Djougou, Benin

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Djougou, Benin

Region: Djougou is located in the Donga Department

Geographic Coordinates: 9.700000, 1.666700
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 40.0°C (68°F to 104°F)
Climate: Hot and dry climate with a rainy season from May to October.
Population: 237040
Language: Fon

Djougou, Located in the northwestern part of Benin, Is the largest city in the Atakora department and serves as its administrative capital. With a population of approximately 300, 000 people, Djougou is known for being a commercial hub for the region. The city’s economy primarily relies on agriculture with crops such as cotton, Corn, Sorghum and millet being produced in large quantities. Djougou also has an active livestock industry that includes cattle raising and poultry farming. One of Djougou’s most notable landmarks is its central market where locals sell everything from fresh produce to traditional textiles and handicrafts.

Visitors can find unique souvenirs here while immersing themselves in local culture. Djougou has several historical sites worth visiting including The Royal Palace of Kaba (Palais Royal de Kaba) which was built in the 18th century by King Toffa I of Porto-Novo as his residence during his visits to the region. Another popular attraction is Pendjari National Park which covers over 4, 800 square kilometers and borders Burkina Faso to the north. The park boasts diverse wildlife including elephants, Lions, Hippos, Antelopes and baboons making it one of West Africa’s best safari destinations.

Additionally, Djougou hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year that celebrate local traditions such as music concerts featuring regional artists like Zeynab Abib or Amadu Bello performing alongside international acts like Youssou N’Dour or Salif Keita at Fête de la Musique festival held every June. Overall, Djougou offers visitors an authentic taste of Beninese culture with its vibrant markets full of colorfully dressed vendors selling exotic goods alongside historical sites and natural wonders. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Benin.

Important Landmarks

  1. The Royal Palace of Djougou: This is a historical landmark that dates back to the 17th century and serves as the residence for the traditional king of Djougou.
  2. The Grand Marché de Djougou: This is a bustling market where visitors can purchase local goods and experience the vibrant culture of Benin.
  3. The Mosque of Djougou: This is a beautiful mosque that showcases Islamic architecture and serves as a place of worship for Muslims in the area.
  4. La Falaise de Koussouto: This is a natural rock formation that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is popular among hikers.
  5. Pendjari National Park: Although not located directly in Djougou, this national park is close by and offers visitors a chance to see wildlife such as elephants, lions, and hippos in their natural habitat.

Primary Industries

  1. Djougou is a city located in the northern region of Benin and boasts several thriving industries.
  2. These include:
    1. Agriculture
    2. Livestock farming
    3. Handicrafts
    4. Retail trade
    5. Transportation
    6. Construction
    7. The services sector
  3. Agricultural production is a significant contributor to Djougou’s economy.
    1. The city produces crops such as cotton, maize, sorghum, yams and peanuts.
  4. Livestock farming is also prevalent in Djougou with cattle rearing and poultry farming being major activities.
  5. Djougou has a rich tradition of handicrafts with pottery making, basket weaving, woodcarving and textile production being popular activities.
  6. Retail trade is another important industry in the city with numerous small shops selling foodstuffs and household items located in the city center.
  7. Transportation plays a vital role in Djougou’s economy as it serves as a hub for goods traveling between northern Benin and neighboring countries like Togo and Burkina Faso.
  8. The growth of Djougou’s population has led to an increase in construction activities such as building homes and commercial structures.
  9. Finally, the services sector is rapidly expanding with new businesses opening up to cater to residents’ needs such as banks, restaurants, hotels, among others.

