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Togo

Togo
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The Togolese Republic or Togo is a state in West Africa. The capital city is Lome. Togo borders Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso. The Republic owns a small water area in the Gulf of Guinea.

The climate in Togo is sub-equatorial. The average temperature in March on the south of the country can reach +31°C and in summer, the average temperature is +21°C. On the north of Togo, from April to July the average temperature is about +35°C. So the best time for visiting Togo is European winter months.

The majority of the population practice traditional local religious cults. The official language is French.

If you choose Togo for a beach holiday go to Lome. The best beaches in the capital city are the Robinson Beach and the beaches near the Sarakawa Hotel. People also choose Lome because of a good shopping and city entertainments. The tourists can visit the Linda Oriental Market or the Farmers Market and Artisan Fair and buy some souvenirs. Those who want to buy some mystical items should visit a unique ‘idols market’ or Marche des Feticheurs. There one can find exclusive ritual things of the Voodoo cult.

The fans of esoterics should definitely go to Togoville, the place where Voodoo originated. In the Xetsavi district, the tourists will find the shops with Voodoo attributes and practising shamans. In the city, the tourists can see the Royal palace of Chief Mlapa V and the Notre Dame Cathedral built in 1910. On the Togo lake one can go fishing. The city tourism is also well-developed in Sokode, the second largest city in Togo.

There are many national parks in Togo, for example, the Keran national park, the Kuate Forest Reserve, and the major park in Togo Fazao-Malfakassa National Park which is situated in the Malfakassa Mountain. In Agbodrafo, there is the Mount Agou, the highest peak in Togo with the largest phosphorite reserves in the world.

Get in

There are no direct flights between Togo and Russia.

By Plane

Air Afrique, KLM, and Air France offer the flights to Togo from Europe. The most convenient route for the Russian tourists is with a transfer in Paris or Amsterdam. Brussels Airlines offer transit flights with a transfer in Brussels. Air Maroc offers the flights with a stop in Casablanca.

There are regular flights from Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and Nigeria.

By Land

An international bus is running between Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

There are regular bus routes connecting Lome and Cotonou, Lome and Ouagadougou. A highway links Lome and Accra.

Visa

The Russian, CIS, and European citizens must obtain a visa to travel to Togo.

To get a visa a few documents are required and an invitation. The normal time for processing the documents is 3-5 working days.

The tourists can also get a visa on arrival at the airport or a border crossing point. But such visa is given for 7 days only and you can extend your stay in the country.

Visa-free transit is prohibited.

There are no any restrictions concerning the movement across Togo for the European and Russia travelers.

Before travelling to Togo you must get a vaccination against yellow fever.

In Togo, the situation with cholera and malaria is very difficult.

Customs

The import and export of the national or foreign currency are restricted by the following Customs rule of the Togolese Republic:

  • it’s allowed to import 1.000.000 XOF (or the same sum in any other currency);
  • if the sum exceeds 5.000 Euros it must be declared;
  • the export of the local currency is limited to 25.000 XOF;
  • the export of foreign currency is limited to the sum indicated on the declaration form.

The tourists are allowed to bring in the following goods duty-free:

  • 1 item of video and photo gadgets;
  • personal belongings;
  • alcohol;
  • any fruits and vegetables (a phytosanitary certificate is not required);
  • tobacco.

It is not allowed to export from Togo:

  • exotic birds and animals;
  • exotic plants;
  • ivory, crocodile leather goods, and skins of animals without a special permission.

Gems, gold, and items with historical, cultural or artistic value are subject to inspection.

If you bring in pets you must provide a vet certificate.

Cuisine

The Togolese cuisine is typically African. All the dishes are hot and spicy. The traditional cuisine is based on fish, meat, vegetables, rice, and fruits. Many restaurants in Togo offer French cuisine.

Try one of the most popular dishes in Togo – Fufu. This is mashed cassava, bananas, boiled yams, and crushed peanuts. Fufu is usually served with vegetables and fish.

Those who prefer vegetarian dishes will surely like Baba Ganoush (spicy mashed eggplants), Taimtsa (rice with vegetables and peanut sauce), Plami (vegetables with garlic sauce), and Akume (maize flour pate with okra or spinach).

Sweet potato and bananas often replace bread for the Togolese people.

Those who have a sweet tooth will be disappointed because they will be offered only a pomegranate sorbet and exotic fruits.

Traditional drinks in Togo are sour palm wine and Tchakpallo from fermented millet.

Money

The official currency in Togo is the West African Franc (XOF) which is nominally is equal to Euro. The National Bank of Togo issues:

  • banknotes (from 500 to 10.000 XOF);
  • coins (from 1 to 250 XOF).

The tourists can exchange the currency at banks, in exchange offices or at the airport. Togo is part of the French Monetary Area. Credit cards are accepted in hotels, supermarkets, and banks in the capital city. The locals are more willing to accept American Express. At the Central Bank in Lome, the tourists can withdraw the money from their Visa card account.

You can cash traveller’s checks in Lome and some other large cities. We recommend taking the checks issued by the banks of France, the Bank of West African States or the bank of central African States.

Details of interest

Customs and Traditions in Togo

There is a low terrorist and criminal threat in Togo but lately, in Lome attacks became more frequent.

  • It is not recommended to visit the country during social and political conflicts.
  • Do not go out at night.
  • Do not visit the remote provinces without a guide.

Sightseeing in Togo

  • The capital city Lome. Take a walk along the Victory Avenue or go downtown and see the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of the Governors. The Independence Monument is a must-see. The Togo National Museum holds a large collection of traditional musical instruments. On the territory of the Museum, there is the National Botanical Garden and a Zoo. Here the tourists can also see the reconstruction of a traditional African village.
  • In the city of Atakpame, you will see cacao, coffee, and cotton plantations.
  • In the Forêt de Fazao National Park, the tourists can go safari. In the Park, there are viewing platforms offering amazing views over the untouched African nature.
  • In the Keran National Park, you will see hippopotami, giraffes, elephants, and many different birds.
  • In Agbodrafo, the tourists will see the highest peak in the Republic – the Mount Agou. Anyone can visit and take a picture of the phosphorite reserves.
  • In the village Sarakawa, there is the monument to the President Eyadéma. The monument was erected on the place where the plane crashed in 1974.
  • The tourists can take an excursion to Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba. This place is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Togolese Souvenirs

  • In Togoville, you can buy Voodoo attributes and ritual items, esoterics books, and shaman masks.
  • Everywhere in Togo, you can buy masks and pictures on the animals’ skins.
  • Look for jewellery with semi-precious stones in specialised shops in Lome.
  • Herbs and African spices are sold in Sokode.