West Africa: Ghana, Togo, Benin

Travel Idea:

West Africa: Ghana, Togo, Benin

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Length of trip:

15 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 4695

Best travel dates to go:

Any time.


Detailed Description of this trip:

Ghana is a bright light and vibrant song in West Africa. Prosperous and pro-American, Ghana gives you a sense of energetic people pleased to have you as a guest. Ghana was formerly known as the Gold Coast, and gold is still an important export. Named after an ancient kingdom dating to the 4th Century, the present day country does not correspond to the geographical boundaries of Ancient Ghana, but there are still plenty of local kings, with significant ceremonial power and traditional wealth. Ghana as a nation is democratic and often viewed as a political and economic model for Africa. Togo and Benin, lying to the east of Ghana, are smaller but still attractive to visitors. Commercial and subsistence agriculture are the main sources of employment and the rural countryside offers photographic and contemplative opportunities. Traditional crafts, music, drama and spiritual practice provide a focus to any trip.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Accra

    On arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, you will be met by your guide and taken for a leisurely welcome breakfast.

    Sightseeing

    Full of contrasts, Accra is a great introduction to Ghana. It is a low-key capital city, which originated as a scattering of villages. In the afternoon, the colorful central market, Makola, is sure to delight the senses.

    Hotel

    Overnight at the Shangrila Hotel (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 2 - Cape Coast

    Sightseeing

    On the way to the lively town of Cape Coast, stopping at the Pusuban Shrine at Mankessim en route. The Pusuban Shrines are groupings of painted, sculpted figures representing animals, people and objects, and can be found in Fanti villages around coastal forts.

    Museums

    In the heart of Cape Coast itself, enjoy a tour of the Cape Coast Castle, overlooking the sea. This majestic castle has changed hands many times over the past 400 years, and now, restored, it houses a museum with displays on the history and culture of Ghana and the slave trade.

    Hotel

    Dinner and overnight at the Elmina Beach Resort (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 3 - Kumasi

    Kumasi Area Villages.
    Sightseeing

    Travel to the Kumasi area and tour Bonwire village, which specializes in weaving Kente cloth. Continue to the Ntonso and Ahwiaa villages, known for adinkra cloth printing and woodcarving, respectively.

    Museums

    Finally visit the Manhyia Palace, the Ashanti King’s residence, where you can gain insight into traditional African democracy and the rich Ashanti culture. This Royal Museum houses drums and palanquins which are over hundred years old.

    Hotel

    Dinner and overnight at the Georgia Hotel (or similar) in Kumasi.
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 4 - Kumasi

    Mole National Park.
    National Parks

    Travel to Mole National Park, stopping in Techiman for a snack, and then in Kintampo to view the waterfalls before continuing the drive. Mole is Ghana’s largest national park, and considered the best for wildlife viewing. You have a good chance of seeing elephants, wart hogs, antelope, and baboons.

    Safari

    Enjoy an evening safari in the park.

    Food and Dining

    Have dinner at the Mole Motel (or similar) located within the park.
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 5 - Bolgatanga

    Bolgatanga.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, drive to Bolgatanga, also known as “Bolga,” the capital of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Visit the whitewashed mud-and-pole Larabanga mosque, the oldest of its kind in Ghana, and have snacks en route.

    Shopping

    On arrival in Bolgatanaga, visit the market and Bolga Naba’s Palace. Bolga’s market is a center for crafts, textiles, leather work, multicolored baskets, and the famous Bolga straw hats.

    Museums

    There is also a small museum with information about the northeast region.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner and overnight at the Sira Hotel (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 6 - Natitingou

    Natitingou - Tata Somba Villages.
    Sightseeing

    Embark overland through Togo to Natitingou, Benin, located in the Atakora mountains. This afternoon, tour some of the Tata Somba villages, located to the southwest in the plains of Boukoumbe. Also called the Betamaribe people, the Somba live scattered apart in the countryside, rather than forming larger communities. Their houses, called tata somba, consist of tiered round huts that look like miniature fortresses. The ground floor is for the animals, the kitchen is on the middle level, and the upper rooms are for sleeping, with a terrace for daytime living and a round turret for grain storage. Most Somba are devout animists, having avoided influence by Islam and Christianity.

