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Benin, Togo & Ghana

0
  • 10 Days
  • Max Guests : 20
  • Wifi Available
  • Jan 04 - 13 (2024)

Tour Details

In this tour you get to visit 3 amazing countries
which are tied up together in history.
An unforgettable experience!

GHANA
One of Africa’s great success stories, the country is reaping the benefits of a stable democracy in the form of fast-paced development. And it shows: Ghana is suffused with the most incredible energy.

Ghana is certainly one of Africa’s top destinations. Planning a trip? The best time to visit Ghana is during the dry season from October to April.
Situated on the coast in the extreme south of the country, Ghana’s colourful seaside capital Accra offers a smorgasbord of African culture and cuisine. Its location within the unusually dry region known as the Dahomey Gap means that precipitation is not as extreme here as it is in other areas of the south.

TOGO
For those fond of traveling off the beaten track, Togo is a rewarding destination.
Lomé, the low-key yet elegant capital, with its large avenues, tasty restaurants and lively nightlife – not to mention the splendid beaches on its doorstep.

BENIN
The birthplace of voodoo and a pivotal platform of the slave trade for nearly three centuries, Benin is steeped in a rich and complex history still very much in evidence today.

A visit to this small, club-shaped nation could therefore not be complete without learning about spirits and fetishes and the Afro-Brazilian heritage of Ouidah, Abomey and Porto Novo,
 

Benin is wonderfully tourist friendly. There are good roads, a wide range of accommodation options and ecotourism initiatives that offer the chance to delve into Beninese life. Now is an ideal time to go: the country sits on the cusp of discovery.

Price
From2,300€
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1705

Price Includes:

  • Airport transfer
  • Certified Guide and Driver with 24-hour availability (no night driving outside cities)
  • A private air-conditioned Coaster, including fuel.
  • Mid-range and budget accommodations (double-occupancy) Single Supplement is $420.00
  • Guide/Driver Meals & Accommodation
  • AII entrance/camera fees at scheduled sites
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary - Breakfast, Mix of Western and Ghanaian lunch, dinner all days
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Tours as specified in itinerary
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Tips in hotels.

Price Excludes:

  • Airline tickets to and from Ghana – approximate fares to be expected o TAP-Air Portugal LIS-ACC €450 per person, one suitcase. ** ACC-LIS €1025 per person, one suitcase. ** o KLM LIS-AMS-ACC €675 per person, one suitcase. ** ACC-AMS-LIS €735 per person, one suitcase. ** o Royal Air Maroc LIS-CMN-ACC €305, per person, one suitcase. ** ACC-CMN-LIS €495, per person, one suitcase. **
  • Drinks, Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses.
  • Entry visa to Benin (€85), Togo (€40) and Ghana (€270)
  • Fees for COVID19 tests on arrival & departure from Benin, Togo and Ghana wherever PCR Test applicable.
  • Taxes on cameras at sites visited where applicable
  • Entry fees to any entertainment centre where applicable
  • Things of personal nature like phone calls, laundry etc
  • Gratuity or Tips for Your Tour Guide for driver, guide and other service providers
  • Between meal snacks/drinks, extra meals, alcoholic beverages
  • Any hotel incidentals
  • Any non-essential public transit taken, for you and your guide
  • Gratuity (tip) for excellent service
  • Travel Insurance – we recommend World Nomads https://www.worldnomads.com/

** pricing advised is an estimate value based on survey performed in Oct23.

 

Disclaimer:
Date for the celebrations of Voodoo Festival is correct at the time of publication of this tour.
Since organization is done by the office of the Ministry of Culture of Benin, Hodophile Experiences shall not be held responsible for cancellations or change of dates of the festival.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Jan 4 2024: Arrive Accra, Ghana

Meet your arriving flight at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
Safe transport to your hotel in an air-conditioned Coaster.
Refresh and relax.
Neighbourhood or Accra city orientation as time permits.
Overnight at a mid-range hotel in Tesano.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner 

Day 2 - Jan 5 2024: Accra City tour

Meet your guide at 8:30 AM and depart on guided tour of Accra.

Your heritage adventure begins with an introduction to the history of Ghana’s independence with a visit to Kwame Nkrumah Monument and Independence Square.

Continue with stops at Jamestown & Ussherfort the oldest districts in Accra, Makola Market in central Accra for a wide array of products sold, shopping and drumming lessons at Arts Center, Pan African Culture at W.E.B Du Bois Center.
We end on the fashionable Oxford Street, exploring the various shops along the street.
Return to your hotel to refresh and relax for the day.

