Friday, December 1, 2023

TOGO – Greatest 10-day itinerary for a highway journey from south to north – Chris Journey Weblog

Koutammakou Tata Houses - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 highway journey in Benin late 2019. Because of the pandemic, it took three years to lastly go to, and Togo did shock me. It is similar to Benin but it surely’s additionally fully totally different. On this 10-day Togo itinerary I take you from south to north and east to west. I’ve pieced collectively probably 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 highway journey itinerary

To make an environment friendly highway journey and never free time to be able to see all the things you want to do some planning. I’ll record the fundamentals which needs to be sufficient to have an incredible and clean journey.

Flights to Lomé 

There are numerous native flights from neighbouring international locations to Togo however intercontinentally the selection is restricted. Greatest choices are Brussels Airways, Air France or Kenya Airways. One knowledgeable tip: Examine additionally the enterprise class fare. Once I went it was simply 200€ extra with Brussels Airways and a lot extra snug. When you arrive on the airport change cash because it’s most straightforward there and charges are good. 

Togo Road Motorbikes - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

The way to get a Togo visa

Togo has an e-visa system for a lot of nationalities. Make sure that to make use of the official Togo e-visa web site. In the event you can’t take one there is no such thing as 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 based mostly in Benin however Togo is simply an hour away for him so he drives in Togo as effectively. When you have 3 weeks time then go to each international locations by including a 2-week Benin highway journey to this Togo highway journey. It’s an incredible mixture in west Africa.

Lodges in Togo

In Lomé there are some overpriced luxurious resorts. Though I really like luxurious resorts 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. Resort Central in Sokodé (ask for a bungalow), Hôtel La Douceur in Kara (small rooms however superior restaurant) and Resort Parc Residence in Kpalimé (finest 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 a variety of time left to do one thing on the day of arrival. I do favor a daylight flight over any night time flight although. After a fast dinner in Lomé with my driver/information I went to my resort. I booked a room for the information in the identical resort so we might journey round extra effectively. After going over the itinerary yet one more time, I went to mattress early as all the subsequent days can 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 chill out and benefit from the Togolaise seashores round Lomé.

Palais de Lome modern art museum - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Togo itinerary day 2: Partial Lomé metropolis tour and to Sokodé

Driving north to Sokodé is round 350 kilometers over a effectively paved highway 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 resort at 08:30AM which was early sufficient.

The Voodoo Akodessewa Fetish Market is a bit touristy I need to admit however it’s price visiting. You’ll see every kind of useless animals and different Voodoo associated gadgets. Do observe that these animals all died a pure trigger! You can even have a small ceremony to have your travels blessed. I did that, to ensure this Togo highway journey itinerary would have a protected ending.

Voodoo Market in Lome - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

After an hour it was time to start out 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 resort. Most days I had dinner on the resorts. It’s dearer than going out after all however it’s clear and really the identical meals and identical style. Foufou with hen and sauce is a neighborhood dish and extremely beneficial.

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’ll find in Bassar. A full day of this Togo itinerary is devoted to hint the metallurgy historical past of Togo within the Bassar space. Make sure that to depart round 9-10AM so you’ll be in Kara within the late afternoon. Within the north of Togo there are many police/army 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 thought for its iron deposits and the native communities developed a strategy to further the iron in a remarkably attention-grabbing technological manner. There are numerous websites round Bassar however one of the 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 really like wildlife, for me this was not probably the most attention-grabbing to see in Togo. I drove by way of the park however after all the wildlife was deep within the park and I didn’t see something. The world is gorgeous although.

Metal Furnaces in Bassar - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Nangbani metallic furnaces

On the metallic furnaces web site of Nangbani you will note dozens of furnaces. Some furnaces are full, some torn by erosion. They operate in an attention-grabbing manner. These furnaces are like a cylinder with an inside warmth resistant layer and outer extra gentle 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 strategy to go to) they’d take it to the furnaces. The furnaces can be stuffed with layers of ore and dry wooden after which the furnaces can be closed and placed on fireplace. It will be heated for 2-3 days, and all of the iron would drip to the underside. The iron can 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 intervening time the positioning is listed as a tentative UNESCO web site however I might say it definitely 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 in the event you don’t keep there go for and have their Foufou with gut sauce. Make it spicy. It’s so good.

Metal Furnaces in Bassar - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Day 4: Day journey to Koutammakou from Kara

Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba, is in the mean time the one UNESCO World Heritage Web site in Togo. As considered one of my objectives is to see all UNESCO websites, I had no selection as so as to add a go to to this Togo highway journey itinerary. Anybody travelling to Togo ought to go to Koutammakou particularly if you’re enthusiastic about native tradition and ethnics. The location 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. This present day was for me the spotlight of my Togo highway journey itinerary.

