Benin – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise increased caution in Benin due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

The northern regions of Benin, including Park Pendjari, Park W, and adjacent hunting zones, and Benin’s northeastern border area with Nigeria, due to terrorism and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assault, is common in urban areas. There is a risk of maritime crime, including violent attacks and kidnapping at sea, in the Gulf of Guinea.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Benin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Benin has an unknown level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Benin:

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel, and read the U.S. Embassy’s web page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
Use caution when walking or driving at night.
Keep a low profile.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
Review the Country Security Report for Benin.
Obtain comprehensive travel medical insurance that includes medical evacuation prior to travel.
Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Northern Benin – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Extremist groups have carried out attacks in areas of Burkina Faso and Niger adjacent to Benin’s northern border, near Park Pendjari, Park W, and adjacent hunting zones. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Western tourists have been kidnapped in Park Pendjari, in northern Benin.

Extremist groups have also operated in the northeastern border region between Benin and Nigeria, specifically in the border region north of Nikki. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Western visitors and residents are at risk of kidnapping in this region.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Benin’s northern border areas. U.S. government employees are prohibited from personal travel and must obtain special authorization for official travel to the regions described above.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.