Meals: Buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 3 - Jan 6 2024: Kakum National Park, Crocodile Ponds, Stingless Bee Tour

Breakfast at the hotel.

Early morning departure for West Africa’s highest rain forest canopy walkway.

The Kakum National Park which is covered with tropical forest for a canopy walkway experience. It has one of the best birding sites in Ghana so birdwatchers do come prepared to see some birds on your list. Continue hiking in Kakum National Park for lower-story and ground-dwelling species.

Visit the stingless bee site to have a tour of their facility.
Return to Hans cottage to visit the crocodile ponds to experience the weaver bird community.

Enjoy a coastal drive back to Accra, arriving before dark.
Total driving time 7 ½ Hours.

Overnight at a mid-range hotel in Tesano.

Meals: Buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Jan 7 2024: Togo Border Crossing, Lomé City Tour, Palais de Lomé

Morning drive through villages, crossing the Volta River and the border into Togo.

City tour of Lomé, including lndependence Square, the Grand Marché,
Palais de Lomé, formerly a presidential palace, now a contemporary art center.
Continue to your hotel to refresh and relax.
Overnight in a budget hotel next to the beach in Lomé.
Total driving time 4 ½ Hours.

Meals: Buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Jan 08 2024: Fetish Market, Benin Border Crossing, Ouidah Voodoo Village

Morning visit to Akodessawa fetish market where dead animals are used for cure and medicines and also learn about their spiritual effects for the locals and ask questions.
Continue into Benin.

Arrive in Ouidah, before dark to experience the birthplace of voodoo culture in Benin.
Overnight in a mid-range hotel in Ouidah, where we will stay for 3 nights.
Total driving time 3 Hours

Meals: Full breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Jan 09 2024: Fetish Market, Snakes Temple, Sacred Forest, Point of No Return

Today we will be visiting the Fetish market in Ouidah, full of charms, sacred items and traditional medicines.
Visit the Temple of Snakes, the Sacred Forest, and the Point of No Return.

Return to your hotel to relax for next day celebrations you have been waiting for.
Overnight in a mid-range hotel in Ouidah.

Meals: Full breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Jan 10 2024: Benin Ouidah Voodoo Festival

Morning relaxation at your hotel, preparing for your Voodoo festival experience.

The festival is held every year and is West Africa’s most vibrant and colorful event featuring voodoo dolls and devotees in animal skins chanting and dancing to drumbeats as well as horse racing on the beach and food and drinks.

Mid-morning, followers of the various voodoo cults will gather at the “Port of No Return”, a memorial dedicated to those who left the shores of Benin through slavery to celebrate the Voodoo Festival.
In 1996, the government of Benin declared voodoo, which is practiced by 60% of the population, the official religion and on every 10th of January, there is a big festival to celebrate the religion.

Experience the mysteries of Voodoo as the followers from various temples perform their own rites and rituals. At this ceremony, we will witness the dancers go into deep trances while possessed by ancestral spirits. At sundown we will attend a ceremony of Egungun dancers (Masked dancers who are said to represent the dead in the society) at the village square.

Return to your hotel to refresh and relax for some nightlife in Ouidah.

Meals: Full breakfast, Lunch, Dinne

Day 8 - Jan 11 2024: Accra Return

Morning departure towards the Benin border and then crossing into Togo.

Along the way, may quickly visit the beach in Lomé or the Volta River at Sogakope.

Return to Accra after a long day to refresh and relax.
Overnight at a mid-range hotel in Tesano.
Total driving time 6 ½ Hours.

Meals: Full breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Jan 12 2024: Free day

Guide and vehicle are available for any travel.
-no services provided-

Entrance fees and fuel for long excursions is at your expense.

Meals: None Provided (guests can pay out of pocket for what they wish to eat)

Overnight at a mid-range hotel in Tesano.

Day 10 - Jan 13 2024: Shopping, Visit to Orphanage, Evening Departure

Last minute shopping/exploring or walk in your favorite area.

Continue to visit an orphanage and donate some items you either travelled with or bought in Ghana to the kids needing them.

Say all your goodbyes to friends made in Ghana before departing to the airport to check-in 3 hours before your flight.

