Benin is a country located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a coastal country on the continent of Africa where it spans across 112,622 sq km (43,483 square miles) of land. The estimated total population of Benin is over 10,800,000 people.
Check out interesting Benin facts and information about this West African country with our fact file for kids. Discover important facts about the total population, continent, location, size, official language, main religion, people, history, culture, geography, vegetation and landscape of Benin.
Learn about Benin in Africa with our interesting country facts for kids based on questions such as: What continent is Benin in? What famous landmarks are there in Benin? What are the bordering countries of Benin? What are the traditional foods of Benin? What is the main language of Benin? What type of animals live in Benin?
Benin Fact File: Continent: Africa *** Country Name(s): Republic of Benin, République du Bénin *** Location: West Africa *** Bordering Countries: Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria *** Capital City: Porto-Novo *** Size: 112,622 sq km (43,483 square miles) *** Estimated Population of Benin: over 10,800,000 *** Main Religion(s): Christian *** Currency: CFA franc (XOF) *** Language(s) of Benin: French, Fon and Yoruba *** Country Code for Benin: +229 *** Largest Cities / Towns: Porto-Novo, Cotonou, Abomey-Cavali, Djougou, Parakou, Tchaourou, Kandi, Bohicon, Malanville and Ouidah *** Geography of Benin: low mountains, low hills, flat land, coastal regions, forests, rainforests and savanna grasslands *** Famous Landmarks of Benin: Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Place des Martyrs, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque, Ancien Pont Bridge, Foundation Zinsou, Porte du non retour, Temple des Pythons and the Royal Palaces of Abomey
Interesting Facts for Kids 1: Where is Benin located?
Benin is located on the continent of Africa. It is situated in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean and its border countries are Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.
Interesting Facts for Kids 2: Benin population and size
Benin is a coastal country in West Africa. It is estimated that its total area size is 112,622 sq km (43,483 square miles). It is thought that this West African country has a population of about 10,800,000 inhabitants with Benin’s most populated cities being Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Djougou followed by the capital of Porto-Novo.
Interesting Facts for Kids 3: The capital of Benin
The capital city of Benin is Porto-Novo which is positioned in the south-east of the country. Porto-Novo is one of the most populated cities in Benin and has an estimated population of 263,600 . The region is known for its rich forests and savannas, and its beautiful range of wildlife species. There are several famous landmarks in Porto-Novo including the Royal Palace, Jardin Place Jean Bayol, Da Silva Museum, and the Great Mosque of Porto-Novo. Porto-Novo has historical significance as its port was initially developed for the slave trade. Today, the port is central to the city's economy. Many major exports, such as cotton, kapok, palm oil and petroleum are produced in and around this region.
Interesting Facts for Kids 4: Benin major cities
There are several major cities located in Benin, the names of the largest and most important cities and towns include the country’s capital Porto-Novo, and Cotonou, Abomey-Cavali, Djougou, Parakou, Tchaourou, Kandi, Bohicon, Malanville and Ouidah. The city of Cotonou is the largest and most populated city of Benin. Although it is not the capital city of the country, Cotonou is very important to the economy as it is central to trade deals with other countries and offers excellent transport links. Cotonou boasts a free trade zone and is dubbed a market town. Many goods and produce are manufactured in this large city including textiles, cement, vehicles, bicycles, brewing, cake and palm oil. The city boasts rail links and a port which allows it to deal with major exports such as bauxite, petroleum and iron. There are many important government buildings and famous landmarks in Cotonou including the Friendship Stadium, a Cathedral, Central Mosque, and the Ancien Pont Bridge which was built in 1928 and crosses the Lagune de Cotonou, separating the two sides of the city.
Interesting Facts for Kids 5: Benin flag facts
The national flag of Benin, which can be described as a tricolour flag, first appeared on November 16, 1959, and is formed by two horizontal bars which are equal in size; yellow at the top and red at the bottom, with a green vertical bar on the left side of the flag's design, at the hoist. The Beninese flag has three colours that denote symbolic meaning; yellow, red and green. The colour yellow represents wealth, red symbolizes courage and green expresses hope and revival.
Interesting Facts for Kids 6: Language of Benin
The main languages of Benin include French, Fon and Yoruba. The official language is French but in the south of the country, the languages of Fon and Yoruba are widely spoken between natives, whereas in northern areas, six or more tribal languages form part of everyday communication.
Interesting Facts for Kids 7: What is the main religion of Benin?
The main religion of Benin is Christian. However, the population of Roman Catholics and Muslims are also particularly high in this country. Other faiths include Vodun and local traditional religions which are practiced by more than 20 percent of the overall population.
