Location

Ghana, Togo, Benin

Category

Multi

Stars

Cultural Encounter | Ghana, Togo & Benin | 11 nights/12 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 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 Cape Coast/Elmina where you will learn about European strongholds used in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Kumasi, a vibrant commercial city where you will find Kejetia market, the largest open market in West Africa and to Obo for an Akan naming ceremony.

Travel to Lome, Togo’s capital that is a haven for African fabrics, the Voodoo 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 6pax
Accommodation Yes
Transportation Yes
Food Yes

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Information
Description
Available Dates

Cost:  $1,895.00 per person/double occupancy

Single Occupancy: $2,225.00

Min Grp size:  6pax

Includes:  Transportation, hotel accommodation in 2-3 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 Accra, Ghana

Arrive at Kotoka Airport. You will be met by a Sunset African Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. (Note that check out is at 12 noon and check in at 2pm so your rooms may not be ready when you arrive on a morning flight). Welcome Dinner. Overnight in Accra (D)

Day 2:    Accra city Tour

This morning, take a tour of the century old capital of Ghana, Accra. Start the day with a visit the DuBois center for Pan African culture, a house where Dr. Dubois lived and died. Later take a drive and walking tour of the colonial section of Accra (Jamestown). Drive through the main street of the 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. Visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and museum, a monument dedicated to Ghana’s first post-independence President. Later, we visit the intriguing craftsmen at Teshie/Nungua who make fantasy coffins in the shape of vegetables, fruits, cars 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 Arts and Crafts market and Woodin, the sensational African fabric shop which is located on one of Ghana’s busiest streets nicknamed the ‘Oxford Street’. Early evening return to your hotel. Overnight in Accra (B & L)

Day 3:    Accra – Kakum National ParkElmina Castle

Depart Accra to Cape Coast in the Central region of Ghana. Drive further 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 seven platforms at a height of 60 meters above this forest ground. 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.  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 4:    Elmina – Assin Manso – Kumasi

This morning visit 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. Both the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles have been designated as UNESCO Heritage Monuments. After which we depart to Kumasi. 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 captives on their “one-way” trek to the coast for shipment into slavery. Overnight in Kumasi (B & D)

Day 5:    Kumasi

Today we will take a tour of Kumasi, seat of the Ashanti Empire, which was built on similar basis as the Dahomey Empire, i.e. through wars. 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 at the Prempeh II Museum and Cultural Center where you can shop for souvenirs.  After lunch visit 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. 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 6:    Kumasi – Aduamoah – Obo (Naming Ceremony)

Today, depart Kumasi through the forest belt of Ghana to Nkwakaw and up the Kwahu mountain range to the village of Aduamoah in the Eastern Region. We will have the opportunity to interact with the chief, his elders and the people of the village. Take part in an Akan traditional naming ceremony where you will be given an Akan name. Finally, visit a local high school and make donations to their library. Overnight in Obo (B & L)

Day 7:    Obo – Atimpoku

This morning depart Obo through the mountain range to Atimpoku. Arrive and check in at your hotel situated on a river front. Spend the afternoon at leisure at the poolside or enjoy water sports. Overnight in Atimpoku (B & D)

Day 8:    Atimpoku – Lome, Togo

Depart Atimpoku 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 Akodessewa Market (voodoo 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 9:    Lome – Ouidah, 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, visit Ganvie and take a boat ride to village on stilts spread across Lake Nokoue inhabited by a population of about 18,000. 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. Overnight in Ouidah (B & D)

Day 10:    Ouidah – Abomey / Allada – Ouidah

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 mud palaces which is now a Museum, the war room, the common grave of the 42 wives of King Glele and the throne room. Return through Cotonou and spend some time shopping for souvenirs at the Arts & Crafts village. Overnight in Ouidah (B & D)

Day 11: Ouidah – Accra

After breakfast, depart Ouidah 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 12: Free day & Evening departure

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

 

 

 

July 4 – 15, 2018

Oct 3 – 14, 2018

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