Travel Alert Status
Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
Safety and Security
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
U.S. citizens should not walk on the beach, at any time of day, alone. The U.S. Mission recommends that U.S. citizens not carry a passport or valuables when walking in any part of the city. Instead, carry a notarized photocopy of the photo page of your passport (see Crime section). You should not walk around the city after dark and should take particular care to avoid the beach and isolated areas near the beach after dark.
The ocean currents along the coast are extremely strong and treacherous, with rough surf and a strong undertow, and several people drown each year. Swimming conditions along Benin’s coastline are notoriously dangerous due to strong and changeable tides, waves, and rip currents. There is no safe way to determine whether conditions on any given day are suitable for entering the water, in part because waves and rip currents can develop and intensify abruptly. The U.S. Mission strongly discourages beachgoers from entering the ocean, regardless of a person’s age, size, fitness level, or swimming ability.