MY TRIP TO BENIN CITY, EDO STATE NIGERIA

Hey beautiful people! How are you doing?
So over the long Sallah break for Eid el Kabir I traveled to the Ancient city of Benin in Edo State Nigeria. 


And let me tell you the city was indeed ancient. Initially I was both excited and slightly scared about travelling to Benin. Excited because back in secondary school we had learned so much about the Benin Empire which is supposedly one of the oldest in Nigeria. I was looking forward to seeing tons of artwork  and lots of cultural display too as well as western influences in the form of colonial buildings.

Now I was a bit scared  of African technology (witchcraft), I won't lie. And my family did not make matters any better. My Nigerians we all know these things are real.  The entire region is quite known for fetish behaviors such as this and sometimes as the headquarters of everything lol (no offence to people from the region). Anyways after reminding myself of what the bible says about fear and who I am as a child of God I braved the trip. 


I traveled from Abuja to Benin with Big Joe motors with a quick bus break in Lokoja, Kogi State. The bus fare was of course hiked up due to the public holiday. I paid 5,000 Naira going and 6,000 Naira coming. This was one of the cheaper alternatives by the way. The ride was bumpy as per usual with our Nigerian roads and the driver which I thought was reckless did not make matters any better. There we were jumping around like pop corn. The drive took about 8 hours.

Taxi Cab along Ring road

I found Benin as a city to be quite rustic. Everything looked old too especially when coming from a major city like Abuja. The little taxi cabs painted red and yellow were cute (hey colour blocking). A lot of the buildings were old architecture styles from back in the day. This is such a sharp contrast to places like Abuja where everything is green and new. As an old soul at heart, you bet I loved them and had to take pictures too. My companion was not having it and even got quite annoyed but hey that's the life of a blogger. 


I spotted quite a few colonial structures like this one located along Ring road en route to the popular Kings Market. Also on a walk through Asemotta street which reminded me of Old Calabar I sited quite a few colonial buildings too. And oh, least I forget the post office which was also a colonial structure. Unfortunately I was unable to take a picture of the building.

The streets were filled with sculptures and statues especially the road leading to the Oba's palace. When asked, I was told visitors could no longer tour the Oba's palace or even get close enough to get a clear picture so sadly I didn't make it there. However, the statues I was told are shrines of protection for the traditional rulers. 

Ring Road roundabout

We of course stumbled on another colonial building which appears to be of some significant value, however there was no tour guide on ground. Though get this, behind this building below were a group of traditional worshipers, only God knew what they were doing there, you best believe I covered myself with the blood. 

The sculptures below upon research were erected by the Late Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia  who was a military governor of the Mid-west state also known as the Bendel State. The structure serves as a reminder of all the lives lost during the Nigerian civil war. Where are all my history lovers at?






I also met my blogger friend, Sogie of The Diva Diaries. This was one of the highlights of my trip. She reminds me so much of my younger sisters and cousins. When asked, she said there wasn't much to do in Benin, much to my disappointment but you can still see that I made the most of my short stay there.

I spent only a few day in Benin so I didn't get around much but like I mentioned earlier there isn't much to see sadly. Our government has a tendency of neglecting tourism. Anyways, so far I have traveled to Benue, Cross River, Anambra, Edo, Kogi and Lagos State (if you count the airport). 

Most of the pictures were taken with my phone, an Infinix hot S as I didn't want to deal with anybody questioning or harassing me. I enjoyed my trip but I attribute this to the people I hung with as opposed to the city itself.

I am wearing a shirt from the Tee Hub and mom jeans from the Vintage Closet Naija styled here and here

Overall, travelling is great because you learn and observe so many things. Like first of all how most places outside major cities in Nigeria are dull. The major cities are livelier but most road trips involve sad roads and tons of farms and villages that you see in passing. I do hope to travel to a couple more places before the year ends.

Have you been to Benin City? What are you thoughts? What other states in Nigeria or countries in Africa have you visited? What do you think of roadtrips in Nigeria? 

You can catch up on my other travel adventures as well


Don't be a stranger, talk to me!

25 comments:

  1. Hahaa. Been to Benin a couple of times. Okay, more than a couple of times. I used to go there almost every weekend during my service year.

