Crime in Benin - Tips to Travel Safe

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While the Capital of Benin is Porto Novo, the administrative capital and its largest city is Cotonou, and as such it does have a few crime issues to be aware of.

Street Crime, robberies, car-jackings and muggings do occur, particularly along the Boulevard de France (the beach road by the Marina and Novotel Hotels) and on the beaches near hotels frequented by tourists.

There have been recent reports of the use of force in robberies including armed hold-ups. Don't carry valuables in these areas and only carry a photocopy of your passport, not the real thing. Use your common sense and don't flash your cash and make yourself a target for robbery.

As in most countries (especially in West Africa), travellers should avoid isolated and poorly lit areas and should not walk around the city or the beaches between dusk and dawn, the Dantokpa market is particularly dangerous at night. It's common sense really, stay in well lit and populated areas, don't wander off the beaten track.

Some of the border areas, notably the Nigeria border are very dangerous with armed robberies and banditry being reported. Car-jackings have been reported on highways and rural roads; again, exercise caution: keep the windows rolled up and the doors locked and stay alert for any suspicious behaviour or attempts to stop a moving car.

It can surely come as no surprise that fraud is rife throughout West Africa, so you should exercise extreme caution when using credit cards and ATM machines.

Business and internet fraud is also common so if you are presented with a proposal for a quick and simple transaction, be alert and wary, don't become a victim. Also, corruption is endemic in Benin - if you are requested to provide a "gift" to facilitate official matters, just politely decline.

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2 Comments

  • Angela said

    Need a favor. I've been trying to get in touch with a friend that is staying at Benin Marina Hotel, in Benin Contonu.

    He goes by Jim Lawson staying there for three months for business. Supposedly managing a gas station/mini mart that is being built there.

    Can someone help to see if he is actually staying at the hotel.

    I don't have the funds to call the hotel.
    Thank you ever so much.

  • Jim Lawson said

    Yes I am alive and kicking. Come to Benin and meet me.

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