    Hotel

    Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Tata Somba (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 7 - Djougou

    Taneka Villages - Djougou.
    Sightseeing

    Visit the Taneka villages en route to Djougou. On arrival in Djougou, take a tour of the city including the local market.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Dungah (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 8 - Cotonou

    Abomey - Cotonou.
    Private Car Service

    After breakfast at the hotel, travel to Abomey.

    Sightseeing

    Visit the Royal Palace and the museum inside. The original massive complex was partly destroyed by fire and the remaining parts of the palace are restored, including bas-reliefs depicting the history of the Dahomey Kingdom, and rooms containing elaborately carved thrones of past kings and voodoo artifacts among other items dating back hundreds of years.

    Arts, Crafts and Antiques

    Also visit the crafts market. Continue to Cotonou, a large coastal city on the Gulf of Guinea.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner and overnight at the Hotel duLac (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 9 - Benin

    Ganvi Stilt Village - Ouidah - Grand Popo.
    Sightseeing

    The inhabitants of Ganvié village live in bamboo stilt houses built on Lake Nokoue. After lunch, continue to Ouidah, the voodoo center of Benin. Visit the Temple des Serpents, a sacred python temple, located in the center of town. The Voodoo shrine is a sacred forest which contains sculptures and woodcarvings of African deities on a spiritual site.

    Museums

    Then, visit the Casa do Brazil; now a museum, this former Brazilian governor’s house displays depictions of voodoo culture and rituals and the dispersion of Africans from this region.

    Hotel

    Finally, drive to Grand Popo for your dinner and overnight at the Grand Popo Ausberg (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 10 - Lome

    Lome - Akosedesewa.
    Sightseeing

    Traveling overland, you will arrive in Togo’s capital, Lomé, a colorful mix of both modern and traditional. Enjoy a tour of the city, the Place de l'Independence and the National Museum.

    Sightseeing

    Observe sacred voodoo shrines side by side with the city’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Togo’s sparse coastline is home to several small fishing villages, some of them with fine examples of colonial architecture.

    Shopping

    In the Lomé central market, or Grand Marche, you can find pearls, baskets, pottery, and sacred pieces. After lunch in China Town, stop at the Akodesséwa fetishes market, where you can find magic remedies and local voodoo charms used by local sorcerers.

    Hotel

    Dinner and overnight at the Sarakawa Hotel (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 11 - Togo

    Kpalime.
    Sightseeing

    Kpalime is situated amidst the mountainous cacao and coffee growing region. Explore nearby Klouto, home to a large variety of butterflies.

    Shopping

    After lunch, visit the market.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner and overnight at the Auberge Kpalime (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 12 - Ghana

    Wli Waterfalls - Mt. Afadjato - Akosombo.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, travel overland back into Ghana to visit the Wli Falls, within the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary. An easy 40-minute scenic walk takes you to the horseshoe of cliffs. Visit the Tafi Atome monkey sanctuary and Mt. Afadjato, the highest point in Ghana, before continuing the drive to Akosombo.

    Hotel

    Dinner and overnight at the Volta Hotel (or similar) for two nights.
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 13 - Ghana

    Akosombo.
    Sightseeing

    Akosombo is the town at the dam holding back the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Volta. Take a tour of the dam and enjoy a lunch cruise on Lake Volta.

    Hotel

    Return to the Volta Hotel (or similar) for your overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Day 14 - Accra

    Shopping

    Return to Accra, and visit the crafts market for some last minute shopping.

    Food and Dining

    Have lunch at the Country Kitchen and a farewell dinner at Afrikiko Gardens.

    Hotel

    Overnight for your final night in Ghana at the Lapalm Royal Beach Resort (or similar).
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 15 - Accra

    Accra - Onward.

    After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
    Meals: Breakfast

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