Flights to Parakou The city of Parakou is in central Benin and has a population of around 200,000 people. Though the city is fairly large, it is not too luxurious. You can find a lot of good services for travellers as it is traditionally a market town that has always handled a lot of people coming and going over its history.
There are no Benin airports nearby for flights to Parakou, so you will have to arrive in Cotonou at the Cadjehoun Airport (airport code: COO) which is about 330 kilometres away. There are regular public buses between Parakou and Cotonou. From South Africa you can fly to Cotonou with Kenya Airways and have one connection in Nairobi, or with South African Airways and transfer in Luanda and Libreville. You can also get a flight with Lufthansa and have stops in Frankfurt and Brussels.
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The Tourist Attractions of Parakou:
The national language in Benin is French and that is what you will find most people speak in Parakou as well.
Grand Marche Azeke
Grand Marche Azeke is the main market in Parakou, taking up more than a full city block of both indoor and outdoor vending tables that offer any goods you could want while in the city. There can be up to a thousand vendors on a busy day and they carry all manner of goods including local fruits and vegetables. Grand March is the largest of the city’s markets though there are other markets to visit too. A few blocks north, you can find the clothing-oriented Marche Kobo Kobo.
Hotel les Routier
The Hotel les Routier is quite a unique place as it has a small zoo on the grounds that includes animals like alligators, gazelles and warthogs. If you are looking for good accommodations, it is also a very nice hotel to stay in!
The main mosque in the city is an imposing and fortress-like building with red shutters and railings. It’s a great spot to visit, though it is an active mosque and non-Muslims may not be permitted to see inside.
Musee en Plein Air de Parakou
In English this would be the Outdoor Museum of Parakou, and it has several traditional Batanou buildings that you can tour through. There are also some very impressive collections of old hand-carved tribal masks.
To the west of Parakou are two large protected areas that can be reached by a main road. The Foret Oueme Superieur is to the north of the highway, and the Foret de Ouari Maro is to the south. The river basins through these areas make it a very active place for birds and wildlife. You can see hundreds of species of birds as well as several kinds of monkeys, crocodiles, and small species of antelopes.
When Should You Visit?:
Parakou has a hot climate no matter what time of the year it is, though it will cool off nicely at nights. The coolest months are July and August, and it will dip just below 30C (86F) in the daytime. It will get up over 35C (95F) in February and March, though it is less humid in those months as well.