Cotonou - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Taxis are safe, easy, and pretty expensive. Locals use moto taxis that I do not consider safe. - Feb 2020

Motorbike taxis are off-limits to embassy personnel and not recommended. There are a number of well-marked, clean safe taxis that RSO approves. Buses etc absolutely not. - Aug 2018

No. - Oct 2015

There are big, relatively comfortable, safe, and reliable buses to surrounding cities (Lagos, Lome, Accra, etc), but not within Cotonou. The motorcycle taxis are everywhere, but you take your life into your own hands every time you use them. - Jun 2015

I'm not aware of any trains functioning in the country. There are intracity buses of varying quality. There are taxis/cans as well, but they're of generally dreadful quality. And break down a lot. And make you and all of your possessions smell of gasoline. And are packed to at least 2x normal capacity. But they're all cheap for someone making a western salary. Just use your own vehicle. - Aug 2014

A BIG complaint here: no taxis are available. Moto taxis, yes. But there have been accidents there and I've heard more bad than good about the drivers. - Jul 2013

Public transport is primarily motorcycle taxis, which are not forbidden but are highly discouraged by the embassy's security team. There are coach buses that travel outside of town. Peace Corps volunteers use both of these options, but embassy folks who have their own cars tend not to. They are cheap but not at all comfortable or safe. - May 2013

Affordable? Yes. Available at a standard of quality that you want to use? No. - Mar 2013

Local transportation is an issue. There are very few taxies and none of them are radio dispatched. The only place to get a taxi is at the airport or at one of the larger hotels. The locals rely on the motor scooter taxis called “zemidjians.” Zemidjians can be identified by the drivers yellow tunic with a registration number stenciled on the back. U.S. Embassy employees are not allowed to use zemidjians. The drivers are crazy and aggressive even when sober. You really need a car here. - Dec 2011

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