The adventures of a zémi

In Benin the main form of transportation is catching a Zémidjan (motorbike taxi) or riding your own motorbike. We recently learnt (after catching many zemis!) that you do not need a licence to ride a motorbike in Benin! Helmets have recently been made a legal requirement, but are not strictly enforced. The old law said you must have a helmet on you, so they were hung off the handles of the bike. They now state the helmet has to be worn, but only by the driver. 

A zemi is no more than 500 CFA ($1 aud) to catch anywhere in Cotonou and go both on road and beach to get you to your destination ASAP! There is always a zemi at the port entrance so it is very easy to flag down one… or ten. It can be hard to communicate with your driver where you want to go when you don’t speak the same language, so every time it’s an African adventure! We frequently stop on the side road to ask for directions from other locals. 

I love catching zemi’s around Benin! Here is a little insight…


Who needs a car right? It is amazing what can fit on one bike … 


The man with the chicken bike saw us taking photos of him on the highway so pulled over so we could take better photos and sit on his bike! Yes, in the middle of a main highway…   #T.I.A!

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