Nigeria lies to the east, Togo to the west, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Benin is a nation in West Africa. Despite its tiny size, there is much to be learned from this historically rich country. This article's 50 fascinating facts will help you learn more about this beautiful country and may perhaps encourage you to go there yourself to find out more.

Fascinating Facts:

1
In the 1800s, Benin was known as Dahomey, a prominent country in western Africa.
2
Dahomey translates as "on Dan's belly." Dahomey's royal compound was constructed upon the grave of Dan, a former enemy monarch.
3
The southern coast of Benin was formerly known as the Slave Coast, a leaving place for slaves from which, on average, 10,000 slaves per year were sent to the Americas for almost a century.
4
From the ancient slave sale plaza in Ouidah down to the seashore, where more than 12 million slaves were deported, the Route des Esclaves may be found.
5
Slaves were being branded and forced to walk in loops around the Tree of Forgetfulness, the Tree of Return, where they believed their spirits would return after death, as well as the Gate of No Return monument on the path.
6
Benin, wherein National Voodoo Day is observed on January 10 each year, is the birthplace of the voodoo faith.
7
Benin Bight gets its name from the broad, deep inlet that runs through the southern part of the colony.
8
Benin's capital is Porto-Novo, although the country's central city is Cotonou, where the government is also located.
9
It became independent from France on August 1, 1960, and since, the country has celebrated its Independence Day on that date.
10
There is a 2.5-mile section in Benin known as Route d'Esclaves (Slave Route), the final piece of African land slaves walked on before being sent to the Caribbean.
11
In 1885, the last slave ship sailed from what is now Benin to Brazil.
12
Snakes are revered in Benin, unlike most other places, especially the Royal pythons. They'll even dine and sleep at someone else's house if they must.
13
In the Python Temple, there are 50 royal pythons to be found. It's 130 square feet in size.
14
Some people think that photography takes a piece of their soul because of superstitious Voodoo.
15
Benin is one of Africa's most stable democracies despite its location in a volatile area.
16
In contrast to other West African countries, Benin's main export is cotton, not oil or cocoa. It provides 80% of the country's export revenue.
17
"The Venice of Africa" is located here, a collection of towns that float on a lake.
18
The Benin Iya, the world's most significant archaeological building, may be found there as well.
19
Africans call white people "yovo," a term that some deem derogatory, but which is not.
20
Beninese singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo is credited with popularizing African music in the United States.
21
In West Africa, gasoline is expensive, and there are few gas stations to be found. People choose grey market gas because it is cheaper.
22
The population is primarily under the age of 30, with a median age of 17.9 years.
23
About five children are born to every woman in the nation.
24
There is a low literacy rate of 38.4% and no written languages in the area.
25
Only 4.5 percent of the population has internet access due to low literacy rates.
26
Forty percent of the area is covered with forest, while 35 percent is devoted to agriculture.
27
Using the left hand to eat or welcome someone is considered impolite.
28
Shaking hands with everyone as you enter or leave a room is considered polite.
29
Benin is home to one of the world's most impressive collections of carved wood sculptures.
30
To protect themselves from the intense heat, many people opt to wear winter coats throughout the summer.
31
The country is home to just two national parks.
32
The country's only international airport is in Cotonou, which serves the whole country.
33
Beninese is the name given to the inhabitants of Benin.
34
As of August 1, 1960, Benin was an independent country.
35
From the 17th century, the capital region and the surrounding territory were known as the 'Slave Coast.' More than a million slaves crossed the Atlantic Ocean as part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
36
Slave trading made the Kingdom of Dahomey (a portion of Benin) wealthy by 1750 when they sold around £250,000 worth of Africans.
37
In 1885, the last slave ship left Dahomey for Brazil.
38
For 58 years, from 1900 to 1958, the area was a French colony.
39
Multiparty democracy came into being as soon as Benin went from dictatorship to pluralism in the 1990s.
40
Benin's capital, Porto Novo, evolved as a slave-trading harbor.
41
Benin became the official name of the nation on November 30, 1975. 10. It used to be called Dahomey.
42
Benin is home to people who speak indigenous languages like Fon and Yoruba.
43
At its broadest point, the country is roughly 325 kilometers (202 km) long.
44
Benin's W-Arly-Pendjari National Park is home to the continent's last known population of lions. In addition to cotton, the country's economy is also based on agriculture & regional trade.
45
After a while, the woodland thins out dramatically and gives way to grassland and other open space. The rest of Benin is dominated by cultivated crops, such as the vast palm groves in the south and the coconut plantations along the country's 124-kilometer coastline and lagoons.
46
The country has a low crime rate. Theft is an issue, though, and wealthy houses often employ a nightguard to help combat it.
47
This country's flag is red to represent courage, yellow riches, and green to represent rebirth and hope.
48
Food brought from abroad is popular among young Beninese. They dislike their typical diet since it is boring and prefer to eat food from other countries.
49
AIDS is a severe public health issue in the country, and it is placing a significant financial burden on the health care system.
50
The University of Benin in Cotonou is the only post-secondary school with approximately 12,000 students enrolled.

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