During the 18th century when Europeans were buying slaves from Benin to use overseas, some peaple escaped to the lakes. The animist beliefs of the Beninese king at the time dictated that anyone who were living on these sacred waters should be spared so people went by the thousands and a stilt village was created. Today there are about 35 000 people living in the stilt community of Ganvie where there are even shops, restaurants, a hotel, a mosque and churches.
It was pretty easily reachable from Cotonou, just costing 500CFA for thr half hour bush taxi ride to Abomey-Calavi where you could walk down to the dock to catch a boat. As we were a big group we paid just 2000CFA for a two hour tour, stopping at a souvenier shop and restaurant along the way. Pretty cool place to visit if you are ever in the neighborhood.