Visit the Park

Pendjari

5 Reasons to Visit

  1. Come see large herds of elephants and the critically endangered West African lions

  2. Pendjari is a bird watchers delight with over 460 bird species. Bird watching is particularly good during January – February and June

  3. The park is truly off-the-beaten-track with few to no crowds

  4. Explore the park’s spectacular and diverse landscapes, including the Tanongou waterfalls where guests can take a reprieve from the hot sun

  5. Add Pendjari on a Benin-wide adventure, including a lake village Ganvié stop, visit the Royal palaces of Abomey, see the Tata Somba dwellings and end at a tropical beach in Southern Benin

Pendjari Travel Information

When to Visit

The park is open four tourism from 15 October to 31 July. High season from December till beginning of May:

Dry season

  • Good visibility: Short grass and the animals are gathered in the North part of the park along the Pendjari River
  • December – January:  Harmattan period which can affect visibility some days (sandy wind coming from Sahara) making a kind of fog
  • March and April are the best months for visibility as it is peak dry season, and animals gather at the mares and river. Temperatures reach 40-45 degrees
  • May: Good visibility, rains common and less tourists.

Shoulder season 

  • June, mid-October and November
  • June, rains common and still good visibility
  • October and November:  high grass, lower visibility and the period for controlled bush fires by park management

Low season

  • July - rainy season

Off season

  • August – Mid-October: park is closed due to rains, bad visibility and difficult roads
Activities

Night Drive

A sunset departure for a guided night drive adventure is an ideal way to end your day. Night drives show a different side to the park and are your best chance of seeing the nocturnal wildlife, often the most sought after sightings! Night drives are operated by the park’s safari vehicle, which can take a maximum of seven guests.  Night drives are available from the Pendjari Lodge and Hotel Pendjari after reservation.

Walking Safari 

There are many ways to travel, but only walking gives you the opportunity to move at the pace of nature. Away from the comfort of the vehicle, your senses suddenly awaken as the bush becomes more 'real'. The small details that are overlooked on game drives become more apparent from the slower pace and lower angle of being on foot. Our guided walks, for beginners or more advantageous, can be booked via the Lodge or Hotel.

Health and Safety

Vaccinations

Visitors need Yellow Fever inoculation certificates and are advised to contact their doctor or travel clinic at least eight weeks prior to travel for an up-to-date guidance on the vaccination requirements and health precautions. It is also recommended that travellers take appropriate medical insurance for their holiday. 

Malaria

Pendjari is a malaria area and it is recommended that necessary precautions are taken to avoid getting bitten (insect repellents, as well as long sleeves and trousers in the evenings and mornings). It is also advisable that visitors take prophylaxis medication prescribed by a doctor. 

Tsetse flies

Tsetse flies can be a problem in certain parts of the park in rainy season (July – November). While they have a nasty bite, they are generally harmless and no known cases of sleeping sickness have occurred in Pendjari. Tsetse flies tend to be attracted to dark colours so it is advisable that visitors wear khaki and lighter colours and make use of insect repellents. 

Drinking water

We advise against drinking tap water unless it is boiled or filtered. Bottled water is widely available in Benin. 

General safety

Benin is a peaceful country and the people are very kind and generous, however visitors should take normal safety precautions, such as not carrying large amounts of money when walking in night. Driving standards and road conditions in Benin are poor. Avoid driving outside towns and cities at night as roads are poorly lit. During rainy seasons minor, unpaved roads may become impassable.

Essentials

Language

French is Benin’s official language. Local languages such as Fon and Yoruba are spoken in the south, Bariba and Dendi in the north, and over 50 other African languages and dialects are spoken in the country. 

Visas

Nationals of all African countries may enter Benin visa-free for up to 90 days. Hong Kong SAR passport also enter visa free for 14 days. Visitors that require visas need to submit their applications to a Beninese diplomatic mission prior to arrival or process their visa application online, which will be used to obtain a visa at the point of entry. Visa on arrival at land border crossings is not possible. Passports must have a validity of at least six months from the day of entry into Rwanda. 

Links for on-line visa:

https://www.visa-en-ligne.com/pays/Benin.php

https://www.dei-benin.com/formulaire_visa.php

Currency

The local currency is the the West African CFA Franc and has a fixed exchange rate to the euro. 655.957 (or in street trade often 650) F CFA is equal to €1, and roughly 500 F CFA is equal to 1 US dollar. Foreign currency can be exchanged in Cotonou or at local banks, but different rates of exchange will apply depending on the bureau. There are banks in all the major cities, and most of the banks have cash machines, although they are not always reliable. As in all the CFA Franc economies, Visa is much more popular than Master Card.

Rates

Prices are in Francs CFA:

Adult - National:

  • 24 hours: 5,000
  • 48 hours: 10,000
  • 72 hours or more: 12,500

Student - National:

  • 24 hours: 1,000
  • 48 hours: 2,000
  • 72 hours or more: 2,500

Adult - Foreigner:

  • 24 hours: 10,000
  • 48 hours: 20,000
  • 72 hours or more: 25,000

Student - Foreigner:

  • 24 hours: 5,000
  • 48 hours: 10,000
  • 72 hours or more: 12,500

Other:

  • Child under 7 years of age enter for free
  • Vehicle: 3,000
  • Camping: 5,000
  • Camping requires obligatory guide

Pendjari How to Get There

Pendjari National Park is located 650 km from Cotonou, 420 km from Ouagadougou and approximately 490 km from Niamey.

From Cotonou to the Pendjari:

  • If you do not have a vehicle available, the best option is to travel with one of the bus companies that daily serve Tanguiéta, such as the company ATT. Departure from Cotonou is at 6:00 am and the duration of the trip is about 11 hours. From Parakou, the transport company Baobab Express serves Tanguiéta twice a day at 6.30am and 12.30pm.
  • If you have a vehicle available, you will follow the road Cotonou - Allada - Bohicon - Dassa. From Dassa, you have the opportunity to make a detour via Parakou (Dassa - Parakou - Djougou - Natitingou - Tanguieta). This section is fully paved and offers the opportunity to discover a portion of the Alibori even if it is longer than a hundred kilometers compared to the direct route is currently the best route and the shortest. 

Tanguiéta which is 1h30 from Batia, the south entrance of the park is the last city where you can refuel and various purchases before continuing to the park. It is important to have enough drinking water, snacks and everything you need in the park.

From Burkina Fasso or Niger:

From Burkina Faso or Niger, the Ouagadougou - Fada N'Gourma - Porga and Niamey - Fada N'Gourma - Porga roads are respectively the shortest that serve the park. They are all paved and it is recommended to use them during the day.