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Ghana, Togo & Benin Cultural Discovery Tour

Voodoo & Villages in West Africa


West Africa is a captivating blend of ancient festivals, colorful masks, Voodoo spirits, and traditional art forms that will leave you spellbound. This cultural immersion in Ghana, Togo and Benin takes you from one of the oldest European buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa to contemporary museums that reveal the intertwining of old and new, from funerals that are anything but somber to symbolic mask dances that few intrepid travelers ever have the chance to witness. You'll feel the soulful spirit of West Africa as you meet local people, marvel at the continent's raw and beautiful landscapes, learn about the mysteries and power of Voodoo, and feel the rhythms alongside villagers at the Akwasidae or Fetatrotro festival (certain departures). It's an unforgettable way to experience a diversity of cultures and history in one multi-country adventure.

16 Days

From: $8,995

West Africa is a captivating blend of ancient festivals, colorful masks, Voodoo spirits, and traditional art forms that will leave you spellbound. This cultural immersion in Ghana, Togo and Benin takes you from one of the oldest European buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa to contemporary museums that reveal the intertwining of old and new, from funerals that are anything but somber to symbolic mask dances that few intrepid travelers ever have the chance to witness. You'll feel the soulful spirit of West Africa as you meet local people, marvel at the continent's raw and beautiful landscapes, learn about the mysteries and power of Voodoo, and feel the rhythms alongside villagers at the Akwasidae or Fetatrotro festival (certain departures). It's an unforgettable way to experience a diversity of cultures and history in one multi-country adventure.

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Highlights


  • Follow expert guides to some of the most remote villages in Ghana, Togo and Benin, where you'll soak up rich local traditions
  • Witness the mesmerizing beauty of traditional African architecture and way of life -- including a West African cooking workshop
  • Marvel at the most spectacular masked dances and Voodoo rituals

Ghana, Togo & Benin Cultural Discovery Adventure

Start: Accra, Ghana  End: Lome, Togo

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Accra, Ghana

    Day 1

    Welcome to Accra, the vibrant capital of Ghana. Meet your English-speaking guide outside the airport and transfer to your hotel in Osa — a leafy suburb of the city. You'll have time to explore the area before enjoying a welcome dinner with your group tonight.

    Accommodation: La Villa Boutique Hotel

    Meals: Dinner

  • Explore Historic Accra

    Day 2

    Start the day with a one-hour guided walk through the vibrant and historic ocean-facing neighborhood of Jamestown. A unique treat awaits next: a visit to the Fantasy Coffins workshop, a place that specializes in handcrafted coffins shaped like fruit, animals, fish, cars, airplanes — you name it! The coffins, also known as FAVs (fantastic afterlife vehicles), are made by specialized carpenters only in the Greater Accra region. These unique pieces are collected worldwide and showcased in museums. Next, explore the National Museum for an introduction to Ghana's history and culture. After lunch, enjoy a scenic drive to the village of Anomabo located on Ghana's central coast.

    Accommodation: Anomabo Beach Resort

    Activity: 1-hour easy walking city tour

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Castles, Dungeons & Slave Trade History in Elmina

    Day 3

    Soak up the palm-fringed coast on the way to the lively trading town of Elmina and its pretty harbor, bobbing with wooden fishing boats. Explore the UNESCO-listed 15th-century Elmina Castle, an infamous location in the history of the slave trade. Elmina Castle was used by European colonialists as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory, and humans, for over five centuries. Entering the slave dungeons and witnessing the 'Door of No Return' is a profound and moving experience. After lunch, return to Anomabo and take an easy walk in Old Town to discover the elaborate Posuban, colorful shrines of the Asafo companies. Explore the lively alleyways of Old Town, then return to the hotel. Relax on the beach in the afternoon.

