Which airlines operate flights to Benin from the UK?
- Air France
- Royal Air Maroc
- Brussels Airlines
- Kenya Airways
- Air Burkina
- Rwanda Air
How long is the flight to Benin from the UK?
- The cheapest flights from London Heathrow Airport to Cadjehoun Airport (COO) take 10 to 13 hours to reach its destination, with a slightly long stopover in Paris or Brussels.
- The trip from Manchester to Benin also takes 10 to 13 hours to complete, with one stop in Paris.
- The best flight from Birmingham to Benin takes 10 hours and 25 minutes to reach Cotonou with only a two-hour long stopover in Paris.
- The air journey to Benin from London Gatwick Airport takes 16 hours to reach Benin via Istanbul or Kigali, Rwanda.
Are there any direct flights to Benin from the UK?
Unfortunately, no airlines are operating direct flights from the United Kingdom to Benin and vice versa. Most passengers moving back and forth between these countries choose to travel by Air France, Brussels Airways or Royal Air Maroc. Flights with Air France have shorter stopovers and are the cheapest of the lot. The flight duration of the trip from London to Cotonou with Air France does not usually exceed ten and a half hours.
Cheap flights to Benin with Air France
Air France provides the cheapest flights from the UK to Benin. The seats on these flights get booked as soon as they are made available, so do not waste time in contacting our agents. There are dozens of Air France flights between the UK and Paris each day. Air France flights operate eleven times between Paris and Cotonou per week. To go to Benin, most passengers book the AF 804 flight that leaves Charles de Gale Airport every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 1:50 PM Paris time. On the way back passengers can board AF 647 that conducts its operation every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:40 in the evening local time.
What is the cheapest time of year to fly to Benin?
Around March and April, Benin experiences the slowest months in the tourism business. Fortunately, due to the proximity of the Gulf of Guinea, the temperature does not change much during the year. So, even in the most affordable time to visit Benin, the skies would be open, and there would be much sunshine to absorb. There is no reason not to travel to Benin during these months, and plan your spring break in March and April for half the cost of travel in October.
What are the major international airports in Benin?
There are two international airports in Benin. Benin is a narrow strip of land on the Gold Coast of Western Africa. Parakou Airport serves the northern half of the country, and in the south, there is the Cadjehoun Airport.
- Cadjehoun Airport (COO) is the largest airport in Benin. It is located near the capital of Benin, Porto Novo. Most of the flights to Europe and Africa destined for Benin land at this airport. Fortunately, Cadjehoun Airport is not far from the centre of the city where most of the good hotels are. The shortest distance from the hotels to the airport is 42 kilometres, which is covered in one hour's ride.
- For passengers travelling to the north of the country, Parakou Airport (PKO) would be the best option. Even though the airport is set to be replaced by the Tourou International Airport, Parakou still functions as the gateway to the north of Benin until the new airport is made fully functional. From the Ladjifarani intersection, the airport is only 7 minutes away by car.
What are the entry requirements to Benin for British travellers?
A British Passport holder requires a visa to enter the territory of Benin. Regrettably, there is no embassy of the Republic of Benin in the United Kingdom so the Beninese Embassy in Paris would process your visa request. However, if you take the faster route by applying for the visa online, you would get the permits at the airport, on arrival. Please make sure that you apply for a Benin visa at least seven days before your departure and do not delay the trip to the country beyond 90 days after getting the travel permits.
What is the best time to visit Benin?
The best time to travel to Benin is from July to February. Even though during the July to September season it is a bit wet, there are still many people, usually Beninese coming back to their home country over the holidays. However, if you wish to explore Benin in more dry and warm weather, come to the country after the first three months of the time mentioned above – that is, from October to February. During the October-February timeframe, the average temperature zigzags between 27°C to 30°C. The constant temperature is due to the moderating effect of the ocean on the climate. The Harmattan winds bring some dust and sand during December, so if you are asthmatic conclude your trip to Benin before November’s end.
What are the major landmarks in Benin?
