Though Togo may take up only a sliver of the West African coastline, it has become one of the most popular destinations on the continent. There is nothing small about what this country and its people have to offer visitors. It is the perfect destination for the adventurous soul looking to experience West Africa. Travelers can learn about ancient voodoo rituals and medicine, shop in vibrant fabric markets, and explore mystical forests. You will fall in love with the colors, sights, sounds, and tastes of Togo.
Things to do in Togo
Any visitor to Lomé should not pass up the opportunity to visit this traditional voodoo fetish market. Tourists are often invited to participate in a small ceremony with a voodoo holy man and encouraged to hold and feed the live monkeys chained around the market. This is certainly an experience not to be missed, but beware of trying to take a shriveled monkey head in your suitcase through customs and back into your country!
Lomé’s central market is the commercial hub of the capital. Here one can find anything and everything, from shoes and motorcycle parts to fresh fruit and vegetables. The crowds of the market sway to the beat of Togolese music pumping from ancient boom boxes. Lomé’s market presents the quintessential picture of the spirit and vivacity of Togo and its people.
The Ewe people, one of Togo’s largest ethnic groups, moved into the area now known as Togo between the 12th and 14th centuries. Portuguese explorers arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries, marking the beginning of European influence in West Africa. Over the next two centuries the coast along the Gulf of Guinea became a major center of the slave trade, as well as the trade in such other commodities as sugar, coffee, cocoa, and gold. On April 27, 1960, Togo finally became an independent nation, led by President Sylvanus Olympio. Three years later Olympio was assassinated, and the leader of the opposition party, Nicolas Grunitzky, became president.
When to go
It is best to visit Togo during its cooler months (though it is always pretty hot): April to July and September to November. The best time to visit Togo is between January-March or between August-September. Avoid going during the rainy season. It is advised that you clear your plans with your embassy as a lot of countries have put Togo on the blacklist of unsafe travel areas for their citizens.
The climate in Togo is tropical; hot and humid in the southern parts and semiarid, dry and cooler in the north of the country. The rainy season is from April to July, with over 50 inches of rain annually and a shorter rainy spell in October and November. Temperatures in Lome average 27°C.
British Airways, Air Morroc, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Virgin Airlines, Air France, Arik.