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. As a result of pandemic, it took three years to lastly go to, and Togo did shock me. It is analogous to Benin however 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 chill out and do nothing. Take pleasure in Togo!
Planning a Togo street journey itinerary
To make an environment friendly street journey and never free time in an effort to see all the things it is advisable do some planning. I’ll listing the fundamentals which must be sufficient to have an ideal and easy journey.
Flights to Lomé
There are numerous native flights from neighbouring nations to Togo however intercontinentally the selection is restricted. Finest choices are Brussels Airways, Air France or Kenya Airways. One skilled tip: Test additionally the enterprise class fare. After I went it was simply 200€ extra with Brussels Airways and a lot extra comfy. When you arrive on the airport alternate cash because it’s most simple there and charges are good.
Easy methods to get a Togo visa
Togo has an e-visa system for a lot of nationalities. Be sure that to make use of the official Togo e-visa website. Should you can’t take one there isn’t any 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 advocate 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. When you’ve got 3 weeks time then go to each nations by including a 2-week Benin street journey to this Togo street journey. It’s an ideal mixture in west Africa.
Inns in Togo
In Lomé there are some overpriced luxurious inns. Though I like luxurious inns it needs to be honest to what you get. So, it was higher to e-book 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 (finest pool in Togo) all have clear rooms, sizzling 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 quite a lot of time left to do one thing on the day of arrival. I do want a daylight flight over any night time 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 might journey round extra effectively. After going over the itinerary another time, I went to mattress early as all the subsequent 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 a further day to chill out 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 advocate 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 price visiting. You’ll see every kind of lifeless animals and different Voodoo associated objects. Do notice that these animals all died a pure trigger! It’s also possible to have a small ceremony to have your travels blessed. I did that, to ensure this Togo street journey itinerary would have a secure ending.
After an hour it was time to begin driving north. A great 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 inns. 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 advisable.
Togo itinerary day 3: Sokodé to Kara by way of 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. Be sure that to go away round 9-10AM so you’ll be in Kara within the late afternoon. Within the north of Togo there are many police/navy checkpoints which might sluggish 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 understood for its iron deposits and the native communities developed a technique to additional the iron in a remarkably attention-grabbing technological manner. There are numerous websites round Bassar however the very best 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 like wildlife, for me this was not essentially the most attention-grabbing to see in Togo. I drove by 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 note dozens of furnaces. Some furnaces are full, some torn by erosion. They perform in an attention-grabbing manner. These furnaces are like a cylinder with an interior warmth resistant layer and outer extra tender 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 technique to go to) they’d take it to the furnaces. The furnaces could be stuffed with layers of ore and dry wooden after which the furnaces could be closed and placed on hearth. 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 distant.
I actually loved my go to and studying about this historic manner of iron working. In the meanwhile the positioning is listed as a tentative UNESCO website however I’d say it actually deserves standing. After the go to I had lunch in Bassar, visited the market and continued by way of Kabou to Kara for the night time. In Kara, I stayed in Hôtel La Douceur, however even for those who 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 intervening time the one UNESCO World Heritage Website in Togo. As one in all my targets is to see all UNESCO websites, I had no selection 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 interested by native tradition and ethnics. The positioning is most simply reached as a day journey from Kara by way of Kandé which remains to be a 2.5-hour drive a technique. 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 need to pay there, and you need to go together with an area information. Be sure that to respect the native Tamberma individuals as they dwell of their conventional manner. 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 produced from 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 frequently 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 individuals might simply defend their houses. Across the entrance you can even see numerous Voodoo deities defending the household residence.
