22 Day Ghana Togo and Benin Grand Tour

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Ghana

Ghana is often referred to as 'Africa for beginners' and for good reason. It is a friendly and largely safe country with locals who typically speak excellent English and are usually eager to help first time foreigners find their feet on African soil. This spectacularly scenic nation boasts an exquisite tropical coastline and some exceptional national parks providing a haven for some unusual flora and fauna. The capital, Accra is a thriving metropolis complete with bustling markets, luxury hotels and a lively nightlife scene. Pack your itinerary with visits to gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, ancient forts, historical castles, and quaint fishing villages. Whether you are seeking a relaxing beach vacation or are keen to immerse yourself in the fascinating ancient cultures of this nation’s diverse ethnic groups, Ghana offers a unique and compelling African experience.

Accra

Days 1 - 3

The word ‘vim’ is Ghanaian slang for ‘energy and industriousness’ and it is this lively atmosphere that overwhelmingly permeates the nation’s bustling capital, Accra. The city offers an intriguing combination of city and village life. Affluent neighbourhoods complete with upmarket restaurants, glitzy shopping malls, and western fast food chains are interspersed with lower economic areas characterised by the bustling street culture that engulfs much of the rest of Ghana. While the city’s vibrant atmosphere and daily life is undoubtedly its primary drawcard, visitors should also take the time to visit: Osu Castle; Nkrumah Memorial Park; the raucous Labadi Beach; and the hidden alleys, old stone houses, and wonderful cliff-top harbour vistas of Jamestown. The National Museum is also certainly worth a visit and provides insight into Ghana’s fascinating history and culture from prehistory to the present.

Accommodation

Mahogany Lodge

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Accra

Kumasi

Days 3 - 6

Renowned for its cultural heritage the city of Kumasi serves as an important Ashanti cultural centre of the Ashanti Region in Ghana.The ancient capital of the Ashanti Kingdom features a fascinating blend of modern and historical treasures. Visitors can look forward to exploring many interesting sites and enjoy a host of wonderful activities including: browsing the fascinating open-air Kejetia Market, offering locally made goods; visiting the Jubilee Museum, which displays ceremonial garments and jewellery of the 20th-century Ashanti King; and learning more about Ashanti traditions at the popular National Cultural Centre.

Accommodation

Noda Hotel

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Kumasi

Elmina

Days 6 - 8

Located along the south coast of Ghana, the fishing port of Elmina is best-known for its beautiful beaches and serves as the capital of the region. It is also known as a historical slave trading port and offers visitors a glimpse into the tragic history of the slave trade. Visitors can learn more about the area's past by visiting a number of fascinating sites including: the 17th-century Fort St. Jago, the Elmina Java Museum, the Dutch Cemetery and Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482, it is the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

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Elmina

Accra

Days 8 - 9

As previously described

Accommodation

Mahogany Lodge

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Accra

Togo

Set along the magnificent Atlantic Coast in West Africa, the off-the-beaten-track country of Togo is known for its varied landscapes, pristine white-sand beaches, and diverse cultural heritage. Togo also offers a huge dose of tradition with almost 40 different ethnic groups celebrating their rich culture and traditions with an array of festivals held throughout the year. Visitors can laze on the palm-fringed beaches of Lome and Aneho, view the amazing 17th-century mud huts of Koutammakou, and explore the country’s spectacular interior, known for its cocoa and coffee plantations and undulating savannah-covered hills traversed by a network of scenic hiking trails. Other highlights include: visiting hilltop villages, browsing the fascinating fetish market, and soaking up Togo ’s beautiful wilderness at the national parks of Fazao and Keran.

Lome

Days 9 - 10

Situated on Africa’s west coast fringing the Gulf of Guinea, the charming city of Lome serves as the capital and largest city of Togo in West Africa. Once known as ‘The Pearl of West Africa’, today it is a sprawling city boasting palm-lined boulevards edged by colonial buildings, a variety of street-side eateries and vibrant markets. Highlights include: the Akodessewa Fetish Market, selling voodoo items; the National Museum housed in the Congressional Palace, displaying an array of traditional West African masks, musical instruments and jewellery; as well as the UNESCO-listed traditional mud-tower settlements of the Batammariba in the Koutammakou. Visitors can also look forward to soaking up Lome's rich cultural heritage featuring a mix of German, Portuguese and British influences, or relaxing at a beachside hotel after a long day of exploring the fascinating city streets.

