Benin, was formerly known as the “Dahomey” under the French Colonial Empire. Benin, with a long tradition of hunting, is located on the west coast of Africa. Benin borders Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. Like its neighboring Burkina Faso, Benin is one of the safest countries on the African continent where hunting and tourism thrive thanks to continued peace and a secure economy. This stability has enabled Benin to become a major destination for big game hunting in West Africa.
Hunting and wildlife of Benin do not differ from those of Burkina Faso. Benin is home to a dense animal population including many rare and highly regarded species such as the Western Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus), one of the most beautiful antelope in West Africa. West African Savannah Buffalo, (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoctialis) one of the major hunting attractions in the country, are found in large numbers, and stalking these “Little Buffalo” is often very exciting. Lion hunting in Benin is also an exciting endeavor as Lion are hunted only by tracking, not with bait as in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Benin is home to many species of antelope including Western Hartebeest, Defassa Waterbuck, Buffon’s or Western Kob, Bohor or Nagor Reedbuck, Harnessed Busbuck, Oribi and Common Duiker and Warthog. Although there is a sizable population of Elephant in Benin, they are not legal to hunt, nor is the Leopard. All the aforementioned species are found in most of the recognized hunting areas.
Hunting in Benin is done by tracking on foot, sometimes directly from the camp, but more often by driving 4×4 from the camps, then tracking on foot once in the bush. The terrain is quite flat therefore the hunting is not very physically demanding.
The principal hunting areas for big game are found in the northern part of the country, some close to the Burkina Faso border, another country in West Africa famous for its hunting. Hunting areas are accessible by road from the country’s capital, Cotonou (pronounced co-toe-nu). The roads are good and the drive to most hunting areas is about 3 hours. Some hunting areas closer to the border with Burkina Faso are more easily accessible by flying into the capital of Burkina Faso, Ougadougou (pronounced oo-ga-doo-goo). In Benin it’s possible to hunt small game on most of the big game hunting concessions, however there are also areas specially dedicated to hunting small game.
As in all of West and Central Africa, these sizable hunting areas in Benin are open territories, not fenced. The average area is approximately 130,000 acres. These hunting concessions are rented and managed by the hunting outfitters who usually are French professional hunters and members of the A.C.P. (Association des Chasseurs Professionnels – Association of Professional Hunters).
The actual terrain is mostly savannah with dry bush, broken up by smaller woodland areas that can be quite dense. Water is plentiful thanks to many different water points and rivers. The neighboring parks and wildlife preserves guarantee a dense animal population. The hunting season runs from mid-December through mid-May.
In Benin the hunting camps are permanent. The bungalows are comfortable and have air conditioning, many of the camps even have swimming pools. The French type cuisine is plentiful and excellent.
We look forward to helping make your Benin hunting adventure the best it can be!
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