Lighthouses of Benin

Benin is a West African nation wedged between Togo on the west and Nigeria to the east. Under French colonial rule it was called Dahomey, the name of a prominent African kingdom, but it assumed the name Benin when it became independent in 1960. Most of the country is in the interior; the sandy coastline is only about 120 km (75 mi) in length. The country has no natural harbors and the artificially protected harbor of Cotonou is its only port.

Aids to navigation in Benin are maintained by the Port Autonome de Cotonou.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

Port de Cotonou logo and image

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Benin
Photos by various photographers available from
Online List of Lights - Togo and Benin
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Afrikanische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Postcards from the collection of Klaus Huelse.

Phare de Cotonou
Cotonou Light, August 2011
Panoramio photo (no longer online) copyright J.P. Honkoop; used by permission

Cotonou (3)
1968 (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 26 m (85 ft) square skeletal tower supporting a lantern centered on a square water tank. Entire structure painted a dark gray. The photo of the top of the current tower (shown above left) is from the former home page of the port authority. J.P. Honkoop's view of the lighthouse is above right, Gideon Apponsah has a 2018 distant photo, a distant view is available (the lighthouse is in the distance on the right), and Google has a satellite view (look for the shadow in the center of the view). The first lighthouse, a shorter tower of focal plane 16 m (52 ft), had an unusual Art Nouveau design and was located at the foot of the main pier of the harbor. It is shown in a postcard view posted by Klaus Huelse and another postcard view on The second lighthouse was a hexagonal skeletal tower built in 1928; it is shown in a postcard view contributed by Michel Forand to Lighthouse Digest and in a closeup postcard view posted by The lantern of the 1928 tower was moved atop the water tower in 1968. The Fresnel lens of the lighthouse, which originally rotated on a mercury bath, has been replaced by a modern Tideland TRBĀ 400 rotating lens. Located about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) northeast of the harbor breakwaters. Site status unknown, probably open but local guidance is recommended; tower closed. ARLHS BEN-001; Admiralty D3178; NGA 113-24952.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Nigeria | West: Togo

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Posted September 30, 2005. Checked and revised October 24, 2018. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.