I have always wanted to learn french for a couple years but never got around to doing it. To get me to finally do it, I put it on my Resolution list in January 2018 and fast forward January 2019, I am proud to say I can hold up a conversation in French. If you follow me in Instagram, you already know that I took a weekend trip from Nigeria to Benin Republic by Road , the closest country to Nigeria and a French speaking country to have a weekend french immersion in November 2018. I have a recent post on my trip in March 2019 here.
I went with my colleague at the bar and in French Lillan and we had an awesome time moving around and trying our best to engage people in our newly acquired international language.
We were slow with conversations as we had to think first in English then find suitable words in French to convey our thoughts. It was thrilling nonetheless and I look forward to our next immersion trip, hopefully for a longer duration.
I had my passport submitted at the South African visa application center for visa purposes and had not received it before our trip. I try not be one to drag planned trips so I decided to take the trip from Nigeria to Benin Republic by Road which doesn’t require my international passport. Just before leaving, I had heard of the commissioning of the border so I was eager to make the trip.
How to Travel From Nigeria to Benin Republic by road
If you plan to travel from Nigeria to Benin Republic by Road, find your way to Oshodi Oke take a 200Naira bus to Mile 12，be sure to let the conductor know that you are headed to Seme which is what the border town between Nigeria to Benin Republic by Road is called. After you alight from the bus, walk forward a bit or tell anyone，you are headed to the ECOWAS Park，just beneath the pedestrian bridge. The buses or shared taxis there will take you to the border for between 600-1500 Naira. We left left on Friday morning and both the buses and the taxis took forever to get filled up.
Mile 2 to Seme border takes about 1hr 40Mins with some traffic，this can be more on a bad day，be sure to start your trip early to beat traffic. Because I was traveling without my passport，there was no need to go through the border posts. I took a bike for 500Naira from the Total Filling station where we were dropped off to the Benin Republic side of the border, the car park precisely. If you want your passport stamped go through the gate below.
Lilian met up with me after having her passport stamped. It was her first time at the land border，she paid 1000Naira on the Nigerian side to stamp out and 500Naira at the Benin Republic side to stamp in, this was only because she spoke with the officers in french, this could be up to 1,000Naira also. I on the other hand was stopped by a Nigerian immigration officer, I simply told the officer that I was a student, showed him my Alliance Francais Student I.D, had a little chit chat and left.
I suggest you have an Identification Card with you just like I did if you intend traveling from Nigeria to Benin Republic by Road or better still get the blue ECOWAS passport for your travels within the region.
We took a shared taxi for 1000CFA at the park on the Benin side of the border to Tokpa market in Cotonu. There were also taxis headed to Ouidah and Togo there. Tokpa market is pretty central and you can get a taxi or Zemidjan (nomenclature for motor bikes in Benin) to where ever you are headed from 100CFA. I have an updated post from my last trip which you can check here.
If you found this post useful, I would really love that you take out few minutes to nominate me in Category 13 Best Travel Blog (www.findingae.com) and Category 14 Young tourism personality of the year (Anu Eunice) for the Nigerian Tourism Awards. Voting closes on 15TH August 2019 and it would really mean a lot and definitely motivate me to continue doing this.
Our first impression of the Zemidjan riders in Cotonu was a hassle, we had agreed on price with the riders on pick up but upon arriving at our destination, the guys started claiming we owed them a much higher price.
This also happened with the taxi driver who took us from the border, these occurrences could only tell of how funny the transport operators would get after realizing they picked up foreigners.
I would have legit insisted on paying what we agreed as I hate being knowingly ripped off. However, travel buddy was more compassionate and we ended up paying slightly more than we bargained.
Be sure to be certain of prices, don’t hop on a bike without settling on price. Loose change is an asset, always have some. Bienvenue à Cotonu.
Noted✌..Thanks for the info
This was an amazing read!
Thanks for Reading Ridwan
Hello Anuoluwapo, did you or your friend need a yellow card? and did you get it from the airport or at the border.
Hi Adeola, I got my Yellow card at NACHO, close to the Airport, I didn’t go through the immigration to stamp my passport so I didn’t need to show a Yellow card, my friend paid extra for not having a Yellow card, you can also get it at the border but it is more expensive and be ready to be exploited also, it might be a fake or old one. I would advise getting it at NACHO, I have a blog post explaining how to get it. I hope this helps.
Interesting! I will like to visit Cotonou too. Can I travel with my temporary voters card as a means of identification and if I’m traveling with my student card, do I still need a Yellow card?
Hi, You can, but you will not go through the border posts, you will take a bike to the Benin Republic Side of the border when dropped off.
