Togo is a tiny nation in west Africa and possibly not the primary vacation spot in Africa most individuals would select. I had Togo on my radar since I did a two-week street journey in Benin late 2019. Because of the pandemic, it took three years to lastly go to, and Togo did shock me. It is analogous to Benin nevertheless it’s additionally fully completely different. On this 10-day Togo itinerary I take you from south to north and east to west. I’ve pieced collectively essentially the most environment friendly itinerary, however I’ll recommendation the place you may add time to calm down and do nothing. Take pleasure in Togo!
Planning a Togo street journey itinerary
To make an environment friendly street journey and never free time to be able to see every little thing you’ll want to do some planning. I’ll listing the fundamentals which must be sufficient to have a terrific and easy journey.
Flights to Lomé
There are numerous native flights from neighbouring international locations to Togo however intercontinentally the selection is proscribed. Greatest choices are Brussels Airways, Air France or Kenya Airways. One professional tip: Verify additionally the enterprise class fare. After I went it was simply 200€ extra with Brussels Airways and a lot extra snug. When you arrive on the airport alternate cash because it’s most simple there and charges are good.
Find out how to get a Togo visa
Togo has an e-visa system for a lot of nationalities. Ensure that to make use of the official Togo e-visa website. If you happen to can’t take one there isn’t a different choices as to get one from an embassy.
Getting round Togo
Togo is a small nation however getting from the capital Lomé to the far north is a 15-17 hour drive. I extremely suggest contacting Romain (contact me for his WhatsApp quantity) who I used to drive me round Togo. He’s primarily based in Benin however Togo is simply an hour away for him so he drives in Togo as effectively. You probably have 3 weeks time then go to each international locations by including a 2-week Benin street journey to this Togo street journey. It’s a terrific mixture in west Africa.
Motels in Togo
In Lomé there are some overpriced luxurious motels. Though I really like luxurious motels it needs to be honest to what you get. So, it was higher to ebook one thing smaller. In Lomé the New Robinson Plage is a spot I like to recommend. Lodge Central in Sokodé (ask for a bungalow), Hôtel La Douceur in Kara (small rooms however superior restaurant) and Lodge Parc Residence in Kpalimé (greatest pool in Togo) all have clear rooms, scorching water, a bar and restaurant and good charges.
Now lets take a look on the Togo itinerary which I perfected after visiting Togo.
Togo itinerary day 1: Arrival
My arrival was within the late afternoon / early night which meant I didn’t have plenty of time left to do one thing on the day of arrival. I do choose a daylight flight over any evening flight although. After a fast dinner in Lomé with my driver/information I went to my lodge. I booked a room for the information in the identical lodge so we may journey round extra effectively. After going over the itinerary another time, I went to mattress early as all the following days could be exceptionally lengthy ones with a lot of driving.
PLANNING TIP: In case your arrival was within the morning then ensure you go to the locations of day 9 the primary day as you most likely will fly out within the morning time and never have time to see them on day 9.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Add an extra day to calm down and benefit from the Togolaise seashores round Lomé.
Togo itinerary day 2: Partial Lomé metropolis tour and to Sokodé
Driving north to Sokodé is round 350 kilometers over a effectively paved street however will take 6-7 hours relying on visitors. This meant, for the Lomé metropolis tour, I didn’t have a lot time on the primary day. I do suggest visiting the Voodoo Akodessewa Fetish Market earlier than heading north to have loads of time on day 9 for the remaining locations of curiosity in Lomé. I departed the lodge at 08:30AM which was early sufficient.
The Voodoo Akodessewa Fetish Market is a bit touristy I have to admit however it’s value visiting. You’ll see every kind of useless animals and different Voodoo associated gadgets. Do word that these animals all died a pure trigger! You may also have a small ceremony to have your travels blessed. I did that, to verify this Togo street journey itinerary would have a secure ending.
After an hour it was time to begin driving north. A good distance. After simply over 3 hours it was time for lunch in Atakpame. Late afternoon I arrived in Sokodé the place I had dinner on the lodge. Most days I had dinner on the motels. It’s costlier than going out in fact however it’s clear and truly the identical meals and similar style. Foufou with rooster and sauce is an area dish and extremely beneficial.
