Visit Pendjari National Park

5 Reasons to Visit Pendjari

  1. Stunning landscapes and plentiful wildlife make Pendjari a dream for photographers and nature lovers alike.

  2. Pendjari is the last remaining safari destination in West Africa that offers the chance to see both lion and elephant in the wild.

  3. Over 360 bird species have been recorded in Pendjari, including rarities such as the Egyptian plover and black crowned crane.

  4. Unspoilt by mass tourism, Pendjari offers a crowd free safari experience.

  5. A Pendjari safari can be easily combined with a swim at the beautiful Tanongou waterfalls and cultural visits to traditional Tata Somba homesteads and Peulh camps.

Pendjari Travel Information

Where to stay

Pendjari offers comfortable and attractive accommodation in beautiful settings.

  • Pendjari Lodge
    THE PENDJARI LODGE
    Ideally located right in the middle of the Park on top of a hill overlooking a waterhole. It is the perfect place to spend an unforgettable night in the heart of one of the only remaining sanctuaries for wild animals in West Africa. Witness the circle of life from the lodge terrace or the ‘infinity pool’, from which you can observe animals that come to drink from the waterhole. There are two options for accommodation: Safari tents overlooking the Savannah, or bungalows facing the sunset. Click the link in the title to see the rates.
  • PODIEGA CAMPSITE (BAOBAB ISLAND)
    PODIEGA CAMPSITE (BAOBAB ISLAND)
    Located on the road known as La Podiéga, named after the river that flows close-by, the camping area is ideally set-up next to a water point, and offer a capacity of 20 tents. The campsite benefits of bathrooms, barbecue and campfire, a communal sheltered area and running water. A caretaker is permanently on site. Remember to bring your own camping equipment. Click the link in the title to see the rates.

Click the drop down menu to find out more:

When to Visit

The park is open for tourism from 15 October to 31 July.

  • October - March: 6.30am - 7pm (last entry to the park is 5.30pm)
  • April - July: 6am - 7.30 pm (last entry to the park is 6pm)

DRY SEASON

  • October - December (25°C - 30°C): The park is green and fertile and, thanks to migratory patterns, bird life is particularly diverse and plentiful. Binoculars are therefore a must.
  • January - February (25°C - 30°C): The Harmattan winds carry sand from the Sahara, creating amazingly hazy skies and cooler nights. Wildlife sightings become more frequent as the landscape dries out.
  • March - April (35°C - 42°C): The hottest months and the best time for spotting wildlife. The scorched terrain allows for better visibility, and animals gather at the few remaining water sources.

WET SEASON

  • May to September (30°C - 35°C): The landscape is transformed into an emerald green sea of lush vegetation.

From 1st August - 14th October, the park is closed because of rains and limited road access.

Exciting Activities

GAME DRIVE

Enjoy the cool of the early morning on the first game drive departure of the day. As you look for our Spotter’s Seven, choose to discover more about the park from your guide, or just sit back and admire the beautiful West African landscape.

Later on, you will have the opportunity to rest at your accommodation before deciding whether to depart on a late afternoon game drive; giving you a chance to tick off what’s left on your list.

NIGHT DRIVE

Departing at sunset for a guided night drive is an ideal way to end your day. Night drives show a different side to the park, offering the chance of seeing the park’s incredible nocturnal wildlife, often the most sought after sightings!

Night drives are operated by the park’s safari vehicle and are available from the Pendjari Lodge. The vehicle can take a maximum of seven guests so booking in advance is recommended.

BUSH BREAKFAST

The bush breakfast is a unique way to feel at one with nature. Awakening early, so you can appreciate the sunrise on your early game drive, you will have time to spot wildlife before being taken to your remote breakfast spot.

SUNDOWNER

Sat with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand, watching the magnificent African sunset from a private hilltop vantage point, is arguably the very best way to end your safari day.

BUSH DINNER

The bush dinner takes place at a scenic location, either on top of a hill or overlooking a water point. You will be able to appreciate the sunset sat around the campfire with a cocktail, before enjoying our Chef’s Menu at your table with a view.

Rates
Park Entrance Fees
Park Entrace Fees
Pendjari Lodge Rates
Pendjari Lodge Rates
Campsite Rates

Campsite Rates

Activity Rates

Activities

 

About Benin

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 holders can also enter visa free for 14 days. All other visitors require visas, and need to submit their applications to a Beninese diplomatic mission prior to arrival or process their visa application online. 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 Benin.

Links for on-line visa:

Currency

The local currency is the West African CFA Franc and has a fixed exchange rate to the euro. Roughly 655 (or in street trade often 650) CFA Franc are equal to €1, and roughly 590 CFA Franc are equal to 1 US dollar (rates correct as of October 2019). 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 towns, and most banks have cash machines; however, they are not always reliable. As in all the CFA Franc economies, Visa is much more widely accepted than Master Card.

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 malarial area and it is recommended that necessary precautions are taken to avoid getting bitten (insect repellents and long sleeves and trousers in the evenings and mornings). It is also advisable that visitors take prophylaxis medication prescribed by a health care professional.

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

The water in the Pendjari is pumped from a borehole and is ok to drink. However, elsewhere in the country, 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. Check on your embassy website for more information.

Getting Here
Quick Facts
  • You can get to Penjdari via Djougou or Parakou
  • Time by road from Cotonou: approx. 12 hours
  • Rest-stops: Dassa, Parakou, Natitingou & Tanguieta
  • Time by road from Natitingou: approx. 3 hours / Tanguieta: approx. 1.5 hours
  • Time by plane from Cotonou: approx. 2.5 hours (via Air Taxi Bénin)
Access by the road

From Cotonou to Pendjari (650 km):

  • If you do not have a vehicle available, the best option is to travel with one of the bus companies that serve Tanguiéta daily, 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) or travel straight from Dassa to Djougou. The route via Parakou is fully paved and offers the opportunity to discover a portion of the Alibori. Therefore, even though it is approx. 100 kilometres longer, it might be the preferable route.  

Tanguiéta, which is 1.5 hours from Batia (the south entrance of the park) is the last town where you can refuel, withdraw money, and make larger purchases before continuing to the park. However, drinking water, snacks and food can be purchased at Batia entrance shop or at the Pendjari Lodge.

Contact Details

For more information about the park or to book one of our accommodation options, please send an email to pendjari@africanparks.org.