Hi AE, I hope this message finds you well. Thanks for the write up on traveling to Cotonou. I’ve been trying to get there for forever but my friends keep letting me down lol. Coincidentally, It’s my birthday this Saturday and I’m about to spend my day entirely alone. I was wondering if you’d like to go back to Cotonou for a few days? I’ll pay for your transport and accommodation.
I forgot to introduce myself, my name is Cheryl Ojejimi-Solomon and I live in Ikeja.
My basic French is ok, I know I could manage out there, I just don’t want to go alone.
Let me know if you’re interested,
I am literately in tears right now. Work has been a bit tight and I have not checked my blog in a bit. I would have loved to take up your offer but your birthday is past. Just in case you did not head out there and still want to make the trip, do not hesitate to let me know.
I will be going there like you me am from delta, just same thing as you am afraid of going alone. But I have funds to go there anyway.
If still interested reach me on whatsapp +2349054525057
Hi Desmond, I think you responded to the wrong person.
Hello Cheryl , i am victoria will you like to join me and friends to republic of Benin in August ?
Hi Victoria, I’m planning to go in August as well. Sadly I don’t have anyone to go with. I’d love to join you and your friends if you don’t mind.
sure ally! Will send you a mail
Me too send me your email
AE, thanks for the quality information of your experience. I am glad i found your blog, am setting for a visit too b August. Pls how expensive is their hotels? Just a modest a hotel, cause i intend spending 2days. Pls reply once you get this
Hi Joseph, All the times I have been to Cotonu, I’ve used Airbnb and I recommend it. I’d send you a link to sign up.
Please send me the link also, I’m going to cotonou with my photography team by August!
Please could you send me a link for an Air bnb as well? I would want to visit Ouidah and Port novo.
I will send to your email shortly.
Pls who is going to Cotonou tomorrow…I just don’t want to go alone?
Lol…Is tomorrow not short notice?
Anybody going to cotonou by August?
Victoria when exactly are you going in August? I have my break in August too, Can i join you guys?
Would love to visit too in August, needtravel buddies too
Hi Immaculate, you can checkout others who have commented. You might find a travel buddy
Nice article! If anyone is going to Cotonou anytime soon for the weekend and needs a travel buddy, kindly send a mail. Thanks.
Thanks Adeyemi. Adeyemi’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone interested in heading out on a trip to Cotonou.
Who is with me, i love to go this weekend or salah holiday?
This will definitely be a great opportunity.
Anyone or group going to Cotonou first week of September? I want to join
I hope you find someone 😀
If we can create a group to get more people. Maybe 5 or 10. A group tour will really be nice.
Hello, I am planning to go with a friend in few days, 6th – 9th of september. We can go together as a group.
Please is there anyone who will be going to cotonu on the 18th September 2019?
Pls I want to go with someone.
I hope you find someone
Wow, i am inspired by this post. I will be visiting there for the first time nextweek. I hope to find it interesting ?.
Thanks…You should, you’d definitely find it fun
Pls i s there anyone going to Benin this Oct, I want to go for a week visit?
And please like how much will I budget for transport to and fro apart from internal ones? Wants to go with “ABC”
hI ken, I hope you find someone
Though my journey was postponed to this November, please anyone travelling this Nov?
Am planning to visit Benin Republic by mach am scared because have not gone there before so i don’t want to go alone
Fear will take you no where. If you want to do it, you have to do it
Pls can i get to nimbia from Benin republic
Nimbia? I am not sure I understand you
Plz,am Christy I’d love to go to cotonou on 20th but I don’t want to go alone.. anybody travelling that day too??
Hi Cristy, I hope you find someone if not I hope you find the strength to make the trip yourself.
Hello, nice blog and informative…
I have being longing to visit Benin Republic before this year runs out at least ones, I have not been there before and I dont want to go alone…
If you’re interested and legit, we can go together as friends, let’s make the plans, pick a date and duration.
Hi Asuquo, I would totally have loved to head out to Cotonou but I am currently out of the country. You should still head out there regardless. The first time I traveled out there, I went there alone.
How possible is it traveling to cotonou from Lagos during the border closure?
I don’t have updated information currently. The drivers at Mile 2 might be able to share current information. You can also put a call through to ABC transit to find out.
Hi anuoluwapo, please how do I find my way from Lagos to Benin republic international airport? Please I need to travel to Greece by August to resume my school. Is it possible for me to pass through the border now that there is lockdown?
Hi Joseph, I do not have updated information. I have not been to Cotonu in the past 1 year. You can take a day trip to Mile 2, the drivers that ply the route will be able to tell. ABC transit might also have better information.