• Togo
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Togo

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
Although Togo is the smallest country in West Africa, it plays host to all the different landscapes in Africa and to over forty different tribes. From the beaches' fine sands to the savannah, Togo offers a travel into the heart of the true Africa. The low exposure to tourism has allowed the country's traditions to survive and its cultural diversity to endure. However, tourists who do travel to Togo are welcomed by kind and smiling people.

Our Editorial team's advice

Take camera films when travelling and seek permission before taking snapshots of the people. Avoid taking photos of the police or official buildings and similarly do not wander around the presidential palace at Lome. Seek permission from the village chief before visiting a site on their territory. Make sure you see the Chebe dance (on stilts) at Atakpame. On another topic, do go and watch the knife festival at Sokodé (end of August), a Muslim ceremony in which men, who seem to be in a trance, dance while slashing their bodies with swords and knives, and washing their faces with splinters of glass.
It is strongly inadvisable to swim along the coast of Togo due to tidal waves, only a few developed areas offer safe swimming.

pros

  • +The cost of living is low.
  • +Togolese songs and dances.
  • +Animist cult celebrations.

cons

  • -The fragile security and frequent police checks.
  • -Pollution and sea hazards.
  • -Ruined by poaching, the national parks offer limited attractions.

Food

Togo offers one of the best cuisines in West Africa. Most of its specialties comprise sauce with rice, corn (in the form of corn meal or steamed pancake) or yam fufu. The sauce is cooked with groundnuts, fish, tomatoes, eggplants or spinach. You can also taste the very popular koliko (fried yam) or, beans or plantain fritters, the abobo (snail kebab), the egbo pinon (smoked goat meat) and the koklo meme (roast chicken with pepper sauce). Gourmet attractions include eating bats in Atakpame. As liqueur, you will find the sodabi (palm wine), the tchoucoutou (very thick millet beer) or the tchakpallo (fermented millet).

Souvenirs

As souvenirs, you can take back engravings, batiks, jewellery, traditional masks, wood carvings and religious statues. At Lome, the handicraft village, the Rue Foch and the Rue du Commerce, are the best places to shop for souvenirs. Businesses are open from 8:00 am to 5 :30 pm from Monday to Friday and from 7:30 am to 12:30 am on Saturdays.