Location

Ghana, Togo, Benin

Category

Multi

Stars

Sacred Festivals 2018 – Ghana, Togo & Benin- (Annual Voodoo Festival) 14 nights/15 days

In 1996, the government of Benin declared January 10, National Voodoo Day. Voodoo is practiced by 60% of the population and on this day, followers of the various voodoo cults gather at the ‘Door of No Return’ in Ouidah, the capital of the Voodoo religion.

In 2018, you will have the opportunity to witness not only the Voodoo Festival but Akwasidae Festival which occurs at the palace of the Ashanti King in Kumasi.

Our journey starts from the capital of Ghana, Accra. You will travel from Accra, through Lome, capital of Togo to Ganvie, the village in the middle of Lake Nokoue and Abomey, the Capital of the once powerful Dahomey Empire. We will experience  Voodoo in Benin i.e. Allada and in Ouidah where activities climaxes all others.

Return to Ghana through Agotime to Ho where you will take a day’s excursion to Wli and Tafi Atome. Travel to Akosombo, Kumasi and continue to the coast of Ghana to visit old historical European strongholds, an adventurous walk up a canopy 60metres above the forest ground at Kakum National Park and a free day to unwind before your trip back home

Min Group size 6pax
Accommodation Yes
Transportation Yes
Food Yes

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Information
Description
Available Dates

Cost:  $1,995.00 per pax/double occupancy

Single Occupancy:  $2,395.00

Min Grp size:  6pax

Includes:  Transportation, hotel accommodation in 2-3 star hotels, two meals daily – breakfast & lunch or dinner as indicated in the itinerary, entry fees and an 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.

Disclaimer: Date for the celebrations of  Voodoo and Akwasidae Festival are correct at the time of publication of this tour. Since organization is done by the office of the Ministry of Culture of Benin and the Ashanti King respectively, Sunset African Tours shall not be held responsible for cancellations or change of dates of the festivals

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

 

Day 1: Jan 4, 2018   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 2pm so your rooms may not be ready if you arrive on a morning flight). Overnight in Accra.

Day 2: Jan 5, 2018   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 the section 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 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 National Ethnographic Museum and finally the Arts and Crafts market where you will find items from all over Ghana and West Africa. Overnight in Accra (B & L)

Day 3: Jan 6, 2018   Accra, Ghana – Lome, Togo

Depart Accra to the Ghana/Togo border. Go through border formalities and continue to Lome. After lunch take a city tour of Lome. Visit the fishing harbour, the National Museum, the independence square and the ever colourful Grand Marche where you can find some very colourful African fabrics. Also, visit the local traditional 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. Overnight in Lome (B & L)

Day 4: Jan 7, 2018   Lome – Abomey, Benin

After breakfast depart Lome to Abomey in Benin. Arrive and check in at your hotel and take a tour of Abomey, capital of the former 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. Visit one of the 12 magnificent palaces built by the Dahomey Kings which is now a Museum. We will visit the war room, the common grave of the 42 wives of King Glele and the throne room. Overnight in Abomey (B & D)

Day 5: Jan 8, 2018   Abomey – Ganvie – Ouidah

Today we continue south bound to Ganvie, a village on stilts spread across Lake Nokoue and inhabited by a population of about 15,000 people. The ancestors of the Tofinu people who now live in this village created the settlement in the 16th century to escape being captured by the Dahomey army to be sold as slaves to the Portuguese. Later in the day depart to Ouidah and visit the Kpasse Forest where a 14th century chief is said to have hidden himself from his enemies by transforming himself into a tree, 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. Visit the 17th century Portuguese fort that depicts Benin’s turbulent past. Finally, experience the slave route to the “Port of No Return”, a memorial dedicated to those who left the shores of Benin through slavery. Overnight in Ouidah (B & D)

Day 6: Jan 9, 2018   Ouidah – Allada – Ouidah

This morning we drive to Allada and witness the King of Allada and his people at their own mini Voodoo festival at the royal palace. This is a curtain raiser to the main Voodoo festival in Ouidah. This ceremony is significant because the King of Allada is the head of all traditional kings in Benin and also Voodoo religion was established in the 13th century in Benin by Adjahounto, the founder of Allada, a forefather of Toussaint Louverture (father of Haiti.) Return to Ouidah in the afternoon. Overnight in Ouidah (B & D)

