Overland Benin Travel
West Africa > Benin
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Benin
- 2 Entering Benin with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Benin
- 4 Gas price in Benin and Diesel price in Benin
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Benin
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Benin
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Benin, famous for it's Voodoo culture is a fantastic country to visit. Pendjari National Park in the North is one of the last places to view Elephants and lions in West Africa.
Entering Benin with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: March 2017
Travel Visa for Benin
The visa for Benin is easy to obtain at virtually any bordering country.
In Lomé Togo you can get a one week transit visa if you already have a Nigeria visa for CFA10,000.00 XOF.
In Accra, Ghana you can get a one month visa for about $20.00 USD in the local Ghanian Cedi.
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
(no copies are required)
Process at border
- Get yourself stamped in at immigration.
- Go to Duane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out a Passavant, valid for one month.
- If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.
Cost of entry
The Passavant officially costs CFA5,700.00 XOF, and the officers are happy to round it up. Entry will be free with a Carnet de Passage
Permitted length of stay
Extension of stay
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Hand in your Passavant to Duane.
- Get yourself stamped out at immigration.
All should be free, do not pay for this.
Driving in Benin
Recommended books for Overlanding in Benin
Travel insurance for Benin
Vehicle insurance requirements
Liability insurance is required, police might ask to see it.
If you travel through more west African countries get a 'Carte Brun' which is valid in most west African countries at no extra cost.
Cost of vehicle insurance
Expect to pay CFA10,000.00 XOF to CFA20,000.00 XOF per vehicle per month, depending on engine size and vehicle age (newer costs more)
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Unknown within Benin
Anything from your home country will be accepted.
Driving side of road
RHD vehicles are allowed but ensure you have correct paperwork, because it’s a good chance for bribery.
Mandatory items in vehicle
You need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher.
General Road quality
Main highways are good pavement, without potholes, especially those recently built. The main North-South route is good pavement, the route closer to Togo has many nasty potholes.
Minor dirt roads are frequently horrible with lots of corrugations. Many are impassable in the rainy season.
Always watch out for potholes on sealed roads - they can be HUGE, and hitting them fast will be very, very bad.
Distances to the next major town are usually shown on the side of highways, and big intersections sometimes have signs.
Tolls are sporadically on the bigger roads, and sometimes small ones. The cost is usually CFA500.00 XOF.
Bribery in Benin
Bribery can happen, so keep your wits about you. Be polite, and don’t pay. See the bribery tips page for general advice.
There are many checkpoints and random stops where Police will check all your paperwork. Don't pay.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas price in Benin and Diesel price in Benin
Last updated: March 2017
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded (called Essense) (Pump says 91 octane)||CFA603.00 XOF per Liter|
|Diesel (called Gasoil)||CFA527.00 XOF per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gas and diesel are available all over Benin on the side of the road, coming from Nigeria. It's much cheaper than at the stations in Benin, though the quality is probably not so great. Because of that, stations with unleaded and diesel are actually rare. If you want to use a station, fill up every time you see a station.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Seemed to be no problem with quality.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is not recommended due to hazards on the road, vehicles without lights and extremely bad roads.
Vehicles seem safe enough on the street during the day, secure overnight parking is recommended in the cities.
Special driving considerations
As in all of West Africa, expect hazards on the road around every turn - animals, children, pot holes and speed bumps!
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Benin - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Benin
There are a few campsites in Benin, and a few hotels allow camping.
Expect to pay between CFA2,000.00 XOF and CFA5,000.00 XOF per person per night.
Wildcamping is very possible in Benin, especially in rural areas. Try to camp away from villages unless you don't mind lot of attention and lot of demand for ‘Cadeaux’ which means gift. If you do camp in a town, ask the Chief of the village for permission first (he will always say yes).
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
Drinking water is generally not considered safe to drink for visitors who are not used to it.
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Benin
GPS Maps of Benin
- Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
- Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Benin
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
Special Overland Travel interests
List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Benin
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.