Noteable History

  1. The Kingdom of Djougou: Djougou was once the capital of the powerful Kingdom of Djougou, which existed from the 17th to 19th century. The kingdom was known for its military prowess and trade in slaves, ivory, and other goods.
  2. King Gbêhanzin: One of the most famous kings of Dahomey (now Benin), King Gbêhanzin ruled from 1889 to 1894 and fought against French colonial forces during the First Franco-Dahomean War. He was eventually captured and exiled to Martinique.
  3. The Abomey-Djougou railway: In 1936, a railway line was built between Abomey (the former capital of Dahomey) and Djougou to facilitate transportation of goods such as cotton.
  4. The Mosque de la Paix: This mosque is one of the largest in West Africa and was built in 2013 with funding from Turkey.
  5. Traditional arts: Djougou is known for its traditional arts such as pottery, weaving, basketry, woodcarving, and mask-making.
  6. Festival des Arts et Cultures Bariba et Peulh de Nikki: This annual festival celebrates the culture and traditions of the Bariba and Peulh ethnic groups who live in northern Benin including Djougou.
  7. Musée Régional de l’Ouest (West Regional Museum): This museum showcases art objects related to local history including traditional clothing worn by various ethnic groups that live in western Benin including those around Djougou.
  8. The Somba people: The Somba people are an ethnic group living mainly in northwestern Benin near Togo border. They are known for their unique architecture featuring fortified houses called Tata Somba or Tata houses.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Royal Palace of Djougou: This is the historical residence of the traditional king of Djougou and is one of the most important landmarks in the city.
  2. Museum of Ethnography: This museum showcases the cultural heritage and traditions of the people living in Djougou and its surrounding areas.
  3. Mosque de la Paix: This is a beautiful mosque located in Djougou that attracts many visitors due to its unique architecture.
  4. Centre Culturel Artistique et Touristique (CCAT): This cultural center promotes local arts, music, dance, and crafts through exhibitions, workshops, and performances.
  5. Parc National de la Pendjari: Located about 100 km from Djougou, this national park is home to a variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, leopards, and hippos.
  6. Grottes de Nokoué: These caves are located near Djougou and are known for their stunning rock formations as well as their historical significance.
  7. Musée Régional de Natitingou: This museum showcases the history and culture of northern Benin through exhibits on traditional art forms such as pottery making and weaving.
  8. Somba Villages: The Somba people are known for their unique architecture which includes fortified houses made from clay or stone that blend seamlessly into the landscape around them – visiting these villages can be an unforgettable experience!

Sports Teams

  1. After conducting thorough research on the internet, it seems that there is limited information available about sports teams and their histories in Djougou, Benin.
  2. It appears that football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Benin, but there are no notable football teams or sporting events in Djougou that have gained national or international recognition.
  3. Nonetheless, local communities may have their own amateur teams and competitions.

Cultural Events

  1. Fête du Vodoun is a traditional festival held annually in January to celebrate the voodoo religion.
  2. Festival de la Musique et des Arts takes place in March and features local musicians, dancers, and artists.
  3. Fête de l’Indépendance commemorates Benin’s independence from France on August 1st with parades, speeches, and cultural performances.
  4. Festival International des Masques et des Arts (FIMA) is a biennial event that showcases mask makers, performers, and artists from West Africa.
  5. Festival du Roi Kpétèhoun honors the traditional ruler of Djougou with music, dance performances, and processions through the city.
  6. Carnaval de Djougou occurs every December with colorful costumes and music bands playing on the streets of Djougou city center.
  7. Festival du Cinéma Africain et Diasporique de Djougou (FECAD) is an annual film festival that promotes African cinema globally while providing networking opportunities for filmmakers with industry professionals worldwide.


  • Pâte d’arachide – a peanut-based sauce served with rice or fufu (a starchy side dish made from cassava or yams)
  • Riz gras – a flavorful rice dish cooked with vegetables and meat
  • Poulet bicyclette – grilled chicken marinated in spices and served with plantains
  • Maafe – a stew made with meat (usually beef), vegetables, and peanut butter
  • Restaurant La Belle Etoile – known for its traditional Beninese dishes such as pâte d’arachide and riz gras.
  • Restaurant Le Jardin de l’Ouest – offers a mix of African and European cuisine including grilled meats, pizzas, and salads.
  • Chez Mama Africa – serves traditional West African dishes such as maafe and poulet bicyclette.
  • Restaurant Le Bon Berger – specializes in grilled meats including chicken, goat, beef kebabs.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parc National de la Pendjari (Pendjari National Park)
  2. Parc Urbain de Djougou (Djougou Urban Park)
  3. Stade Omnisports de Djougou (Djougou Sports Stadium)
  4. Lac de Djougou (Lake Djougou)
  5. Centre Culturel et Artistique Zinkpè (Zinkpè Cultural and Artistic Center)
  6. Musée Régional des Arts et Traditions Populaires (Regional Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions)
  7. Cinéma Le Bénin Palace (Bénin Palace Cinema)
  8. Marché Central de Djougou (Djougou Central Market)
  9. Centre d’Artisanat et du Tourisme de la Donga (Donga Craft and Tourism Center)


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