Accommodation

Hotel Residence Madiba

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Lome

Ouidah

Days 10 - 11

Located on the infamous strip of West Africa’s shoreline known as the Slave Coast, Ouidah was once the capital of the country’s human trafficking trade. During the 18th and 19th century, slaves captured from all over the region were taken to the town to be shipped onwards to other parts of the world. Today, this tragic episode in history is commemorated with a memorial trail lined with monuments, including the Tree of Forgetfulness and the Door of No Return. Benin is the birthplace of the original form of voodoo – known here as Vodun – and one of Ouidah’s most intriguing and bizarre attractions is the Temple of Pythons, home to around 60 snakes that are held holy in this animist religion. Another must-see is the Sacred Forest – dotted with statues representing Vodun deities.

Accommodation

La Casa del Papa

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Ouidah

Cotonou

Days 11 - 13

Cotonou is Benin’s biggest city and a key financial hub located on the country’s south coast – crowded, cosmopolitan and potently atmospheric. There is nowhere better to experience its essence than at Dantokpa Market – West Africa’s largest outdoor market, sprawling over 200 000 square metres. Vendors peddle a vast and eclectic assortment of spices, fresh produce, traditional African prints, religious ornaments, jewellery and more. The market’s sheer size is intimidating, not to mention the crowds and frenzy within, but its vibrant energy and excellent shopping opportunities make it well worth a visit. Other highlight attractions are the Cotonou Cathedral, with its candy-striped facade of wine-red and white tiles, the Fondation Zinsou, an art museum showcasing contemporary African art and cultural displays, and to the west of the city, lovely Obama Beach.

Accommodation

La Maison de CanelYa

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Cotonou

Benin

Situated in West Africa, Benin is known for its pristine beaches, bountiful wildlife and rich history. Benin features stilted villages, numerous national parks and a dark past linked to the slave trade. This French-speaking West African nation is also known as the birthplace of the Voodoo religion. Visitors can explore French colonial architecture in the laid-back capital of Porto Novo; discover the bustling commercial hub of Cotonou, home to an impressive cathedral and the vibrant Dantokpa Market; and spot aardvarks and cheetahs at W National Park. Other popular attractions include: the Royal Palaces of Abomey, the Ouidah Museum of History and the eerie Door of No Return.

Abomey

Days 13 - 14

Set in southern Benin, the town of Abomey once served as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to 19th centuries. It is home to majestic royal palaces, sacred tombs, and a fascinating museum. The Abomey Palaces have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visitors flock here to view these stately structures and soak up the history of Benin. These enchanting earthen structures lie in ruins except for the surviving palaces of Glele and Ghezo which form the Historical Museum of Abomey, featuring bas-reliefs lining the walls and an eery throne mounted on human skulls. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the traditional crafts and applique textiles at the local crats and arts centre.

Accommodation

Sun City Hotel

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Abomey

Benin

Days 14 - 15

Situated in West Africa, Benin is known for its pristine beaches, bountiful wildlife and rich history. Benin features stilted villages, numerous national parks and a dark past linked to the slave trade. This French-speaking West African nation is also known as the birthplace of the Voodoo religion. Visitors can explore French colonial architecture in the laid-back capital of Porto Novo; discover the bustling commercial hub of Cotonou, home to an impressive cathedral and the vibrant Dantokpa Market; and spot aardvarks and cheetahs at W National Park. Other popular attractions include: the Royal Palaces of Abomey, the Ouidah Museum of History and the eerie Door of No Return.