    Accommodation: Anomabo Beach Resort

    Activity: 1.5-hour easy walking tour

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Kumasi, Capital of the Historic Ashanti Kingdom

    Day 4

    Enjoy a drive across a tropical forest region and arrive in Kumasi, the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom — one of pre-colonial Africa's most powerful nations. Explore Kumasi's colorful market and its elaborate array of crafts. Marvel at the Ashanti Cultural Center, with a fascinating collection of artifacts on display. Witness a traditional Ashanti funeral, where relatives and friends gather to celebrate the deceased, who is believed to join a long line of ancestors via the ceremony. Chiefs and their courtiers arrive under the shade of colorful umbrellas, while drums accompany the dancers. It's a highly symbolic and special ceremony in which to participate. This evening will include an optional city tour with live band performances, nightlife and local contemporary music.

    Accommodation: Lancaster Kumasi City Hotel

    Activity: 45-minute easy walking tour; 1-hour traditional ceremony

    Transportation: 5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Participate in The Akwasidae Festival

    Day 5

    Join in the festivities of celebrating the Ashanti King - one of the most traditional ceremonies to survive into the modern day. Witness the colorful processions, the ceremonies surrounding this ancient rite, and absorb the rhythms of dances. The splendors and the rituals are quite intense and vivid, including gold and magnificently colored cloths. Soak it all up as the grand monarchs are honored by their people.

    Accommodation: Encom Hotel

    Activity: Akwasidae Festival

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit a Sacred Forest & Explore the Northern Savannah

    Day 6

    As you venture out into the Brong Afo region from Techiman, leave the main road and follow a track into a sacred forest. The population that resides here considers the wild monas and colobus monkeys to be their ancestors. Take an easy walk beneath the shade of giant trees, keeping an eye out for those sacred monkeys roaming about the forest. Later, you'll drive north, noticing as the environment changes. Leave the forest and its tall, lush vegetation and enter the savannah landscape with its baobabs and their bare branches. The Akan people have resided here for centuries in traditional, round huts in the forest.

    Accommodation: Gariba Lodge

    Activity: 1-hour easy walking

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Meet the Dagomba Tribe & Walk with Witches

    Day 7

    Today you'll visit with the Dagomba tribe that lives in the savannah region. Notice the thatched-roof, round clay huts, and take a peek inside the village chief's house where the council of elders meet. Continue your exploration to meet a large settlement of alleged witches, exiled from their villages. Take a walk through the village and talk to these women about their lives. Later, continue driving along a dusty track to the border of Togo, reaching your hotel late in the evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel Kara

    Activity: 1.5-hour easy village walk

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enter Benin via Kabye Mountain Communities

    Day 8

    Walk in the mountains and see Kabye dwellings, locally known as soukala. Witness potters using an ancestral molding technique, and blacksmiths shaping iron with heavy stones instead of hammers and anvil, a technique used in the Iron Age. Cross the border with Benin, and visit a nomadic camp of the Fulani, the largest tribe of Zebu cow herders in West Africa. Absorb the breathtaking sight of the herdsmen watching over their animals.

    Accommodation: Hotel Tata Somba

    Activity: 1-hour easy walking tour

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Adobe Castles of the Somba People

    Day 9

    Walk through the highlands and see the Somba people's adobe houses, shaped like small castles. These are some of the most magnificent examples of traditional African architecture. Get a unique opportunity to visit a local home for a closer look at the Somba way of life, and learn about their captivating cosmology. Back at the hotel, spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or visit the town's small but interesting ethnographic museum, and the town's bustling market.

    Accommodation: Hotel Tata Somba

    Activity: 1.5-hour easy walking tour

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Traditional Fetish Hill Villages

    Day 10

    Enjoy a long but thrilling day of exploration. Follow a rocky path to the traditional Taneka villages made up of round adobe huts covered with conical roofs. See the mix of ethnic groups in this melting-pot area with its unique cults and initiation rites. Wander through the villages along rock-lined alleyways, noticing the ancient and mysterious carvings on the rocks, representing the many populations who have dwelt here in the past. Stop at the Dankoli Fetish, a shrine for ancient animistic cults that are still practiced; local people come here to pray for things they need. Fresh traces of sacrifice, such as blood, palm alcohol and oil you'll see on the shrine are evidence that the prayers have been fulfilled.

