Malanville, Benin

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Malanville, Benin

Region: Alibori

Geographic Coordinates: 11.866700, 3.383300
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 40.0°C (68°F to 104°F)
Climate: Seasonal tropical climate with a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October.
Population: 168006
Language: Fon

Malanville is a town located in the northeastern part of Benin, Near the border with Niger. It has a population of over 100, 000 people and is an important commercial and transportation hub. The town sits on the banks of the Niger River, Which provides access to neighboring countries like Nigeria and Mali. The economy of Malanville is based on trade and commerce. Its bustling market attracts traders from all over West Africa who come to buy and sell goods such as textiles, Grains, Livestock, And household items.

The market also serves as a meeting place for locals who come to socialize or conduct business transactions. One of Malanville’s most notable landmarks is its international bridge that spans across the Niger River into Niger. The bridge serves as an important transportation link between Benin and its neighboring countries, Facilitating trade between them. It was built in 2013 with funding from China as part of efforts to improve infrastructure in West Africa. Malanville also has cultural significance.

The town has a rich history dating back several centuries when it was ruled by local chiefs before being incorporated into French colonial territory in the late 19th century. Today, Malanville celebrates its heritage through various cultural festivals such as Fete de la Tabaski (Eid al-Adha) which showcases traditional dances and music. Despite some challenges related to infrastructure development and environmental sustainability, Malanville remains an important center for commerce, Culture, And transportation within Benin. Its strategic location at an international border makes it attractive for travelers looking for adventure or business opportunities alike.

The town’s vibrant markets, Bustling streets, And cultural heritage offer a unique glimpse into West African life making it well worth visiting!

Important Landmarks

  1. The Friendship Bridge: This bridge stretches across the Niger River and links Malanville to Niger. It’s a well-known landmark and also serves as a crucial trade route.
  2. The Malanville Market: This bustling market is renowned for its vibrant colors and lively atmosphere. Visitors can find a wide variety of goods here, including food, clothing, jewelry, and more.
  3. The Dendi Museum: This museum showcases the culture and history of the Dendi people who reside in this region of Benin.
  4. The Pendjari National Park: Located just outside of Malanville, this national park is home to elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and many other animals.
  5. The W National Park: Another nearby national park that offers visitors the opportunity to see wildlife such as hippos and crocodiles in their natural habitat.
  6. The Mosque of Malanville: This mosque is one of the largest in Benin featuring beautiful architecture that blends Islamic design with local cultural influences.
  7. Ganvie Village on Stilts: Although not located directly in Malanville it’s worth mentioning that Ganvie Village on Stilts is one of Benin’s most unique attractions; it’s built entirely on stilts above Lake Nokoue which makes it look like it’s floating on water!

Primary Industries

  1. Malanville is a city in northern Benin, close to the Niger border.
  2. The city’s primary industries and businesses include:
    • Cross-border trade
    • Agriculture
    • Livestock farming
    • Transportation services
    • Hospitality industry
    • Retail businesses
  3. Cross-border trade is a major contributor to Malanville’s economy.
  4. Many traders purchase goods from neighboring countries such as Nigeria to sell in Malanville or export to other parts of West Africa.
  5. The region around Malanville is known for its agricultural production with crops like maize, sorghum, millet and cotton being grown.
  6. Livestock farming is also prevalent in the area with many farmers raising cattle, sheep goats and camels for meat and dairy products.
  7. Due to its strategic location on the border with Niger and proximity to major highways connecting West African countries; transportation services are an important industry in Malanville.
  8. The hospitality industry has also emerged as an essential part of this economy due to travelers passing through the city on their way to other destinations across West Africa or staying overnight before crossing into Niger or Nigeria.
  9. Hotels/motels/restaurants serve these travelers’ needs.
  10. Finally, there are numerous small retail businesses that cater mainly towards local residents such as grocery stores/supermarkets/ clothing stores etc..
  11. These small businesses contribute significantly towards supporting local livelihoods by providing employment opportunities for locals while meeting their daily needs.

