Route des Esclaves, Ouidah, Benin 

The Route d’Esclaves, or the Slave Route is a 2.5-mile stretch of heritage road that is the last piece of African soil slaves from Benin touched before they were shipped to the Caribbean and Americas.

The area now holds several landmarks which are important for telling the story, including the Slave Auction where owners bargained for help, the Tree of Forgetting where slaves were forced to perform a ritual which allegedly made them forget their homeland, and the Zomai Cabin, a tiny dark enclosure which was thought to prepare the slaves for the torrid conditions aboard the ships. Most haunting of all is the remarkable monument on Ouidah Beach, the slaves’ point of departure, called the Point of No Return.

Epic Benin Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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