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 individuals 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 rather more genuine and noticed the locals doing their day by day factor. Ultimately, again on the first village I had the chance to style a few of their native alcoholic brew. It was round 2PM once 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 are usually 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 big sandstone cliffs going through north. It’s these cliffs which are of curiosity as there are shelters on the high of a number of cliffs courting to the 17-19th century. Indigenous individuals 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 positioning 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 this moment there’s a little bit of turmoil spilling from Burkina Faso into Togo and the very north can, at occasions, give troubles. That is the longest day of driving of this Togo street journey itinerary, however it’s price 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 stand up there, which was one other hour driving by 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 occasions of turmoil the individuals would fill the storage locations with grain and different meals. With a pure cool temperature, it was the right place to maintain meals throughout a siege. On the grottoes de Nok there may be additionally a contemporary water supply for water provide. Contained in the grotto the ceiling remains to be black from the individuals utilizing the place to prepare dinner meals and dwell. At the moment, these grottoes are nonetheless a sanctuary and play a major 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 a tremendous place, and, for those who make it to Togo then make certain to plan your Togo itinerary all the best way up north and go to as effectively. Be sure that to go together with an area information and plan it forward as the positioning is closed in any other case. The go to took about 90 minutes, after which I drove again, by way of 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 attention-grabbing stops on the best way however ultimately, it’s a straightforward day. First cease on the weavers in Bafilo. That is arrange as a group 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 make certain to take the outdated street so that you simply’ll go the Aledjo fault rock which is an attention-grabbing place because the street goes by 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 observe the bat cave. It was additionally the primary place outdoors 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, hundreds of bats come out of the caves to search for meals. Fairly a spectacle to see and price stopping for an hour.
I arrived at Lodge Parc Residence in Kpalimé round meal time. Be sure that to e-book a room in the primary constructing. It’s a nice lodge with the very best pool in Togo. For dinner, I like to recommend one of many dishes with regionally produced pepper. It’s superb.
Togo itinerary day 7: Kpalimé and environment and go to Lomé
The world round Kpalimé is a most popular 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 situated 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 numerous 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 superb and the local weather cool.
From Château Viale I continued my manner 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 situated within the middle. There may be additionally an attractive craft market / middle in Kpalimé in case you need 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 seashore 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 mountain climbing 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 chill out.
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 they’d their capital there till it moved to Lomé. The buildings do want quite a lot of renovations, however it was attention-grabbing to see this European colonial structure there. After testing many of the constructions we picked up an area information to go to a Voodoo sanctuary.
Voodoo in Aného-Glidji
The tentative UNESCO websites additionally contains the Voodoo Sacred Woods that are a no go for foreigners and non-believers. I might 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 abruptly 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 attention-grabbing 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 make certain 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 had 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 places of work upstairs and the tiny cellar beneath the home the place the slaves had been saved in darkness.
Between Agbodrafo and Lomé are some nice seashores and loads of locations to remain. I don’t like to alter inns that a lot as I want to drive a bit extra. If it doesn’t matter to you, I like to recommend staying across the space for the night time. It can save an hour driving. It was late afternoon earlier than I arrived again in Lomé.
Day 9: Lomé metropolis tour and seashore 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 let you know to not enter the sq., however a information helps, and we had been allowed to shortly see the monument and get some pictures accomplished.
One other attention-grabbing museum is Palais de Lomé which holds now a contemporary artwork museum. Be sure 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 chill out. You would additionally go to the native markets, have a lunch in Lomé or wander a bit round however actually, Lomé isn’t the nicest capital on this planet.
Togo itinerary day 10: Fly out
I might have determined to fly out the day gone by however, taking 1 night time extra meant I might fly in enterprise class for the worth of economic system plus simply 200 euro. A no brainer.
Togo actually stunned me as I assumed it might be simply Benin however much less attention-grabbing. Togo is smaller sure, however it’s completely completely different. The spotlight for positive was Koutammakou however the Metallurgic Furnaces of Bassar and the Grottoes de Nok had been the massive shock. They deserve UNESCO standing for my part for positive. Will I return to Togo? No, however that’s my reply to nearly all locations all over the world.
Should you go to Togo, I’m positive you’ll take pleasure in! If you wish to go longer take a look at 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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