Skip to content

Did You Know that there is also an African Venice?

Named Ganvie, the village is located in Benin. It may not have as many tourists as the Italian city, however, it has a historical representation of great significance and is growing interest by international tourists. The history of Ganvie begins in the 17th century when the Portuguese trade in African slaves was expanding on the western side of the continent, the inhabitants of the village called Tofinu sailed into the Nokoué fleeing the slave traders of the Fon tribe, from the powerful African kingdom of Dahomey. In 1996, UNESCO declared the African Venice as one of the world heritage sites. With such a peculiar location, history, culture and tradition, tourism has gradually replaced fishing as Ganvie’s main source of revenue. Around 10,000 tourists visit the lake village annually, according to local the tourism office. The rental of canoes heading to the lake became one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Recently, Ganvie was spotlighted in the Netflix’s docuseries “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” which explores the journey of American cuisine from Africa.  This docuseries was based on James Beard Award-winning author Jessica B. and hosted by the food writer Stephen Satterfield.