, and headed up by Burkina Faso
, the ex-kingdom of Dahomey extends to the Atlantic Ocean. An old African power built on the slave trade, Dahomey became independent in 1960 and called "Benin" in 1975 to signal its revival. Today, the country is rich in history due to the palaces of the old kings, but also in the voodoo traditions
that are still firmly rooted in the Beninese culture, where they began. Although relatively few tourists travel to Benin, this flat country offers a variety of scenery: in the north, the savannah and the national parks of the W and the Pendjari; to the south, the plain scattered with lakes, lagoons, marshes, and the beaches bordering the Atlantic.