Ganvie - The Venice of Africa

That's not a photo of a flooded village. This is Ganvié, in the Republic of Benin, the largest collection of lake dwellings in Africa. Around 20,000 people call Ganvié's stilt supported dwellings home. Getting around in the town is only possible in boats carved from tree trunks, even if all you want to do is visit the next door neighbour.

The meaning of the name Ganvie is "we survived", and is a reminder of events centuries ago that led to the founding of the township. It's commonly believed that the Tofinu people settled here around 400 years ago to escape slavers who came from the Fon tribe and were not allowed to fight in water for traditional reasons (or perhaps could not swim).

Since then Ganvié has remained, forever physically changing by sheer dint of geography, but it has developed a complex and successful culture around life on the lake. Of course there are pockets of poverty, as there is everywhere else, but generally the people of Ganvié live ones of relative prosperity.

Via: kuriositas
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