    Accommodation: Hotel Jeko

    Activity: 1.5-hour moderate walking

    Transportation: 7-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Kingdoms & Traditions in Benin

    Day 11

    Today join your guide on an informative walk through the historic streets of Abomey. The ancient capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to 19th centuries, the city was the site of 12 royal palaces from each succeeding king, most now in ruins. You will meet families descended from Dahomey lineages, learn about the symbols of the ancient Dahomey Kingdom, and discover its history and economy. They operated the slave trade but also challenged the powerful armies that came to colonize the African continent. Find out about the royal army's female troop, famous for its boldness and fighting spirit. Attend an Orò ceremony, a rarely seen ritual of resistance and courage. The ceremony has ancient Yoruba origins and is only celebrated by male descendants. It's an unforgettable experience. Note: The Abomey Royal Palace Museum, which was previously part of this itinerary, is currently closed for renovation with no confirmed completion date.

    Accommodation: Residence Celine

    Activity: 1.5-hour palace visit & 1.5-hour ceremony

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Experience Mask Dances

    Day 12

    Today explore Ketou, the capital of an ancient and prestigious Yoruba kingdom. Visit the palace and be received by the Oba (King) Adedu Loye, 51st Alaketu and his dignitaries. Cherish the opportunity to see the dazzling Gelede mask dance, with more than 20 singers and dancers performing. Continue to Porto Novo, the country's former capital, to attend the Egun mask spectacle: the men wearing the masks symbolize the dead, emerging from the forest and forming a street procession.

    Accommodation: Residences Ouadada

    Activity: 40-minute palace visit & 3 hours masked dances

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Lake Nokwe's Stilt Village

    Day 13

    Feel the hustle and bustle of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin, as thousands of zemidjans (moto-taxis) buzz about, driven by their purple- or yellow-uniformed drivers. From here, head to the boat dock and enjoy a ride across Lake Nokwe to Ganvie, the largest and most beautiful African stilt village. Inhabitants of the Tofinou ethnic group build their huts on teak stilts and cover the roofs with a thick leaf layer. Watch the local Tofinou people fish using traditional methods, and admire the way they managed to preserve their traditions and the lush natural environment. See idyllic daily life revolve around the canoes that men, women, and children guide with ease, using brightly colored poles.

    Accommodation: Casa del Papa

    Activity: 2-hour boat tour

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Ouidah, Capital of African Voodoo

    Day 14

    Today delve right into Benin's Ouidah, where African Voodoo thrives. Conquered in the 18th century, it was one of the main slave-shipping harbors. Take in the city's unique blend of Afro-Brazilian architecture and its Voodoo Python Temple. Learn about the comparison between African and Caribbean Voodoo and walk along the 'slave road' to the beach, leading to the 'Door of No Return,' where captives used to board the trade vessels to the Americas. Visit Villa Adjavon, built in 1922 in Afro-Brazilian architectural style, and see its exhibit of contemporary African Art. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing at the hotel's shady beach bar or swimming pool, or heading out for kayaking or a boat cruise on the lagoon.

    Accommodation: Casa del Papa

    Activity: 2-hour temple and fort visit; 45-minute villa visit; optional kayaking and boat cruise

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Venture into the Land of Voodoo

    Day 15

    Cruise by pirogue along the Mono River, reaching an amazing estuary as the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Discover small villages where women still extract salt using ancient techniques. Enjoy pristine, white-sand beaches and navigate through lagoons lined by small mangrove forests. Admire the large and artistically sculptured pirogues used by local fishermen. Take in a Zangbeto mask dance performance in a village. These large masks covered by colored straw represent non-human spirits, the forces of nature and the night. Cross the border to Togo and join a Voodoo ceremony in a remote settlement. Witness this age-old complex religion that is still fervently practiced in Africa today, a spectacular sight to behold.

