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Togo Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Togo

travel guide

Togo, formally the Togolese Republic, is a West African country surrounded by Ghana in the west, Benin in the east, and Burkina Faso in the north. It stretches all the way south to the Gulf of Guinea, where its capital, Lomé, is located. Togo is one of Africa’s smallest countries, covering 57,000 square kilometers (22,008 square miles) and home to about 7.5 million people.

Togo is a tropical, Sub-Saharan African country that is heavily reliant on agriculture and has a climate that allows for long growing seasons. The official language is French, although many other languages, notably those of the Gbe family, are spoken in Togo. Togo’s indigenous people make up the majority of the religious population, although there are substantial Christian and Muslim minority as well. Togo is a member of the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, and the Economic Community of West African States.

Various tribes reached the region from all directions between the 11th and 16th centuries. The coastal region was a significant trade hub for Europeans looking for slaves from the 16th through the 18th centuries, earning Togo and the surrounding region the moniker “The Slave Coast.” Germany proclaimed Togoland a protectorate in 1884. Following World War I, France was given control of Togo. Togo declared independence from France in 1960.

Gnassingbé Eyadéma staged a successful military coup in 1967, following which he was elected president. Gnassingbé was the longest-serving leader in contemporary African history when he died in 2005, having been president for 38 years. His son, Faure Gnassingbé, was elected president in 2005. Togo is a member of the International Organization of the Francophonie.

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Togo - Info Card

Population

8,608,444

Currency

West African CFA franc (XOF)

Time zone

UTC (GMT)

Area

56,785 km2 (21,925 sq mi)

Calling code

+228

Official language

French

Togo | Introduction

People

There are about 40 ethnic groups in Togo, the most numerous of which are the Ewe in the south (46 percent, but they account for 21 percent of the population along the south coast), Kotokoli and Tchamba in the middle, and Kabyé in the north (22 percent ). Another categorization classifies the Uaci or Ouatchis (14%) as a distinct ethnic group from the Ewe, lowering the Ewe’s share to 32%. However, no historical or ethnic evidence exists to support the split of Ewes and Ouatchis. Although this categorization has been challenged for being politically biased, the name Ouatchi may apply to a subset of Ewes who moved south during the 16th century from Notse, the old Ewe Kingdom capital (it would designate the Ouatchis as a subgroup of the Ewe just as the Anlo in the Republic of Ghana are a subgroup of the Ewe ethnic group). Mina, Mossi, and Aja account for approximately 8% of the population, with less than 1% of the population being European expatriates living in Togo as diplomats or for economic reasons.

Geography

Togo is a tiny country in West Africa. Togo is bordered on the south by the Benin Bight, on the west by Ghana, on the east by Benin, and on the north by Burkina Faso. Togo is mostly located between the latitudes of 6° and 11°N and the longitudes of 0° and 2°E.

In contrast to the hills in the center of the nation, the terrain in the north is characterized by a gently undulating savanna. Togo’s south is defined by a savanna and forest plateau that extends to a coastal plain with large lagoons and marshes. With a population density of 98/km2 (253/sq mi), the land area is 56,785 km2 (21,925 sq mi).

Climate

Togo is a tiny country in West Africa. Togo is bordered on the south by the Benin Bight, on the west by Ghana, on the east by Benin, and on the north by Burkina Faso. Togo is mostly located between the latitudes of 6° and 11°N and the longitudes of 0° and 2°E.

In contrast to the hills in the center of the nation, the terrain in the north is characterized by a gently undulating savanna. Togo’s south is defined by a savanna and forest plateau that extends to a coastal plain with large lagoons and marshes. With a population density of 98/km2 (253/sq mi), the land area is 56,785 km2 (21,925 sq mi).

Demographics

Togo now has a population of 6,191,155 people, which is more than twice the number recorded in the last census. The population of the country was 2,719,567 at the time of the 1981 census. Lomé, the country’s capital and biggest city, increased from 375,499 inhabitants in 1981 to 837,437 in 2010. In 2010, the Lomé Agglomeration had 1,477,660 inhabitants when included the urban population of the neighboring Golfe prefecture.

Sokodé (95,070), Kara (94,878), Kpalimé (75,084), Atakpamé (69,261), Dapaong (58,071), and Tsévié (58,071) were among Togo’s other major cities, according to the new census (54,474). Togo is the 107th most populous nation in the world, with a population of 6,619,000 people (as of 2009). The majority of the population (65%) lives in rural areas where agriculture or pastures are the main sources of income. Togo’s population has grown rapidly since independence in 1961, quintupling from 1961 to 2003.

