Get off the beaten track and into the hills, forests and villages that make up the ‘Voodoo Trail’ of West Africa for an immersive experience that few travellers get to have. Meet African royalty and witness tribal dancers fall into trance-like states as you enjoy an authentic cultural experience like no other. An expert CEO will guide you through the stunning landscape, helping with the cultural and lingual hurdles, ensuring you come away with deep insight into the origins of Africa’s mystical animist religions. This is a truly mind-blowing experience. Interested?
Arrival transfer. Lomé city tour. Voodoo ceremony experience. Kpalime guided nature walk. Slave route guided walk (Ouidah) with Python Temple visit. Ganvié stilt village visit (Lake Nowke). Porto-Novo city tour. Audience with Yoruba king (if his schedule permits). Abomey palace guided tour. Egun dancing mask ceremony. Fulani tribe visit. Moba tribe visit. Somba and Tamberma adobe castles visit. Gurunsi tribe visit and traditional dance ceremony. Dagarti and Lobi tribes visit. Loropeni visit. Guen king and tribe visit. Senoufo village visit. Banfora town tour. Bobo city tour. Bwa mask ceremony. Craft market visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Witness authentic voodoo ceremonies and dances, explore the forests of Kpalime, meet African spiritual leaders and even royalty, attend a traditional Bwa mask ceremony, visit ancient mosques and modern cities, learn about the slave trade in Ouidah.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. ACCOMMODATION AND TRAVEL
This tour goes to some very basic, undeveloped areas of Africa, which is the least developed continent. This means that standards of roads, food, hygiene, and customer service will be far from what you are used to. Accommodation is rustic and basic in many places.
2. ITINERARY CHANGES
The Itinerary can be modified because of changes in traditional festivals, roads conditions, or major causes or events. We travel through this region in order to meet many local people and visit many villages, and part of this cultural journey through these very non-Westernized places is being flexible enough to make changes that will benefit the tour. If we learn of something interesting happening in the area, your CEO may decide to make adjustments to the itinerary, but this will always be to given you the best, most unique experience.
We do not give away to local people any kind of plastic; gifts are offered to chiefs and teachers; no photos are permitted of police stations, borders crossings, and airports.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, be your conduit to the local culture and experiences of this tour, recommend some local eating venues, help the group with translation when visiting local communities, and introduce you to our local friends. In West Africa, we actually use the term “guide” more than Chief Experience Officer (CEO), as it comes from the equivalent word in French, which is used regularly there.
In addition to managing the tour itself, you can expect your CEO to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, but compared to many places, the quality of local guides in this region is low. (Remember very few tourists actually visit these areas. Your leader will speak english, but often English is the 3rd, 4th, or 5th language of our guides. As such, please be patient – English speakers in the French speaking countries is rare.
We also have drivers and a cook, all of whom are an integral part of the team, and add their own contributions to the success of the trip. Often these members of our crew will have limited English language skills.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 8
When a evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local restaurant. Breakfast in the hotels are usually French style: coffee or tea, and bread with butter and jam. Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
Please note all bottled drinking water and other drinks will be at your own expense. Often, in rural areas, especially during days 6 to 12, bottled drinking water is not always available. In addition, small notes and coins for change is very sparse in the regions we travel. As such, often the only way possible for each individual person to buy their own drinks is to pool money together, from which drinks and common items may be purchased.
About our Transportation
We use a minibus for this tour, normally Toyota Hiace, or for large groups Toyota Coaster.
With a small group of up to 3 travellers, we may use Toyota Land Cruiser. The 4WD is not compulsory in our itinerary, apart in rainy season when in the convoy we use also at least one 4WD (just in case)
With sliding windows, bench seats, and an aisle on one side, these vans that we use are common in the region and comfortable.
Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from relatively new in the cities to old, deteriorating, very poor, and even almost non-existent. During dry seasons, the roads can become very dusty.
This style of travel is by no means luxurious, but the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicles allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed and visit far out of the way destinations.
Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Simple hotels/guesthouses (15 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
West Africa is one of the poorest areas of the world, and as such, basic infrastructure such as sealed roads, reliable electricity, constant access to tap water that you will find in other areas of Africa and the world are less common in West Africa.
The hotels and accommodation venues that we use on this trip are unfortunately no exception. Most hotels advertise hot water, but if the electricity is working at the time we are there to heat and pump the water is another question. All hotels and accommodation that we use are simple and basic, but clean and safe.
The nature of the destination means that there is very little choice of accommodation venues. There is little to no local and foreign tourism or travel demand to justify the existence of the hotels that you, as a foreign traveller has come to expect in less developed countries. Choices are thus limited in many of our destinations, so we try to choose the best or most appropriate accommodation in each area.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival transfer is included in your tour, when you arrive on Day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through G Adventures in our joining hotel.
G Adventures is only able to pick you up at the airport if you inform us in advance of your arrival flight’s details. If this has not been done, please make your way to the joining hotel. A taxi just outside of the airport terminal costs approximately 5-6€ (3000-4000 CFA) to the Joining Hotel. DO NOT GIVE YOUR PASSPORT TO ANYBODY APART FROM THE POLICE if asked. Take care of your luggage personally and ignore all the people ready to help you (apart from official representative of airport officials).
