Benin is one of the smallest countries in West Africa, where geopolitical borders are an obvious imposition on languages, traditions and cultures of the same matrix. The real borders are linked to the morphology of the territory: the North with its cliffs and arid savannahs where elephants, gazelles and lions survive, and the South with its tropical forests, extensive banana, pineapple and teak plantations, and the palm-fringed beaches of the Atlantic coast.
These two regions have in common a granite devotion to a traditional religiosity that gives meaning and order to the daily lives of the local people. In the north, animist spirituality with its cult of fetishes and ancestors governs village life, while in the south, Voodoo, which is even the state religion, predominates.
Nothing to do with pinned dolls and witchcraft, but an extraordinarily rich and complex cult that originated on the coasts of the Gulf of Guinea and later spread to Brazil and the Caribbean islands, following the path of the slave trade. A tragic chapter in the history of the country that, for almost three centuries, was the scene of the suffering of millions of people whose destiny was changed forever inside a boat bound for the Americas. A sad past of which traces remain in the territory, making Benin one of the most interesting countries to visit. But it is also the numerous natural beauties, the fortified villages and the elaborate traditional architecture, fairy-tale worlds in the harsh heart of the savannah, that will amaze and conquer.