    Accommodation: Hotel 2 Fevrier

    Activity: 3-hour boat cruise and village tour

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Lome & Depart from Togo

    Day 16

    Wander Togo's vibrant capital of Lomé with a local artist for an in-depth view of its buzzing streetscape. Visit the central market where fabric is sold to all over West and Central Africa; explore the colonial history, still very present in the administrative quarter; and see the largest fetish market in Africa. Meet a renowned local chef at the market and together scour the stalls for ingredients you'll use to make a gourmet African meal. Then learn about contemporary African cuisine, preparing a special lunch in the chef's studio under her careful guidance. Make a final brief stop back at the hotel before heading to the airport. Bid farewell to West Africa!

    Activity: 2-hour guided city tour & 3-hour cooking class

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Why Travel With Us?


  • MT Sobek has been operating trips in Africa for over 50 years, working with the best local guides for a more meaningful experience.

  • Our trips are designed for travelers who are looking for an authentic adventure, not a tourist experience. This trip is no exception, with its multi-layered cultural exploration of Ghana, Benin and Togo.

  • Learn about ancient and modern lifestyles and beliefs that will give you an enriching new prism through which to view the world.

Dates & Prices


  • 2024
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2024

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.


Looking for a private family adventure?


This trip can accommodate guests with a
minimum age of 18.

Private Trip Pricing:


2024 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $9,995 per person double occupancy

6 to 9 guests from $9,295 per person double occupancy

10 to 14 guests from $8,995 per person double occupancy

*Seasonal rates may apply.

Additional Costs:


Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Ben A.

Ben A.

Born in Togo, Ben has been leading tours across Ghana, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast since 2016—guiding in English, French, and Dutch. He is passionate about traveling, discovering new cultures, and sharing his knowledge of the traditions, culture and religion of West Africa to people looking to discover it.

Laurence K.

Laurence K.

Laurence hails from Benin and is a bilingual (French and English) tour guide with 10 years of experience. Starting as a local guide in her village of Zinvié, she now leads tours throughout Benin, Togo, and Ghana. She takes great pleasure in introducing guests to these beautiful multi-faceted countries. Laurence is passionate about travel, sport, culture, music and dance.

Norbert K.

Norbert K.

Woezon! (Welcome!) Norbert is a bilingual Togolese guide, who leads tours in Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. He enjoys sharing the richness of story, arts and cultures of the region with visitors from all over the world. In his free time, Norbert is a musician with deep passion for travel and sports.

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Welcome to Accra, the vibrant capital of Ghana. Meet your English-speaking guide outside the airport and transfer to your hotel in Osa — a leafy suburb of the city. You\'ll have time to explore the area before enjoying a welcome dinner with your group tonight.

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Start the day with a one-hour guided walk through the vibrant and historic ocean-facing neighborhood of Jamestown. A unique treat awaits next: a visit to the Fantasy Coffins workshop, a place that specializes in handcrafted coffins shaped like fruit, animals, fish, cars, airplanes — you name it! The coffins, also known as FAVs (fantastic afterlife vehicles), are made by specialized carpenters only in the Greater Accra region. These unique pieces are collected worldwide and showcased in museums. Next, explore the National Museum for an introduction to Ghana\'s history and culture. After lunch, enjoy a scenic drive to the village of Anomabo located on Ghana\'s central coast.

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Soak up the palm-fringed coast on the way to the lively trading town of Elmina and its pretty harbor, bobbing with wooden fishing boats. Explore the UNESCO-listed 15th-century Elmina Castle, an infamous location in the history of the slave trade. Elmina Castle was used by European colonialists as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory, and humans, for over five centuries. Entering the slave dungeons and witnessing the \'Door of No Return\' is a profound and moving experience. After lunch, return to Anomabo and take an easy walk in Old Town to discover the elaborate Posuban, colorful shrines of the Asafo companies. Explore the lively alleyways of Old Town, then return to the hotel. Relax on the beach in the afternoon.

