Situated some 40kms west of Cotonou, Ouidah is a fascinating place on many levels. Most of them will leave an indelible mark.
Ouidah was one of the principal points of departure along the West African ‘slave coast’ and the ghosts of their suffering are tangible. There are a smattering of monuments throughout the town dedicated to the memory of the countless souls that suffered from the most evil of trades, accumulating in a stark arch on the shoreline which marks the ‘point of no return’, the place where chained men were forced into boats in unimaginably inhumane conditions. The Museum of Ouidah contains old photographs, paintings and artefacts related to the era. It is located in Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá, an early 18th century fort that was built by the Portuguese in order to protect their interests in the area, principally trade routes and the shipping of slaves to Brazil.