Ethnic groups

Togo is home to about 40 ethnic groups, the most populous of which are the Ewe in the south, who account for 32 percent of the population. They make about a quarter of the population along the southern shore. In the middle, Kotokoli or Tem and Tchamba may be found, as well as the Kabye people in the north (22 percent ). The Ouatchis constitute 14% of the population. The Ewes and Ouatchis are often confused, although the French who researched both tribes thought they were distinct people. The Mina, Mossi, and Aja peoples are among the other ethnic groups (about 8 percent ). There is also a small European population, which accounts for less than 1% of the total.

Religion

According to the CIA Factbook, about 29% of the population is Christian, 20% is Muslim, and 51% practices indigenous religion.

Language

French is the official language of France as well as the lingua franca among ethnic groupings. Apart from commercial offices and large banks in the city, almost little English is spoken across the nation.

With the Ewe people occupying the southern half of the nation, Ewe is by far the most commonly spoken native language. In the Aneho region, you may also come across the related Mina language. The northern language, Kabiyè, is the most widely spoken.

Economy

Togo, while being one of Africa’s smallest nations, has one of the best living standards due to its rich phosphate resources and a well-developed export industry centered on agricultural goods such as coffee, cocoa beans, and peanuts (groundnuts). Low market prices for Togo’s main export commodities, along with the country’s turbulent political environment in the 1990s and early 2000s, harmed the economy.

Togo acts as an economic and trading hub for the area. The government’s decade-long attempt to enact economic reforms, attract foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with spending, which was backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has come to a halt. Throughout 1992 and 1993, political instability, including private and public sector strikes, endangered the reform program, reduced the tax base, and interrupted critical economic activities.

The 50 percent devaluation of the currency on January 12, 1994 sparked a new round of structural adjustment, which was aided by the conclusion of the civil war in 1994 and a return to open political stability. Greater transparency in government financial operations (to allow increased social service outlays) and potential reduction of the military forces, which the dictatorship has relied on to remain in power, are both necessary for progress. Lack of assistance, along with low cocoa prices, resulted in a 1% drop in GDP in 1998, until recovery resumed in 1999.

Togo is a member of the African Organization for the Harmonization of Commercial Law (OHADA).

How To Travel To Togo

By plane

Lomé is served by a number of airlines on a regular basis. However, traveling straight to Togo is often more costly than going via Ghana’s capital, Accra. Buses departing from Accra towards the border at Aflao are comfortable, air-conditioned, and moderately priced. Travelers must cross the border into Lomé from Aflao and arrange their own transportation once within Togo.

By car

There are bush taxis aplenty. These are essentially four-door vehicles with four passengers in the rear and two in the front. You may take bush taxis to Lomé for $5 from either Accra or Benin. You may then transport them to more remote regions. You may even offer to pay for the whole vehicle so that you don’t have to share. Calculate the cost of six individuals and then negotiate down from there. Togo is connected to Benin and Nigeria to the east, and Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to the west, via the Trans-West African Coastal Highway. The highway will continue west to seven additional ECOWAS countries after work in Liberia and Sierra Leone is completed. Togo is also connected to Burkina Faso by a paved roadway, which leads north-west to Mali and north-east to Niger.

By bus

Overland buses are available from Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Benin.

How To Travel Around Togo

To move about, use a taxi-moto (motorcycle taxi) for 150-500 CFA. Taxi-moto drivers may be identified by their honking or hissing as they pass by, and they typically wear baseball hats and sunglasses. For a one-way short journey inside the city, a taxi will typically cost about 500 CFA; however, expect to spend up to 2,500 CFA for excursions to the city’s northern areas. Taxis will be painted with yellow license plates and their registration number. Always haggle before boarding or entering; the stated price will include a tip!

When you’re on a side street, it may sometimes be useful to ask a security officer to hail a taxi for you. It is anticipated that the tipping point will be between 300 and 600 CFA.

Things To See in Togo

Togo is a beautiful nation, but it owes much of its allure to its charming people; it is a tiny country with few minor attractions. The general and voodoo markets in Lomé are the most popular stops in the nation on the route between Ghana and Benin. The smaller villages of Togoville on Lake Togo and Aneho on the coast, with its voodoo temples and historic sites in the former and beaches in the latter, are also popular tourist destinations.

With a fair number of excellent climbs, colder temperatures, and lovely vistas, the coffee-growing area near Kpalimé has recently become popular with wayward tourists in Togo.

The mountainous and sparsely populated north of the nation is maybe the most appealing region of the country. To the north of Kara, the Tamberma Valley—the Koutammakou UNESCO World Heritage site—is the most well-known attraction. The Batammariba people (referred to as the Tamberma by colonizers) built and reside in the Takienta (a.k.a. Tata) “tower-houses” made of mud and straw, which have arguably become Togo’s national emblem. It’s a strange dreamland of a location, and it’s certainly one of the highlights of a vacation to Togo, despite the long trek there.

