Benin City

Overview

Introduction

Benin City, Nigeria, is surrounded by an ancient moat and the remains of a city wall. This former Edo-Bini capital, 150 mi/240 km east of Lagos, Nigeria, has a traditional oba's (king's) palace and a strong artistic tradition. The Edo have produced some of Africa's most celebrated bronze and terra-cotta sculpture, and the tradition continues in artisan shops on Benin City's Igun Street. Although the best examples of local artwork were carted off by the British during the colonial years, the city's National Museum has a number of good pieces on display.

Okomu National Park is a relatively easy day or overnight trip from Benin City. It's a lovely tract of tropical rain forest full of monkeys and birds with good chalet accommodations built on stilts.

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