Driving in Benin

As those of you who have been following know, I’ve been getting around Cotonou on my eGo electric moped.  But now, I have a car, so I need to think about driving in Benin.

Typical questions:

Do they drive on the left or right side of the road?  Yes!

How many cars and motorcycles can fit across on a four lane road?  Close to an infinite number!

Do the cars have to pass any kind of safety/emissions testing?  Are you kidding!

A bit on each.  The closest I have come to any problems driving my eGo to work has been leaving my driveway, looking in the “right” direction for any traffic, and not seeing any, almost running into a moto coming the wrong way down my side of the road.  It’s happened a few more times since then, although I look now.  The concept of not going the wrong way down a street is foreign here.

Any space available between cars is to be filled by motos and zemi (moto taxi) drivers.  I’ve actually gotten pretty used to this one, although I’m still a wimp compared to the locals at flying between stopped cars.

The motos all run on a mixture of gas and oil, and most spew blue smoke out the back.  I find this really annoying to deal with when I’m behind one on my zero emissions eGo.  Cars are the same, although in theory they’re burning pure gasoline.  No unleaded.  No emission controls.  No problem!

And now, Christmas in Benin:

My 8 foot snowman says hello to passing drivers on the way to the airport from my balcony.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


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