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Enjoy a drive across a tropical forest region and arrive in Kumasi, the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom — one of pre-colonial Africa\'s most powerful nations. Explore Kumasi\'s colorful market and its elaborate array of crafts. Marvel at the Ashanti Cultural Center, with a fascinating collection of artifacts on display. Witness a traditional Ashanti funeral, where relatives and friends gather to celebrate the deceased, who is believed to join a long line of ancestors via the ceremony. Chiefs and their courtiers arrive under the shade of colorful umbrellas, while drums accompany the dancers. It\'s a highly symbolic and special ceremony in which to participate. This evening will include an optional city tour with live band performances, nightlife and local contemporary music.

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Join in the festivities of celebrating the Ashanti King - one of the most traditional ceremonies to survive into the modern day. Witness the colorful processions, the ceremonies surrounding this ancient rite, and absorb the rhythms of dances. The splendors and the rituals are quite intense and vivid, including gold and magnificently colored cloths. Soak it all up as the grand monarchs are honored by their people.

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As you venture out into the Brong Afo region from Techiman, leave the main road and follow a track into a sacred forest. The population that resides here considers the wild monas and colobus monkeys to be their ancestors. Take an easy walk beneath the shade of giant trees, keeping an eye out for those sacred monkeys roaming about the forest. Later, you\'ll drive north, noticing as the environment changes. Leave the forest and its tall, lush vegetation and enter the savannah landscape with its baobabs and their bare branches. The Akan people have resided here for centuries in traditional, round huts in the forest.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 6-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 9.444 [Longitude] => -0.844 ) [6] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 7 [DayTo] => 7 [Headline] => Meet the Dagomba Tribe & Walk with Witches [ActivityOverview] => 1.5-hour easy village walk [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today you\'ll visit with the Dagomba tribe that lives in the savannah region. Notice the thatched-roof, round clay huts, and take a peek inside the village chief\'s house where the council of elders meet. Continue your exploration to meet a large settlement of alleged witches, exiled from their villages. Take a walk through the village and talk to these women about their lives. Later, continue driving along a dusty track to the border of Togo, reaching your hotel late in the evening.

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Walk in the mountains and see Kabye dwellings, locally known as soukala. Witness potters using an ancestral molding technique, and blacksmiths shaping iron with heavy stones instead of hammers and anvil, a technique used in the Iron Age. Cross the border with Benin, and visit a nomadic camp of the Fulani, the largest tribe of Zebu cow herders in West Africa. Absorb the breathtaking sight of the herdsmen watching over their animals.

