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Porto Novo

Porto-Novo (also known as Hogbonou and Adjacé) is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin. The commune covers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq miles).

The capital’s name Porto-Novo is of Portuguese origin, meaning “New Port”. It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade, an important part of many European Empires at the time including the Portuguese Empire.

Porto-Novo is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion of the country. It is Benin’s second-largest city, and although Porto-Novo is the official capital, where the national legislature sits, the larger city of Cotonou is the seat of government, where most of the government buildings are situated and government departments operate.

The region around Porto-Novo produces palm oil, cotton and kapok. Petroleum was discovered off the coast of the city in the 1990s and has become an important export. Porto Novo also has a cement factory.

The best time to visit Porto-Novo is mid-January when the streets erupt in celebrations of the country’s Afro-Brazilian legacy. The enormous festival includes plenty of food, dancing and music.

Cruises based out of South Africa, cruises ex the UK and World Cruises all operate in the October to April period. Southern Africa’s weather does have seasons with winter having cool nights and warm days and summer can be warm to hot and humid. It is consistently hot and humid in Porto Novo. There is usually rainfall throughout the year but May and June are the wettest while the rainy season is considered to last until October.

General Information:

Population: 267,191
Language: French (Official) Fon and Yaruba (Native)
Currency: CFA Franc
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Dial Code: + 229

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