Stay Safe in Benin
The easiest method to remain safe in Benin is to always be in the company of a local you can trust, such as a friend or a professional tourist guide. They know which places are safe and which are not, they know how much things cost so you don’t get ripped off, they speak the local languages, and they know which restaurants provide excellent cuisine that is safe for westerners to eat. Avoid traveling alone as much as possible for ladies, and aim to be in the company of other people as much as feasible. Do not go alone at night: assaults on beaches are common, as are attacks near hotels, nightclubs, and other places. If you are alone at night, ignore anybody who whistles at you. Benin is a calm nation, and the people are extremely friendly and giving, but muggings and robberies happen anywhere, no matter how tranquil it seems, so be cautious. If you are a victim of a crime, notify the Gendarme (Police) as soon as possible.
Homosexuality is legal in Benin, although societal stigma may create difficulties. It’s best not to flaunt it and to avoid casually discussing it with locals.
Stay Healthy in Benin
Keep an eye on what you eat and drink, as well as where you eat and drink it. If you consume street food, make sure it is served extremely hot, since germs cannot survive in hot food. E.coli bacteria present in undercooked meat is one of the most frequent causes of illness. Drinking water is easily accessible, and bottled water is available from “Possatome,” a natural spring water bottled in the city of the same name. It’s really excellent and costs about 500 CFA each bottle. The tap water in Cotonou is safe to drink, although it has been treated with chlorine, which some individuals may be sensitive to. Malaria is a fact of life in Benin. Mosquitoes are active from night until morning, and they reproduce in standing water. Medications are only accessible with a prescription. The only mandatory vaccine required for entry into the country is for Yellow Fever. Customs officers at the airport usually do not check to see whether you have it, but it is highly recommended that you get it before entering for your own safety. Along with polio, hepatitis A and B vaccinations, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Lock Jaw, Rabies, and all other routine children immunizations (as per Canadian public school standards). AIDS is a problem in Benin, as it is in other Sub-Saharan African nations; if you are in a sexual connection with a Beninese partner, you should wear a condom. Other dangers associated with unprotected sex are the same as in any other nation, developed or not: syphilis, chlamydia, HPV, and so on. If you are planning a trip to Benin, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you consult with a doctor that specializes in travel medicine. Inquire with your family doctor or a public health nurse about the location of a travel clinic in your region. If feasible, visit them approximately 6 months before your trip to Benin. This material is intended to be a guide and should not be construed as an expert description of how to remain healthy in Benin; such knowledge can only be provided by a qualified health practitioner.