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

TOGO – Finest 10-day itinerary for a street 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 doubtless 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 but it surely’s additionally utterly 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. Get pleasure from Togo!

Planning a Togo street journey itinerary

To make an environment friendly street journey and never free time with the intention to see every thing you must do some planning. I’ll checklist the fundamentals which must be sufficient to have an awesome and easy journey.

Flights to Lomé 

There are numerous native flights from neighbouring nations to Togo however intercontinentally the selection is proscribed. Finest 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 comfy. When you arrive on the airport trade 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 right way to get a Togo visa

Togo has an e-visa system for a lot of nationalities. Be sure to make use of the official Togo e-visa website. 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 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 properly. In case you have 3 weeks time then go to each nations by including a 2-week Benin street journey to this Togo street journey. It’s an awesome mixture in west Africa.

Lodges in Togo

In Lomé there are some overpriced luxurious inns. Though I like luxurious inns it must 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 loads of time left to do one thing on the day of arrival. I do choose 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 yet another time, I went to mattress early as all the subsequent days can be exceptionally lengthy ones with numerous driving.

PLANNING TIP: In case your arrival was within the morning then be sure you go to the locations of day 9 the primary day as you in all probability 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 properly paved street however will take 6-7 hours relying on site 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 need to admit however it’s price visiting. You’ll see every kind of useless animals and different Voodoo associated objects. Do be aware that these animals all died a pure trigger! You too can have a small ceremony to have your travels blessed. I did that, to verify this Togo street journey itinerary would have a secure 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 lodge. Most days I had dinner on the inns. It’s dearer than going out after all however it’s clear and truly the identical meals and similar style. Foufou with hen and sauce is a neighborhood dish and extremely really useful.

Togo itinerary day 3: Sokodé to Kara through Bassar

I like to find out about 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 to depart 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 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 realm is understood for its iron deposits and the native communities developed a technique to additional the iron in a remarkably fascinating technological means. There are numerous websites round Bassar however the very best to go to are the steel 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 fascinating to see in Togo. I drove by means of the park however after all the wildlife was deep within the park and I didn’t see something. The realm is gorgeous although.

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

Nangbani steel furnaces

On the steel furnaces website of Nangbani you will notice dozens of furnaces. Some furnaces are full, some torn by erosion. They operate in an fascinating means. These furnaces are like a cylinder with an interior warmth resistant layer and outer extra mushy layer to maintain the warmth inside. As soon as the miners extracted the iron ore from the mines (which nonetheless exists as properly however I couldn’t discover a technique to go to) they might take it to the furnaces. The furnaces can be crammed with layers of ore and dry wooden after which the furnaces can be closed and placed on hearth. It might 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 means of iron working. In the meanwhile the location is listed as a tentative UNESCO website however I’d say it definitely deserves standing. After the go to I had lunch in Bassar, visited the market and continued through 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 one in all my targets 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 fascinated by native tradition and ethnics. The positioning is most simply reached as a day journey from Kara through Kandé which remains to be a 2.5-hour drive a method. At the present time 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 will need to pay there, and you will need to go along with a neighborhood information. Be sure to respect the native Tamberma folks as they reside of their conventional means. 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 created from 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 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 properly. With only one entrance, and full darkness after the doorway, the folks might simply defend their properties. Across the entrance you too can 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 reside 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 every 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 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 aren’t 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 adjustments 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 folks used these shelters in durations of turmoil, together with slave commerce by Germany, within the space. 4 of those locations are on the tentative UNESCO checklist 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 in the present day 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 under. I reached the cliffs, however I needed to stand up there, which was one other hour driving by means of tiny villages which don’t see vacationers for lengthy durations.

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 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 reside. Immediately, these grottoes are nonetheless a sanctuary and play a big religious position 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, in the event you make it to Togo then make sure that to plan your Togo itinerary all the best way up north and go to as properly. Be sure to go along with a neighborhood 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.

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 just a few fascinating stops on the best way however ultimately, it’s a simple day. First cease on the weavers in Bafilo. That is arrange as a neighborhood mission the place locals, largely with out jobs, can go and weave. The produce is then bought to provide conventional garments within the surrounding areas. An excellent initiative.

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

Persevering with south make sure that to take the outdated street so that you simply’ll cross the Aledjo fault rock which is an fascinating place because the street goes by means 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 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 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.

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

I arrived at Lodge Parc Residence in Kpalimé round time for dinner. Be sure to e book a room in the principle 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 wonderful.

Togo itinerary day 7: Kpalimé and environment and go to Lomé

The realm 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 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 could 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.

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

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

EXTEND YOUR TRIP: An additional day in Kpalimé is definitely spent. Benefit from the pool of the lodge or go 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.

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 checklist 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 realm 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 loads of renovations, but it surely was fascinating to see this European colonial structure there. After trying out many of the buildings 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 all of the 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 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 best way again to Lomé make sure 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 had been introduced from northern elements 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 workplaces 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 inns 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 night time. It would 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 simple one. Time to sleep lengthy, have a simple 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 had been allowed to rapidly see the monument and get some photographs completed.

One other fascinating museum is Palais de Lomé which holds now a contemporary artwork museum. Be sure 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 properly.

I made a decision to return to the lodge and simply chill out. You might 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.

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 prior to this 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 believed it might be simply Benin however much less fascinating. Togo is smaller sure, but it surely’s completely completely different. The spotlight for certain 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 certain. 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 certain 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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