Togo is a West African country that reaches from the Atlantic Ocean to the depths of landlocked Burkina Faso. On the other hand, this culturally rich country situated between Benin and the much larger Ghana has never been limited by its size. It’s a jumble of misty mountains and marshes, meandering rivers and muddy forests, all traversed by elephant herds and bushbuck.
Wonderful tourism spots in the country have enticed visitors from all over the world to come and experience this beautiful country. Togo’s beautiful beaches, gorgeous landscapes, and bustling markets combine to provide an unforgettable vacation experience.
The following are some fascinating Togo facts.
The majesty of Togo will be missed if one does not climb its spectacular mountains, which overlook some of the country’s most breathtaking views. Togo’s tallest peak, Mount Agou, is a renowned hiking destination. It is located in Togo’s Plateaux Region, south of Kpalimé, close to the Ghanaian border. This is a fantastic addition to your bucket list.
Spend some time on one of their beautiful beaches
Togo is well-known for its beautiful beaches, including Aneho and Lome. Several beaches have pristine sands and plenty of privacy. Put on your swimsuit, get a drink, and go for a swim in the calm ocean.
Make your way to a fishing community
Togo has many fishing villages with a close-knit community eager to welcome you. To select the best and safest areas, check with your hotel to see if fishing communities allow day visitors and what activities are offered.
Lome is a bustling market town that sways to the beat of African drums and has never-ending markets.
It was developed in the 1800s by German and other European traders and remains a mercantile character – just look at the ports, which are continuously laden with cocoa, palm products, and oil.
However, today, the earthy tribal allure of Voodoo helps to balance out the concrete jungle.
This captivates tourists to the city’s folk market’s huge fetish shops and talisman emporiums and explodes from the probing exhibitions at the Togo National Museum.
TIP: Make a point of going to the Grand Marche, a three-story-tall local bazaar.
It is unusual for a metropolis to bestow the name of a country and even more odd for a small cluster of Voodoo temples and mud-brick cottages to do so.
However, this is exactly what happened here in Togo’s little community.
In 1884, the expeditionary Nachtigal signed an agreement with the chieftain of the country to extend German rule over this region of West Africa.
PERSONAL NOTE: You can still see copies of the fascinating document today if you ask the tribe head right.
There is also a magnificent colonial chapel and a series of small beaches along the lakeshore that is ideal for wandering.
Agbodrafo, the second village worth visiting on Lake Togo’s shores, is well-known for its popular resort hotel, The Hotel le Lac.
This opulent collection of gleaming outdoor pools and stunning terraces extends to the water’s edge, providing guests with a spectacular stay on the banks of the country’s famous lagoon.
Furthermore, the town is well-known for its abundance of watersports, including everything from pedal boating to jet skiing on the water’s surface.
NOTE: The Atlantic Ocean, with its rolling waves and miles of sand, is to the south, on the other side of town.
Salt-washed canoes line the sandy shore of Aneho. Aneho, formerly the capital of German Togo; Aneho, formerly brimming with the money and dubious merchandise of African and European slave traffickers.
Yes, the ancient colonial authority is now a sleepy little fishing community that subsists entirely on Atlantic fruits.
Locals are earthy and interesting people who believe in the local Voodoo religion.
Despite this, two churches and a few Christian sites remain open to the public.
TIP: Get to know the locals. They are more interesting.
National Park of Fazao Malfakassa
The country’s largest national park is located in the country’s center.
It covers around 2,000 square kilometers and is known for its dense woods and riparian woodlands.
The presence of the ultra-rare forest elephant is the park’s main attraction and a primary reason for its construction in the 1970s.
Unfortunately, the big beast’s population has been significantly diminished due to illegal poaching in the area. Still, conservation measures are ongoing, and there are also bay duiker and antelopes, kobs, and bushbuck to keep safari enthusiasts entertained among the trees.
Koutammakou: World Heritage Site
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Koutammakou region of northern Togo as the “Land of the Batammariba” in 2004 and designated it as a World Heritage Site.
It is a rural area with thatch roofs and adobe walls.
The entire location provides insight into the indigenous people who fled here during the Slave Coast years to avoid incarceration and breathtaking views of mountain peaks, mud-cracked bushlands, and undulating vegetation slopes.
NOTE: You might also find Tamberma Valley listed – don’t worry, both areas are identical.
National Park of Keran
Keran National Park in northern Togo has preserved the riparian habitats surrounding the Kamongou River’s flowing courses since 1971.
