Filed Under (General) by Rob on 11-11-2006

“What’s the Harmattan?” I hear most of you ask.

Well, unless you’ve lived in West Africa, there’s no reason you’d know. But if you have (or do!), I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s a dry, dusty wind which blows south from the Sahara. Click here or here for more info.

The good thing about the Harmattan is that is cools down the weather somewhat, and gets rid of much of the humidity we usually endure in Cotonou. The downside is that the dust gets in your throat and dries it out. In fact, the dust gets everywhere – windowsills, car windscreens, eyes, hair…

Looking on the bright side, Cotonou, being just about as far south as you can get in Benin, doesn’t suffer as badly as the north, where the dryness can be so acute your lips and the back of your heels start cracking!

Now, November is pretty early for it to arrive, as it tends to be more in late December or January. With the Harmattan, seem to have come loads of dragon flies. Yesterday, I looked up into the sky and could see literally 100’s of them about 10 metres up.

The other insect that has recently been seen in Cotonou is the blister beetle, which is a nasty creature. If this small, red and black insect lands on you, do NOT squash them or brush them off, as this could cause nasty burning. Blowing them off is usually safe. Read more here and here.

I’ve not, to my knowledge, seen any of these, but a colleague of ours in Cotonou got some unpleasant burns on her arm last year from one of these wee beasties.

That’s all for now folks,


1 Comment posted on "The Harmattan is here already!!!"
anne on November 15th, 2006 at 8:24 pm #

we are lacking a good kite suitable wind here. is the harmattan good for kites? or good for nothing?