Togo itinerary day 3: Sokodé to Kara through Bassar
I like to study a rustic and its historical past and that historical past you will discover in Bassar. A full day of this Togo itinerary is devoted to hint the metallurgy historical past of Togo within the Bassar space. Ensure that to go away round 9-10AM so you can be in Kara within the late afternoon. Within the north of Togo there are many police/army checkpoints which might gradual you down.
Historical past of Bassar
Iron working within the space dates again to the 5th century BC and the place was in use till the 20th century. The world is thought for its iron deposits and the native communities developed a option to additional the iron in a remarkably fascinating technological means. There are numerous websites round Bassar however the most effective to go to are the metallic furnaces of Nangbani as they’re most simply reached.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Plan further days in Fazao-Malfakassa Nationwide Park to see elephants. Though I really like wildlife, for me this was not essentially the most fascinating to see in Togo. I drove via the park however in fact the wildlife was deep within the park and I didn’t see something. The world is beautiful although.
Nangbani metallic furnaces
On the metallic furnaces website of Nangbani you will notice dozens of furnaces. Some furnaces are full, some torn by erosion. They perform in an fascinating means. These furnaces are like a cylinder with an internal warmth resistant layer and outer extra comfortable layer to maintain the warmth inside. As soon as the miners extracted the iron ore from the mines (which nonetheless exists as effectively however I couldn’t discover a option to go to) they’d take it to the furnaces. The furnaces could be crammed with layers of ore and dry wooden after which the furnaces could be closed and placed on fireplace. It could be heated for 2-3 days, and all of the iron would drip to the underside. The iron could be taken out and bought to merchants from far-off.
I actually loved my go to and studying about this historical means of iron working. In the mean time the location is listed as a tentative UNESCO website however I might say it actually deserves standing. After the go to I had lunch in Bassar, visited the market and continued through Kabou to Kara for the evening. In Kara, I stayed in Hôtel La Douceur, however even should you don’t keep there go for and have their Foufou with gut sauce. Make it spicy. It’s so good.
Day 4: Day journey to Koutammakou from Kara
Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba, is in the meanwhile the one UNESCO World Heritage Web site in Togo. As considered one of my objectives is to see all UNESCO websites, I had no alternative as so as to add a go to to this Togo street journey itinerary. Anybody travelling to Togo ought to go to Koutammakou particularly in case you are concerned about native tradition and ethnics. The location is most simply reached as a day journey from Kara through Kandé which remains to be a 2.5-hour drive a method. Today was for me the spotlight of my Togo street journey itinerary.
I departed Kara round 08:30AM and reached the doorway round 10:00. There’s a small payment you have to pay there, and you have to go together with an area information. Ensure that to respect the native Tamberma folks as they dwell of their conventional means. It one other 20-Half-hour’ drive to the Tata homes (or Takienta).
What’s a Tata or Takienta home
The Tata or Takienta homes are like castles constituted of mud and straw. They’re principally two tales excessive, with the bottom flooring reserved for his or her livestock. A “center” flooring served as kitchen and adjoining tower which regularly served as a granary. The roof is usually flat with towers, serving as storage, with thatched roofs. There are sleeping compartments on the roof as effectively. With only one entrance, and full darkness after the doorway, the folks may simply defend their houses. Across the entrance you can too see varied Voodoo deities defending the household dwelling.
These homes are grouped collectively, together with further secondary buildings, forming small villages. The villages are sometimes constructed round a spring, water stream and with good fertile land surrounding it. The Batammariba folks dwell in nice concord with the character surrounding them. They nonetheless observe their long-standing traditions.
I visited two villages. One which does obtain most vacationers, it additionally had the UNESCO signal there. The opposite village I reached by strolling for about Half-hour. It was way more genuine and noticed the locals doing their each day factor. In the long run, again on the first village I had the chance to style a few of their native alcoholic brew. It was round 2PM after I left for Kandé for a light-weight snack and a chilly beer.
Earlier than returning to Kara I visited the Tcharè village for the well-known black smiths and likewise Sarakawa wildlife park. The latter was a bit disappointing because it’s extra like a zoo as many animals usually are not even initially from Togo. Dinner I had again in Kara with some scrumptious bush meat.
