Destination Spotlight: Off The Beaten Path In West Africa 

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 Togo is one of the truly beautiful countries in West Africa. Sadly, it is often known and addressed as a country sandwiched between Ghana and Benin. As with most sandwiches, the filling gives the sandwich its flavor and taste. This is why Togo is the perfect tourist destination — it is the gateway to the ultimate West African tourist experience.

The beaten path is the pathway to the ultimate experience in West Africa (Photo Credit: Meet Africa)

Togo, with its ethnic mix, biodiverse landscape, and vibrant culture, makes the most delicious filling in the West African sandwich. A sandwich that could easily be consumed alone without the bits on the side but which, for now, still only tends to be served up as part of a West Africa package. 

This article is not about sandwiches. It is about an alluring tourist destination in West Africa and we will guide you on the best places that should make it to your itinerary. 

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Fun Facts About Togo 

Togo is a country located in Western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, Burkina Faso to the north, and the Bight of Benin to the south. 

Togo has one of the world’s narrowest landmasses, with only 115km from the west of the nation to the east. Here are some fun facts about Togo: 

  • There are over 39 languages spoken amongst its 8 million inhabitants. 
  • The Akodessewa Fetish Market in Togo is the world’s largest voodoo market 
  • The name “Togo” gets its roots in the Ewe language. It comes from the word “Toago”, which is divided into “to”, meaning “Hill” and “ago”, meaning “on top.” This implies that ‘Togo’ means “on top of the hill.” 
  • Togo’s capital city, Lomé, is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in West Africa and used to be referred to as the ‘pearl of West Africa’ due to its broad boulevards and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
  • Togo’s voodoo culture runs contrary to the negative image of voodoo all over the world. It extends to language, art, philosophy, music, and medicine. 

The Best Time To Visit Togo 

Based on the beach/pool score of Togo, the best times of year to visit for hot-weather activities are from early July to mid-September and from November to March. These are dry, less humid months of the year.

Do You Need A Visa To Visit Togo? 

Togo’s visa policy is one of Africa’s most lenient. Passport holders from ECOWAS member nations can visit Togo without a visa. Passport holders from all other nations can obtain a visa on arrival for an initial period of 7 days if they have a return ticket. This period is extensible by 90 days. Citizens of Mauritania must obtain a visa before visiting. 

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10 Exciting Things To Do In Togo 

Here are 10 of the most exciting places you can go when you visit Togo:

#1. Visit Lomé 

Lomé is a sprawling city in the south of Togo (Photo Credit: TripAdvisor)

Lome is the capital of Togo which is a beautiful merge of traditional culture and modernization. Lome is awash with beautiful places, like landscapes, the ocean front, and the best of all the shopping streets and markets. The amazing shopping market in Togo would give you super trendy outfits and accessories that you can find nowhere but in Togo. 

Fun activities in Lome include meeting artists and entrepreneurs who contribute to the city’s dynamism. These encounters can often lead to collaboration or business opportunities for business-oriented visitors.

#2. Visit The Mono River 

The Togo Lake is a bastion of natural beauty (Photo Credit: Meet Africa)

The Mono River is a major river in eastern Togo. Approximately 400 km long, it rises between the town of Sokodé and the border with Benin and flows south. Along the southern portion of the river towards its mouth, it forms the international boundary between Togo and Benin. The river drains into the Bight of Benin through an extensive system of brackish water lagoons and lakes, including Lake Togo.

For an amazing experience, you can embark on an exquisite tour of the Mono River, where you can learn about the fishing techniques used by local fishermen.

#3. Go See The Mud Tower 

The Mud House is a custodian of Togolese heritage (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

You can visit the mud house in Koutammakou if you are passionate about cultural and historical monuments and locations. It is located in Batammariba, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The Mud towers is a bastion of Togolese culture, home to the Koutammakou people in Northern Togo. In these 500km settlements, there are several traditional mud houses with complex rooms. Built out of clay, these houses are built in cylindrical shapes and have up to two floors with thatch roofs. 

This location will satisfy your desire to visit cultural sites. By visiting the Mud Tower, you have a unique experience to explore the Togolese culture from the lens of its inhabitants. 

