Discovering the beauty of West Africa’s pristine beaches wasn’t on my radar until I discovered this overlooked gem of a country. Benin, nestled between Nigeria and Togo, boasts breathtaking coastal landscapes that often go unnoticed. In this article, we delve into the allure of Benin’s best beaches and coastal attractions, while also shining a light on the inspiring conservation efforts of Sauvegarde des Tortues Marines in Cotonou, spearheaded by one passionate individual.

Benin’s Coast: A Beach Lover’s Paradise

A quick 5-minute drive from Cotonou airport lies Fidjrosse beach, where boho cafes line the shore, and local fishermen grill their catch of the day. For a vibrant beach atmosphere that transitions into a lively nightspot, head to La Plage by Code Bar. This beach bar comes with hanging rattan beds, cosy chairs right on the sand, and a bracelet cashless system for hassle-free dining and drinking. The direct access to the long stretches of sand and sea gives you opportunities to crash beach volleyball matches and mingle with locals. Though only the daring swim here due to strong currents, wave enthusiasts and surfers will find it exhilarating. a DJ plays from about 4pm, when you can start enjoying sunset vibes and transition into the beach’s nightlife

About an hour away from Cotonou, Ouidah beckons as a must-visit destination for those seeking a serene escape intertwined with cultural exploration. As the birthplace of Vaudou, visitors can delve into the village’s rich history before unwinding on its incredible beach. Here, the Porte du Non Retour, or Door of No Return, stands as a poignant symbol of Benin’s painful slave history, offering a space for reflection on the country’s cultural heritage.

Sauvegarde des Tortues Marines: Cotonou’s Conservation Hero

Nestled in the heart of Cotonou, Sauvegarde des Tortues Marines serves as a beacon of hope for marine life conservation. This initiative is dedicated to protecting and preserving the nesting sites of endangered sea turtles along Benin’s coastline, thanks to the tireless efforts of one remarkable individual.

Meet Isaac, the eco-warrior of the ocean, who tirelessly collects turtle eggs daily to safeguard them from predators. His dedication stems from a deep passion for marine life and the ocean, where he spends his days tirelessly cleaning beaches,inviting volunteers to assist, and providing shelter for the turtles until they are ready to be released into the sea. I had the privilege of meeting Isaac, asking him a few questions, and releasing turtles into the sea together. For fellow eco-warriors, supporting Isaac’s work is a must when visiting Cotonou.

Recommendation Rating (Conclusion): 

Benin’s beaches not only captivate the senses but also serve as a canvas for sustainable tourism and marine conservation. By exploring the coast and supporting initiatives like Sauvegarde des Tortues Marines, travellers become stewards for the preservation of West Africa’s natural treasures. In my experience, this commitment to preservation and responsible travel elevates Benin’s beaches to some of the best on the continent.