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Walk through the highlands and see the Somba people\'s adobe houses, shaped like small castles. These are some of the most magnificent examples of traditional African architecture. Get a unique opportunity to visit a local home for a closer look at the Somba way of life, and learn about their captivating cosmology. Back at the hotel, spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or visit the town\'s small but interesting ethnographic museum, and the town\'s bustling market.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 10.296 [Longitude] => 1.38 ) [9] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 10 [DayTo] => 10 [Headline] => Explore Traditional Fetish Hill Villages [ActivityOverview] => 1.5-hour moderate walking [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Enjoy a long but thrilling day of exploration. Follow a rocky path to the traditional Taneka villages made up of round adobe huts covered with conical roofs. See the mix of ethnic groups in this melting-pot area with its unique cults and initiation rites. Wander through the villages along rock-lined alleyways, noticing the ancient and mysterious carvings on the rocks, representing the many populations who have dwelt here in the past. Stop at the Dankoli Fetish, a shrine for ancient animistic cults that are still practiced; local people come here to pray for things they need. Fresh traces of sacrifice, such as blood, palm alcohol and oil you\'ll see on the shrine are evidence that the prayers have been fulfilled.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 7-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 7.777 [Longitude] => 2.18 ) [10] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 11 [DayTo] => 11 [Headline] => Explore Kingdoms & Traditions in Benin [ActivityOverview] => 1.5-hour palace visit & 1.5-hour ceremony [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] => Today join your guide on an informative walk through the historic streets of Abomey. The ancient capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to 19th centuries, the city was the site of 12 royal palaces from each succeeding king, most now in ruins. You will meet families descended from Dahomey lineages, learn about the symbols of the ancient Dahomey Kingdom, and discover its history and economy. They operated the slave trade but also challenged the powerful armies that came to colonize the African continent. Find out about the royal army\'s female troop, famous for its boldness and fighting spirit. Attend an Orò ceremony, a rarely seen ritual of resistance and courage. The ceremony has ancient Yoruba origins and is only celebrated by male descendants. It\'s an unforgettable experience. Note: The Abomey Royal Palace Museum, which was previously part of this itinerary, is currently closed for renovation with no confirmed completion date. [Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 7.19 [Longitude] => 1.99 ) [11] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 12 [DayTo] => 12 [Headline] => Experience Mask Dances [ActivityOverview] => 40-minute palace visit & 3 hours masked dances [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today explore Ketou, the capital of an ancient and prestigious Yoruba kingdom. Visit the palace and be received by the Oba (King) Adedu Loye, 51st Alaketu and his dignitaries. Cherish the opportunity to see the dazzling Gelede mask dance, with more than 20 singers and dancers performing. Continue to Porto Novo, the country\'s former capital, to attend the Egun mask spectacle: the men wearing the masks symbolize the dead, emerging from the forest and forming a street procession.

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Feel the hustle and bustle of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin, as thousands of zemidjans (moto-taxis) buzz about, driven by their purple- or yellow-uniformed drivers. From here, head to the boat dock and enjoy a ride across Lake Nokwe to Ganvie, the largest and most beautiful African stilt village. Inhabitants of the Tofinou ethnic group build their huts on teak stilts and cover the roofs with a thick leaf layer. Watch the local Tofinou people fish using traditional methods, and admire the way they managed to preserve their traditions and the lush natural environment. See idyllic daily life revolve around the canoes that men, women, and children guide with ease, using brightly colored poles.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 6.466 [Longitude] => 2.528 ) [13] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 14 [DayTo] => 14 [Headline] => Explore Ouidah, Capital of African Voodoo [ActivityOverview] => 2-hour temple and fort visit; 45-minute villa visit; optional kayaking and boat cruise [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today delve right into Benin\'s Ouidah, where African Voodoo thrives. Conquered in the 18th century, it was one of the main slave-shipping harbors. Take in the city\'s unique blend of Afro-Brazilian architecture and its Voodoo Python Temple. Learn about the comparison between African and Caribbean Voodoo and walk along the \'slave road\' to the beach, leading to the \'Door of No Return,\' where captives used to board the trade vessels to the Americas. Visit Villa Adjavon, built in 1922 in Afro-Brazilian architectural style, and see its exhibit of contemporary African Art. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing at the hotel\'s shady beach bar or swimming pool, or heading out for kayaking or a boat cruise on the lagoon.

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Cruise by pirogue along the Mono River, reaching an amazing estuary as the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Discover small villages where women still extract salt using ancient techniques. Enjoy pristine, white-sand beaches and navigate through lagoons lined by small mangrove forests. Admire the large and artistically sculptured pirogues used by local fishermen. Take in a Zangbeto mask dance performance in a village. These large masks covered by colored straw represent non-human spirits, the forces of nature and the night. Cross the border to Togo and join a Voodoo ceremony in a remote settlement. Witness this age-old complex religion that is still fervently practiced in Africa today, a spectacular sight to behold.