I departed Kara round 08:30AM and reached the doorway round 10:00. There’s a small payment you will need to pay there, and you will need to go together with a neighborhood information. Make sure that to respect the native Tamberma individuals as they stay of their conventional manner. It one other 20-Half-hour’ drive to the Tata homes (or Takienta).

Koutammakou Tata Houses - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

What’s a Tata or Takienta home

The Tata or Takienta homes are like castles comprised of mud and straw. They’re largely two tales excessive, with the bottom ground reserved for his or her livestock. A “center” ground served as kitchen and adjoining tower which regularly served as a granary. The roof is generally 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 properties. Across the entrance you may as well 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 stay in nice concord with the character surrounding them. They nonetheless observe their long-standing traditions.

Koutammakou Tata Houses - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 each 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 lightweight 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 will not be even initially from Togo. Dinner I had again in Kara with some scrumptious bush meat.

Antelope Sarakawa Wildlife Park - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 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 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 record 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 is because even immediately 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 highway journey itinerary, however it’s price it. It took round 4 hours to succeed in 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 way of tiny villages which don’t see vacationers for lengthy intervals.

Grottoes de Nok Landschape - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 proper place to maintain meals throughout a siege. On the grottoes de Nok there’s 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 stay. At present, these grottoes are nonetheless a sanctuary and play a major religious function within the native’s life.

Once 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, in the event you make it to Togo then make certain to plan your Togo itinerary all the way in which up north and go to as effectively. Make sure that to go together with a neighborhood 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 highway, for security, to Kara.

Grottoes de Nok - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 couple of attention-grabbing stops on the way in which however ultimately, it’s a straightforward day. First cease on the weavers in Bafilo. That is arrange as a group mission the place locals, largely with out jobs, can go and weave. The produce is then bought to supply conventional garments within the surrounding areas. A great initiative.

Weavers in Bifalo - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Persevering with south make certain to take the previous highway so that you simply’ll go the Aledjo fault rock which is an attention-grabbing place because the highway goes by way of a rock that’s tilted from the mountain (see picture within the gallery). In Atakpamé it was time for a chilly beer alongside the highway. 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 outdoors of Lomé I met different (western) vacationers. These caves are religious for the locals. The story goes that way back, they needed to depart 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.

Bat cave Kpalime - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

I arrived at Resort Parc Residence in Kpalimé round time for supper. Make sure that to ebook a room in the primary constructing. It’s a nice resort with one of the 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 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 resort 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 resort which might be nice because the views there are superb and the local weather cool.

Chateaux Viale Kpalime - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

From Château Viale I continued my manner additional in the direction of the Ghanese border to go to a neighborhood village. After checking this out it was time to move again to Kpalimé to go to the cathedral situated within the heart. There’s additionally a good looking craft market / heart in Kpalimé in case you will 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 chilly beer and after a pleasant dinner with bottle of French wine.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP: An additional day in Kpalimé is well spent. Benefit from the pool of the resort or go mountain climbing within the Kloto rainforest to one of many waterfalls. Each, or mixed, are good choices to increase this Togo itinerary by a day and have extra time to chill out.

Cathedral Kpalime - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Day 8: Day journey to Aného-glidji & Agbodrafo

Aného-glidji was added to the tentative UNESCO record 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 a variety of renovations, but it surely was attention-grabbing to see this European colonial structure there. After testing many of the constructions we picked up a neighborhood information to go to a Voodoo sanctuary.

Aného-Glidji Bour Villa 1920 colonial house - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

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 a neighborhood home have a glass of pastis which, after all, is a the rest of French colonial time. Then, the native information instantly 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 be taught their methods.

Aného-Glidji Voodoo Ceremony - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

After the Voodoo ritual we drove to the Benin border and lunch in Aneho. On the way in which 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 needs to 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 known as Woold Homé you may see the places of work upstairs and the tiny cellar below 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 vary resorts that a lot as I favor 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 should 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 highway journey itinerary is a straightforward one. Time to sleep lengthy, have a straightforward breakfast earlier than heading to Lomé heart. 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 had been allowed to shortly see the monument and get some photographs carried out.

One other attention-grabbing museum is Palais de Lomé which holds now a contemporary artwork museum. Make 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 resort and simply chill out. You may 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 the planet.

Independance Square Lome - TOGO - Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Togo itinerary day 10: Fly out

I might have determined to fly out the day past however, taking 1 night time extra meant I might fly in enterprise class for the value 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, but it surely’s completely totally 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 in my view for positive. Will I return to Togo? No, however that’s my reply to nearly all locations world wide.

In the event you go to Togo, I’m positive you’ll get pleasure from! If you wish to go longer take a look at my Ghana highway journey itinerary and Benin highway journey itinerary which might simply be mixed to this Togo highway journey itinerary.

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Did you go to Togo too or do you will have questions? Please depart a remark on the backside of the web page. Love to listen to from you!

Click on a picture for a full display screen gallery of extra photographs taken throughout this journey. In the event you like to make use of any picture for industrial, personal or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.

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