customs and traditions are often intertwined with those of foreign religions.  


the economy of Benin is even less developed and relies on agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. The production in the country is increasing by an average of five percent per year, but the population is growing faster. Inflation has decreased in recent years.   To further strengthen the economy are looking for Benin foreign investors (China is a major investor) and one tries to boost tourism. There is also invested in new food processing techniques and agricultural products. Although initially wijfelend, run the Government a policy of privatisation.

Source: Consulat de la République du Bénin aux Pays-Bas


We hope to welcome you to our beautiful country.  Benin is a little  known country  in West Africa.  Isn’t it time to explore it!

We hope you’ll get enthusiastic while reading our website.

Don’t hesitate to send us an email info@lirokotours.com if you have any questions.



The travel agency in Benin with transparant prices, custom made tours for individual travellers and groups with responsibilty for human and nature