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Wander Togo\'s vibrant capital of Lomé with a local artist for an in-depth view of its buzzing streetscape. Visit the central market where fabric is sold to all over West and Central Africa; explore the colonial history, still very present in the administrative quarter; and see the largest fetish market in Africa. Meet a renowned local chef at the market and together scour the stalls for ingredients you\'ll use to make a gourmet African meal. Then learn about contemporary African cuisine, preparing a special lunch in the chef\'s studio under her careful guidance. Make a final brief stop back at the hotel before heading to the airport. Bid farewell to West Africa!

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 2. This trip is rated activity level 2. It includes easy walking tours of varied length, attending local festivals, performances and religious ceremonies, and boat rides to remote stilt villages. Guests can expect some rough road travel and simple but best available accommodations.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

1-hour easy walking city tour

Day 3

1.5-hour easy walking tour

Day 4

45-minute easy walking tour; 1-hour traditional ceremony

Day 5

Akwasidae Festival

Day 6

1-hour easy walking

Day 7

1.5-hour easy village walk

Day 8

1-hour easy walking tour

Day 9

1.5-hour easy walking tour

Day 10

1.5-hour moderate walking

Day 11

1.5-hour palace visit & 1.5-hour ceremony

Day 12

40-minute palace visit & 3 hours masked dances

Day 13

2-hour boat tour

Day 14

2-hour temple and fort visit; 45-minute villa visit; optional kayaking and boat cruise

Day 15

3-hour boat cruise and village tour

Day 16

2-hour guided city tour & 3-hour cooking class

Accommodations


Stay at a curated range of comfortable hotels chosen for their amenities, even in remote areas. Also includes a luxury hotel in Lome.

La Villa Boutique Hotel
La Villa Boutique Hotel

Start off your remarkable journey with a stay at the distinctive La Villa Boutique hotel in the heart of Osu, an Accra suburb. Refresh after a long flight with a swim in the freshwater pool, indulge in local cuisine at the intimate restaurant or sip a cocktail in the exclusive bar. Rooms are elegantly decorated with traditional touches. Some rooms offer a pool view, while others are tucked away in the lush hotel grounds.

Anomabo Beach Resort
Anomabo Beach Resort

Wake in your air-conditioned bungalow to the sounds of the ocean each morning, drawing you out to the sandy beach. Rooms include towels, toiletries, hot water and Wi-Fi. Dine on delicious seafood in the relaxed restaurant, then watch the sunset from the Sea Level bar.

Lancaster Kumasi City Hotel
Lancaster Kumasi City Hotel

This first-class, African-style business hotel is set in lush, tropical gardens in the heart of the historic Kumasi. The hotel provides easy access to the central business district, the royal golf course and Rattray Park. Throughout the hotel, modern amenities are interwoven with touches of cultural heritage. All 160 guest rooms have air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Relax by the pool or sit with a cup of coffee in the lounge. Later, indulge in fusion cuisine at Adinkra Restaurant, with live-cooking demos.

Encom Hotel

Encom Hotel is well located in Techiman, and offers a high level of personal service. You will stay above the annex in a Superior Room.

Gariba Lodge
Gariba Lodge

Set in a green, leafy, quiet area, the solar-powered Gariba Lodge is both eco-conscious and surprisingly modern. The rooms are tidy, there's a small swimming pool and the overall tone is one of charm and a personal touch. The restaurant serves traditional Ghanaian cuisine, including jollof, fried rice with chicken and Guinea fowl.

Hotel Kara
Hotel Kara

Hotel Kara is a simple and comfortable hotel offering cheerful guest rooms and spacious bungalow-style accommodations. Amenities include en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, and a restaurant. The swimming pool is a great spot for a refreshing swim.

Hotel Tata Somba
Hotel Tata Somba

Inspired by the style of traditional Somba adobe houses, the recently refreshed Hotel Tata Somba is the best choice for lodging in the region. Each spacious guest room offers an en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning, and all are arranged around the central swimming pool. Meals are mainly served poolside.

