13 Jul BENIN AND TOGO
DISCOVER THE DELIGHTS OF THESE TWO WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
10 DAYS DURATION
Day 1 :
Arrive in Cotonou, Benin. Meet, assist and transfer to The Golden Tulip Le Diplomate (https://www.goldentulip.com/en/hotels/golden-tulip-le-diplomate-cotonou ). Overnight.
Day 2 : Porto-Novo and Cotonou
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Porto-Novo, Benin’s administrative capital city also known as Adjatche or Hogbonu. On arrival, visit Honme, the palace of King Toffa, the 19th Monarch of Hogbonu whose connivence with the French allowed them to assault the famous Dahomey Kingdom in the late 1800s. We’ll proceed to the Museum of Ethnography which is arranged around the important themes of Birth, Life and Death with an amazing exhibit of Gelede masks. The Gelede society, primarily from Nigeria’s Yoruba land, is today part of UNESCO’s Immanent Heritage. We drive back to Cotonou for lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards we visit bustling Dantokpa market and the Cotonou craft market. We return to our hotel. Overnight at the Golden Tulip Le Diplomate. B/L
Day 3 : Cotonou-Ganvie-Abomey-Dassa
After breakfast we drive to Abomey-Calavi where we board a motorboat to visit the waterways of the Nokoue Lake. Here we will visit Ganvie, Africa’s biggest stilt village, home to over 33,000 Tofinu people. The ride will take you through the fishermen’s lane, the floating market, the Lovers’ Lane and stop at a typical local shop. Back on dry land we’ll embark on a three hour drive to Abomey, centre of the important medieval Dahomey kingdom. We lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we’ll visit the historic Museum and Palaces of the 9th and the 10th Kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then we proceed to Dassa. Check-in at Jeco Hotel.( http://www.jecohotel.com ) Overnight. B/L
Day 4 : Dassa-Natitingou
It’s an early start and a morning hike to the Mountain of Kings. We return to our hotel for breakfast. We drive to Natitingou in the north and on the way we’ll stop at the Shrine of the famous Dankoli Voodoo Deity. We lunch in Djougou and continue on to Yom, the village of Taneka Koko. People in this remote village still keep to their traditions preserved despite the challenges from the outside world. Meet the spiritual head of this community and visit some of their sacred places. Afterwards we drive to Natitingou where we check-in at Hotel Tata Somba.( http://hoteltatasomba.5web5.com ) Overnight. B/L
Day 5: Natitingou-Kara
After breakfast we head west to Togo, driving through the land of the Somba with their adobe castles, the “tata”. Across the border live the Tamberma, a tribal group close to the Somba with similar architecture. This tribe has kept its cultural heritage almost untouched in our swiftly changing environment. This is the reason for its inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage. We visit their habitat, the “takienta”, spread in fields then drive through Defale Mountains to the land of the Kabye. We’ll stop en route for a picnic lunch. The Kabye are famous as iron-smiths, moulding the iron with heavy rocks. From here we drive to Kara. Check-in at Hotel Kara. B/L
Day 6: Kara-Bandjeli-Atakpame
Breakfast at hotel and off on a drive west to Bandjeli Village at the heart of traditional metallurgy in northern Togo. On arrival, visit remnants of blast furnaces and the chief’s compound with decorated round houses. Witness the captivating Tbol fire dance of Bassar initiates and continue driving to Atakpame via Sokode, Togo’s second largest city. Check-in at Roc Hotel. B/L
Day 7: Atakpame-Kpalime
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Kpalime wooded region of Togo. En route visit a coffee nursery centre. Arrive in Kpalime; drive through the remnants of Missahoe forest to Kuma Konda, a butterfly haven. Trek in the surrounding woods learning about the uses of some plant species. Return to Kpalime. Stop at kamalo falls on the way and visit famous Kloto craft centre and meet artisans creating batik, woodcarving, and macramé. Check-in at Hotel Ivans Plaza. Overnight. B/L
Day 8: Kpalime-Lome
After breakfast at our hotel it’s on the road again heading to Lome, the capital city of Togo. On the way we’ll stop at the foot of Mount Agou, Togo’s highest mountain and then at a typical Ewe weavers’ village. After that we arrive into Lome, Togo’s vibrant capital city where traditions and modernism so well overlap. After lunch at a local restaurant, we embark on a city tour visiting Independence Square, the National Museum and the Fetish Market, the traditional drugstore for the locals. We continue to our hotel. Check-in at Hotel Sancta Maria. ( https://www.hotelsanctamaria.com ) Overnight. B/L
Day 9: Lome-Ouidah
Having eaten breakfast we’ll proceed to Agbodrafo where we’ll visit slave dungeons and the nearby fishing community. Then it’s off to Glidji, a voodoo stronghold in southern Togo via Aneho, Togo’s first capital city. There we’ll meet the priests of the sacred forest and learn about some aspects of their belief. We cross back into Benin and lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards we drive to Ouidah dubbed the voodoo capital city of Benin that saw thousands of Africans deported to the Americas during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. We’ll visit the Museum of History, an ancient Portuguese Slave fort and experience the Slave Road until we reach the awesome Door of No Return on the beach.
We drive through the coconut grove to Hotel Casa del Papa (https://casadelpapa.com/en ) where we have our Farewell Dinner and overnight. B/L/D
Day 10 : Ouidah-Depart
Day at leisure. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for our departure flight. B
NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP:
Any VISA Fees.
If you are travelling to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Togo you may apply for a Visa Touristique Entente which costs 25,000 CFA (about (US$50). It covers all the above countries, is cheaper and less work than getting single visas for each country. An entry visa can be issued directly at Lom-Tokoin Airport or at the border for a payment of 15,000 CFA. (about US$30)
It may be cheaper to get the visa on arrival than at an embassy but you may have to wait some hours at the airport for the visa.
For more VISA information please visit https://projectvisa.com/visainformation/Togo.
Meals other than specifically mentioned. (B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner)Any airport arrival and/or departure taxes.
Gratuities for local´s and your driver and bilingual guides.
Bottled water, alcoholic or soft drinks.
Any service not mentioned on the programme.