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Benin (General)
Type of Location
About Location

Bohicon is a city in Benin, and a conurbation of Abomey lying 9 kilometres east of the city on the railway line from Cotonou to Parakou and on Benin’s main highway RNIE 2 which joins the RNIE 4. The commune covers an area of 139 square kilometres and as of 2002 had a population of 113,091 people.

Bohicon is the crossroads of international trade at the center of Benin.Bohicon is an important in communications in Benin and branches to the various departments of the country, including to the north of Benin and on to Niger or Burkina Faso and even Togo or Nigeria.Bohicon is a relatively new city compared to Abomey and Allada and was founded in the 20th century with the installation of the railway station on the Cotonou-Parakou railway and the central market.The city has a mosque and the Jehovah's Witnesses also have a church in Bohicon.Bohicon Railway Station is located in the city centre and the main hotel worth mentioning is the Jardin de l'Hotel de Ville De Bohicon which is set in a garden park with a restaurant.

After sheep marketing and the processing of food, industrial handcraft is also important in the local economy including textiles.Thousands of craftsmen and craftswomen produce in the privacy of their workshop products for export.In the surrounding area in Bohicon commune, a number of agricultural crops are produced in subsistence farming including maize, cotton, peanuts and oil, yams, sorghum and cassava many of which are cultivated in plantations.There are also small livestock farms with cattle and goats.In short, trade and transportation alone occupy more than 40% of the population.As an economic effect though, Bohicon faces serious problems with the environment and sanitation due to industrial waste.

Given the excellent road and rail networks that connect to Bohicon, Bohicon is an important trade centre that is the third largest in the country after Cotonou and Parakou.Trade is the primary activity of the city and its real name "Gbohicon" derives from the extensive sheep marketing that takes places in the city, literally meaning "market sheep".The market is of considerable size and there is a notable drum shop located in Bohicon.The Maquis Malodie market is also known for its cuisine with a number of stalls serving omelette and coffee in the mornings and stacks of pepper and attracts thousands of traders from all over Benin.A speciality sold in the market is afitin, which is traditionally and somewhat famously in Benin made by women in the region.

How to Reach

By Air

The closest major airport is Cadjehoun Airport (COO / DBBB).This airport has international flights from Cotonou, Benin and is about 100 km from the center of Bohicon, Benin.

By Train

A conurbation of Abomey lying 9 kilometres east of the city on the railway line from Cotonou to Parakou and on Benin’s main highway RNIE 2 which joins the RNIE 4.

Key places to visit
Royal Palaces of Abomey, Koto Falls, Quartiers Hai Vive, Ganvie, Bohicon Mosque


Places to Visit

Royal Palaces of Abomey

The royal palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people between the mid-17th and late 19th Centuries.One of the most famous and historically significant traditional sites in West Africa, the palaces form one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.From 1625 to 1900 twelve kings succeeded one another at the head of the powerful Kingdom of Abomey.With the exception of King Akaba, who used a separate enclosure, they each had their palaces built within the same cob-wall area, in keeping with previous palaces as regards the use of space and materials.The royal palaces of Abomey are a unique reminder of this vanished kingdom.

Koto Falls

Located just outside of Natitingou, these falls vary in flow rate and volume depending on the time of year. While the picturesque setting is suitable for relaxing in the shade of its surrounding trees, a trip isn't complete without a swim in the natural pool at its base.The waterfall is also the site of some evocative village ruins.

Quartiers Hai Vive

Is a fun place to visit.This is where a lot of ex-patriots hang out.There is a nice yovo restaurant called Livingstone’s if you want to meet other westerners.It is quite cher (expensive) though.Near Livingstone’s you can find some men from Niger who sell silver jewelry and little leather boxes.Be cautious, you have to bargain hard to get an okay price. It’s not all real silver also.There are a couple of places to stay here too.


In a lagoon near Cotonou is a town on stilts that was founded in the middle of a lake by escaped slaves 300 years ago.Their descendants still live in stilted houses, fishing and now selling things to tourists.And, it is very touristy, one of the first things that you see in the town is a giant sign for Coca cola. Still, it is a nice excursion.You’ll need to take a taxi and then a boat to get there.

Right Time to Visit

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