Is Benin Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Benin is moderately safe for solo female travelers. While violent crime is typically low, petty crimes like pickpocketing and purse-snatching are somewhat common, particularly in crowded spaces. In general, locals are friendly, but there can be an increase in street harassment for women, especially if they are alone. Travelers should be cautious, avoid walking alone at night, and stay alert in crowded places.

Safety rating

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How safe is Benin?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

Benin, like many other destinations, can present safety concerns, especially if you're walking alone at night. While there are safe and peaceful areas, it's not uncommon for petty theft or more serious incidents to occur after dark. Be cautious while on the streets and take safety precautions such as hiring a reliable taxi or avoid night outings when possible. It's always best to stay alert of your surroundings and to stick to well-lit, populated areas if you have to be out at night. Please note that safety can vary by region, town, or neighborhood.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Benin, especially in major cities like Cotonou, comprises mainly of taxis and motorbike taxis known as 'zemidjans.' These forms of transport are generally reliable, but it's advisable to negotiate rates beforehand to avoid overcharging. However, vehicles are often in less than perfect condition and road safety norms may not be strictly adhered to. As a solo female traveler, you should be cautious, especially at night, as instances of robbery have been reported. There's also limited public transport coverage in rural areas, so long-distance travel may require hiring a private vehicle or driver.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Moderate

While visiting Benin, you may encounter occasional catcalls or unwanted advancements, primarily in busy market places or crowded areas. Generally, the locals are known for their hospitable and respectful behavior towards visitors. However, as with any place, it's advisable to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Always keep your personal belongings secure and avoid venturing out alone late at night, especially in less crowded or dimly lit areas.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Moderate

In Benin, petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse-snatching, and theft at popular tourist spots or crowded marketplaces are fairly common. It's important to stay vigilant and keep your belongings securely tugged away. In general, avoid displaying expensive items in public to deter opportunists. However, it's equally important not to let the risk of crime taint your overall experience, as no place is immune to crime.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

It's generally recommended not to drink tap water in Benin. While some urban areas may have treated water, its safety and quality can be inconsistent and unreliable. Many travelers, to avoid health issues such as diarrhea and other waterborne diseases, prefer to drink bottled or purified water. Always ensure your drinking water is from a clean and reliable source.

Is Benin safe to travel?

Is Benin safe right now?

Before your visit to Benin, it's essential to check travel advisories for Benin, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises exercising increased caution in Benin due to crime, kidnapping, and terrorism. Some areas have an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 24, 2024

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Benin due to crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 15, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution overall in Benin, due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: April 9, 2024

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Safety in Benin