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West African Trilogy: Ghana, Togo & Benin

Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,159

FIRST-CLASS | PRIVATE: Spend two weeks immersed in the rich culture and history of West Africa. Explore three of West Africa’s most interesting countries, Ghana, Togo, and Benin, by visiting capitals, touring markets, and learning about the rich history of the region at castles, temples, and palaces.


This 14-day West African vacation takes you through Ghana, Togo, and Benin to explore their historical landmarks and cultural traditions. It includes first-class accommodations and private tours.

Your journey begins in Accra, the Ghanaian capital which sits on the Gulf of Guinea. Get to know this busy city that blends colonial fortifications and mansions with bustling markets and beaches. A city tour will take you from the 17th-century colonial castle of Christiansborg to Independence Square, where the Black Star monument celebrates the nation’s independence. At the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, you’ll learn about the nation’s first president, before ending your day at the Arts Centre, where you’ll get to practice your bargaining skills as you shop for local arts and crafts.

Head down the coast from Accra and reach Kakum National Park, home to one of the last rainforests in West Africa. Stroll along the canopy walkway to see butterflies, hornbills, and monkeys in the trees. After descending to the earth, continue to Cape Coast to learn about the infamous slave history of the region. You’ll visit Cape Coast Castle, a 17th-century Swedish fortification, before continuing to Elmina to see the white-washed Portuguese castle of Elmina, the first European structure built in sub-Saharan Africa. Afterwards, you’ll continue your exploration of the colonial past with a walk up Jago Hill to reach Fort Saint Jargo, which helped the Dutch assault Portuguese fortifications in the region.

Take a break from the dark colonial history with a trip to the Global Mamas Cultural Workshop, where you’ll learn to make some Ghanaian dishes and join a batik class, dying colourful designs on one-of-a-kind-fabric. Continue your journey along the coast and reach the Slave River near Assin Manso, where slaves were transported to ships along the gulf. Reach Kumasi, the former centre of the Ashanti Kingdom, which ruled the region in previous centuries. Explore the city and visit the Manhyia Palace Museum to learn more about this important kingdom and its legacy across the country. You’ll also learn about the Ashanti’s cultural legacy with visits to three craft villages where you can shop for local fabrics and textiles in addition to learning about unique artistic practices. Turn back towards Accra and stop at a Besease Shrine in the town of Eljisu, where you can visit 10 shrines dedicated to different spirits and gain valuable insight into the ancestral religious traditions of the area.

From Accra, turn east and cross the border into Togo, where you’ll bid farewell to your old guide and meet a new one. Your new guide will take you to Lome, the elegant capital of Togo, where you’ll visit landmarks such as the National Museum, Grand Market, and Fetish Market, before having the rest of the day to relax and enjoy some of the city’s great restaurants. The next day, head to Lake Togo and Togoville, the historical centre of voodoo in the nation. Enjoy a cruise on the lake to see the 17th-century Catholic Cathedral on an island in the middle as well as some of the country’s main voodoo shrines.

From Togo, continue east and cross the border into Benin. Head to Ouidah, the birthplace of voodoo, where you’ll tour the sacred temples and forests to see shrines dedicated to various local deities. You’ll also stop by to pay respects at the Port of No Return, which was built to commemorate the slaves who were taken from the Dahomey Empire and shipped across the Atlantic. Reach the capital, Cotonou, where you’ll spend the night. The next day, enjoy a day trip to Ganvie, a village of bamboo huts on stilts constructed on the waters of Lake Nokoue. Explore this village known as the “Venice of West Africa” and ride a canoe through the floating market, where locals do business from their dugout canoes. Afterwards, return to the capital to see some of the national landmarks.

On your final full day in West Africa, you’ll head to the former capital of the Dahomey Kingdom, Abomey, where you’ll see the palaces and temples of this kingdom that fought off the colonial powers in past centuries. Explore the country’s most famous tourist attractions and observe religious rituals and ceremonies as you head between temples and stroll through the local arts centre. Return to Cotonou where you’ll have one final night before departing the next day.


 

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Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,159

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Accra

Akwaaba (Welcome)! Upon arrival at Accra International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to relax and explore on your own.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

African Regent Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    African Regent Hotel



    The African Regent has gained recognition as the hotel of choice for both international travelers and savvy locals. Understanding the strong link between business and tourism, the African Regent provides an atmosphere to experience Africa and its rich culture right here at the hotel, making …

    The African Regent has gained recognition as the hotel of choice for both international travelers and savvy locals.
    Understanding the strong link between business and tourism, the African Regent provides an atmosphere to experience Africa and its rich culture right here at the hotel, making it a tourism destination in itself.
    The luxurious rooms and suites are not only world class standard, they are also tastefully designed with fabric, colors and etchings of 'Adinkra' symbols that symbolize everything good there is about Africa.
    The hotel's restaurant - 'Mukyia', hosts the best African themed Sunday brunch in the capital, prepared by our team of recognized chefs.
    Located less than 5 minutes from the main airport, Accra polo club, the Accra Mall and the Tetteh Quarshie Art Market, the hotel provides every traveler into the city, be it for business or leisure, the opportunity to explore and experience Accra in the most convenient way possible.

