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Natitingou is a charming Beninese town located in the northwest of Benin. This wonderful town is often frequented by tourists, surely thanks to its tourist attractions such as the Kota Falls, the regional ethnographic museum and the Atacora chain. Visiting Natitingou will allow visitors to enjoy days under the waterfalls, a hike to the top of the Atacora mountain range or to delve into the heart of the ethnic history of the city.


The name of the town of Natitingou was given by European missionaries. The name of the city comes from the word ***Nantotingou, which means “the village of Nanto”, Nanto which was once its founder. It was once the seat of the governor’s palace during French colonization. In 1961, when Benin gained independence, the city was recognized as the prefecture of Atacora. Natitingou has experienced vigorous growth in population, the reason why it is still inhabited by people of different ethnicities. According to the opinions of the indigenous people of this magnificent town, the name of the town would be interpreted in three ways: First, some villagers called this town Nanto Tingou, which would mean the village of Nanto or “the village of the crusher”.

The name was taken from a man named Ossori, who used to crush cereals for his cooking. Since then, the cereal has been transformed into flour for good, succulent cooking. The second interpretation is that some villagers thought of the name ** Nantu Tingou **, which would mean “the village of meat”. Only because the city was a place that had an abundance of game. An idea that seems plausible since the city is located between mountains and all the game is necessarily found in the lower part of the region. The last hypothesis is that others think that the name of the village would rather be Nanti Tingou. According to an urban legend, it seems that every evening at sunset, one could hear certain noises from the millstones. These noises would be caused by the spirits who lived in the village and the surrounding area. We can say that these three theories have little difference since each interpretation defends a reality specific to the city.


Kota Falls

Kota Falls (or Kota Falls), is the name given to these magnificent waterfalls located around the town of Natitingou. They are located in the district of Kotopounga, approximately 20 km from the town. This mass of water falling suddenly at the location of a break in slope forms a series of waterfalls to the east of the Atacora range in Benin. The area of ​​the basin measures approximately 36 km² and falls at a height of approximately 100 m. The producible energy of these waterfalls is approximately 685 MWh. These cascades can help strengthen the micro-hydroelectricity capacities of rural areas in West Africa. Some improvements were made to the site in 2013. A magnificent path was set up in the middle of the Panatia botanical garden, right at the foot of the waterfalls. It is indeed a beautiful place for a short walk or a dip. This wonderful natural environment also has bungalows, in case some visitors want to spend the night there.

Natitingou Regional Museum

The Natitingou Regional Museum is an ethnographic museum keeping all the vestiges of the town’s history. It is one of the few truly popular museums in the region. Open since 1991, the museum is housed in the former home of the commander of the Atacora circle during the period of colonization. It houses more than 360 collection items dealing with archaeology, history and the arts in Natitingou. The goal of this gallery is systematically to share and make known the history and culture of Atacora through collections that have lived well. At the exhibition venue, there are ancestral musical instruments, jewellery, photos and traditional weapons. Visiting the Natitingou museum helps visitors to better understand the lifestyles of city dwellers, whether it be their religious practices, their architecture or even the roles and places of men about women.

A magnificent hut full of charm

In the town of Natitingou, you can find a restaurant in the form of a large and magnificent straw hut full of charm. A place where you can find several European, African, and Italian culinary specialities, etc. A bistro that also has a micro-brewery and makes its beer based on local, gluten-free products.


The town of Natitingou experiences a Sudano-Guinean-type climate with two seasons. One is the rainy season which lasts about 6 months, usually from May to October. The other is the dry season which dominates the remaining semester, from November to April. Due to orographic influences, the town experiences heavy rain and precipitation can reach up to 1400 mm per year. The average temperature is around 27°C with variations from 17°C to 35°C during harmattan. The best time to travel there is from November to January and February.


To reach the town of Natitingou, the ideal is to travel in complete safety. From Cotonou, there are many transport companies, but the question is: which one is the most convenient and secure for travellers? On this point, it is more reasonable to move around with ease and tranquillity. However, you can opt for the transport company of your choice. However, we recommend buses. The Cotonou – Natitingou trip lasts around 8 hours 20 minutes, with a distance of 540 km.


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