Visit Grand Popo in Benin and the Mono River
Near the border of Togo, known for its hotels and inns by the sea , Grand Popo is a tourist site in Benin that must be visited. You will discover its immense lagoon there, which you will visit by sailing on the Mono river in a canoe to La Bouche du roi. Depending on the season, you can discover the sea turtle hatcheries on Grand Popo beach and attend the sea turtle festival on January 8 , or attend the voodoo party on January 10 or Pentecost at the community identity party Xwla and Xweda, the Nonvitcha.
What to do in Grand Popo?
Discovery of the Mangrove and la Bouche du roi
In addition to its past as a slave and colonial city which have left vestiges, the main tourist attraction lies in its location near the mouth of the Mono river creating a fluvio-lagoon system made up of the coastal lagoon, the Ahô channel and the lake. Aheme. The meeting of fresh water and salt water offers a fantastic view of the islands and mangroves. The originality of the Grand Popo region is its natural setting which allows you to see a river and the sea at the same time . This tourist site in Benin can be visited by canoe or boat and discover the activities of the populations and participate in particular in crayfish fishing, and discover the traditional villages.
Observe olive ridley and leatherback turtles
From August to March with peaks in November, December and January, you will observe the movements of turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beaches. On January 8, you will attend the national turtle festival established by the local NGO Nature Tropicale, you will be able to visit the hatcheries and participate in the release of the babies after the incubation of the eggs saved from the nests in danger on the beaches by the eco-guards.
Traditional festivals every year
In Grand Popo as in many regions of Benin, you can attend the National Voodoo Festival which is held on January 10 of each year, but also on Pentecost the Nonvitcha festival , an identity festival of the Xwla community to celebrate the unity and brotherhood of the Xwla and Xweda populations.
Where is the city of Grand Popo located?
Originally, Grand Popo was a set of several villages with a sandy ravine that separated the sea from the lagoon. Grand Popo stretches west as a waterway to the Togolese border. Just across the border is Togo's historic town, Aného, formerly known as Little Popo, Little Popo, or Klein Popo, depending on the language. East of Grand popo, the estuary where the Mono river joins the Gulf of Benin, it is called la bouche du roi.
Grand Popo overview
The city of Grand Popo covers an area of 290 km2, has 7 districts and 44 villages. It is crossed by the inter-state road n ° 1 Cotonou - Lomé, asphalted and in good condition, which makes it an essential stopover for your trips to Togo.
Like all coastal towns in Benin, Grand Popo is a historic town due to participation in the slave trade. The slaves were transported by canoe across the lagoon and the rivers to Ouidah to be loaded onto the slave ships, to the Americas.
Today, the economy of the region is based on small livestock, fish farming, poultry farming, fishing, especially shrimps, market gardening, cultivation, corn, oil palm, bananas. plantain, sugar cane, and coconuts. Tourism is a booming sector with hotels and inns in Grand Popo located by the sea, the ideal place to spend an exotic holiday.
The program of our excursions to Grand Popo
These visits are organized in the company of a guide approved by the tourist office of Grand Popo. The price includes the guide, the rental of canoes, participation in any activities and visiting rights. They can be organized from Cotonou on a day trip, or as part of an organized tour
CIRCUIT N ° 1 - DURATION 3 Hours
Biodiversity of the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve
Canoe tour of the mouth of the Mono River, Bird Island, Azikô mangrove; spawning grounds in the reserve; de la Bouche du Roy, the sea turtle hatchery
CIRCUIT N ° 2 - DURATION 4 Hours
Grand Popo, La Bouche du Roy and the activities of the inhabitants
In a canoe with a guide, visit of the Bird Island; of the salt island; the oyster activity in DJONDJI, the braiding of the mat in Gbèzoumey, the preparation of palm oil in Kpèkô, the Bouche du Roy with typical fishing techniques and preparation of coconut caramel.
CIRCUIT N ° 3 - DURATION 2 Hours
Immersion between Nature and Culture
Discovery of the ancient Portuguese town of Grand Popo (Old Popo), the Voodoo village, then the route of the Voodoo convents and visit of the sea turtle hatchery and the prawns fishing workshop
We suggest that you complete these different excursions with specific options: