Unique Places in Togo

  • The outskirts of Lome
    The outskirts of Lome
    by georeiser
  • The outskirts of Lome
    The outskirts of Lome
    by georeiser
  • The outskirts of Lome
    The outskirts of Lome
    by georeiser

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Togo

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    Yam

    by grets Updated Mar 21, 2007

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    Allover Togo and other parts of West Africa, yams hold one of the greatest esteem of all the food products and are carefully integrated into the social, cultural, economic and religious aspects of life. A high status is given to this vegetable, and traditional ceremonies still accompany its production. Yam comes in various colours, from white (shown in the picture), through yellow to a fairly bright orange. The white variety is most widely used.

    Yam can be used instead of potato, boiled or mashed, and in fact I prefer it to our humble spud.

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    Fonio

    by grets Updated Mar 21, 2007

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    Fonio is the smallest of all millet species. Not only nutritious, it is also one of the fastest growing cereals, reaching maturity in six to eight weeks. Fonio is used to make couscous, bread, porridge and beer.

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    Cassava

    by grets Written Mar 4, 2007

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    Also known as the manioc, cassava is grown for its large, starch-filled root. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop throughout Africa, and in every village you can see the ladies pounding the cassava to make fufu – the staple carbohydrate of West Africa. There are many other ways of eating cassava too, including boiled and fried, but the root cannot be eaten raw as it contains substances which convert to cyanide. Flour is made from cassava root too, known as tapioca flour. The white sticks you see here are dried cassava, a very good way of preserving it as cassava is best eaten very fresh and does not travel well.

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    Millet

    by grets Written Mar 4, 2007

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    Millet is grass-like grain grown throughout Togo for use as food for humans and animals. Millet is separated from the husks by beating it hard and repeatedly with a stick, then washed, toasted and dried. It can then be eaten more or less as it is, just boiled with water (used as an accompaniment to meat in the same way as rice may be used), flour can be made from the grain, as well as beer.

    The local brew of choice is the millet beer. Millet and water is fermented over heat for a couple of days then stored for another couple of days in order to get the required strength. The longer it is left the stringer it is. We tasted two beers of different age, and could definitely differentiate between the two different strengths of the brews.

    Once the beer is ready to drink, it is sieved through a fine mesh – in this case a packing sack and into a container below. This is to remove any larger particles and make it more potable for drinking. The resulting pulp left inside the sieve is spread out on the ground to dry (see picture five) and then used as fodder for the animals.

    Seperating the millet from the husks Cooking millet for dinner Making millet beer The pulp drying on the ground Millet and sorghum as wall decoration
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    Sorghum

    by grets Written Mar 4, 2007

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    Sorghum is a cultivated grass grown for grain and is well adapted to growth in hot, arid or semi-arid areas. It is used for food (couscous, flour and porridge mainly), making alcohol (in West Africa sorghum is used to make the local version of Guiness) as well as animal fodder

    Sorghum
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    Papaya

    by grets Written Feb 27, 2007

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    The papaya (or pawpaw) fruit grows straight from the trunk of the tall papaya tree. The tree originates from Mexico, but is grown all over Togo and West Africa. Although very tasty and popular in the west too, papaya is not at innocuous as it first seems. When unripe, the fruit releases a latex fluid which can cause an allergic reaction to your skin, and the fruit and leaves also contain carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid which could be dangerous in high doses. The fruit is also said to have contraceptive and abortifacient capabilities, sometimes used in traditional remedies. The seeds of the papayas are sometimes ground up and used instead of black pepper.

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    The baobab tree

    by grets Updated Feb 27, 2007

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    The Baobab Tree. Also popularly known as the Upside-Down-Tree. Some places it is also known as the Monkey Bread Tree. One of the great wonders of Africa, and one of my lasting memories from this continent. It is such a versatile tree, with many uses both for nature and man. The tree is capable of storing huge amounts of water in its trunk – up to 120,000 litres in fact.

    Uses for man from the baobab tree include:

    Leaves can be eaten as a vegetable
    Leaves are also ground to a powder
    The dry pulp of the fruit is eaten either as it is or in a porridge
    Seeds are used to thicken soups
    Seeds are also used to produce vegetable oil
    The trunk is used as fuel
    The branches and trunk are used to produce fibre

    Baobabs are sacred to the animists in Togo and many ethnic groups will only build their home near to or alongside a baobab tree. Sometimes they will bill a shrine at the base of the tree, as in picture 2.

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    Bush burning

    by grets Written Feb 27, 2007

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    It is common in many parts of West Africa, not just in Togo, for the villagers to burn away part of the undergrowth to encourage the regeneration of new life. This helps in the feeding of wild and domestic animals. We came across huge flames in places, and I did wonder if they ever got out of control. Be careful when walking through the burnt undergrowth, as the ash gets everywhere – my beige trousers were filthy!