#4. Visit The National Museum

Artworks in the National Museum (Photo Credit: Trip Advisor)

Once the headquarters of former colonial powers, the Palais de Lomé and its spacious park opened to the public for the first time in their 121-year history, as a spectacular exhibition, design, visual, and performing arts venue in 2019. The Palais de Lomé highlights the diversity of the cultural and artisanal production of Togo and the African continent. It is a symbol of pride for the Togolese, and a gateway for foreigners to explore the best Togolese art. 

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#5. Explore Wildlife In The National Parks 

Animals at the Kéran National Park (Photo Credit: TripAdvisor)

There are two hippopotamus reserves — also known as Hippopotamus ponds — in Togo, located in Mango and Tabligbo in Northern and Southern Togo. Exciting activities in these reserves include exclusive exploration of these protected reserves. 

Unfortunately, due to unlawful poaching in the area, populations of the magnificent beast have been greatly diminished. Hopefully, the ongoing conservation efforts will help reverse this trend. 

#6. Take A Trip To Mount Agou

Mount Agou (Photo Credit: World’s Marathon)

Located In Kpalimé, Mount Agou is Togo’s highest mountain, rising 986 m (3,234 ft) above sea level. A trip to the Mount provides a unique opportunity to see the sights and wildlife in the hinterlands. It also presents climbers with a suitable challenge. Admire the natural landscape and lush forests on your way up–the trail up the mountain offers the perfect view of the friendly locals and their lives.

#7. Meet Wonderful Togolese People 

Foreigners absorbing the Togolese culture in the hands of a local drummer (Photo Credit: Meet Africa)

Togo is a microcosm of Africa’s diversity. From the geographical diversity between northern and Southern Togo to its people, diversity is one of the nation’s main strengths. 

Visiting Togo offers you the exciting opportunity to meet its people, appreciate the cultures, and explore the places. While meeting people, it is important to explore the diverse food options in Togo. You can choose from a wide range of cuisines by tasting the local delicacies in restaurants and more casual settings. Our recipe page will teach you how to make tasty Togolese food. 

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#8. Visit the Monument de l’Independance 

The monument l’independance is a symbol of African liberation (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Admire the stone monument marking the nation’s independence from France at Monument de l’Independance. Located on a vast open square with palm trees, fountains, well-kept lawns, and promenades, the 1960 landmark represents an intricately carved human silhouette within a grand stone block.

Black fences close it off most of the time, so you’ll need to carefully plan your arrival for a closer look at its contemporary features and details. Should you fail to make it on time, you can still enjoy the urban ambiance and do some people-watching on the plaza across the street.

#9. Visit the Marche aux Fetiches

The Fetish market, the home of voodoo in Togo (Photo Credit: Togo Tourisme)

Browse through dried baboon skulls and carved dolls decked with cowry shells at Marche aux Fetiches, an outdoor market selling all sorts of voodoo items. Consult an on-site witch doctor or a medicine man, or pore over traditional cures for sick children and unfaithful lovers. This popular tourist attraction covers an entire city block, packed with stands displaying lacquered crocodile heads, elephant jaws, and snake hides. Local guides speak English and French. 

#10. Visit the Cascade de Kpime 

The Cascade de Kpime is one of Africa’s finest falls (Photo Credit: Meet Africa)

The region des Plateaux is one of Togo’s five regions. It is the largest in terms of area, with several mountainous regions that allow for hiking and other amazing tourist activities. The region is much cooler and lusher, and the city of Kpalimé is the tourist’s dream, with plenty of waterfalls situated around Kpalimé, artists, artisans, and places to see.

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Conclusion 

Togo is one of the truly amazing places in Africa. Visiting Togo lets you enjoy the best of Togolese culture, cuisine, waters, monuments, and its amazing people. Which tourist attraction would you love to visit in Togo?

Have you visited Togo before? Do you think we missed any tourist attraction that is worth a mention? Let us know below. 

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  1. Togo sounds like an absolute gem! I’m heading back to west Africa next year (Sierra Leone), but i really want to explore more amazing destinations!

    Thank you for showcasing this! Wow!

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