Accommodation

Hotel Tata Somba

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Benin

Pendjari National Park

Days 15 - 18

Nestled in the savannah lands of northwestern Benin, Pendjari National Park forms part of a vast nature reserve, shared with Burkina Faso and Niger. The surrounding hills and cliffs of the Atakora mountain range provide a backdrop of splendour and serene isolation. The reserve is home to large elephant and lion populations, as well as hippopotamus, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, antelope, warthog and more wildlife. It is a bird watcher's paradise with over 100 different avian species, including hooded vultures, booted eagles and Pel's fishing owls. In 2017 it was officially acclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The welcoming and traditionally authentic tribal villages nearby provide rich ceremonial and cultural experiences with large clay castles, traditional carvings and bronze figurines.

Accommodation

Hotel Pendjari

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Pendjari National Park

Togo

Set along the magnificent Atlantic Coast in West Africa, the off-the-beaten-track country of Togo is known for its varied landscapes, pristine white-sand beaches, and diverse cultural heritage. Togo also offers a huge dose of tradition with almost 40 different ethnic groups celebrating their rich culture and traditions with an array of festivals held throughout the year. Visitors can laze on the palm-fringed beaches of Lome and Aneho, view the amazing 17th-century mud huts of Koutammakou, and explore the country’s spectacular interior, known for its cocoa and coffee plantations and undulating savannah-covered hills traversed by a network of scenic hiking trails. Other highlights include: visiting hilltop villages, browsing the fascinating fetish market, and soaking up Togo ’s beautiful wilderness at the national parks of Fazao and Keran.

Kara

Days 18 - 19

Kara is a city located in northern Togo. It includes a busy marketplace, various luxury hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs. The region of Kara is also rich in cultural heritage where locals celebrate Kamaka, Habye and Evala during July. Travellers can enjoy numerous natural and cultural sites including the Sarakawa Wildlife Reserve, Niamtougou and Koutammakou landscape as well as Kabyes Mountains where travellers will go through the old colonial tracks and discover the local people and their handmade crafts.

Accommodation

Hotel Kara

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Kara

Ghana

Ghana is often referred to as 'Africa for beginners' and for good reason. It is a friendly and largely safe country with locals who typically speak excellent English and are usually eager to help first time foreigners find their feet on African soil. This spectacularly scenic nation boasts an exquisite tropical coastline and some exceptional national parks providing a haven for some unusual flora and fauna. The capital, Accra is a thriving metropolis complete with bustling markets, luxury hotels and a lively nightlife scene. Pack your itinerary with visits to gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, ancient forts, historical castles, and quaint fishing villages. Whether you are seeking a relaxing beach vacation or are keen to immerse yourself in the fascinating ancient cultures of this nation’s diverse ethnic groups, Ghana offers a unique and compelling African experience.

Tamale

Days 19 - 20

Located at the confluence of three ancient trade routes, the vibrant, fast-growing city of Tamale rests in the heart of the northern region of Ghana in the kingdom of Dagbon. Tamale is a buzzing commercial hub of the region featuring an architectural mix of traditional mud houses, ornate mosques and more modern buildings including the new Tamale stadium. Visitors can immerse themselves in local culture by visiting the Kukuo Pottery Village or the Dakpema Palace where the Tamale king resides, sip the local non-alcoholic maize brew called Toose or ginger lamujee drink while watching the sunset, sample the traditional cuisine of grilled guinea fowl, waakye; or enjoy the buzzing northern Ghanaian music scene. Nature lovers can investigate the vast lush forest space and savannahs of the Mole National Park which boasts a myriad of wildlife including leopards, buffalo, elephants, hippos, and birds such as the white-backed vulture.

Accommodation

Gariba Lodge

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Tamale

Ghana

Days 20 - 22

Ghana is often referred to as 'Africa for beginners' and for good reason. It is a friendly and largely safe country with locals who typically speak excellent English and are usually eager to help first time foreigners find their feet on African soil. This spectacularly scenic nation boasts an exquisite tropical coastline and some exceptional national parks providing a haven for some unusual flora and fauna. The capital, Accra is a thriving metropolis complete with bustling markets, luxury hotels and a lively nightlife scene. Pack your itinerary with visits to gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, ancient forts, historical castles, and quaint fishing villages. Whether you are seeking a relaxing beach vacation or are keen to immerse yourself in the fascinating ancient cultures of this nation’s diverse ethnic groups, Ghana offers a unique and compelling African experience.

Accommodation

Tap Hotel

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Ghana
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