Day 5: Day journey to Grottoes de Nok from Kara
Within the north of Togo, in the direction of the border with Burkina Faso, the landscaped modifications drastically. There are large sandstone cliffs dealing with north. It’s these cliffs which might be of curiosity as there are shelters on the high of a number of cliffs relationship to the 17-19th century. Indigenous folks used these shelters in intervals of turmoil, together with slave commerce by Germany, within the space. 4 of those locations are on the tentative UNESCO listing as “Greniers en série des grottes de Nok, Mamproug, Kouba et Bagou”. I visited the location in Nok as it’s the largest and best to get to.
Why make a day journey from Kara to see these shelters? It’s because even right now there’s a little bit of turmoil spilling from Burkina Faso into Togo and the very north can, at instances, give troubles. That is the longest day of driving of this Togo street journey itinerary, however it’s value it. It took round 4 hours to achieve the grottoes of Nok. I left Kara at 07:00 and round 11:00 the view was as within the picture beneath. I reached the cliffs, however I needed to rise up there, which was one other hour driving via tiny villages which don’t see vacationers for lengthy intervals.
What to anticipate on the Grottoes de Nok
As soon as on the high of the cliffs it was about 200 meters to the doorway. There’s a staircase which takes you down about 20 meters to the grotto. The grotto of Nok is roughly 50 meters lengthy, and 10-15 meters deep at most. In instances of turmoil the folks would fill the storage locations with grain and different meals. With a pure cool temperature, it was the proper place to maintain meals throughout a siege. On the grottoes de Nok there’s additionally a recent water supply for water provide. Contained in the grotto the ceiling remains to be black from the folks utilizing the place to prepare dinner meals and dwell. Immediately, these grottoes are nonetheless a sanctuary and play a big religious function within the native’s life.
After I climbed down and noticed the place for the primary time, I actually had a wow, which is uncommon for me. It’s an incredible place, and, should you make it to Togo then be certain that to plan your Togo itinerary all the best way up north and go to as effectively. Ensure that to go together with an area information and plan it forward as the location is closed in any other case. The go to took about 90 minutes, after which I drove again, through one other street, for security, to Kara.
Togo itinerary day 6: Kara to Kpalimé
Day 6 was one other lengthy day of driving, however that’s Togo. The sixth day of this Togo itinerary goes again south, southwest to be exact, to Kpalimé. There are a number of fascinating stops on the best way however in the long run, it’s a straightforward day. First cease on the weavers in Bafilo. That is arrange as a neighborhood venture the place locals, principally with out jobs, can go and weave. The produce is then bought to provide conventional garments within the surrounding areas. initiative.
Persevering with south be certain that to take the outdated street so that you just’ll cross the Aledjo fault rock which is an fascinating place because the street goes via a rock that’s tilted from the mountain (see picture within the gallery). In Atakpamé it was time for a chilly beer alongside the street. I additionally purchased a full bunch of bananas from the road sellers. It was sufficient for lunch.
Simply earlier than reaching Kpalimé within the late afternoon, it was time to look at the bat cave. It was additionally the primary place exterior of Lomé I met different (western) vacationers. These caves are religious for the locals. The story goes that way back, they needed to go away and located shelter by following the bats. Within the afternoon, 1000’s of bats come out of the caves to search for meals. Fairly a spectacle to see and value stopping for an hour.
I arrived at Lodge Parc Residence in Kpalimé round time for supper. Ensure that to ebook a room in the primary constructing. It’s a nice lodge with the most effective pool in Togo. For dinner, I like to recommend one of many dishes with domestically produced pepper. It’s wonderful.
Togo itinerary day 7: Kpalimé and environment and go to Lomé
The world round Kpalimé is a most well-liked day journey from Lomé by many vacationers that go to Togo. I wasn’t the one one in comparison with the north. After breakfast I left my baggage for storage on the lodge and drove in the direction of the Kloto Mountain which is positioned close to the border with Ghana. I began at Château Viale which was construct within the mid-20th century by the French which dominated Togo at the moment. The proprietor had varied plantations within the space. After independence it fell into disrepair however might be visited. Plans are to show it right into a lodge which might be nice because the views there are wonderful and the local weather cool.
