Cotonou - Post Report Question and Answers

What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

No traffic, lots of small adventures, great fruit, great family post. - Feb 2020

Calm, peaceful, relatively safe. It's a five minute commute to work and around most restaurants, bars, etc. Pretty decent housing. Interesting work. Decent differential. - Aug 2018

It's quiet and calm. - Jan 2017

Mostly nice weather. Can grow a garden year round. - Oct 2015

We loved Benin. People are friendly, the international community is great and the history and culture fascinating. - Jun 2015

Benin was scant infrastructure, so casual touring doesn't really exist so much. The local culture can also be pretty difficult to get at if there's even anything of note to see - the slave trade, and then colonialism, really stunted cultural growth in this country. The weather is pretty different from the U.S. though you have four seasons - hot season, little rainy season, short hot season, and dust (harmattan) season. Though at night, you can usually count on the temperature dropping to a cool 85F after midnight. One plus is the ability to save money - there's not much to spend it on locally even if you regularly blow cash at Erevan (the only real Western-style grocery store in the country) on things like Magnum ice cream bars. There's also a fair degree of freedom - crime is normally not an issue for an expat, the cops will not bother you if you have diplomatic/NGO plates (rather, they'll salute you). However, good luck finding something to do with this freedom. - Aug 2014

You can learn to appreciate a whole different pace of life (if you're used to the American, go-go-go culture). Locals here are very carefree and take their time completing their daily tasks. Usually this is refreshing; occasionally, when you have a problem that needs to be fixed, it can be maddening. If you are a homebody, you will absolutely love this post. - Jul 2013

If you're looking for a safe place where you'll have a short commute and be able to spend a lot of time at home with your family, this could be a great option. It's politically stable. Crime isn't really an issue. The weather is comfortable. The workload is manageable. Locally-employed staff members are generally kind and competent. - May 2013

It is relatively safe, uncomplicated, good traffic, with short commutes to work and your social life. - Mar 2013

Cotonou is a sleepy, dusty/damp (depending on the time of the year), malarial backwater. Not much goes on here. However, if you’ve got to be posted to West Africa this isn’t a bad place to be. If you need nightlife, the arts, and the hustle and bustle of an urban environment, this isn’t the place for you. - Dec 2011


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