    I think really, it depends on the company you have. Else, there really isn't much to do there. For me, I had a ton of friends so we went around visiting and maybe catching up on movies.

    I couldn't get over how bad the roads are. I visited again in June this year and still not much has changed in that regard. Bad roads with a good road network. L0l!

    I've been to quite a number of states in Nigeria - Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Anambra, Oyo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna, Delta, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Enugu, Abuja and of course, Cross River where I was born and raised. I hope to make my first trip out of the country next month. I hope that works!!!!!!

    Nice picturesss. I want that phone yo!

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    1. Lol girl wow, where did you serve though? Yeah Sogie suggested the movies but I wanted to do something peculiar to Benin since we have cinemas in Abuja. Was told the major thing to do is to go out and chill at night but seeing as that's not my thing that wouldn't work. And I agree the company or friends with you are so important, that's what made my trip to Benin enjoyable actually.

      Roads are indeed bad, you know what, when travelling outside major cities in Nigeria and seeing how others live, you can sorta understand where all these agitations are coming from.

      And wow you're quite the explorer aren't you. I hope to travel more too. Best of luck on your trip outside of Nigeria. I look forward to reading a post and following up on your trip on social media.

      Thank you, the phone can't take all the credit though as I used my camera for some pictures and PicsArt came through when editing. Besides this phone has it's own issues too.

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    2. I served in Delta state, Asaba. So it was about an hour drive to Benin. I had a couple of Benin friends and then there was never really any light in Asaba so we spent Fridays to Sundays in Benin.

      One time we wanted to go to Oba's palace but we were told you can't just go there so I never bothered with anything else. LOL!

      Yeah. Quite a number of states right? Unfortunately, I was not intentional about them so I didn't document most. I hope to go back to most especially the ones that have sites to explore.

      Thanks babe. Lol! I will blog about the trip if I get my blogging mojo back by then. Fingers crossed. Haha

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    3. Now that makes more sense, if I had more time or knew someone there perhaps I could have gone to Asaba, I hear there is a lot more to do there, not sure though.

      Lol what I was told too, you have to be somebody first of all and imagine walking in saying you're a blogger and trying to take pictures, I no dey oh.

      I hope you do girl, back then I too used to travel but never documented because I felt I would remember everything. However, now that I'm getting older, memories are fading and I now realize just how important documenting memories is.

      Even if you don't get your mojo back, I can follow on social media. I fee you on the whole blogging thing though, I'm just taking it easy as I re-discover the fun and exciting part of the whole process.

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  2. great pictures!

    www.bstylevoyage.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks girl, been a while since I saw you on here, hope you are good.

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  3. I've been to Benin once but passed by maybe from Ilorin to Ph. I never liked it. Too ancient.

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    1. It is quite ancient indeed but I sorta liked the change of pace and the vibes in the city too.

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  4. Ahn Ahn! See Baby Girl Sogie! I really do miss her. Sarah you didn't tell us what took you to Edo State but I'm guessing it was work related. I've only being to Edo State once and I really can't remember much except that it was a long ass journey. All in all, glad you made the best of the trip. Are we likely to see a Blog Collaboration? Sogie et Sarah?? I'm hoping.
    I've been to all the states in the South West (Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti) and yeah! Benin so 30 more states to go I suppose even though road travel is tiring.

    WanShyGirl Blog

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    1. Miss her on the blogosphere too girl but a little birdie tells me that she's about to make a major comeback. I actually travelled majorly for leisure, I had people to see. The journey to Edo state from Abuja wasn't actually so long, what state were you coming from?
      Sadly I was there for a Short while so there was no time for a collaboration but hopefully someday.

      I hope to travel more too girl. Now while road travelling is tired, I find it somewhat exciting at times, just seeing how people live and the different sides of Nigeria. Unfortunately, our roads don't make trips as pleasurable as they should be. I hope to travel to the South West as I've never been there, hopefully when baby bro goes to school.

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  5. I've never been to Benin City, but it does break my travel heart how neglected tourism and history are in Nigeria.

    Berry Dakara Blog

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    1. Its quite sad honestly, to see a major city like Benin that played a huge role in Nigeria's history, in such a sad state. All tourism potentials just neglected. I was told the museums has been turned into a car park for buses, you can imagine.

