Loméis the capital city of Togo and one of the major tourist destinations in the country.
The city of Loméhas much to offer to its visitors. Tourists can catch glimpses of the country’s past with the pieces of colonial architecture that still stand along the city’s streets. Aside from learning more of its history, tourists can further experience Togo’s culture by exploring the deep-rooted traditions of voodoo and fetish markets.
For relaxation, the white sand beaches of Loméare the spots to visit. The breathtaking view of the beaches attracts thousands of tourists and locals alike, with individuals, couples, and families taking their spots on the sand for a day of fun or rest.
From Lomé, most tourists arrange trips to visit the rest of what the country has to offer. The city is most often used as the base of all tourist activities, departing in the day and then returning at night, either to recharge for the next day or to experience the raving Togo nightlife.
Koutammakou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just an hour’s drive north from the town of Kara, in northeastern Togo.
The Takienta people in the area are responsible for the construction of batammariba houses – round buildings that are remarkably made of mud. The Koutammakou landscape, which stretches to roughly 50,000 ha, is dotted with these mud houses.
The architecture of the batammariba is reflective of the social structure of the region. Most of the houses have two storeys, and those that have granaries have a spherical roof over a cylindrical base. Otherwise, the mud houses have either flat roofs or conical roofs.
The mud houses are grouped in villages, and each village has a ceremonial space within which the people celebrate their rituals and festivities. There are also other sites reserved only for initiation ceremonies of fellow villagers.
Aného is a quaint little town in the southeastern region of Togo, roughly 45 km east of the capital city of Lomé. It was once known as Little Popo, and it used to have a Portuguese slave market.
In 1880, Anйho became the first German capital of the country. However, due to the coastal erosion in the area, the capital was transferred to Lomé in 1897.
Anйho is the spiritual center of the people of Guin-Mina. Visitors will see why, as staying in the town and experiencing its laid-back atmosphere is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Lomé. Exploring the streets of the town reveals that much of the colonial architecture is still standing and well maintained.
Since Anйho sits beside a lagoon, the town offers simple and calm beaches to its visitors. Because of the less number of people visiting the town compared to Lomé, tourists will have an easier time to relax in the sands.
Togoville can be found in southern Togo, located on Lake Togo’s northern shores. Visitors to Togoville will be treated to a spectacle of traditions that have been well preserved through time in this small town. Togoville can be considered as one of the best spots in the country for cultural tourism.
Traditional Togolese architecture is everywhere in Togoville, as seen in the small and simple houses made of red sand and roofs made of straw. A deeper look into Togo’s history can be experienced since visitors can view copies of the original colonial treaty signed between the Germans and the Togolese ruler Mlapa III.
Other sights to see in Togoville include the numerous voodoo shrines in the area, along with the Cathedral Notre Dame, which the Germans built in 1910. The Royal Palace of Chief Mlapa V is also open to tourists.
Agbodrafo is a small and quiet town, with architecture from the colonial times still standing for tourists to see.
But the tranquility of Agbodrafo masks a dark past. Once known as Porto Seguro, the town is remembered as an important location on the infamous Slave Coast – slaves were once kept and traded here.
Though much of the evidence of Agbodrafo’s past has now been cleared, tourists will still see remnants of it in Woold Homй, also called the maison des esclaves. When you explore the structure, you will still see some of the chains that had kept the slaves bound as they waited for people to buy them and take them away.
The beautiful town of Kpalimé is an hour and a half from Lomé. While not as busy as the capital, Kpalimé has had its fair share of hustle and bustle since it was once the center of the cocoa and coffee trades in Togo. The town also boasts of impressive colonial buildings, such as a German cathedral and the house of the governor.
Surrounding Kpalimé are several hills, where tourists will find rain forests, small villages, stunning valleys, and roaring waterfalls. Tourists can approach local guides to accompany them to hikes through the forest. Hikes to nearby Mount Kloto and Mount Agou, as well as to the Tomegbe and Kpeota waterfalls, can also be arranged.
The town of Kpalimé is already interesting by itself. Add to this its close vicinity to beautiful natural wonders, and you have a town that promises a great adventure.
Sokodé is the second largest city in Togo. It has a large population of Muslims, and its culture has a distinct North African flavor.
Life in Sokodé revolves around the chiefdoms of the people of Tem, who dictate the political, religious, and social practices of the people in the city.
Because of the dominant Muslim population, the community in Sokodé is much different from what you will find in most of the other cities and towns.
When you visit Sokodй, don’t miss the chance to experience the city’s music and dance, Regarded among Togo’s most impressive, they uniquely combine the spirit of Africa and the religion of Islam. Sokodé music and dance are best appreciated during one of the many religious ceremonies and festivals celebrated in the city.
Also, take time to visit the markets of Sokodé, where the fabrics for sale are popular.
The Tamberma Valley has a unique collection of villages that were founded in the 17th century. Until recently, it has been isolated from tourists, which has preserved the culture and physical condition of the area. Located in northern Togo, the valley is slowly becoming a tourist hotspot.
A regular Tamberma compound, which is called a tata, has a series of towers that are connected to each other by a thick wall. It has a single entrance chamber, which can be sealed off to trap invaders, who can then be showered with arrows. Resembling the medieval castles of yore, these crude but effective structures protected villages from invasions by neighboring tribes. In fact, even the Germans were repelled by these defensive structures when they invaded in the late 19th century.
Life in a tata revolves around elevated terraces of logs covered in clay, where the people cook, dry their goods, and generally spend most of their time.
Togo National Museum
Togo has a rich history and culture that will prove very interesting to visitors. While you may opt to experience this firsthand, you may also choose to witness a chronicle of the country’s past and its people by visiting the national museum.
The Togo National Museum is located just behind the Palais des Congres (Palace of Congress) in the capital city of Lomй. Tourists who visit Togo are encouraged to drop by the museum to understand the country as a whole, either before embarking on their journey to explore the land or before going home to put together everything they have seen.
The national museum features several exhibits, which include well-preserved ancient ceramics by early Togolese tribes. There are also some antiques, curios, and woodcarvings that show the skill and creativity of the artisans of Togo.
The town of Atakpame has a very cool and pleasant climate, different from the regular climate that Togo experiences. This is because it is located at an altitude higher than most cities and other towns in the country. In fact, Atakpame was once a very popular holiday resort because of this climate.
Badou, which is known for its very beautiful sceneries, is 85 km west of Atakpame. Tourists who wish to visit the area pass by Atakpame first, and then go to Badou through a road that leads through a tropical forest that is already scenic and beautiful in itself.
One of the major attractions in Atakpame are the stilt dancers, who live in the area. It is always a joy to watch them perform their amazing skill with perfect grace and fluidity.