Noteable History

  • Malanville is a city located in northern Benin, near the border with Niger.
  • It has a rich history that includes several notable events and people.
  • One of the most significant events associated with Malanville is its role as an important trading center on the trans-Saharan trade route during ancient times.
  • This route connected West Africa to North Africa and Europe, making Malanville a hub for commerce and cultural exchange.
  • During the 15th century, Malanville was part of the Songhai Empire, which was one of Africa’s largest empires in history.
  • The empire had significant influence over trade and politics in West Africa at that time.
  • In 1894, France colonized Benin and established a military post in Malanville.
  • King Toffa was a prominent ruler of Dahomey (now Benin) during this period who resisted French colonization but eventually surrendered and was exiled to Martinique.
  • Benin gained independence from France in 1960, marking an essential milestone in its history.
  • Today, Malanville is known for its bustling marketplaces and as a transportation hub for goods traveling between West Africa and North Africa.
  • Several notable people hail from Malanville.
    • Issoufou Assoumane is a former footballer who played for several clubs in Europe before becoming a coach.
    • Yacine Diallo is known for her unique blend of African rhythms with contemporary pop music as she’s an accomplished singer-songwriter.
    • Abdoul Razak Issoufou Alfaga represented Niger at the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro as he’s an excellent taekwondo athlete.
    • Mahamadou Issoufou served as Niger’s president from 2011 to 2021 after being elected into office.
    • Salif Diallo also hailed from Malanville; he was Burkinabe politician who served briefly as Prime Minister from January to August 2017 before his untimely death while still holding that position.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. The Malanville Museum showcases the history and culture of the local people through various artifacts and exhibits.
    2. The Grand Mosque of Malanville is a beautiful mosque that anyone interested in Islamic architecture and culture should visit.
    3. The Monument du Roi Toffa is a statue dedicated to King Toffa who was one of the most influential rulers of the Kingdom of Dahomey.
    4. The Parc National de la Pendjari is a national park located near Malanville that is home to a diverse range of wildlife including elephants, lions, cheetahs, and hippos.
    5. La Maison des Esclaves de Bopa is a historic slave house located near Malanville that serves as a reminder of Benin’s dark past with slavery.
    6. Centre d’Art Contemporain de Koudougou is an art center located in nearby Koudougou that features contemporary African art exhibitions from local artists.
    7. Le Marche International de Dantokpa is one of West Africa’s largest markets where visitors can find everything from food to clothing to souvenirs at affordable prices.
    8. Musee Honme – Palais Royal d’Abomey: Located about 2 hours drive away from Malanville but worth visiting if you’re interested in learning more about Benin’s rich history and culture through its royal palace-turned-museum which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985.

    Cultural Events

    1. Popular cultural events and festivals take place in Benin, including the Voodoo Festival celebrated annually in January, which is significant for the people of Benin.
    2. The Abomey Historical Museum showcases the history and culture of the Fon people who are native to Benin.
    3. The Ganvie Floating Village offers visitors a unique experience of traditional life in Benin as it’s built on stilts over Lake Nokoue.
    4. The Ouidah International Voodoo Festival attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come to witness traditional voodoo ceremonies annually in January.
    5. The Porto-Novo Cultural Centre hosts various cultural events throughout the year such as dance performances, music concerts, and art exhibitions.
    6. It’s recommended to check local resources or travel guides for more information about specific events happening in Malanville or other parts of Benin as they may vary depending on location and time of year.


    • Pâte: a dish made from cassava flour and served with a spicy sauce.
    • Grilled fish: fresh fish caught from the Niger River is grilled to perfection and served with sides of rice or plantains.
    • Mafé: a peanut butter-based stew made with meat (usually chicken) and vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes, and eggplant.
    • La Belle Époque Restaurant: this restaurant offers a mix of European and African dishes such as grilled fish, steak frites, and mafé.
    • Chez Romaine Restaurant: this restaurant serves traditional Beninese dishes like pâte and mafé as well as other West African cuisines such as jollof rice.
    • Le Villageois Restaurant: located near the Niger River, this restaurant offers fresh seafood dishes like grilled tilapia along with other local specialties like pâte gnoumi (a type of dumpling).

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