Unexpected Finds in Unexpected Places

It’s in the box! Code Bar in Cotonou, Benin

Having travelled from Johannesburg via Nairobi and Lagos, arriving late at night at Cotonou’s rather drab Cardinal Bernardin Gantin airport, and without the luggage travelling with us, does not make for a welcoming feeling.

But just a few minutes down the road on the way to the hotel was the most unexpected find in an unexpected place.  Fully lit at night were a couple of containers strung together, was a restaurant and acting as a beacon inviting us to visit.

When we visited we found excellent food and drink at prices half as much as the hotels and with ambience and décor and relaxed vibe that urged you to come back each night.

Packed up during the day these containers allow roads and sidewalks to operate without hindrance.  But at night, the node comes alive.  Occasionally, they throw street parties and show movies on the street with the community coming out to relax and enjoy the environment. Of course, the more people there are around the safer things are.

Safe, easy to manage and creating a spot of light in an otherwise rather dark area of Cotonou, Code Bar bar (codebarbenin@hotmail.fr) combines warmth, friendliness and  easy-going African atmosphere with a simple, practical design that works well.

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