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Togo

Togo is a small, narrow country in West Africa, sandwiched between Ghana and Benin, is has a small border with Burkina Faso and a small coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. Lomé is the capital city and the economic heart of the country. An excellent place to start your trip is with a visit to Lomé’s markets, both general and voodoo.  The smaller town of Togoville on Lake Togo is full of mysteries with its protective fetishes and voodoo temples is also a popular stop, Agbodrafo offers insights into the historical and the cultural heritage of the slave trade in Togo, while Aného, located between Lake Togo and the sea, the first capital of Togo, has the charm of an old colonial city.

French is the national language and the lingua franca, with hardly any English being spoken in the whole of the country, aside from business offices and major banks in Lomé. Ewe is the most widely spoken native language. In Togo, there are about 40 different ethnic groups, the most numerous of which are the Ewe, followed by the Kotokoli, Tchamba and Kabyé.

Togo is mainly dependent mainly on agriculture and the mild weather of this tropical, sub-Saharan nation makes for good growing seasons, with cotton, coffee and cocoa being the main crops.

Gently rolling savanna in north gives way to the central hills and continues to a southern plateau down to low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes, and white sandy beaches

The beautiful lush hills in the coffee growing region of Kpalimé offer great trekking. Although it is a difficult journey, further north of Kara is Tamberma Valley. Listed as World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the landscape Koutammakou is without doubt one of the main attractions of the country, with its unique collection of fortified villages that were founded in the 17th century by people who fled the slaving forays of their neighbouring tribes. The local Batammariba people (known by colonists as the Tamberma) constructed and live in unique Takienta “tower-houses” of mud and straw, which has intriguing castle like structures known as Tatas. Skilled builders, the Tamberma use only use clay, wood and straw – and no tools. The walls are banco, a mixture of unfired clay and straw. The towers, capped by picturesque conical roofs, are used for storing corn and millet. The other rooms are used for sleeping, bathing and, during the rainy season, cooking. The animals are kept under the terrace, protected from the rain.

Still in the north, Kéran National Park has one of the larger elephant populations in West Africa, while Fazo Mafakassa National Park in the center-west of the country is quite beautiful and also offers good opportunities to see wildlife.

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