When seen from the air, the sizable village of Ganvie looks like it's been the victim of a flood. It hasn’t, but is rather Africa’s largest stilt village. Its watery surrounds are there out of choice and it makes for one of Benin’s most unusual sights.
In the beginning of the 17th century, when this part of modern day Benin was the Kingdom of Dahomey, it was one of the most powerful regions in West Africa. Its rulers and nobles consisted largely of the aggressive Fon tribe, who practiced slavery. When the Portuguese arrived, demand increased and ruthless Fon warriors set about raiding neighbouring villages, kidnapping inhabitants and supplying them to the Portuguese slave ships.