Archive for the ‘Benin City’ Category

Benin City

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Benin City, not to confuse with Benin is the capital of the Edo State in the south of Nigeria. The city is situated approximately 25 miles north of the Benin River and 200 miles east of Lagos by road. Benin City is the center of two Nigerian industries including processing palm nuts for oil and the rubber industry. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 1,3 million people.

Benin City was once, one of West Africa’s most important cities until the British came and robbed the city’s valuables. Nowadays the city is still an important center of traditional African arts. The national museum for example, nearby the Oba Palace are both great locations to view Benin City’s finest pieces of arts, even of which the British stole most. The particular beauty of Benin City is the surrounding moats which are historical like the great walls of China, and were used as defense against enemies. The moat has taken over three years before it was complete, further more is the city of Benin known for having the “Best Bronze Casters” in West Africa.

The city center of Benin is rather compact, therefore it’s easy to get around. Although some rules apply, especially when traveling alone. Keep a look at the taxi’s, officially these should be painted red, rather than wine in the body, and yellow on the roof. If a taxi isn’t painted red/yellow they aren’t a official taxi, beware of stepping in. Getting around at night, is pretty much the same as daytime, yet if a commercial vehicle carries no passengers, feel skeptical about entering or stepping in. Besides buses and taxis you can also travel on motor bikes. Be aware that by law the movement of commercial motorbikes between the hours of 7PM and 6AM is not allowed.

Furthermore while in Benin City; try eating Suya which is baked meat, kinda like BBQ but much better, as well pounded yam and obgolo soup named Draw soup and try drinking Palm wine straight from the farmers, as the bottle wine doesn’t taste as good.

To get a Nigerian visa, you must have a passport that is valid for up to at least six months. You must also present your yellow card or current vaccination certificate along with evidence of sufficient funding for your stay. Round trip tickets are also necessary to show that you are planning to stay in Nigeria for only a certain period.