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  • Voodoo Experience

    by Fedzo Written Jun 25, 2005

    Once you reach Togoville, you will be welcomed by the tourist committe there, first go and see the Church built by germans in 1910 and visited by POPE JEAN-PAUL II. then u will definitly notice the small clay statues of Voodoo Gods everywhere. u can even visit the high priestess for consultancy.
    just try to make deals about how much to pay before you go and don't pay attention to all the naked people around, just act normal and follow the instructions. a DON'T MISS experience

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  • Relax and enjoy the view on Lac Togo

    by Fedzo Written Jun 25, 2005

    if you take the maritime road towards the Borders of Benin. you will arrive there in about 35-45 mins. a small hotel located on the lake serving food and drinks, just sit and relax or dip into the small pool. you can even have a quick visit to the nearby Togoville

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    Crossing the Benin border (Nadoba to Boukoumbé)

    by Bonobo2005 Written Nov 20, 2003

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    The cross border road from Nadoba to Boukoumbé (Benin) is about 10 km. long (2 hrs. walk) and passes through very scenically lush and quiet land, with several traditional houses and farms.

    There’s no checkpoint at the actual border that is reputedly only marked by a Baobab tree but you need to report at the police station in Boukoumbé to fulfil formalities (the relaxed officer fortunately didn’t mind that I couldn’t show a Togolese exit stamp)

    If you arrive here from Benin, you almost certainly need to get your entry stamp in the Togolese town of Kara.

    Streetscene near Nadobi, towards Benin
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    Staying overnight in Nadoba

    by Bonobo2005 Written Nov 20, 2003

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    As the Beninese town of Boukoumbé was still quite far, and I was having a very enjoyable time on the market, I decided to stay for the night in Nadoba, at the local guesthouse annex bar annex (as I discovered later) disco.

    Just when I made up for a very boring evening alone with no electricity, no friends, no English speakers, one after the other youngster dropped in. Not long after that followed by a whole bunch of guys who started to install a generator, light and loudspeakers right in front of my room.

    By 10pm, some 5 dozen of people (mostly teenagers) had arrived and the DJ finally started the music, a mix of modern and traditional from all over West Africa! This now was really great; it was big fun!! Some hours later I fell asleep in my room, only to wake up at 5AM. The weekly Wednesday party was still going on.

    I went back to sleep another hour and then went out for an early walk around the village and the trip by foot to Benin!

    The technician removing the discolight
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    The Nadoba Wednesday Market

    by Bonobo2005 Written Nov 20, 2003

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    The colourful Wednesday market in Nadoba is a regional highlight and supplied me the nicest day of my stay in Togo.

    Not because of its size, but because of it’s rural charm. It had a really cosy and friendly atmosphere, but is full of activity.

    Farmers from all around the border region, some in traditional dresses, come here to trade, but socializing is a major motive as well. Towards the end of the day most men got involved in gambling, sitting together and drinking locally brewed beer out of huge calabashes.

    Local beer sellers at Nadoba Market
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    Nadoba Village

    by Bonobo2005 Written Nov 20, 2003

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    Maybe the best possibility for independent travellers, who seek to be invited in a traditional homestead instead of risking a disappointment, is to take a Wednesday bush taxi to Nadoba Village, mingle with people at the local market and hope for an invitation.

    If that doesn’t happen you can see some of these traditional castle homes around Nadoba as well, and although the ones I saw here where not in their best shape, they were still more natural then the “museum-like” homesteads that I saw on the Beninese side, that were newly build especially for tourism purposes.

    Family homes near Nadoba
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    Visiting a traditional home in the Tamberma Valley

    by Bonobo2005 Written Nov 20, 2003

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    Actually I was happy that the bushtaxi couldn’t continue across the bridge and we had to go on foot, because I befriended one of the others who got stranded, who later invited me to take a look in their “fortress”.

    Which was really great since I read quite some reviews of tourists being treated less nicely when they wanted to visit a homestead like that.

    The point is that most people don’t live in villages, but live individually on their lands, so if you stop by and ask if you can look around, some owners take the opportunity to negotiate a (big) fee and react hostile when you start taking pictures. Understandable from both points of view in my opinion.

    Note that I read in some travel reports that in Kandé Village wanna be guides approach tourists for a tour around the valley; however I didn’t meet any of them during my 2 hours stay waiting for the shared taxi to leave.

    young man in traditional sleeping room
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Togo Hotels

See all 6 Hotels in Togo

Top Togo Hotels

Lome Hotels
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Togoville Hotels
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Sokode Hotels
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Togo Off The Beaten Path

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