Location

Ghana, Togo, Benin

Category

Multi

Stars

A Cultural Encounter – Ghana, Togo & Benin – 10 nights/11 days

This journey gives you an opportunity to experience the culture and history of three countries in West Africa i.e. Ghana, Togo and Benin, where traditions and beliefs have been preserved for centuries. We our start and end our journey in Accra, the capital of Ghana, the only English speaking country amongst the three. Tour Accra which includes a visit to the craftsmen who make caskets in shapes usually depicting the profession of the deceased, then to Kumasi, a vibrant commercial city where you will find Kejetia market, the largest open market in West Africa.

Travel to Lome, Togo’s capital that is a haven for African fabrics, the fetish market where you will find the most bizarre ingredients for magic potions. You will go on to Benin’s capital of the Voodoo religion, Ouidah, and the royal palaces at Abomey, capital of the former powerful Dahomey Empire. You will then take a boat ride to Ganvie, a village of 18,000 people in the middle of Lake Nokoue.

Our journey finally ends in Accra.

Min Group size 10pax
Accommodation Yes
Transportation Yes
Food Yes

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Information
Description
Available Dates

Cost:  $1,835.00 per person/double occupancy

Single Occupancy: $2,315.00

Min Grp size:  10pax

Includes:  Transportation, hotel accommodation in 3 star hotels, 2 meals daily – breakfast and lunch OR dinner as indicated in the itinerary, entry fees and English or French speaking Tour Guide

Excluded: International flight to/from Ghana, visa fees to Ghana, Togo and Benin, travel insurance, meals not indicated in the itinerary, drinks and beverages at meals, things of a personal nature like phone calls, laundry etc, tips for driver, guide and other service providers, any item or service not specifically listed in the itinerary as included.

Note: Itinerary and costs are subject to change

B=Breakfast, Lunch=L, D=Dinner

 

Day 1:    Arrive in Accra

Arrive at Kotoka Airport, you will be met by a Sunset African Tours representative and transferred to your hotel for check in and orientation. (D)

Day 2:    Accra city tour

This morning, take a tour of the century old capital of Ghana, Accra. Start the day with a drive and walking tour of the colonial section of Accra (Jamestown). Drive through the main street of colonial section of the city and view the Ussher and James Forts built by the Dutch (1650) and British (1673) respectively and also the Light House which used to guide ships to the Accra Harbour in colonial days. Later, we visit the intriguing craftsmen at Nungua/Teshie who make fantasy coffins in the shape of vegetables, fruits, cars, aircrafts etc usually depicting the profession of the deceased. For example a fisherman might be buried in a coffin in the shape of a giant fish. After lunch, visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park and museum, a monument dedicated to Ghana’s first post independence President and then the Dubois Centre for Pan African Culture. Finally, visit the Arts and Crafts market and Woodin, the sensational African fabrics shop located on the ever popular street nicknamed ‘Oxford Street’. Overnight in Accra (B & L)

Day 3:    Accra – Kumasi

After breakfast, take a drive through the forest zone to Kumasi, seat of the former Ashanti Empire which was built on a similar basis as the Dahomey Empire (now Benin), i.e. through wars. Take a tour of the city. On this tour, you will learn about the history of resistance to colonial rule and British domination. First visit the Royal Manhyia Palace, home and office of former Ashanti Kings, now a museum. A regal history that dates back to 1700 is told with relics and artifacts. Also learn about Yaa Asantewaa, the legendary Queen Mother who led the Ashanti army against the British Colonial forces in 1900. Then later visit the Prempeh II Museum and Cultural Center where you can shop for souvenirs. After which we depart to our hotel for check in. Overnight in Kumasi (B & D)

Day 4:    Kumasi craft villages

Today, visit the Ashanti craft villages to observe craftsmen at work and to purchase souvenir gift items. These villages are Ahwiaa; where woodcarvers produce Ashanti stools, fertility dolls & walking sticks etc, Ntonso; where Adinkra cloth is processed and Bonwire; where kente cloth is woven. Also visit Adawonase, another community based project where kente weaving is their main occupation. Kente, a very colourful fabric is usually worn on festive and very important occasions like marriage ceremonies, child naming, etc. Overnight in Kumasi (B & D)