Togo’s few parks and reserves are seldom frequented, but if you do manage to get out there on a safari, Fazao Mafakassa National Park in the country’s center-west is very lovely. Kéran National Park, in the extreme north of the nation, is home to one of West Africa’s largest elephant populations. Aside from Kéran, the north has a plethora of possible outdoor activities, including pleasant treks up mountains, visits to waterfalls, and so on. Akloa is a town in the state of Hawaii.

Things To Do in Togo

In Togo, sports, particularly football, are the most popular pastimes. Weekend football (soccer) league games are available to view . Apart from sports, there are many nightclubs in the city that may keep you awake at night; the Chess BSBG is one of the most famous. With movies and sitcoms that have been on the air for years, TV shows aren’t the greatest in the world.

In addition, the beach provides a different kind of entertainment. Many events and parties are held there, and people go from all around Lomé to take advantage of the pleasant weather on weekends. Despite all of the wonderful things about the beach, you must choose a suitable location to prevent walking or sitting on anything you don’t want to.

Food & Drinks in Togo

Food in Togo

Corn flour is used to make akume. Fufu is West Africa’s “national” dish. It is made from white yams that have been crushed into a doughy consistency in Togo. Fufu Restaurants and roadside stalls may be found in abundance across the cities. Akume and Fufu are traditionally eaten with your hands and are served with a variety of condiments (from smoked fish to spicy tomato to peanut). Plantains may also be grilled, boiled, mashed, or fried in a variety of ways. Mangos, Papayas, and Pineapples are readily available throughout the season.

Drinks in Togo

The most popular beverages are lemonade and Bissap juice. In Lomé, there are many pubs practically on every corner where you may have a drink.

Beers and sodas are the most frequent beverages found at regular bars.

Don’t be surprised if the majority of the bars don’t have what you’re looking for. Except for one tiny hotel named “Auberge London” in the northern suburbs of Lomé called “Agoe” where you will find all the potential drinks mentioned above, Togolese are not known for their organization and strict administration.

Money & Shopping in Togo

Togo uses the West African CFA franc (XOF). Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Senegal all use it. While technically distinct from the Central African CFA franc (XAF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par in all nations that utilize the CFA franc (XAF & XOF).

The French Treasury backs both CFA francs, which are linked to the euro at 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

Costs

A liter of fuel will set you back 600 CFA, while a liter of water would set you back 300 CFA. A baguette will set you back around 175 CFA, while a half pound of local coffee would set you back about 1,200 CFA. A drink at a store can set you back about 350 CFA, while a meal in an expat restaurant would set you back around 1,000 CFA. In the supermarket, a can of Coca-Cola costs between 200 and 400 CFA. “Western cuisine,” mainly from France, is available in stores, although it is more expensive than in Europe.

Markets

Togo’s most popular souvenirs are usually voodoo-related, such as a charm or mask. The voodoo market in Lomé is the obvious location to go for these trinkets, but expect to pay tourist trap rates.

Culture Of Togo

Togo’s culture is influenced by the country’s numerous ethnic groups, the most powerful of which are the Ewe, Mina, Tem, Tchamba, and Kabre.

Despite the impact of Christianity and Islam, more than half of Togo’s population adheres to traditional animistic beliefs and rituals.

The renowned statuettes depicting the adoration of the ibeji are a feature of Ewe sculpture. Instead of the more common African masks, sculptures and hunting trophies were utilized. Kloto’s woodcarvers are known for their “chains of marriage,” in which two figures are linked by rings carved from a single piece of wood.

Kloto’s artizanal center’s dyed cloth batiks depict stylised and colorful images of old daily life. The loincloths used by the weavers of Assahoun in their rituals are well-known. Sokey Edorh’s paintings are inspired by vast desert expanses driven by the dry wind and where the earth has the imprints of man and animals. Paul Ahyi, a plastics specialist, is now well-known throughout the world. He was a master of the “zota,” a kind of pyroengraving, and his colossal accomplishments adorn Lomé.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Togo

Stay Safe in Togo

As a general rule, avoid public beaches, where visitors may be robbed at any time of day or night. The majority of the nation is free of crime, but Lomé is an exception, much more hazardous than any city in Ghana or Benin. If you’re heading someplace late at night, take a vehicle cab and acquire the phone numbers of a few reliable taxi drivers.

Togo’s driving is appalling, with fatalistic overloaded speed demons risking their lives on bends and slopes, capital streets teeming with motorbikes late at night, and terrifying crash scenes along the major highways. North of Kara, the steep north-south route is especially hazardous. Take a day trip if you’re dubious, and marvel at all the bus and truck husks that weren’t there on the way out! In Togo, traffic is the single greatest threat to tourists.

Stay Healthy in Togo

Drink bottled water like Volta or “Pure Water” sachets. Bissop juice is likewise somewhat safe since it has been cooked, but avoid the lemonade “citron” despite its delectable flavor. If at all possible, avoid roadside lunches. Be careful that people in Lomé discharge themselves on the streets.

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