Lighthouses of Benin

Benin is a West African nation wedged between Togo and Nigeria. 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. There are no natural harbors, so the artificially protected harbor of Cotonou is the 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

Phare de Cotonou
Cotonou Light, August 2011
Panoramio photo copyright J.P. Honkoop; used by permission

Lighthouse
*
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, 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. The second lighthouse was a hexagonal skeletal tower built in 1928; it is shown in a postcard view contributed by Michel Forand to Lighthouse Explorer and in historic photos (near the bottom of the page) posted on a site called Images du passé en l'Afrique de l'Ouest. The lantern of the 1928 tower was moved atop the water tower in 1968. 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 August 29, 2013. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.