Ghana, Togo, Benin - Voodoo and Tribal Festivals

Ghana, Togo, Benin - Voodoo and Tribal Festivals 1890 , 12 Days

Ghana, Togo and Benin - a colourful African palette with plenty of sun and spirit! If you wish to immerse in the real atmosphere of voodoo society, to explore the roots of this unique concept of the world, to become a witness of the traditional voodoo practices, follow us towards the place where this cult lives its daily, genuine life – Ghana, Togo and Benin in Western Africa! Besides seaside colonial fortresses having served as starting points in the slave trade and attendance of local voodoo rituals and fire dances, the tour offers also walks in the capitals of these three countries as well as in their much more curios countryside – villages with traditional African architecture, national parks, sailing along Volta River and the unique Abomey Palace – the centre of the legendary kingdom of Dahomey!

NB! Every sixth Sunday of the year, the Ashanti people celebrate the Akwasidae Festival - colourful celebrations with rituals, dances and songs, honouring personal and community ancestors. This festival is next in importance only to the National Day. 

Highlights:
♦ The Voodoo culture
Elmina Castle - a gloomy reminiscence of slavery
♦ Royal Palaces of Abomey - Benin's most famous attraction

View Route Map

Itinerary:

Day 1. Accra
Arrival in Accra.Free time and overnight in Accra. B/-/-

Day 2. Accra City Tour 
Our first day in Ghana is dedicated to exploring the capital Accra and its surroundings. We will start with a walk around the neighbourhood of Nima - one of the most densely populated settlements in Accra, home to hundreds of migrants from Ghana and West Africa. We will walk around the local markets and learn about the typical local products, fruits, and spices. We might also pass by some stalls selling fetishes, charms, and anything connected with the local voodoo practices.
After lunch, we will continue our tour with a visit to Jamestown - one of the most historic parts of Accra with signature sites like Fort James and Jamestown Lighthouse.
To finish the city tour, we will pay a visit to the famous fantasy coffin-makers and learn about this unique local tradition. These coffins are made to represent the profession, dreams, and interests of the deceased. The idea stems from the belief that life transcends death and the that the deceased will continue to practice their jobs and hobbies in the afterlife. The design options are endless - pianos, football pitches, planes, birds, and whatnot. We will then continue driving west to Cape Coast, where we will spend the night in a hotel (accommodation in Cape Coast or Elmina).
 B/-/-

Day 3. Accra - Cape Coast - Elmina
Today we will explore the town of Cape Coast. What is nowadays an easygoing fishing town, used to be one of the largest slave trade centers in West Africa.
Here we will visit the Cape Coast Castle - one of the biggest so-called “slave castles” which were used as prisons for the enslaved people.
It is estimated that some three million West African slaves were shipped out to the Americas from this ironically picturesque fading white fort. Tourists are now allowed to visit some of the underground dungeons, where hundreds of people were cramped and suffered under horrific living conditions. Less than 20 km away from here, there is another fort that played a significant role during the Atlantic Slave Trade - the Elmina castle which will be our next stop. It is renowned as the first major European construction in the region, built by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and was initially used for gold trading. We will check in at our hotel in the early afternoon and have some free time to relax and enjoy the coastal scenery. Overnight in Cape Coast/Elmina or the region
 B/-/-

Day 4. Elmina - Kumasi
Today we are leaving the coast and heading towards the interior of the country. Our first stop will be the Kakum National Park - one of the most popular natural attractions in Ghana. The national park covers an area of about 350 km², more than 80% of which is dense rainforest. The most prominent feature of the park is the canopy walkway, which allows visitors to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the canopy - the highest part of the dense rainforest which people rarely get to see. We will then have a short stop at the Hans Cottage Botel - a luxury hotel which offers its guests and visitors numerous attractions, including a pond with crocodiles, which we will get to see. In the evening we will arrive in Kumasi - the capital of the Ashanti region, where we will spend the night. B/-/-

Day 5. Kumasi - Kintampo Waterfall - Kintampo
We will start our day with a visit to some of the neighboring villages, where we will get to learn more about the Ashanti people, indigenous to this region and their culture. The Ashanti people had their own empire between the 17th and 20th century, which was one of the African states that strongly resisted European colonization for years before eventually becoming a British protectorate. To this day, they have preserved their distinct culture and beliefs. In the villages we will learn more about their special ceremonial clothes - how they are made and what is the symbolic meaning behind the different patterns. Here you will have the opportunity to get a unique souvenir to bring back home. Our next stop will be the Ashanti People Place - the seat of the Asantehene, a title given to the emperor of the Ashanti Empire and the ceremonial ruler of the Ashanti community nowadays. Part of the palace is turned into a museum, dedicated to the history of the empire. We will then continue to the stunning cascading waterfalls Kintampo - one of Ghana’s tallest waterfalls, reaching a height of about 70 metres in total. Overnight in a hotel nearby. B/-/-

