Togo/Benin: Natural Treasures in the Heart of Africa


Are you ready for a trip through the mountains? Then join us on this walking trip to Togo and Benin, where you will experience the diverse landscapes of the amazing Akwapim Atacora-mountains with bushland hikes and nature walks. This journey gives you the opportunity to hike in the most unspoilt nature with impressive waterfalls and pristine rainforest scenery in the south and stunning mountain and savannah landscapes in the north.  During your walks you will have the chance to meet the local people living in remote villages whose traditions have been well preserved over the centuries. Meeting the blacksmiths, potters, weavers and millet beer brewers  With blacksmiths, potters, weavers and millet beer brewers you will get to know traditional crafts, with artists in the Togo mountains you will learn how paints are still made from natural products today. You will stay overnight in simple hostels in villages in order to participate in daily life at first hand. Voodoo is also not to be missed in the strongholds of this ancient religion. You will experience fascinating voodoo ceremonies, consult a fortune teller and visit a snake temple. An extraordinary journey awaits you!

Day 1: Arrival at Lomé

Meet and greet with your tour leader at Lomé international Airport and

transfer to the hotel (approx. 10 km)

(-/-), overnight stay in Lomé, Hotel Aurore or similar Day 2: Lomé - Togoville - Lomé After a thirty minutes‘ drive we reach Lac Togo where we will board a pirogue that takes us to Togoville. We‘ll explore the animistic quarter where we will be met by an extraordinary voodoo priestess and we‘ll visit the town’s impressive cathedral built during the German colonial period and. In the middle of the small town rises the Catholic church where Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in 1985. In the afternoon we‘ll return to Lomé. We will explore Togo’s bustling capital visiting the fascinating central market, the famed Grand Marché, one of West Africa’s largest markets. We‘ll also discover the amazing fetish market, where a mix of ingredients of traditional medicines and charms is sold. Alongside with crocodile bones, monkey skulls and leopard skins you will see dried chameleon and birds. In the afternoon you will witness a stunning voodoo ceremony, a Knife Dance, in a small village near Lomé. Dancing to the hypnotic rhythm of the drum, the dancers cut themselves with knives without being hurt. Pure magic! (approx. 80 km) (B/D), overnight stay in Lomé, Hotel Aurore or similar Day 3: Lomé - Klouto An early start as we leave Lomé and its beaches behind us to drive to the coastal mountains. Our destination for the day: Klouto, a small village in the Togo Mountains, surrounded by tropical forest. Along the way we‘ll stop at the foot of ''Mont Agou''. With 986 m, this mountain is not only the highest mountain in Togo, but also the highest elevation of the Akwapim – Atacora mountain range, which stretches from Ghana via Togo to Benin. We‘ll go for a hike that takes you through villages, cocoa and coffee plantations to the summit of the ''Mont Agou''. Our next stop will be In Kpalimé to visit the Holy Spirit Cathedral, built by German missionaries in 1913. Then another 20 minutes‘ drive will bring us to Klouto, where you will arrive in the late afternoon. (approx. 150 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Klouto, Hotel Nectar Auredia or similar Day 4: Klouto After breakfast, you will go on a walk through the rainforest and the village of Kouma Konda, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Meet various artists and learn how the local plants are used in traditional medicine or cosmetics. Later today you will discover the Valley of the bats and the „Château Viale“, a castle-like building, built by the French in the early 1940s and now owned by the Togolese government. In the evening you will attend a local dance performance. (B/D) Overnight stay in Klouto, Hotel Nectar Auredia or similar Day 5: Klouto - Badou - Atakpamé Our destination today is the Aklowa Waterfall near Badou, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. After about 3 hours‘ drive through a mountainous landscape you‘ll reach Badou. Here you leave the car and hike through a jungle to the waterfall where you can refresh yourself. In the late afternoon you continue to Atakpamé.(approx. 280 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Atakpamé, Roc Hotel or similar Day 6: Atakpamé - Sokodé - Kara Today we travel towards Kara with a stop to visit Sokodé. There will be time to discover the town exploring the old colonial quarter, the colourful market and seeing the local weavers at work. The next part of our drive is through a beautiful mountainous region with a unique rock formation: the ''Faille d'Aledjo'', a craggy rock with the road running through the middle of it. We'll arrive in Kara, the birthplace of the former president Gnassingbé Eyadema, in the early evening (approx. 260 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Kara, Hotel Kara or similar Day 7: Kara - Boukoumbé This morning we hike in the Kabye mountains. On clear days you will have a stunning view of the mountainous surroundings of Kara. In the village of Tcharé we meet the renowned Kabyé blacksmiths and their wives who produce traditional pottery. This is the area where the country’s former president Eyadéma Gnassingbé was born.  Later this morning we continue our journey along the scenic Atacora mountains before stopping at a Tamberma village. This chain of mountains starts in southeast Ghana and cuts through Togo and Benin. We visit a number of medieval-castle-like houses of this extraordinary tribal group. The cultural landscape of Koutammakou has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Here you will witness an unforgettable dance in which the women wear a traditional headgear with horns and cowries. Later today we cross into Boukoumbe, Benin. (approx. 100 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Boukoumbé, Campement or similar Day 8: Boukoumbé - Koussoucoingou An early start this morning, ahead of a day walking, discovering some villages around Boukoumbé. We‘ll have the opportunity to meet the Somba people and learn about their traditions and daily lives. After a short drive through the charming landscape of the Atacora mountains, we‘ll reach Koussoucouingou, one of the largest places of the Somba. Spend the night in a simple hotel built in the style of the mud castles. (approx. 20 km) (B/D), overnight stay in Koussoucouingou, Otammari Lodge or similar Day 9: Koussoucoingou We start our day exploring the highest waterfall in the region. Near this waterfall, the Somba once built a village in the rock to defend