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  6. It was so nice meeting you girl finally!!! Glad you had a lil fun.
    When i tell people there's nothing to do in Benin they always think I'm lying or I'm just a boring person lol but as you said it depends on the people and also I'm not really a night person and that's when Benin comes alive.
    When you mentioned the colonial buildings i realised Benin is full of em just never really paid attention cos I'm so used to it, even the house we stay in has an old feel to it.
    The cultural center is where they've turned to a park lol and i think it was just an events hall so nothing much to see.
    Definitely agree they don't preserve history in most states and it's quite sad to see, hopefully something is done bout it soon.
    I still go out and find/learn something new in Benin.
    I've been to Lagos, Delta State, Kano, Jos... i think that's all oh I've always wanted to do a road trip around Nigeria but i dunno still hoping on it one day.

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    1. Yes girl finally and yes I made the most of my trip.
      Lol you were definitely not lying. The people one is with is so important especially in a place like Benin.
      You see I was right and I'm glad they exist. No worries girl, we tend to ignore or not appreciate things we are so used to.
      Sad thing about the cultural center, when I googled Benin I saw quite a few people talking about it.
      Our government really needs to do something about preserving our history, there is a lot of money in that.
      I hope you find a few new things in your city, maybe for when next or if I come again lol. I hope to travel more in Nigeria even though road trips are not always enjoyable especially with those bad roads.

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  7. Went to Benin last year for a job interview. Didn't really explore but looked like a dry place to me *covers face*

    And oh hey! You got the infinix Hot S

    Cassie Daves Blog
    #TravelNigeria : 5 Places I Want To Visit In Nigeria This Year.

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    1. Oh hey Cassie, Long time no see over here, welcome lol. Honestly Benin is quite dry from what I observed, so you're not wrong. And yeah I got the phone sometime last year after I lost my phone. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for but I made do, so far its okay, ready for a change anytime soon though.

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  8. I did a year in secondary school in benin at that point I hated it and it looked old and ancient loll but I have alot of friends there and they seem to be having fun. I really feel bad about ignoring the tourism aspect because Benin is meant to be a lit place but Nigerian govt... smh

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    1. Lol girl I can imagine, the place is indeed old but that's expected given that it's one of the oldest kingdoms in Africa. I'd love to know what your friends get up to for fun though. And yes Benin should have a lot more to offer but a lack of maintenance culture and that attitude of "I don't care" is what has brought us to this point. Smh indeed!

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  9. See me thinking Benin was developed structurally. It's sad when you think about the amount of things the government has neglected in this country. Wish I could travel as much. Only place I travel to to kwara state for school. Love the 'link in bio' shirt BTW. I'm coming for it *wide grin*



    THE STREET HAUTE 

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    1. To see I was disappointed is an understatement but we all know our government. I wish I could travel more too but hey I'm sure you will later with time, maybe even with NYSC if it still exists by then though. Whenever then is by the way. I love the shirt too and sorry oh, I'm not giving.

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  10. I am in shock because I didn't know witchcraft is called African technology. Never been to Benin before but now I a vivid view of how the state is like and I won't mind having such experience. I am also shocked that Iyesogie lives in Benin and glad that you two got to meet!

    Thank you for sharing this experience! Nigeria needs to be explored more.

    Oreoluwa's Blog || Celebrating One Year Being A Lifestyle Blogger x Blog Giveaway

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    1. Lol girl, I learnt that when I came back home. It started out as some sort of joke. Basically our technology in Africa is only used for bad while oversees it is used for good.

      Glad this post gave you a little insight on life in Benin. though, why are you shocked that Sogie lives in Benin? I'm glad we met too, as I said that was one of the highlights of my trip.

      Thank you for reading! I look forward to exploring and documenting more of Nigeria.

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  11. great pictures.
    fashionattitudebyraych.blogspot.com

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  12. I love the pictures, Sarah. Indeed you made the most out of Benin city. It looks like you had such a good visit so to say.

    http://dominikagoodness.blogspot.com.ng

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  13. I'm from Edo state, and I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Benin. There are quite a lot of historical places and sculptures in Benin. There is quite a lot to be done in terms of tourism in Nigeria.

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