Ganvie Travel Guide

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Ganvie from the air

Ganvie from the air

Hugo van Tilborg

To people who expect to see the Venice of Africa, the town of Ganvie can be something of a disappointment. It is a bit spoilt by tourism (as is the European Venice)and when arriving from Cotonou you can be beseiged by touts who want to guide you around.

Still the site is quite pretty and the history behind it is mnost remarkable. During the worst days of the slave trade, the Tofinu peoples sought refuge on the lakes, because according to the religion of the Abomey it was forbidden to attack people on the water. In the language of the Tofinu Ganvie means: the collectivity of those who found peace at last. The people who built their houses here have managed to construct a complete town on stilts.

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