Interesting Facts for Kids 8: Benin food facts
The cuisine in Benin can be described as rich and exotic. Most Beninese cuisine is accompanied by sauces making food taste full of flavor. Corn is a very common ingredient and is often used in making dough. The most common types of meats used in Beninese cuisine include chicken, port, beef and goat. Many dishes also favor fish, and one of the main staple foods is the root vegetable yam. People in Benin enjoy a diet rich in fruit, beans, rice, couscous and different types of meat and fish. The most traditional types of Beninese foods include chicken on the spit, smoked fish and Acarajé (beans deep fried in palm oil).
Interesting Facts for Kids 9: Benin climate facts
The climate of Benin can be described as hot and humid. The coastal areas receive the highest amount of rainfall at around 136cm per year on average. The highest periods of rainfall occur between the months of April and July. The driest time of year tends to be around December to March when the harmattan winds blow across the Sahara and reach Benin, often causing crops and vegetation to dry out. The harmattan typically brings a covering of dust resulting in overcast weather conditions. The average temperature in the country's largest city of Cotonou ranges from 24 to 31 degrees Celsius.
Interesting Facts for Kids 10: What animals live in Benin?
There are many types of mammals, reptiles and birds found living in Benin. The country has two primary national parks in which animals are protected. The parks are W National Park, which has a rich ecosystem of bird species, and Pendjari National Park which is home to many mammal species. The types of animals found living in Benin include lions, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, African wild cats, jackals, hyenas, buffalos, elephants, hippopotamuses, warthogs, mongoose, antelopes, monkeys and baboons. The antelope population is particularly high across this African country with 17 species being identified. Many reptile species exist in Benin including crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, chameleons and various types of lizards. All sorts of birds are attracted to the varying habitats of Benin which has rich forests, savannas and woodland areas. Various types of weaver species exist, as do vultures, raptors, white cuckoos, Abyssinian ground hornbills, guinea fowls, crowned cranes, mambas and puff adders.
Interesting Facts for Kids 11: Benin geography facts
The geography of Benin is mostly flat with some low mountainous and hilly regions. The country has a coastal location on the Atlantic Ocean. The elevation across the land doesn't differ significantly, however, the country has many interesting geographical features which range from sandy coastal regions, lakes, rivers, forests, savanna grasslands, rocky hills and mountains with the highest point reaching 658m at Mont Sokbaro.
Interesting Facts for Kids 12: Benin plants and fauna facts
Benin has lush rainforests, savannah grasslands and woodland areas which are rich in flora. Many types of trees and plants can be found growing across the country including palmyra palms, oil and coconut palms trees, African locust, tamarind, afzelia africana, isoberlinia doka, acacia, sausage tree, shea nut, kapok, ebony, mahogany, fromager trees, terminalia plant, detarium plant and boscia senegalensis plant species.
Interesting Facts for Kids 13: Benin famous landmarks
There are a number of notable landmarks, monuments and buildings in Benin including the Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Place des Martyrs, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque, Ancien Pont Bridge, Foundation Zinsou, Porte du non retour, Temple des Pythons and the Royal Palaces of Abomey.
Interesting Facts for Kids 14: Benin economy facts
The economy of Benin has been getting stronger for some time now and relies heavily on the production of cotton which is the country's main export, subsistence agriculture (farmers who grow enough food to feed their families), and trade. Benin also continues to develop its tourist industry. The country's largest city, Cotonou, is very important to the economy as many goods are produced here such as textiles, cement, vehicles, bicycles, brewing, cake and palm oil. The city has a port and deals with major exports including bauxite, petroleum and iron.
Interesting Facts for Kids 15: Benin tourism facts
Benin has a growing tourist industry. Although the country doesn't currently attract large numbers of visitors, it does plan to develop tourism. There are plenty of things for tourists to see and do here. With stunning landscapes, coastal areas and a wealth of wildlife, this African country may one day become a great tourist destination. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Benin include various religious sites, palaces, museums and national parks.
Interesting Facts for Kids 16: What is Benin famous for?
Benin is famous for its lush vegetation, geographical features and array of wildlife species. The country is steeped in history and is known for having being part of the Slave Coast during the early 16th to 19th century. Benin was sadly one of the main sources for African slaves which were forcibly involved in the Atlantic slade trade.
Interesting Facts for Kids 17: Benin culture facts
The culture of Benin is influenced by language, religion, arts, music, dance, sport and cuisine. The population of this African country includes people from many different ethnic groups and religious background so traditions can vary widely. Music has cultural significance in Benin and has played an important part of this country's history. Music is often accompanied by traditional dances. Sport is also important to many people in Benin with the most popular sport being football.
Interesting Facts for Kids 18: Benin history facts
Benin was formerly known as Dahomey. From the 17th to 19th century, this African kingdom was heavily involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Dahomey formed part of the Slave Coast. Sadly, many African people were transported from Dahomey to the Americas where they were sold to the slave trade.
The French started to settle in Dahomey during the mid-19th century. They gained full control by 1894 and renamed it French Dahomey. Independence was achieved in 1960 and French Dahomey was renamed the Republic of Benin in 1975.