Day 7: Jan 10, 2018   Annual Voodoo Festival

Today experience the mysteries of Voodoo religion, as we attend Ouidah’s annual voodoo festival, the largest and most important in Benin.  In 1996, the government of Benin declared voodoo which is practiced by 60% of the population, the official religion and on every January 10, there is a big festival to celebrate Voodoo. You will witness the followers of various voodoo gods, from the costumed Zangbetos to the followers of Kokou from various voodoo temples perform their own rites and rituals. At this ceremony, we will witness the dancers go into deep trances while possessed by ancestral sprits. Overnight in Ouidah. (B & D)

Day 8: Jan 11, 2018   Ouidah – Agotime – Ho, Ghana

Depart Ouidah to the Benin/Togo border and then to Togo/Ghana border. You will go through border formalities at both and finally cross into Ghana. Drive to Agotime, a town known for Kente cloth. Visit the kente weavers and observe their unique colours and designs comparably different to that of Ashanti Region. After which we continue to Ho. Overnight in Ho (B & D)

Day 9: Jan 12, 2018   Ho – Wli Waterfalls – Tafi Atome – Akosombo

Depart Ho to the Hohoe District of the Volta Region to visit the Wli Waterfalls, the highest in West Africa (80 feet). Take a 45 minute trek through the forest and observe the different kinds of plant species. After lunch visit Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, a typical example of traditional conservation. Later in the day we continue to Akosombo. Overnight in Akosombo (B & L)

Day 10: Jan 13, 2018   Akosombo – Kumasi

Depart Akosombo through the forest belt of Ghana to Kumasi, seat of the Ashanti Empire which was built on similar basis as the Dahomey Empire (now Benin), i.e. through wars. Arrive in Kumasi and 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 dyed (Dyes are extracted from the bark of the tree called Badie) and Bonwire where kente cloth is woven. Overnight in Kumasi (B & D)

Day 11: Jan 14, 2018   Akwasidae Festival

This morning visit the Royal Manhyia Palace Museum, home and office of former Ashantis Kings. A regal history that dates back to 1700 is told with relics and artifacts. We then will cross over to the courtyard of the Palace to witness the Akwasidae festival. This festival takes place every six weeks. Witness the Ashanti King, Nana Osei-Tutu II, who presides over the Ashanti Kingdom, arrive in his palanquin and then later seated in state whilst all his sub-chiefs come and re-affirm their oath of allegiance to him. The King and all his sub-chiefs come dressed in all their traditional regalia whilst the general public attending the festival wear black and white. The King also uses this day to receive very important guests and who bring along gifts. There will be lots of traditional drumming and dancing to grace the occasion. Overnight in Kumasi. (B & L)

Day 12: Jan 15, 2018   Kumasi – Elmina

This morning visit the Cultural Center that features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and various studios of brass makers, potters, drum carvers and batik makers. This museum also depicts the numerous exploits of the Ashantis especially their wars with British colonial rulers. Later in the afternoon, drive through the countryside to Elmina in the Central Region. Overnight in Elmina (B & D)

Day 13: Jan 16, 2018   Elmina – Cape Coast – Elmina

Visit 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 is composed of 350 meters of a suspended bridge and six platforms at a height of 60 meters (100ft). Return to Cape Coast and visit the Cape Coast Castle built in 1667 by the Swedes and later taken over by the British. This was used during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as a holding point for captives. Visit the West African Historical Museum. The guide will conduct you to the slave quarters and Negotiation Hall where captives were bargained for and sold. Overnight in Elmina (B & L)

Day 14: Jan 17, 2018   Free day

Spend today relaxing and rewinding at the beach front of your hotel. Overnight in Elmina. (B)

Day 15: Jan 18, 2018   Departure

Depart Elmina in the afternoon back to Accra. Arrive and check in at the airport for a late evening departure from Accra, Ghana back home. (B & D)

Jan 4-18, 2018

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