Benin

Last updated: 4/19/2017

Benin is one of Africa's most stable democracies. Benin's shore includes what used to be known as the Slave Coast, the departure point for captives to be shipped across the Atlantic. While the Benin has experienced economic growth over the past few years and is one of Africa's largest cotton producers. Benin has a rich history, vibrant culture, protected wildlife. We are very excited to have you coming to help with the MAST work in Benin!

Quick Jump

MAST

VISA:

  • Letter of Invitation for Benin is needed when applying for Visa - this process can take 3 to 6 weeks.
  • If you choose to use Travel Docs (www.traveldocs.com). They know all the ins and outs of dealing with this Embassy.
  • Passport with at least 6 months remaining before expiration.
  • At least 2 blank visa pages in your passport.
  • Attach one passport photo. If you plan an extended stay you may need more.
  • Provide a copy of your return tickets.
  • Travel with at least one 2x2 passport photo.
  • If you are in another African country, you can get your visa from the Consulate for only about $20.
  • You cannot get a visa on arrival at the airport.


LOCAL CONTACT:

  • Your Wycliffe Associates Recruiter or Team Lead


MEDICAL:

  • Yellow Fever vaccination and yellow World Health Card are required. You must have this available for inspection on arrival in-country.
  • Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
  • Contact your health provider for other recommendations vaccinations.
  • Recommend that you carry medication for traveler’s diarrhea and some electrolyte powder to avoid dehydration.
  • If you have a weak stomach, it is good to bring Pepto Bismol tablets and take one before each meal.
  • You are encouraged to visit CDC Information for Benin for the most up to date medical info for this country.


CLOTHES:

  • For Men:
    • Casual western shirts and slacks. Shorts and tank tops not recommended. Whites not recommended due to dusty dry season. Good walking shoes and sun hat. You will see some people dressed in shorts, etc., in capitol but we do not recommend this since we must be examples.
  • For Women:
    • National women in the capitol are becoming more western in dress but this is not considered a good idea in the communities we encounter. Women should wear modest dresses/skirts and blouses. There are wonderful fabrics available for sale and a national outfit can be custom made quickly. Most women wear head coverings to church (head wraps, hats, or scarves).
  • Socially acceptable or expected footwear:
    • Nice shoes for church. Sandals or flats, or walking shoes. Recommend good walking soles. Please keep your shoes clean. Africans wash their shoes and are often shocked at the condition of many Expat’s shoes. There is a proverb, “as you dress so shall you be perceived."
  • Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly! A light sweater will suffice and an umbrella for rainy season.


THINGS TO BRING:

  • Bottled water is readily available and most apartments/guest houses where you will be staying will have filtered water available.
  • Bug Spray or wipes with Deet available in the camping department. Easy to transport.
  • Any over-the-counter remedies, your toiletries. Toothpaste, shampoo, etc. are readily available but expensive.
  • Snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.), if you wish but cookies, chocolate, some chips, and especially peanuts are readily available.
  • A small power strip (250v) is handy and electrical adapter is required.
  • Small flashlight.
  • Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travel insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling).
  • It is always good to have a copy of your passport.


THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Be prepared to do without running water, electricity or internet on occasion.
  • There are few public restrooms so be prepared with tissues in your pocket.
  • Notify your bank that you will be in Benin  so that they won't block your card. Be very careful to cover your pin number when getting money.
  • The people of Benin are very caring and will always take you to wherever you want to go. They want to protect you. Conotou is a large, busy city with good infrastructure.
  • Benin is proud of itself because, although they hold the record for the most coup de tats, they have never killed a president.