Hotel Jeko
Hotel Jeko

Jeko Hotel is the best stay in Dassa for comfort and convenience. This hotel offers more than 100 simple rooms, each boasting an en-suite bathroom, a comfortable bed, a TV, and air-conditioning. Eat well in the restaurant or re-energize at the night club. Alternatively, escape the heat and unwind at their refreshing swimming pool.

Residence Celine
Residence Celine

The comfortable Residence Celine offers simply appointed guest rooms with a television and Wi-Fi (some have a terrace or balcony). There is a restaurant onsite.

Residences Ouadada
Residences Ouadada

Residences Ouadada offers comfortable accommodations within a thriving cultural center. Feel the pulse of Porto Novo at this cultural, artistic and tourist hub that promotes art, culture, local heritage, responsible tourism, intercultural exchange and the sharing of skills. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning.

Casa del Papa
Casa del Papa

Casa del Papa is a contemporary, oceanfront hotel with air-conditioned, en-suite bungalows set beneath swaying coconut palms. Amenities include a swimming pool, and a bar and restaurant set on a wild beach that separates the ocean from the salt lagoon, and a spa.

Hotel 2 Fevrier
Hotel 2 Fevrier

Togo's only 5-star hotel in its capital city of Lomé sits just minutes away from golden-sand beaches in a striking high-rise. The swish rooms and suites offer stellar views of the city and the Gulf of Guinea. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and fitness center, and several restaurants and bars to choose from.

Weather


You can expect a hot humid climate with hottest months in February, March, and April, with highs up to 101°F and 75°F at night. Wind and dust storms are possible inland.

 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Jul
Oct
Dec
Accra, Ghana 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Accra, Ghana
90
76
91
78
91
78
83
74
87
75
90
76
Lome, Togo 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Lome, Togo
90
75
91
77
91
78
84
74
88
75
90
75
Ouidah, Benin 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Ouidah, Benin
88
76
90
79
90
79
83
75
86
76
89
76

Know Before You Book


Itinerary
If you are joining the January 22, 2025 departure, there are two slights changes to the itinerary. On Day 5 you will enjoy a tour of Golden Kingdom and on Day 15 the afternoon's activities will be replaced by the Fetatrotro Festival. Please call for more details.

FAQs


Do I need a visa to visit Ghana, Togo, and Benin?

Yes, guests on this itinerary will need to acquire single entry visas for Ghana and Benin. A multiple entry visa is required to enter Togo. We advise guests to purchase a visa on arrival in Ghana and apply via online portals for Benin and Togo visas.

What vaccinations are required for this adventure?

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is compulsory to participate on this trip. We advise you to consult with www.cdc.gov and speak with a doctor regarding malaria prophylaxis and other vaccinations.

What are the road conditions like in West Africa?

We travel by minibuses with guaranteed window seats for each guest. Travel is over some remote rugged roads and tracks. There are some unavoidable long travel days with frequent stops for rustic outdoor bathroom breaks and picnic lunches.

What can I expect from the accommodations?

MT Sobek always strives to provide the best available safe, clean, and comfortable accommodation on our adventures. Outside of the big cities, hotels and guest houses in this region are quite simple and basic. Local conditions make air conditioning, fans, and electricity sporadic. A flexible attitude toward accommodation will go a long way!

Is WiFi available on this adventure?

Please note that WiFi is rather unreliable at most accommodations with a weak or intermittent signal in public lobby spaces only. For those who prefer connectivity throughout their adventure, it is sometimes possible to purchase a local SIM card for your phone. There are limitations with purchasing these cards so know that you might literally be 'off the grid' for long stretches of time on this trip.

What is the minimum age for this trip?
The standard minimum age for this trip is 18, but check out our private trip options for families and groups with younger guests.

Guest Reviews


"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."

Jane B.
MT Sobek Guest

"I've taken six MT Sobek trips and they have all exceeded my expectations. The staff, the food, the logistics and the communications have always been exceptional. Thank you for being my "go to" adventure travel company!"

Margaret I.
MT Sobek Guest