How To Cross SEME Border From Nigeria into Benin Republic In 2024 - IGBOAFRICANA
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How To Cross SEME Border From Nigeria into Benin Republic In 2024

by - January 03, 2024


It was only a few days to the end of the year and my plans to visit Badagry had fallen through, so as I surfed the internet for ideas on my next travel adventure I came across a post by a tourism company for a trip to Benin Republic and Togo. 

At first, I was sceptical, because the trip was going to cost an unplanned N380,00 but I knew deep down that this was one of the best prices I was ever going to get. How did I know? Well, I already made plans to take a West African tour in the first quarter of the year and it was going to cost me close to a million Naira to cover 80% of West Africa at once. 

So I took the leap of faith and went for it. 
Now I’m going to be sharing stories from my trip in a series of posts, but  I felt before getting into it, for anyone who is looking to come to Benin Republic in 2024, these are some things you need to know to cross into Benin Republic. 

 Use Seme Border Only 

seme border trader

I know this might be confusing considering the title, but I’ve seen several vlogs and blogs these days encouraging people to take the boat route or the border at Agbara in Ogun state, into the Benin Republic. now what most of these vlogs would not tell you is how dangerous these routes are considering they are used mostly by smugglers. So no matter how cheap any of these promise to be, avoid them at all cost. 


Get All Your Documents Ready and Then Some 

To cross the SEME border, you only need two travel documents, which are, your passport and yellow fever card. You can request and pay for your yellow fever card online here for N2000; 
Take your slip and go to any of the registered clinics for your shot and card. 
The “some '' however is the incessant need to pay bribes when crossing this border, in fact from the moment you reach the road in SEME, the badagry that leads to the border you will be plagued with armed officers not so subtly requesting bribes, so be prepared. 

Put Your Phone Away At The Border 

So it’s always been an unofficial rule by immigration officers to put all phones and recording devices away at the border, however, a few months ago in 2023, a tourist had a camera on her helmet which captured the bribery that goes on at the border, causing the Nigerian immigration to sack a lot of the officers there. 

So right now, the officers are a lot more aggressive when it comes to phones and other devices. 


You Will Undergo A Quick Data Capturing 

Before you’re allowed into Benin Republic, your passport will have to be stamped at the border with a visa that permits you to stay for 90 days. 
Before this stamp is given, you’ll be asked very basic questions like your full name, purpose of visiting, and where you live in Nigeria. The capturing itself takes about 5 mins while waiting can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the number of people waiting to cross at the border. 

Don’t Change Your Money At The Border

Finally, you will come across a lot of people changing money at the border, however, no matter how great their rates might sound, it will always be better inside the border town of Akrake. So hold on to your Naira until you’re in the country. The exchange rate is pretty fluid, but right now it is somewhere around N1000 to 520 CFA


With this information, you should be good to go into Benin Republic. If you’re going to stay at Porto Novo, then your trip from the border should be about 15 minutes, if you’re going to Cotonou, then it should be close to 20 minutes or more. However, if you’re heading to Ouidah, just get comfortable because you’re looking at a good extra 1 hour on the road. 

Don’t forget sharing is caring, so be sure to share this post with your friends. 
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  1. 👏🏽 Nicely written. Love it!

  2. Can I use my Nigeria international passport with my yellow card to enter seme border or I will need to do another passport there.and how much is cotonu passport