West African Nations - 2012

Ganvie – The Stilt City In the afternoon, we boarded small covered boats to reach the “stilt city” of Ganvie, about 8 miles inland from Cotonou on the coast. The city was built in the lagoon about 200 years ago by locals seeking a refuge from the slavers, both native and European.

The homes of the 30,000 residents are built out in the brackish estuary (Lake Nokoue) on pilings. Incredibly, the inhabitants now run three very basic hotels in the town. These are frequented by tourists, particularly from France. Hard to believe but there were 4 hotel guests from France while we were in the city. Though the threat of being captured by slavers no longer exists, people still live here and make their livings from the estuary.



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