●Dagbo Hounon Houna II – 011-229-97-258-393; email@example.com; he is supreme spiritual voudoun chief in Benin and will provide Voudon education; bring gift of gin and small cash amount.
●Ulrich Vitale Ahotondji – Vodun (Revenant) tours; driver.
●Benin Marina Hotel – Boulevard de la Marina; 011-229-21-300-100; www.benin-marina.com; seaside; former Sheraton Hotel; 250 comfortable rooms, tennis courts, and restaurant (serves Beninois dishes and decent pizza); travel agent on-site can arrange appropriate daytrips to Ganvie, Ouidah, etc.
●Maquis Chez Amy – next to Church of Notre Dame; 011-229-90-930-753); best Beninois cuisine in capital; jammed at lunch; ask for daily fish special with spicy sauce and side order of atieké (cassava) or foufou (banana).
●Casa del Papa – beachfront; 011-229-95-953-904; www.casadelpapa.com; comfortable; 60 rooms, including bungalows and lakeside; excellent restaurant serves fish.
Sights & Sites
●Door of No Return & Slave Trade Memorial Museum – 011-229-21-341-021; www.museeouidah.org; UNESCO monument and museum; from 15th-19th Centuries, Guinea Gulf (including Benin) coastal communities collude with Europeans in grim transatlantic slave trade, making this coastline stretch famous as “Slave Coast.”
●Ganvie – quaint lakefront village that constitutes daytrip; guides and motorboats available on-site.
●Python Temple – central square; built around tree where birds and goats sacrificed; inner courtyard contains purification huts where priests/priestesses prepare for contact with spirit world; murals on largest hut illustrate Houedah worship history; inside, 10 revered pythons, free to leave and roam at will; protect village harvest from rodents, believed to act as intermediaries between physical and spiritual world.
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