themselves against the slave traders. The remains of these houses can still be seen today. In the afternoon we‘ll visit a sacred Baobab in the village of Koussoucouingou, a hunter mud castle and go to a viewpoint at sunset, offering a stunning view of the Atacora mountain range.   (B/D), overnight stay in  Koussoucouingou, Otammari Lodge or similar Day 10: Koussou- coingou - Copargo Today, the journey takes you to the other side of the Atacora Mountain range where you will meet another tribe of North Benin: the Yom. These close relatives to the Somba and Tamberma people live in the village of Tanéka Beri in beautiful round huts upholding their old traditions. The impressive king with his over 260 subjects will welcome you and introduce you to the story and culture of the village. In the afternoon we‘ll start our hike (about 4 hours) to a sacred cave. The local guide will show you various medicinal plants and explain their healing effects. You will also have the chance to meet the local blacksmiths.(approx.100 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Copargo, Campement Taneka or similar Day 11: Copargo - Dassa Zoumé Today we drive south for around five hours to Dassa Zoumé, a bustling town in the centre of Benin. En route, close to Savalou, ancient capital of the eponymous kingdom, we‘ll stop at the Dankoli fetish. This phallus- shaped tree-trunk stained with sacrificial blood is considered to be West Africa’s most powerful fetish with hundreds of believers arriving every day from all over Benin and neighbouring countries. They make their requests to the gods hammering wooden pegs into the fetish, pouring palm-oil on to it and spitting specially made rum at the stake. If the wishes comes true, the person must return and make the necessary sacrifices. Otherwise he will face the consequences….   In Dassa Zoumé you will visit the sacred mountain where the dead are taken before burial for a final ritual. The local guide will explain customs and traditions of the region. (approx. 280 km) (B/D) Overnight stay at the Auberge de Dassa Zoume or similar  Day 12: Dassa Zoumé - Possotomé This morning we‘ll drive to Possotomé, a small town located on the banks of Lac Ahémé, with stops along the way to meet women selling the popular gari and tapioka flour which is made of cassava. . In Benin, cassava plays an important role in people’s diet. In Bohicon we‘ll visit the archaeological underground grottoes d'Agongointo. These caves were randomly discovered during road works and were probably used in the past by the warriors of the Fon Kings to prepare for battle. Later today you will explore the royal palaces which are a UNESCO World Heritage site in Abomey. We'll arrive in Possotomé in the early evening. (approx. 200 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Possotomé, Chez Theo or similar Day 13: Possotomé - Grand Popo After breakfast we‘ll undertake a canoe tour on the Ahémé Lake. With a bit of luck, you‘ll meet the local fisherman casting their nets and you may discover various bird species for this area of the Lake Ahémé has been declared an “Important Birds And Biodiversity Area‘“. Before your departure you will visit the village soothsayer. He will share his stories and if you wish, you can also consult him. Later this morning, we will drive to Grand Popo, another famed centre of voodoo. This afternoon we will attend a spectacular Zangbeto ceremony. The Zangbeto masks resemble haystacks swirling around the ceremony place. They represent the traditional guardians of the night protecting the community against thieves and evil forces. (approx. 90 km) (B/D) Overnight stay in Grand Popo, Hotel Awale Plage or similar Day 14: Grand Popo - Ganvié After a relaxing breakfast, we will drive 45 minutes to Ouidah where we will learn more about the history of slavery and the mysterious rituals of voodoo.  We visit the Python Temple dedicated to the ancient snake cult and, in the Sacred Forest, hear about the ideas Voodoo is based on. This afternoon, we will take a walk along the Slave Route, connecting the former slave market to the beach, where slave ships used to be loaded with their human freight. Landmarks remind us of the suffering the victims had to endure, hard to imagine in the scenery of peaceful palm groves stretching along the golden beach today. This afternoon, we take a motorboat ride out to the stilt village of Ganvié, built right into the Lake Nokoué. This remarkable aquatic village of thatched roof houses has been called “the Venice of Africa”. It can only be reached by boat. (approx. 90 km) (B/D), overnight stay in Ganvié, Hotel  Germain or similar .. Day 15: Ganvié - Porto Novo -  - End of Tour This morning will be an early start to discover the floating market. We aim to spend some of our time in Ganvié visiting Africa‘s largest stilt village, built in the middle of Lake Nokoué. In Ganvié there are restaurants and hotels, a post-office, a dispensary and schools. A one- of-a-kind filling station supplies the town with fresh water from a deep well. There are 42 stilt villages on the lake, many of which you will see on our boat trip to Porto Novo, the capital of Benin. It was once an important kingdom, which resisted attacks from Dahomey by means of a protection treaty with the French. The colourful mosque and the ethnographic museum are two of the main attractions of the bustling city. In the evening transfer to the airport. (approx. 20 km). (B) Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended.
Aussichtspunkt in Koussoucoingou
Lomé: Fetish market and Knife Dance Togoville:  Colonial church and Voodoo priestess Klouto: Nature walk in the mountains Kara: Discovery of the Kabyé mountains Tamberma and Somba: Meeting the local tribes Tanéka: Audience with the king Dassa-Zoumé: Mystical rocks Abomey: Royal palaces (UNESCO) Possotomé: Relaxation at the idyllic Lac Ahémé Grand Popo: Zangbeto ceremony Ouidah: Cradle of Voodoo and slave history Ganvie: Boat trip to the aquatic village Porto Novo: Benin‘s capital
Heiler in Tanéka-Beri Zangbeto-Zeremonie bei Grand Popo
Tour Highlights
Vero Tours
Voodoozeremonie Feuertänzer in Kouma Konde