Day 5:    Kumasi – Assin Manso – Elmina

Depart Kumasi via the countryside to Elmina. Stop over at Assin Manso burial site of the remains of two former slaves exhumed from New York’s Wall Street and re-interred on Emancipation Day in 1998. Also visit the “Slave River” which was the last rest stop for slaves on their “one-way” trek to the coast for shipment into slavery. Arrive in Elmina in the late afternoon. Overnight in Elmina (B & D)

Day 6:    Kakum National Park/Cape Coast & Elmina Castle

Drive north of Cape Coast to the Kakum National Park, a tropical rainforest in the heart of the Attandaso reserve for an adventurous and breathtaking walk on the Canopy Walkway. It’s composed of 350 meters of a suspended bridge and six platforms at a height of 60 meters above this  forest ground. Return to Cape Coast and visit the Cape Coast Castle and take a tour of the infamous slave dungeons built in 1653 by the Swedes and later taken over by the British. This castle also houses the West African Historical Museum. The group will watch a documentary titled “Crossroads of Trade, Crossroad of People” at the Cape Coast Castle. After lunch, visit the Elmina Castle, the oldest European monument in Ghana built in 1482 by the Portuguese. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Both the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles have been designated as UNESCO Heritage Monuments. After this tour, take a short walk around the colourful fishing harbour to see the fish market and traditional dugout canoes the local people use for their livelihoods. Overnight in Elmina. (B & D)

Day 7:    Elmina – Lome, Togo

Leave Elmina via Accra to the Ghana/Togo border. After border crossing formalities, arrive in Lome and check into your hotel. After lunch, take a tour of Lome, capital of Togo. Visit the fishing harbour, the National Museum, the Independence Square and the grand Marché where you can find some very colourful African fabrics. Also, visit the local fetish market where everything from traditional charms and medicines to the most bizarre items including snake potions are sold. Lome is also a shopper’s paradise for high quality tribal masks and crafts. In the evening, for those who are up to it, take a tour of Lome dubbed ‘Lome by Night’ and see how the people spend their evenings. Overnight in Lome. (B & D)

Day 8:    Lome – Ouidah – Ganvie, Benin

After breakfast, depart Lome to the Togo/Benin border and then to Ouidah, the seat of Voodoo. Later visit the Kpasse Forest where a 14th century chief is said to have hidden himself from his enemies by transforming himself into a tree. Then visit the Python Temple, where Ouidah’s ancient snake cult is still very much in practice. Snakes are still an important feature of many voodoo rituals believed to be able to bring vitality and protection. Then visit the 17th century Portuguese Fort that depicts Benin’s turbulent past and experience the slave route to the Port of No Return. After lunch, Ganvie and take a boat ride to village on stilts spread across Lake Nokoue inhabited by a population of about 15,000 . The ancestors of the Tofinu people who now live in the village created this settlement in the 16th century to escape being captured by the Dahomey armies to be sold as slaves to the Portuguese. Spend some time touring the lake town mainly the lover’s lane and the floating market. Continue to Cotonou. Overnight in Cotonou. (B & D)

Day 9:    Cotonou – Abomey / Allada

This morning, travel north to Abomey, the former capital of the old Dahomey Empire. This empire which lasted 300 years, rivals that of the Ashanti, both of which established their power by constantly being at war and capturing prisoners for the Slave Trade. Stop over at Allada, the home to the founding father of Haiti, Toussaint Louverture. Arrive in Abomey and visit one of the 12 magnificent palaces which is now a Museum, the war room, the common grave of the 42 wives of King Glele and the throne room. Return to Cotonou and spend some time shopping for souvenirs at the Arts & Crafts village. Overnight in Cotonou. (B & D)

Day 10: Cotonou – Accra

After breakfast, depart Cotonou and take a return journey through Togo back to Accra, Ghana. Arrive in Accra and check in at your hotel. Overnight in Accra (B & L)

Day 11: Free day & Evening departure

Spend today doing your last minute packing and shopping or relaxing at your hotel for a late evening departure. (B & D)

Nov 29 – Dec 9, 2017

Feb 7 – 17, 2018

Oct 3 – 13, 2018

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