Even though nine million people call Benin home, it’s often forgotten on the West African coast, tucked between Togo and Nigeria. Benin is home to Lak Nokoue, where you’ll find the mysterious village of Ganvie, home to 20,000 people living on floating homes built on stilts in the middle of the lake. Though not heavily visited – or visited much at all – it’s a distinctly African experience and one you can only have in Benin.

The country is also home to Kota falls, a 65-foot waterfall surrounded by romantic hotels where you can escape for a couple of days. There are also two national parks: the bird-filled Pendjari National Park and W National Park, home to some of the last wild elephants on the continent.