Day 6. Tanoboase - Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary - Tamale
Our first stop for today will be the Tanoboase Sacred Grove and Shrine - a site of great significance for the local Bono people. The place is believed to be the home of some of the most important local gods, as well as the spirits of the ancestors and other supernatural beings. We will walk around the caves and climb some of the rock formations to soak in the surrounding scenery. We will then continue to the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, home to several monkey species, like Campbell’s Mona Monkey, black and white colobus and others, as well as dozens of bird and butterfly species. It is one of the few places in the world where traditional local beliefs and scientific conservation efforts compliment each other and work in harmony to preserve the local flora and fauna. The local villagers believe that the animals in this forest are sacred and have been putting a lot of effort into protecting them. We will then continue driving to Tamale where we will spend the night. B/-/-

Day 7. Tamale - Kara (Togo)
Today we have quite a long day ahead of us. We will start with a visit to one of the nearby villages of the Dagomba tribe. Here we will enjoy a traditional dance and drumming performance. The Dagomba have a rich history and tradition which has been passed down from generation to generation mainly orally, through dance and music. The local drummers are seen as storytellers and keepers of history and are some of the most respected members of the community. If we have enough time, we might also stop by a local shea butter producing factory. Most of the shea butter in the world is produced in West Africa with Ghana being one of the biggest exporters. It has become a main source of income, especially for women in the rural areas. We will then continue to the border with Togo. The border crossing procedures might take a few hours sometimes, so be prepared for a long day and late arrival at our hotel in Kara. B/-/-

Day 8. Kara - Koutammakou, the land of the Batammariba - Sokode
Today is dedicated to exploring the region Koutammakou, home to the Batammariba people, which covers about 50 000 ha. The region is known for the traditional mud tower-houses, known as Takienta, which have become one of the most recognisable symbols of Togo. They not only serve their practical purpose of providing shelter and refuge to the locals, but also speak volumes about the connection between peoples and landscape. Even the name of the Batammariba can be translated as “those who are the real architects of earth”. To help preserve this unique lifestyle and skill sets, the region was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. In the afternoon we will continue driving towards Sokode, where we will spend the night.  B/-/-

Day 9. Sokode - Abomey (Benin)
Today we have a long day of driving and crossing the border with Benin. Overnight in a hotel in Abomey. B/-/-

Day 10. Abomey - Ouidah
Today we will start our day with a visit to the Abomey Royal Palace Complex. The palace used to be the home to the head of the powerful Kingdom of Dahomey, which dominated the region between the 17th and the late 18th century. They were one of the key participants in the Atlantic slave trade, selling hundred of slaves captured during wars and raids to the Europeans, which is why they became one of the most well-known African kingdoms in Europe. The kingdom was also famous for having one of the few all-female military organizations in the world at that time - the Agojie, also known as the Amazons of Dahomey. To this day, they remain alive in popular culture worldwide and inspire Hollywood movies like “The Woman King”. We will then continue to the Agongointo-Zoungoudo Underground Town, believed to date back to the 16th-17th century. It consists of about 50 bunker-style dwellings, believed to have been used as a shelter by the Dahomey warriors. Shortly after its discovery, the site was listed as a tentative UNESCO heritage site. As of June 2023, the site is under reconstruction and we might not be allowed to visit some or even none of the parts of the complex. Our last stop for the day will be the Ganvie Lake Village, the so called “Venice of Africa”. In the 15th-17th century, hundreds of locals fled to lake Nokoue to avoid being captured by the Dahomey warriors and sold as slaves. They have been living in the houses on stilts in the middle of the lake ever since and over the years formed their own culture and lifestyle. We will take a short boat trip around the village before checking-in at our hotel in Ouidah for overnight. B/-/-

Day 11. Ouidah - Cotonou
We start the day with a visit to the Sacred Forest and the Temple of Pythons - both important vodoo shrines. We continue to Cotonou - the former  capital of Benin. Sightseeing in the city - Notre Dame des Apotres Cathedral, the Artisan Center and the Dantokpa market. B/-/-

Day 12. Departure. 
Free morning before departure. B/-/-

Visa: It is required to have a visa for each of the three countries. Please, check with the local embassies in your country.
Vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for this trip.


