Visiting the lake city Ganvié and historic city Ouidah. Two days, total costs 250,- Euro
Welcome to the two most touristic sites of Benin. The excursion will be accomplished within two days.
1st day: Saturday, 14th September, Lake village of Ganvié
Departure from Parakou to Abomey-Calavi on saturday 14th.
The village was created in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries by the “Tofinu” people to escape “Fon” razzia. The lake village of Ganvié is a unique city of its kind in the world. The founder of Ganvié, fleeing the slave kidnappings, created the village in the heart of Lake Nokoué in southern Benin in 1717. Located 18 km north of Cotonou, Ganvié, known as the “Venice of Africa”, is a lakeside city that includes a few thousand wooded houses, built on piles: a marvel and a special charm. We will discover the whole city and the daily life of the inhabitants (around 30000) on pirogues, the floating market, the traditional fishing scenes, souvenir shops, crafts, bars, etc. Ganvié is the most important lake city of Africa.
2nd day: Sunday, 15th September, City of Ouidah
The city is recorded in the UNESCO world heritage. In the slave port and city of Repentance, Ouidah is known for the leading role it played in the slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries, when nearly millions African were deported to the New World. The centre of the slave trade, Ouidah is also a religious city where traditional religion (vodoun) and Catholicism coexist. The python temple, one famous Vodoun house, is facing the first church of Benin by almost 50 m distant. Here you will visit:
The historic museen of Ouidah : The Museum of History of Ouidah has a large number of objects and illustrations of historical and cultural importance. The museum’s collections are assembled according to six main themes: The Portuguese Fort (the seat of the museum itself), the Xweda kingdom, the Dahomey kingdom of, the slave trade, the Voodoo and The cultural links between Benin and New world. The museum is located in the enclosure of the Portuguese Fort in Ouidah. Originally, this was where the Portuguese traded slaves, until the kingdom of Danhomè, the fort served as a Portuguese diplomatic site in the area, took it. After becoming the property of Danhomey in 1961, the government began its restoration and in 1967 the fort became the Museum of History of Ouidah.
Sacred groves : Open to the uninitiated since the festival of Voodun (1992). According to legend, this forest marks the site where, in the 14th century, King Kpassè, founder of the city of Ouidah, miraculously disappeared. He would have turned into iroko tree (Milicia excelsa). The forest is sacred precisely because of the tree that embodies the spirit of the king. Currently, the place is also a “museum” of contemporary art while ruins give a romantic atmosphere.
The Slaves Route”: In the 15th century, the Portuguese forts, French, English, Danish and Dutch settled on the Beninese coast to develop the triangular slavery trade. The road of the slaves highlights the itinerary made by slaves from their selection at “chacha place” until their boarding through the “Door of no return”. You will experience one of the most sad and emotional event of your life.
You will come back to Cotonou in the afternoon of Sunday 16th. Departure flight on sunday 16th or Tuesday 17th.