The African lake village of Ganvie is built on bamboo stilts above Lake Nokoue in the Republic of Benin. This watery wonder is the African 'Venice' with a population of 20,000.
The meaning of the name Ganvie is "we survived". It reminds of the old events that led to the founding of the township. It's commonly believed that the Tofinu people settled here around 4 centuries 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).
The Tofinu chief formed an ingenious plan to shelter his people in the middle of Lake Nokoue – where enemies and slavers could not capture them.
This is the only human settlement in the world built on stilts.
The village was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 1996.