Small but great country
The small area of land called Togo seems to be lost in between neighboring Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin. Yet this tiny country offers dense forests, savannah, coastal lagoons, long sandy beaches and swampy plains. The capital city Lomé lies on the Gulf of Benin and is the only capital in the world situated right next to a border. Modern hotels line the beach, while the city's past can be uncovered among the pockets of colonial architecture and its traditions discovered in the famous fetish market, which sells traditional remedies and carved figures to ward off evil.
Togo has several National Parks which are home to buffaloes, elephants and antelope, as well as numerous tropical bird species. Coffee and cocoa farms, waterfalls and palm plantations characterize the country's plateau. In northeastern Togo the traditional mud-tower settlements of the Batammariba in the Koutammakou landscape were proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage in 2004.
10 REASONS TO VISIT TOGO
- Its small size, slightly inferior to Portugal and Galicia together, turns Togo into an easy country to visit and at the same moment affordable for the traveller who wishes to start in West Africa.
- The Togolese coast offers attractive beaches where you can relax and also explore into the countries colonial history, with the legacy of colonial Portuguese, German and French constructions all along the coast. It outstands the colonial town of Togoville, situated at a beautiful Island not far from Lomé.
- Near Lomé, capital of Togo, you can visit the largest fetish market of the Gulf of Guinea.
- The ancient city of Porto Seguro, presently known as Agbodrafo, was an important town of the slave trade in past centuries, and forms part of the legendary 'slave route'.
- Trekking to remote animistic villages living of the Kabyé Mountains, far from the coast, near the savannah and plateaus of the northern region.
- One of the more traditional ethnic groups of West Africa is Tamberna, relatives of the Somba in Benin, who still scarify their bodies and faces during complex rituals of initiation. Their dwellings, known as “tatas” are castle lookalikes made out of adobe.
- There are spectacular wrestling festivals or 'eval' taking place in the 'Country Kabyè' in the northern area of Togo.
- Throughout the year celebrations of traditional festivals related to the harvest, fertility and traditional animist beliefs are worthwhile a visit.
- Togolese craft from rural areas is of great quality and beauty. The Ewé ethnic group from Central Togo still carves fetish statues for their traditional practices. These fetishes can be bought at local markets.
- Along with the landscape and ethnic groups, Togo offers the possibility to observe wildlife in National Parks like Faza-Malfakassa.