The reserve has been developed and added to throughout the years, resulting in diverse ecosystems ranging from swamplands to steep escarpments.
The elephants, which may be seen lining the rivers all day, are the main draw.
Nonetheless, there are a few bushbuck and antelopes.
Surprisingly, the Keran National Park is closer to Ghana than Togo’s capital, Lome, located more than 500 kilometers to the south on the coast!
National Park of Fosse aux Lions
The Fosse aux Lions protected area is Togo’s most northern and least frequented national park.
Apart from the mysterious mud-brick towns of Koutammakou, the Savanes Region’s main draw is its patchwork of savannah and muddy swamplands, mires, and acacia-dotted plains, all of which are home to elephants.
Surprisingly, the Fosse aux Lions limits completely encircle Tandjouare, a rustic settlement that serves as an ideal base for trekking and game viewing in the vicinity.
Sokode, the main hub of the Centrale river fields, is intersected by the Mono and Mo streams, and its backcountry is irrigated by the meandering Kpondjo, Kpandi, and Na rivers.
And if you think that’s a lot of rivers, consider what the inhabitants have grown from the land using the lifeblood brought by the faraway hills’ waters:
- Cassava, and so on.
NOTE: The main draw is the indelible character of rural folks.
Add in the strange traditions of the Semassi warriors during the Kotokoli festival, and it’s easy to see why adventurous travelers enjoy visiting this part of Togo.
Mango: Explore the Mystry of UNESCO-listed Koutammakou monument
50,000-strong Mango is a dusty hamlet in northern Togo surrounded by the vast savannahs of the (aptly called) Savanes Region.
It is a land of hardworking villagers and fanatical mosque-goers, all bolstered by the presence of the Keran National Park and business ties to Ghana over the western border.
It’s a great place to stop if you’re looking for answers to the mysteries of the UNESCO-listed Koutammakou monument. It is situated on the main north-south road connecting Lome to its northernmost reaches.
In addition, Mango is home to the Hospital of Hope, a recently constructed Christian health mission in the area.
Palm palms sprout from Togo’s leisure center’s mud-caked tin shacks and low-lying dwellings.
It is a town known for its countryside and bazaars, hidden in the Plateaux Region’s jungle-covered highlands and peppered with German colonial antiques and the odd European-style church spire.
The former is home to Tomegbe and Kpoeta waterfalls and hiking paths on Mount Agou (the highest in the country). Artists that specialize in Voodoo wood carvings, unusual pottery, perplexing religious artifacts, and, of course, coffee beans, chocolate, and tropical fruits fall into the latter category.
Visit Bassar to Explore More about Agriculture
Take a bite of Bassar’s fufu yams and you’ll never want to leave, say the inhabitants in this agricultural powerhouse of Togo’s Kara Region.
True, there are few places where the diversity of yam growing in the surrounding fields is the main draw.
NOTE: Few yams, however, are as popular in national cuisine as the labaco type grown in Bassar.
This, of course, is not the case! You can also meet with Voodoo practitioners and visit the unsettling House of the Dead, commemorating ancient tribal chiefs.
Here, you’ll see the goat and other livestock sacrifices, as well as distinctive cultural processions.
Historically, Atakpame and its little basin tucked in the ghostly green Atakora Mountain were the site of a great fight.
It pitted the forces of two of West Africa’s most powerful empires — the Oyo and the Ashanti – against each other, with mercenaries and warriors from many tribal nations in the region assisting.
Over 300 years later, there is no evidence of the same barbarism, and Atakpame is a peaceful refuge for the indigenous Yoruba people.
Traditional marketplaces, plenty of business, and access to the verdant mountains on the horizon await visitors.
Tsevie is primarily an industrial area. It is a major production and processing facility for palm oil in Togo.
This also implies that it is a livable, modern town with engaged citizens and a lively attitude:
Colorful brick cathedrals live alongside thatched and adobe yurts.
Street dancing festivals will sprout on religious holidays.
Furthermore, and perhaps most crucially for adventurous tourists, trekking expeditions and treks to the Foret d’ Lili and the nearby Maritime Region will be possible.
Koutammakou, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Togo’s Tamberma Valley, is the country’s most picturesque locale.
This destination in the country’s far north is definitely worth the trip if you want to have a truly African experience, and the sites along the way provide an additional opportunity to visit the rest of the country.
The intriguing Kpalime highlands, which include the country’s highest mountain, are closer to Lome. Excellent views of the surrounding area and across to neighboring Ghana may be had from here.
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Customs and Cuisine of Togo