Price Includes:
Accommodation in double / twin rooms in standard hotels with breakfast
local certified English-speaking guides
transport according to the itinerary
аirport transfers
tour leader from Penguin Travel (at min 8 p.)

Not Included:
international flights
visa
entrance fees (allow ca. 70 USD)
any personal expenses
insurance


Gallery


Ghana, Togo, Benin - Voodoo and Tribal Festivals (Rated 4.83 / 5 Based on 420 Reviews.)
Price
1890 EUR
Duration
12 Days
Single Supplement
350 EUR
Status
Оn request
Price
1890 EUR
Duration
12 Days
Single Supplement
350 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
Price
1890 EUR
Duration
12 Days
Single Supplement
350 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

No special experience is needed; everyone who is in condition to cope with long Saturday walks in the forest can also cope with these tours. As a rule, the trips are short and at a low altitude. Often, it is your choice to join or skip a day-tour. The routes follow a hilly terrain without steep ascents and descents. Normally we walk 3/5h a day.

Group Size
6-15
Reservation System Code
WESTAFRIKA
Balkan Village Trek (8 days progressive ride in Teteven Balkan area) 820 , 8 Days

Balkan Village Trek (8 days progressive ride in Teteven Balkan area)

Many and varied are the mountains in Bulgaria, but Teteven Balkan combines the best of them all -...
Mainland Yemen 2190 , 8 Days

Mainland Yemen

In the heart of the Arabian Peninsula lies a land of ancient cities, remote villages, and coastal...
Roundtrip Iran - Classical Persia 1050 , 10 Days

Roundtrip Iran - Classical Persia

A cultural trip that will show you both modern Iran and ancient Persia. This is a roundtrip...

View all» What people say about us

Great
Penguin Travel on Trust Pilot
Based on 86 reviews
Trust Pilot
Binky's Review Verified review Verified
Great caucus Explorer trip
Caucus Explorer( Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan ) was a great trip . Even though our Van is fully...
Beth, 5 May
Daniel's review Verified review Verified
8 day Caucasus trip
5/5 for the Caucasus trip in apr/may 2024. Everything was well planned and executed.
Haris, 3 May
Maribeth's review Verified review Verified
Excellent and Amazing Tour
Excellent tour. My highlight of the tour is Sarajevo, Mostar, Ohrid and more places. I like the itinerary...
Arnold, 6 April
View all»

Blog

09.07.2024 16:01

Photo Diary: Afghanistan Tour (Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan, Band-e Amir, Mazar-I-Sharif and Other)

In today's article, we will take you on a virtual journey to a misunderstood land where ancient civilizations have left their mark on rugged mountains and sweeping valleys. Afghanistan, a land often overshadowed by conflict, unveils a strikingly different side to those who dare to look beyond the headlines. It's a place of profound beauty and cultural richness, a stark contrast to its war-torn...


27.06.2024 17:45

Everything you need to know about travelling to Afghanistan: Essential travel information (Q&A with our tour leaders and local guides)

Traveling to Afghanistan in 2024 is an adventure like no other. Despite its rocky past and current political situation, more tourists are starting to explore the country, thanks in part to the Taliban's push for tourism. Penguin Travel is leading the way, having successfully organized a few trips in the last year. Must-see spots include the stunning Bamyan Valley, the gorgeous Band-e-Amir...


17.06.2024 11:32

Best Trekking Trips to do in Europe This Fall: From the Lycian Way to Madeira's Marvels

As the leaves start to turn brown and the summer crowds dwindle, Europe transforms into a trekker's paradise. This fall, grab your hiking boots and explore some of the continent's most stunning trails on a self-guided adventure. Here are six must-visit trekking destinations that promise breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and unforgettable experiences. Lycian Way, Turkey The Lycian Way in...


13.06.2024 17:20

Everything you need to know about travelling to Syria in 2024: Essential travel information (Q&A with our tour leaders and local guides)

Syria welcomes you again! For many years, Syria has been in the midst of a civil war, making headlines on a regular basis. However, the country is now slowly returning to a state of peace and tranquility, and some areas are once again open to tourists. In 2022, we resumed our travel programs in Syria and are excited to have the opportunity to showcase all that the country has to offer to...