Cotonou in a word: Unlovable.
Chance of Hooking up: 4 / 5
Quality of Girls: 2.5 / 5
Nightlife: 3 / 5
Smoking tolerance level: 3 / 5
Beer: $1 for a bottle of local beer. $6 in the clubs.
Bed: €20 for a private room.
Bud: €1.50 for a small bag.
Board: €3 for a half a chicken with chips.
Budget other: You will pay $10 into clubs, but that includes a drink. Some fancy places it’ll cost $10 for a coke too! Budget for a side trip to Lake Ahemé (Voodoo country).
Cotonou isn’t a place you’d want to hang out in for long. It’s got a bit more of a pulse than Lome, Togo; but the people aren’t as nice and the city is much more frantic. You can fun here, but it’s low on the list compared to other West African cities. Make sure you go to Lake Ahemé for the real Beninese experience.
If you haven’t already, I’d strongly recommend you read my article Sex in Africa 101 before continuing.
Like the sound of having freaky sex with a Voodoo chick? Will then this is the place to be. Benin is the home of Voodoo and if you work your juju you can make it happen. It’s a Francophone country but many locals have English. If you want to score in the city it’s all about the nightlife.
Beninese girls are used to tourists and aren’t the most liberal so one night stands aren’t that common. If you meet a local it’s best to exchange number and make a date the next day. If you’re looking for a real high quality local (better looking and more aloof) you will likely have to try and nab them off the older French guys. Check out Crystal palace, just slip the chicks your number on the sly. There are also a few beautiful husband hunters about. But most of time at night, local girls will probably not be on your radar. Why? There are usually much better options.
There are tons of nice foreigners in town. Sexy migrants from other West African countries (including some fine Liberians and Ghanaians). Then there is a very visible population of tasty Lebanese chicks, as well as hundreds of young American and European volunteers (mainly French and Scandinavian) . These girls may entice you if you don’t want to shore. They’re are a few upper class African girls around, as you will read in my nightlife recommendations below.
The weekends in Cotonou are really good with lots of options. Haie Vive is the classy part of town. Here’s where you will find the best women, but it’s dead mid week. The next area is slightly seedier Jonquet, which hosts one or two decent spots. During the week, New York is reliable and always fun.
On the weekend, this is one of the best little bars in West Africa. Located in Haie Vive, it attracts mainly young volunteers, Lebanese and the occasional Asian and upper class Afro girl looking for young white cock. It’s tiny, but the atmosphere is fantastic. As mentioned, it’s only good on weekends when it’s got live music and a crowd. This is the best place to warm up before either of the following…
The ‘in’ disco at the moment. Expect a decent mix: the crowd from Coco’s, expats and ladies of the night. Hit the dance floor and have fun. Not a bad compromise if you can’t handle the heat at…
New York, New York
You haven’t been to Cotonou until you’ve been here. Here you will find some of the friendliest girls in West Africa. It’s a shoring spot, but it’s busy every night and really good fun; plus there are some genuine girls around. Here you will meet chicks from all over the region and some of them are sexy as hell! It’s hard not to leave with a smile on your face.
Where to buy marijuana: Lake Ahemé is the best place to get sorted. Ask your hotel owner, that’s how we got sorted. In Cotonou it’s more difficult to obtain. No info available.
Marijuana Prices: 1000 CFA (€1.50) will get you a respectable handful. Expect to pay more in the capital.
My Cotonou Experience
I wasn’t a big fan of the city, but the nightlife was a bit of craic. The Siege of Cotonou was a good one. I end up picking up my Ghana flag (40th flag). She was the hottest girl I’d seen since Sierra Leone let alone the country! She was a cutie alright. I also had a streak of back luck here. Check out my post: Voodoo Dolls & Bad Juju. It documents a rather irksome experience.
Why not check out more cheeky City Guides?
What’s all those Lebanese people doing in West Africa?? Business? Trading?
@Zac: They’re everywhere in West Africa, it’s weird. They all have businesses. Many of the bars and nightclubs are Lebanese owned. I guess having French helps.
I agree, New York, New York is great. Surprised you left out the sleazy Jonquet bar area. Some decent bars there.
That’s an attractive Beninese chick.
Didn’t know you were there man… cool!
Yep, the Lebanese are known for emigrating and doing business in weird places around the world. Usually import/export.
Pretty risky doing business in West Africa where corruption rules and wars break out every couple years. But on the flipside I guess you can rake in good profits in short time. Need BIG investment capital though. And make friends in high places.
Africa is all about power and connections. No legal system to rely upon there. It’s a jungle down there.
Every time i read one of your datasheets about Africa 9 and i read all of them) I’m really surprised by the huge costs for hotels and covers/drinks. I will have my share of black ladies in S. America and the Caribbean by the end of the year. i think i will skip Africa the next few years.
Congrats on the 40th flag.
Just got back and was almost incarcerated because an old man hitched a ride in my hired cab and happened to have about 2 kilos of coke on him….tough luck.
Even though I’m from Africa too…Yes, it can be a jungle out here sometimes 🙁
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morron, marijuana cost 200 fcfa . less than 50 cents of us $