Meals: Buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Rates:
Group of 06-08

EUR2300 Per person sharing
Accommodation in Double/Twin rooms
Single supplement $420

Group of 02-04

EUR2550 Per person sharing
Accommodation in Double/Twin rooms
Single supplement $420

Dificulty Level:

Essentials: 

Will be sent with full itinerary when confirmed

Check List: 

Will be sent with full itinerary when confirmed

Passport:

Click here to check the visa requirements


Weather:

BENIN
Benin has a tropical or equatorial climate, and is hot and humid year-round, with temperatures and humidity particularly high along the coast. In Cotonou, the average maximum temperature is 31C and the average minimum temperature is 24C. Rainfall varies in Benin. There are two rainy seasons in the south, from April to mid-July, and from mid-September to late October; and a rainy season in the north from June to early October.
The Harmattan wind blows in from the Sahara Desert between December and March, during the dry season, bringing heat and dust; but the hottest time of year is between February and April. The best time to visit Benin is between November and February, when travellers may have to contend with the hot Harmattan winds, but miss the rain and the worst of the heat.

TOGO
The climate in Togo is diverse, ranging from tropical to savannah. The south of the country is humid and temperatures can range from 23°C to 32°C, while the north, described as semi-arid, experiences greater extremes, with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 38°C. The south experiences two rainy seasons, from March to early July and September to October, while April to August is the wettest time north of the Togo Mountains. Evenings can be cool in all regions, and dust storms are not uncommon. The best time to travel to Togo is in August, early September and from November to April, as these are the driest periods. 

GHANA
Ghana has a tropical climate, with a dry season in winter and a rainy season in summer. The rainy season runs from May to September in the north, from April to October in the centre and from April to November in the south. The driest areas are the north and the eastern coast, which includes the capital, Accra.
Temperatures are constantly high throughout the country and range from a low of 21C in the coolest month of August to a high of 38C or more in March. Humidity adds to the discomfort during the rainy season. Travel to Ghana is best during the dry season, when there is slightly less heat and humidity, driving conditions are better and there are fewer mosquitoes.

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Currency:

BENIN
The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency of Benin and it’s divided into 100 centimes. Benin is largely a cash economy and credit cards are not widely accepted; ATMs are rare outside major centres. Credit and debit card fraud is common.
Tipping is appreciated all over Benin. Restaurants don’t generally add service charges to bills and a 10 percent tip is appropriate for waitrons. Fares are usually rounded up for taxi drivers, and small tips for hotel staff are appreciated. 

TOGO
The unit of currency is the CFA Franc (XOF), which is pegged to the Euro and divided into 100 centimes. Only currency issued by the Bank of West African States (Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest) is considered valid. Lomé and other major cities have bureaux de change, and banks will also exchange currency. Credit cards are accepted by high-end hotels and restaurants in Lomé and other major cities, but cash is usually king.
A 10 percent tip is customary in the more upmarket eateries and hotels. Guides may expect a gratuity of around five to 10 percent.

GHANA                                                                             
The official currency is the cedi (GHS), which is divided into 100 pesewas. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bureau de change as well as at some commercial banks; banks and foreign exchange facilities are available at the airport and in all major towns. Visitors can easily exchange US dollars and euros. ATMs are common in larger towns and credit cards are accepted at many hotels, guesthouses and some shops. Banks and businesses may not accept credit cards other than Visa; credit card fraud is common. Visitors should take care when using their cards and contact their card issuer to make sure their cards will work.

A service charge is rarely added to restaurant bills and tipping for quality service is only expected in restaurants (usually about 10 percent). Tipping for other services is discretionary, though travellers should note that if someone offers to help them, whether it is with directions or to carry a bag, they usually expect some kind of payment.
Carrying ₵50 notes or larger is convenient for large purchases, but many places where you spend money will not be able to make change for these bills – or even a 20 cedi note! It is always a good idea to keep a lot of small cedi notes in your pockets. Easier said than done!


Vaccination:

 

Covid Benin

Following the new measures taken by the Beninese government, the PCR tests will no longer be done upon arrival in Cotonou. You are required to present a negative PCR test no more than 5 days old or a negative antigen test no more than 72 hours old. For more information consult https://surveillancesanitaire.bj/

Covid Togo

Please visit https://voyage.gouv.tg/?language=en to create an account on the “Togo Voyage” platform. Once this account is created, you can log in to fill in the immigration form, apply for a Visa (if you are eligible for a Visa), and fill in the form for the health check.

You must pay for the COVID-19 PCR test, which remains mandatory on departure and arrival in Togo for those who do not have complete and verifiable proof of vaccination.

Covid Ghana

· All arriving passengers 18 and older must show proof of a full vaccine dosage.

· You will not be required to undergo temperature checks or additional testing while on tour. However, some visited destinations may do a quick temperature scan before entry is permitted.

· Masks are no longer required at any venue.

· All visited tourist destinations, restaurants, shops and hotels will have hand sanitization stations at their entrance. These must be used.

· Hotels and restaurants are required to be operating with enhanced hygiene protocols as defined by the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture.

