Benin is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. With a population over 11 millions people, and a birth rate of 2,6 children per woman; the country also has a strong cultural richness. Vodoun is the most popular religion and some tribes (such as Batammariba, an Otammari tribe) still live by ancient traditions. Art and artisan craft are also key traditional features that are still widespread: blacksmiths are for example still renowned and had for a long time, an important role in the life in tribes. On a nature and environment point of view, Beninese coasts benefit from wonderful beaches, unfortunately non-suitable for swimming due to the strong currents. Some forests are also very well preserved. Finally the Pendjari National Park, in the north of the country, is one of the bastion of West Africa’s fauna and flora.
Politics and Economics
Benin’s economic growth was at 4% in 2016. Since Patrice Talon’s election, it grew to 5,5% in 2017 and is predicted to reach 6% in 2018 (according to the African Bank of Development). Tourism is one of the fastest growing industry and major investment area from the government; who’s financial input reach over €1 billion. Some of the projects that benefited from the most investment include Ganvier – one of the largest lacustrine estate in Africa, Pendjari National Park and Vodoun museums in Abomey and Porto-Novo cities.
Tourism currently represents 0.7% of the GDP and is predicted to reach 4,7% in four years. Beninese government has ambitions to make tourism one of the key development areas, and is investing in the development of touristic hubs, hoping to create a favourable ground for new touristic projects.
Why Atacora, north-Benin?
North Benin is less populated than the south, and therefore has fewer infrastructures. Local farmers till most of the land and the landscape is mainly mountainous. Our lodge will be located on the municipality of Natitingou in the Atacora region, on a cliff, with a breathtaking view over the vast wild plains.
This location has many advantages:
– The region is benefiting from the government’s touristic development plans.
– It is quart an hour away from Natitingou city.
– The lodge will contribute to the touristic development of north Benin.
– It is within the vicinity of Pendjari National Park, which attracts over 6.000 tourists every year.
– The views and landscape offer a number of potential trek routes.
– The region still hosts a number of tribes, including the Otammari, which are well know for living traditionally in little “castles” called Tata.