Benin was once called the Kingdom of Dahomey, which flourished with the rise of cotton, gold and slave trade. Later the French occupied the territory, but Benin was successful in getting its independence by 1960. Many landmarks have been built since then to honour the past and look towards the future with hope.
- Place de l’Etoile Rouge or the Red Star Square in Cotonou is a symbol of Benin’s past and its bout with Communisms. The Marxist leaders of the newly independent Benin built this square as a place that unifies all people. Even though democracy has established itself in the country, many Beninios still appreciate the symbolism of the landmark. High on the tower is a ‘good man’ affectionately called Jacob who holds a torch in one hand as a sign of liberty and in the other a ploughing tool, as a homage to the farming population of the country.
- Before Islam and Christianity came to Benin, there were local religions that celebrated Animism. In Ouidah city, which is considered the birthplace of voodoo magic, is the Temple of Pythons. Voodoo worship usually is practised here, which makes this temple even more sacred to the locals. Inside the temple is a small room that contains about fifty royal pythons, divided by the priests according to their size and age. Each year before the harvest, there is a purification ritual performed at the temple with swirling dancers entering the temple’s domain for the serpent worshippers.
- Lake Aheme is one of the largest lakes in Benin. There are guided expeditions which take the tourists to the lake in central Benin. In the rainy season, the lake swells to almost thrice its size and becomes home to the spawning fish coming down from the Couffo River. Many, like the indigenous people of the area, enjoy fishing and nature watching at Lake Aheme. Marshes around the lake are home to numerous birds, and the surrounding region has been declared a Ramsar site.
Which events and festivals are celebrated in Benin?
For Christians, Christmas in the best day of the year, for Muslims, it’s Eid, but for the Beninese, especially living in Ouidah, Voodoo Day tops the list. There are many misconceptions around the Voodoo religion in the west, and there could not be any better day to get a glimpse into the real Voodoo Culture. Voodoo Day is celebrated on the 10th of January, each year, but it is not for the prudish. In the same month, Quintessence Film Festival celebrates the art, the artist and the direction of Benin’s cinema. Gelede Festival in April is the time to respect mothers and to amuse wives. The men in Benin dance and prank each other to have their women smile and laugh.
What are the transportation options available to tourists within Benin?
The best way around Benin is via the bus network. There are two renowned bus carriers in Benin, namely the Benin Routes and the Confort Lines. Both of these bus networks can get you from city to city in no time. The prices are fixed, so there is no point in bargaining. The travel fare depends on how far you wish to travel and the cost of petrol at the time. The other mode of travel in Benin is via car. You can hire a car and drive it yourself, but we recommend that you get a guide or a driver with you, especially if you are travelling during the night. There are bush taxis available that even cost less, but they are severely uncomfortable as passengers are cramped up inside the vehicle.
Which five-star hotels and accommodation are available for stay in Benin?
Handy Tips you should know before your departure!
There are not many five star hotels in Benin. However, four-star hotels are readily available, and most of the European tourists to the country enjoy their stay.
- Maison Rouge Cotonou
- Novotel Cotonou Orisha Hotel
- Golden Tulip le Diplomate Cotonou
- Azalai Hotel De La Plage
- Novotel Cotonou Orisha Hotel
Cadjehoun Airport Cotonou is the main airport in Benin.
The main airlines serving flights from United Kingdom to Benin are Ethiopian Airlines, SN Brussels Airlines, Air France, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways.
The lowest time taken for a flight from UK to Benin is 6.5 hours.
United Kingdom and Benin is 3076 miles apart in terms of flight distance.
There is no availability of direct flights to Benin from UK.
Ethiopian Airlines operate Benin flights 6 days a week from London and take off in the evening.
You can choose to fly with Air France to Benin 5 days a week. The airline does not offer flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Air France offers three flights daily and in the morning.
Royal Air Maroc Benin flights take off in the afternoon and are only offered 4 days a week.
Choose to fly to Benin with Kenya Airways with flights from London, 6 days a week.
Every week more than 300 flight departures are seen from Cadjehoun Airport Cotonou.