If you have provided your arrival flight details for your complimentary transfer, please look for the driver, who will be holding a sign with the G Adventures logo on it. For security purposes, your name will not be on the G Adventures sign. As well, please do not tell the driver your name straight away, but rather ask the driver first to tell you who they are meant to pick up. This will ensure that you go with the right driver. Note that the driver may have limited English skills.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening of Day 1, or on the morning of Day 2. Here you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Upon arrival to the hotel, look for a notice from your CEO with information regarding this group meeting. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Lome in the morning of Day 2.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Lome, Togo)
During office hours, Mon-Fri, 8:30am-12:30pm, 2:30pm-6:00pm, Local Time, Saturday: 8:30am-12:00pm, Local Time
From outside of Lome: +228 2221 6823
From within Lome: 02221 6823
After hours emergency telephone
From outside Lome: +228 9074 0561
From within Lome: 09074 0561
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
The hotel has a free shuttle bringing guests to the airport upon request. The airport is apporx. 10 minutes away.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings.
• 5 shirts/t-shirts
• Sun hat
• 2 pair of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers
• Fleece top/sweater/thin jacket (nights can be cool)
• Thin rain jacket/rain poncho/Small umbrella
• Sturdy walking shoes
• Sun block
• Watch or alarm clock
• Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs)
• Money belt
• Small travel towel
• Personal female hygiene products (as they are difficult to purchase locally)
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, dehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
• G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and Trip Details
• Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• EURO cash
• Credit card (see personal spending money – note cards are rarely accepted)
• Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
• Yellow Fever Certificate
We change hotels every night so this will be very limited. Best to bring clothes that can be hand washed on the go.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
It is recommend to arrange visas prior to your departing your home destination.
Togo will require a multi entry visa and Burkina Faso and Benin will require a single entry each.
The following information will be helpful in obtaining your visas:
The Togo-Benin border crossing will occur on Day 3.
Togo border post: Savekondj
Benin border post: Hillakondj
The Benin-Togo border crossing will occur on Day 8.
Benin border post: Bokoumbe
Togo border post: Nadoba
The Togo-Burkina Faso border crossing will occur on Day 10.
Togo border post: Sinkasse
Burkina Faso border post: Bitou
Destination in Togo for visa:
Blvd de l’aéroport, in front of “Mêches Amina” manufactory
+228 226 10 64
Destination in Benin for visa:
Hotel Dako Premier
B.P. 218, Bohicon – Benin
TEL 229 95 06 94 15/95 56 62 88
FAX 22 51 02 38
Destination in Burkina Faso for visa:
Hotel OK Inn
Route de P, 5km S of Ouagadougou
+226 50 37 00 20
*For some nationalities it is possible to arrange the visas for Togo and Burkina at the border. It is also possible to organize the visa for Benin on Day 2, but we strongly advise against this. If you are unable to get your visas in advance, you MUST let us know at least 10 days prior to your tour start date, as well as provide us with a copy of your passport (with home address written on the same pages).
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The CFA Franc, the common currency in many West African countries, is the currency of Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso, among others.
The CFA Franc has a fixed rate exchange with Euro: 1EUR = 655.957 CFA.
Cash is the best method of money in West Africa. Travellers cheques are not accepted. Credit and Debit cards and not useful in all but on in Lome and Ougadadougou, and even then, it is not guaranteed that the machines will accept your card, work, or have money.
Again, cash is the best method of money in West Africa.
ATMs are rare and where available, often don’t work or don’t have money, and credit cards (VISA only) are not accepted out of the capital cities, and even rarely in the capitals.
Please bring cash money, in foreign currencies (EURO is best), to change for CFA locally at the start of the tour.
Large denominations are better, as they receive better rates. If you have USD, new bills from the year 2000 or more recent are best, as older bills may not be accepted.
Foreign currencies are rarely accepted outside of the capital cities, and as such, you will need CFA for your tour. And, your tour visits primarily rural areas. As such, it is advisable to change your foreign currency to CFA in Lome, and as soon as possible upon arrival.
At the airport in Lome upon arrival, you can change EURO or USD into CFA if the money exchange office is open at the time when you arrive, and if they have money on hand at the time. You may have to pay a commission on changing money at the airport or at banks.
When changing money, please ask for small notes, as small denominations are important, as local vendors rarely have change. You should ask for “monnaie” (pronounced “mah-nay”) in order to ask for smaller bills. Notes of 1,000 and 2,000 are important.
On the morning of Day 2 (which is a Sunday, and banks will be closed), your CEO will ensure that you are able to change money before departing Lome, with local money-changers, though possibly at a lower rate than the official one.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
There is no departure tax for these countries.
Tipping during your tour is optional, but the gesture is expected as a way to show your satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour.
Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the communities that you visit.
Giving a tip should be seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format:
G CEOs and drivers: $3-4 USD each, per day worked.
Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).
Local guides: $1 USD for every couple of hours
No optional activities
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and driver throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: DVVT, ID: 22861