Crossing de border. (1)
Favorite thing: Crossing the border is not like in Europe, the border is a real barrer and you take time to cross.
Crossing without a car:
It is the simplest way to cross. If you have to go to Lome, take a car from Accra to Aflao, cross alone and take a car in Lome.
1) When you arrive there, be very careful that nobody wants to help you to cross. Keep your luggages in your hands and don't allow anybody to help you. You don't need help.
2) On the right side, alongside the beach, there is a way for people. A lot of them are Ewes living around and they can cross as much as they want.
3) Ghanaian side: you have to fill a yellow card with your passenger's embarkment data. Then, you give your passport and your card to the custom officer. Custom officers have green uniforms: a light green jacket and dark green trousers. They don't use to ask you anything. It just happened once that I was forced to pay somebody to help me to fill in my card because I could not write my name in English!
4) When they have stamped your passport you can walk to the Togolese side.
This is different. They will ask you to open your luggage in the middle of the street, search inside, try to find anything to ask you money.
You need a visa. You can pay 10000 CFA at the border, and you have a visa for 5 days. You can pay the same amount in Accra but you also need three pictures, but your visa is valid one or three months.
5) Once you have your stamp, you have to go to the police, just if they feel to ask you some money.
If you cross the border after the 20th of the month, they charge you more, they harrass you more because the salry if finished.
6) You are now in Lome. There are a lot of cars there. They even have taxis on motorbikes, but never take that, it is really very dangerous.
7) Going to the airport is 4-5000 CFA, so don't pay more than 2000 to reach the town.
Fondest memory: Crossing the border is a challenge.
The first time I did not know and I made all the wrong things, it costed me a lot.
Crossing the border (2)
Favorite thing: Crossing the border with vehicle.
To cross the border with a car, you must first have the following documents:
1) A valid international driving licence.
2) Insurance card of the car and the sticker on the windscreen.
3) Certificate of origin of the car and the sticker on the windscreen.
4) A special brown card: the international ECOWAS insurance card valid three months.
6) your passport.
You first have to go to the registration office in Ghana. it is on the left side. They will check that the car is really yours and that you have paid all duties on your car. It can take a long time, and they will propose you to save some time for some cedis.
After minimum 20 minutes, you go to the other big building where you go and stamp your passport. It is not the same than the one without a car.
They you can go to the barrer. A custom officer will ask you to show the documents before you can go.
You are now in the no-man's-land between the two countries. There are a lot of Togoleses trying to help you: show you where to go (it is easy: it is indicated and there is only one way) or wash you car with gutter water. Keep doors and windows shut!
For the Togolese side, you must show all your documents again and you have to pay a laisser-passer valid one month: 5000 CFA.
A gendarme will ask you if you want him to check your luggage and your car of if you want to give him some money. I advise to give him 2000 CFA because he can really be nasty and search everywhere. Even if you have nothing to hide, I advise you give him something else he will put everything on the ground.
You have to go for you stamp with your passport.
Adicse for the visa is in the Crossing the border (1) tip.
You have everything, you can go. They open the last barrer and you are in Lome.
Fondest memory: The first time you are there, you won't find many differences, but if you are used to Africa, you will find a fully different town than Accra: Ewe and French influence.
Crossing the border (3)
Favorite thing: Back to Ghana.
You just have to follow the order of the other tips, however the Ghanaians ask for you vaccination card. Once I forgot it in Ghana and when I came back I was in trouble. Fortunately, I could show my Ghanaian residence permit.
Fondest memory: It is possible because of the confusion of the organisation to cross without showing your passport. But you will have problems after when you want to leave the country, without re-entry stamp.
It is not possible to have a visa at the border, you must go to the embassy.
Before it was possible for 100$ but they were organising too many frauds, so since 2003, it is not possible anymore.
Money changers at the border
Fondest memory: You will meet people on the way to the Togo border who want to change money for you. If you havn't changed your Cedis to CFA, do it now. You will need CFA as soon you cross the border to Togo.
Make sure you are not fooled by the traders. They are smart people and you are probably tired after the travel from Accra. Check if the rates is correct and count the money.
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The road from Ghana to the Togo border
Fondest memory: The road from Ghana to the Togo border-runs first through the savannah, and then on a narrow strip of land between the ocean and the Volta Lake, before you enter the Aflao town. From there you have to walk across the border.
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