A fully-fledged torch carrier for West African history and culture, Benin showcases wonderful landscapes to the north and an enticing coastline and the capital city to the south. Venture into Parc National de la Pendjari and you’ll be able to observe some of the planet’s most endangered animals. The Northwest African cheetah, West African lions and buffalo are just a few of the species who wander through this conservation area spanning nearly 5,000 km². The heart of Benin’s historical core can be found in the former capital of Abomey. Built between the mid-17th and late 19th centuries, the nine Royal Palaces are well worth exploring. If you want to learn more, a nearby museum exhibits a number of relics from the era. Hotels can be found in most cities such as Porto-Novo, Abomey and Grand Popo.