From Château Viale I continued my means additional in the direction of the Ghanese border to go to an area village. After checking this out it was time to go again to Kpalimé to go to the cathedral positioned within the middle. There may be additionally a lovely craft market / middle in Kpalimé in case you have to choose up some souvenirs. After lunch I continued and drove again to Lomé the place I stayed once more on the New Robinson Plage loved the afternoon on the seaside with a superb chilly beer and after a pleasant dinner with a superb bottle of French wine.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: An additional day in Kpalimé is well spent. Benefit from the pool of the lodge or go mountaineering within the Kloto rainforest to one of many waterfalls. Each, or mixed, are excellent choices to increase this Togo itinerary by a day and have extra time to calm down.
Day 8: Day journey to Aného-glidji & Agbodrafo
Aného-glidji was added to the tentative UNESCO listing of Togo again in 2021 so, why not make a go to. Even when it wasn’t added it’s a pleasant day journey from Lomé alongside the coast in the direction of Benin. The world is most well-known for the stays of German colonial time as that they had their capital there till it moved to Lomé. The buildings do want plenty of renovations, nevertheless it was fascinating to see this European colonial structure there. After trying out a lot of the buildings we picked up an area information to go to a Voodoo sanctuary.
Voodoo in Aného-Glidji
The tentative UNESCO websites additionally consists of the Voodoo Sacred Woods that are a no go for foreigners and non-believers. I may see the doorway although and went to an area home have a glass of pastis which, in fact, is a the rest of French colonial time. Then, the native information all of a sudden acquired permission to go to a Voodoo sanctuary for a ceremony. This was unplanned and actually uncooked and native. It took about an hour and, though I don’t imagine in Voodoo, it was fascinating to study their methods.
After the Voodoo ritual we drove to the Benin border and lunch in Aneho. On the best way again to Lomé be certain that to cease in Agbodrafo on the Maison des Esclaves. The purpose of no return. A tragic time in historical past however it’s historical past and must be preserved. Slaves have been introduced from northern components of Togo to right here by the colonist earlier than placing on a ship to the brand new worlds. On the Maison des Esclaves, additionally referred to as Woold Homé you may see the workplaces upstairs and the tiny cellar underneath the home the place the slaves have been stored in darkness.
Between Agbodrafo and Lomé are some nice seashores and loads of locations to remain. I don’t like to vary motels that a lot as I choose to drive a bit extra. If it doesn’t matter to you, I like to recommend staying across the space for the evening. It can save an hour driving. It was late afternoon earlier than I arrived again in Lomé.
Day 9: Lomé metropolis tour and seaside time
The ultimate day of this Togo street journey itinerary is a straightforward one. Time to sleep lengthy, have a straightforward breakfast earlier than heading to Lomé middle. There are only a few locations of curiosity left. I like to recommend beginning on the Cathedral of Lomé for a brief go to after which go to the Nationwide Museum of Togo. A go to takes about an hour no more. Reverse the museum is Independence Sq. and the Independence monument. Guards will inform you to not enter the sq., however a information helps, and we have been allowed to rapidly see the monument and get some images performed.
One other fascinating museum is Palais de Lomé which holds now a contemporary artwork museum. Ensure that earlier than you go that it’s opened as I arrived when it simply closed for lunch and the remainder of the day. Fortunately the guards allowed me to enter the gardens and see the Palais de Lomé. Fortunately it had sufficient home windows to take a look inside as effectively.
I made a decision to return to the lodge and simply calm down. You can additionally go to the native markets, have a lunch in Lomé or wander a bit round however truthfully, Lomé isn’t the nicest capital on the planet.
Togo itinerary day 10: Fly out
I may have determined to fly out the day gone by however, taking 1 evening extra meant I may fly in enterprise class for the value of financial system plus simply 200 euro. A no brainer.
Togo actually stunned me as I believed it might be simply Benin however much less fascinating. Togo is smaller sure, nevertheless it’s completely completely different. The spotlight for certain was Koutammakou however the Metallurgic Furnaces of Bassar and the Grottoes de Nok have been the massive shock. They deserve UNESCO standing in my view for certain. Will I return to Togo? No, however that’s my reply to virtually all locations world wide.
If you happen to go to Togo, I’m certain you’ll get pleasure from! If you wish to go longer try my Ghana street journey itinerary and Benin street journey itinerary which might simply be mixed to this Togo street journey itinerary.
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