· Please Note:

o Establishments that fully enforce this level of hygiene will generally be higher-end (more expensive).

o Small establishments, budget guesthouses, rural lodgings and local restaurants may not strictly enforce all requirements.

Health in all 3 countries

Malaria and Avoiding Mosquitoes

The mosquito is the most dangerous animal in Africa by far! It is essential that casual visitors to Ghana take proper precautions against mosquitoes and the malaria that some may be carrying. Taking a prophylaxis is no guarantee that you will not get malaria if bitten, but do not over-react and think that every mosquito bite is deadly.

While you may have heard that malaria-carrying mosquitos come at dusk and dawn, there are many types of mosquitos traveling at all hours of day and night. These beasts can also transmit a number of other maladies, so it is best to avoid mosquitoes as best as possible.

For protection, stay in open, sunny, breezy areas and wear light coloured, loose fitting long pants and long-sleeve shirts, shoes and socks. Mosquitoes can bite through T-shirts and other lightweight, tight-fitting clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted by motion, heat, the trail of carbon-dioxide (CO2) in your exhaled breath, the smell of Lactic Acid, found on your skin when exercising, and other elements of your skin biotics. Scientists estimate that genetics account for 85% of your appeal to mosquitos.

Mosquitoes do tend to prefer men over women, adults more than children, and larger people. Larger bodies produce more heat, more carbon dioxide and have more body mass to bite. Sleeping with a strong fan makes it difficult for mosquitoes to find you and also helps prevent the ability of these insects to fly. They also can love the bacteria that grows at your ankles, so

keep your feet washed well.

Be sure you bring a DEET-based mosquito repellent, as these are difficult to find in Ghana. After extensive testing, the US military has determined that a 35% time-release (micro-encapsulated) formulation offers best coverage with the least side effects. Anything in the range 20%-35% will be effective in most situations.

Use of DEET with sun-block lowers the efficacy of the sun-block. So, more frequent applications of sunscreen will be needed for adequate solar protection. Apply the sunscreen first, let it dry, then spray the DEET over the top of the sunscreen. DEET works by inhibiting signals from the mosquitoes’ antennae and making it difficult for them to find you. It does not stun or kill mosquitos.

Treat your clothing before you arrive with a Permethrin spray. This is very effective as it does kill or stun insects that come in contact with the treated fabric. Permethrin will remain in fabric for 6 or more washings. Both DEET and Permethrin sprays may found at any camping goods dealer.

There are three choices for an anti-malarial prophylactic drug:

Mefloquine (Larium)
This is a once-a-week tablet that is the least expensive malaria prophylaxis. As with any medication that staying in your body for a week, the potential for side effects is higher.

Malarone (proguanil and atovaquone)
This is a daily tablet that is much more expensive than Larium. It is not associated with the side effects that some people experience on Larium.

Doxycycline
This common antibiotic may also be used when taken daily at 100mg.

While locals you talk to in Ghana may seem very casual about malaria, it is no joke to you and your virgin immune system. The first symptoms feel like the flu, with a general malaise. Quickly developing, it will give you a rapid fever and chills, make your head pound like a sledgehammer, make you vomit and give you diarrhoea. If you do not get immediate treatment, you could die. Even with treatment, it is not a fun way to spend a week of your holiday recovering.

Without a test kit, malaria is not easy to diagnose, as there are many illnesses that have these same symptoms, including typhoid, meningitis and various viral fevers – some of which are also transmitted by mosquito bites. So you should always seek treatment when experiencing a rapid rise in temperature.

When in remote areas, you may wish to carry a test kit and a course of treatment. The best course is a short term (about 3 days) malarial treatment such as artesunate, available over the counter here. It wouldn’t hurt for you to purchase these inexpensive treatments before you leave to bring back with you in the event you begin to display malarial symptoms, your treatment is at hand.

 

Vaccinations
Only a Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry into Ghana. You will be asked to show proof of immunization at the border.

Other vaccinations are at your discretion. There is at this time no commercially-available malaria vaccination.
Give yourself plenty of time, as not all vaccinations can be given at the same time and some are given in multiple doses. If you are going to be taking many vaccinations, it will require different appointments over a period of several weeks.

Recommended

Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus
A current DPT vaccination is a good idea. This is a common vaccination given to children, but you need a booster shot if it has been more than 10 years since your last DPT vaccination.
Note that Ghana has been declared polio-free.

Influenza
A current flu vaccination is also a good idea. There will undoubtedly be people on your plane carrying this virus and you never know when a major flu season will occur.

Hepatitis A
This vaccine is strongly recommended. It is given in multiple doses to protect against this illness which is spread orally in conditions of poor sanitation.

