For those who would like to see the origins of many African American and particularly Caribbean African traditions, one should look to West Africa. West Africa is full of many ancient peoples and rich cultures and traditions for intrepid explorers to explore. One of the countries that's an original of the Caribbean African traditions is Togo - and one can visit this friendly country.
Another rewarding and stable country to visit in West Africa is Senegal - there one can see giant Baobab trees and many West African delights. Africa is often not a particularly cheap continent to visit, but if one is backpacking, there are a number of tips on how to do it on a budget. Few people visit West Africa, but those who do have a different and memorable story to tell.
What To Know About Togo
Togo (officially called the Togolese Republic) borders Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, and Burkina Faso to the north. The capital and largest city is Lomé which is one of the smallest countries in Africa with an area of around 22,000 square miles (a little smaller than West Virginia).
- Capital: Lomé (and Largest City)
- Official Language: French
- Size: 22,000 sq miles or 57,000 km2
- Population: 8 Million
The country is also one of the narrowest countries in the world being less than 71 miles wide. In the 16th century, it became a major trading center for Europeans purchasing slaves (it was part of the "Slave Coast"). In 1884 Germany took possession of the land but lost it to France in World War One.
Togo achieved independence from France in 1960 and French remains the official language of the country (there are many native languages spoken in the country).
Why Visit Togo And What To Do There
Togo is a tropical country and relies heavily on agriculture and the largest religious group is indigenous beliefs. There are also many Christian and Muslim populations - often influenced by indigenous beliefs.
Travel to this off the beaten path and see a land full of diverse cultures and few tourists. One will see perfect beaches and butterfly-filled mountains with charming colonial towns. A trip to Togo is likely to be different from so many places that one will find around the world. It is a country that offers very different experiences, some of which are:
- Explore Local Indigenous Beliefs: See The Origin of Some Native African Beliefs Like Voodoo
- Butterfly Safari: Venture to Mont Klouto In The Highlands. See A Land of Dense Forest, Waterfalls, and Over 500 Different Species of Butterflies
- Paddle A Pirogue: Join The Togolese Fishermen And Paddle a Pirogue (Dugout Canoe)
- Eat Yams: Not An Attraction Many Would Expect To See Listed but Nowhere Grows and Prepares Yams Quite Like The Togolese
- Explore Lake Togo: Explore The Stunning Lake And See Where the Locals go To Relax
Tours Of Togo
Togo is not a country with well-developed tourist infrastructure, so one will be doing and seeing what few people get to do and see. There are some guided tours that one can book. The tours listed on TripAdvisor are often day tours in Togo or larger package tours of more countries in West Africa.
Another option is to build a tailor-made tour of Togo with Intrepidtravel.com. Alternatively, one can make one's own way there and immerse oneself in the rich and friendly culture of the local people. The ability to speak French is a bonus for traveling to Togo alone.
Check Up-To-Date Travel Advice Before Going To West Africa
Before visiting any country in West Africa it is recommended to check up-to-date official travel advisories. Some countries in West Africa are unstable and not safe to visit while others are fine (with normal safety precautions). For example, as of the date of writing (May 2022), the U.S. Department of State lists the northern neighbor, Burkina Faso, as Level 4 "Do Not Travel," while most of Togo enjoys Level 1 "Exercise Normal Precautions"
"Exercise normal precautions in Togo. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory..."U.S. Department of State - Read Full Travel Advisory
- Visa: Visa On Arrival For 7 Days - Extendable For 90 Days
Most countries in West Africa are fine to visit, although one should seek current advice and be vigilant about general crime. Togo has had a troubled past, but the security situation has improved in recent years.