At Your Discretion

Typhus / Typhoid Fever
While typhus is not a big problem in Ghana, this disease, spread by dirty food or water, can be fatal. This vaccination is recommended when traveling in remote or unsanitary areas or if you plan to be around animals.

Meningitis (bacterial)
Characterized by blinding headaches and fever, meningitis can be fatal. The vaccination against bacterial meningitis is especially recommended if you will be staying in close quarters with many people or children. Ideally get the vaccination containing strains A, C, W and Y, but if only the A+C is available, that is better than none at all. There is no vaccination against viral meningitis.

Cholera
The oral vaccine Dukoral immunizes against this nasty scourge of dirty water. More importantly though, there are reports that this vaccine also provides some protection against e.Coli, the main culprit in traveler’s diarrhea.

Rabies
Another recommended vaccination when traveling to remote areas. Absolutely essential if you will be working with animals. Rabies is spread by any mammal via a bite, scratch or lick of an open wound by an infected animal and is 100% fatal without treatment. The multi-dose vaccination is the same as any other injected vaccination – quick and painless.

Hepatitis B
This illness is carried in bodily fluids. This multi-dose vaccination is strongly recommended for visitors who may be volunteering or visiting clinics and may come into contact with blood or semen. Note that there is no vaccine for the other virulent strains of Hepatitis (C,D,E), which are spread in the same way as Hepatitis B.

Tuberculosis (TB)
While of concern to those staying in close quarters with many people or children, there is debate over whether this vaccine is useful for adults. Discuss with your doctor.

Medications
Be sure to bring your own medications. These would of course include any prescription medicine, but also some basic medical supplies. These would include:

Aspirin and/or pain killers
Hand sanitizer, spray or gel
Band-aids and antiseptic spray (not ointment)
Antibiotic for gastrointestinal (GI) infection
Lip Balm
Nasal decongestant
Anti-fungal spray or cream

Consultations and lab tests can be performed at a very low cost by clinics and hospitals in any large town. There are pharmacies in even mid-size towns and the medications they sell are incredibly inexpensive. Antibiotics are handed out quickly and do not require a prescription or doctor’s consultation.

Remember that a bout of diarrhea or vomiting will render any medication ineffective.

Tropical Illnesses
There are many ways to become sick in the tropics. Following some sound precautions can ensure that you enjoy your holiday in good health.

Water and Food borne illnesses
Be careful of what you eat and drink, as well as the conditions under which your food and beverage are prepared and served. Many illnesses are acquired by touching your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, or by people with dirty hands touching the food you put in your mouth. Eating food prepared by dirty hands can, among many things, give you Typhoid fever or Hepatitis A.

Of these common illnesses that befall travellers, the most likely encounter will be with an unfamiliar e. Coli bacteria. People generally acclimate to local strains of e.Coli within 3 to 6 months. Simple diarrhoea, with no mucus or blood, usually requires no treatment and will quickly resolve. Stay hydrated, keep out of the heat, and relax.

Diarrhoea is your body’s way of getting rid of infection. Only take Lomotil or Imodium when absolutely necessary. These diarrhoea-stopping drugs delay elimination of the offending organism, which increases the mucosal contact time with any invasive amoebas or toxins produced by bacteria. Diarrhoea with a high fever, diarrhea with mucus and blood (dysentery), massive watery diarrhoea (cholera), or prolonged diarrhoea (more than 10 days), are indications to see a doctor.

While you must be careful of the water you drink, you must also be wary of most bodies of fresh water in Africa because of the common parasite Bilharzia, or schistosomiasis. This microscopic parasite can bore through intact skin and is most common in shallow water, along weedy or reedy shores, or in places where infected people use the water or wash their clothes. “Tired all the time” is a common complain among expats, and the usual culprit is usually bilharzia or an intestinal yeast. A test at a clinic is the only way to confirm infection.

Insect borne illnesses
Malaria mosquitoes travel at dawn and dusk, but day-biting mosquitoes can spread viral fevers, including dengue fever (rare in Ghana) and yellow fever. These fevers feel like malaria, but are usually not fatal and are over in a week or so. Lots of water, rest and paracetamol (like Tylenol) is the recommended treatment.

Besides mosquitoes, there are a number of other bad bugs in Ghana, such as biting flies and ticks. These too can carry disease, including tickbite fever, a flu-like illness, and sleeping sickness, a parasitic protozoa transmitted via bites from the large brown tsetse fly.

Fungus
Whether between the toes, under the arm, or between your legs, the tropical humidity can cause irritations. The best way to avoid these problems is to stay dry. A basic anti-fungal cream in your travel bag can help substantially, or you can pick some up at any pharmacy

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