    Facilities

    • Car Rental Service
    • Gym
    • Lounge Bar
    • Pool
    • Restaurant
    • WI-FI

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Day 2

Accra

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up for your sightseeing tour of Accra. This 139-year-old city has a blend of colonial and modern architecture that summarizes the history of this capital city. See the Christiansborg Castle in Osu (also known as Fort Christiansborg), a 17th-century castle located on the shores of the Atlantic. Visit the W. E. B. Dubois Centre for Pan African Culture, before heading to Independence/ Black Star Square with its many monuments dedicated to Ghana's independence struggles including the Independence Arch and Black Star Gate. Next, head to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, dedicated to prominent Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah. End your tour at the Arts Centre where you will have an opportunity to use your bargaining skills to shop from an open-air market for artifacts from Ghana and West Africa before returning to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Accra to Kakum National Park to Cape Coast

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to Kakum National Park, one of West Africa's surviving tropical rain forests. Extending over 360sq km, Kakum is the home to over 40 large mammals and 400 bird species as well as many species of butterflies, flora, and fauna. The most popular attraction is the Canopy walkway, which is made up of seven bridges extending 330m, hanging 30m (100 feet) above the forest floor. Enjoy a 2 km nature walk through this forest to discover the wide variety of exotic floral species and the medicinal values they offer.
Afterward, embark on a tour of the infamous Forts, Castles, and Slave Dungeons of Ghana. History will unfold the story of the slave trade, of which the impact is still felt beyond the shores of Africa today. Visit the Cape Coast Castle, which was built by the Swedes in 1653 and was later taken over by the British. This castle also houses the West African Historical Museum established by the Smithsonian Institute in collaboration with the Ghanaian Government in 1994.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Ridge Royal Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    Ridge Royal Hotel


    Situated in the perfect location to explore the Cape Coast and surrounds, the Ridge Royal Hotel offers all the modern conveniences with spacious air-conditioned rooms with balcony - the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. Serving International and Ghanaian cuisine, …

    Situated in the perfect location to explore the Cape Coast and surrounds, the Ridge Royal Hotel offers all the modern conveniences with spacious air-conditioned rooms with balcony - the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. Serving International and Ghanaian cuisine, the hotel restaurant is sure to tantalize your tastebuds with its a la carte and buffet themes for lunch and dinner.

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Day 4

Elmina Castle and Elmina Walking tour

After early morning breakfast, depart the hotel for your visit to the Elmina Castle built by the Portuguese in 1482. Also known as St. George's Castle, Elmina Castle was the first European structure built in Sub - Saharan Africa. The colorful harbor nestled below, full of pirogues preparing to go to the sea offers one of West Africa's greatest photo opportunities.
After a break for lunch (on your own account), this afternoon you embark on a guided walking tour of Elmina, which was the first point of European contact in Sub-Saharan Africa and was once the most cosmopolitan city in Tropical Africa. Climb the Jago Hill to Fort Saint Jargo, which was used by the Dutch as a post to snatch the Elmina Castle from the Portuguese. Discover the various Colonial Dutch Cemeteries, as well as the colorful Asafo (Fante Traditional Soldiers) Posts with their philosophical symbols.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Global Mamas (Culinary Experience and Batik Making)

After breakfast, depart your hotel and visit the Global Mamas Cultural Workshop. Explore the fragrant and exotic flavors of West African cuisine in Auntie Esi's kitchen. Esi will introduce you to an array of new tastes and flavors as you learn how to create authentic Ghanaian dishes. Using African cooking techniques, during this workshop you will create traditional dishes like fufu, groundnut soup, fried plantain, palava sauce, and red. After learning the recipes, enjoy eating the feast you've helped to prepare. Afterward, discover the art and beauty of African batik and get a glimpse into the life of a local artisan as you work side-by-side during this four-hour class. Join a Global Mamas' batiker in her workshop to learn the traditional techniques of batik production using wax and dye to create colorful patterns - to make your own one-of-a-kind fabric. Afterward, take your two yards of handiwork home to sew into a finished product that will always have a special place in your home or wardrobe.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Days
Day 6

Elmina to Slave River - Kumasi

After breakfast, this morning, check out of your hotel and depart on your drive through the forest zone as you head towards Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire to explore the legends of the famous Ashanti people, whose legacies are still evident today. En route, stop in the town of Assin Manso, where you will visit the site of "Donkor Nsuo", the former Slave River and market, as well as the final transit point for a large number of enslaved Africans. This is the final resting place for two ancestors whose mortal remains were returned from the USA and Jamaica and re-interred there.
Afterward, continue to Kumasi where you will visit the Manhyia Palace Museum to obtain firsthand information on the legacies of the Ashanti kingdom, with a regal history that dates back to 1700 and is told with relics and artifacts. Enjoy a drive through the city with monuments dedicated to the memory of the great Ashanti people. Your city tour on this day will also include a visit to the famous Kejetia market, the National Cultural Centre which features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, and various studios of brass makers, potters, and batik makers.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Golden Tulip Hotel Kumasi City

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    Golden Tulip Hotel Kumasi City



    This hotel is located in Kumasi, offering the perfect setting in which to enjoy a successful business trip, or a relaxing holiday. The hotel is located just a short walking distance away from the city's main entertainment areas, as well as a host of captivating …

    This hotel is located in Kumasi, offering the perfect setting in which to enjoy a successful business trip, or a relaxing holiday. The hotel is located just a short walking distance away from the city's main entertainment areas, as well as a host of captivating attractions. The hotel is situated just a short distance from links to the public transport network, enjoying easy access to other areas to be explored. This wonderful hotel is within driving distance of a golf course and the airport. This wonderful hotel features beautifully designed apartments and rooms, catering for the needs of every type of traveller. The accommodation options offer comfort and modern conveniences. The hotel offers a number of excellent facilities and services, ensuring a comfortable stay.

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Day 7

Ashanti Craft Villages

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel for your day's sightseeing. Enjoy visits to three craft villages where you will have the opportunity to see how African crafts are made and to buy directly from the artisans who make them if you are so inclined. First up is Ahwiaa, a village noted for their woodcarvings along with other handicrafts. Next is a visit to Ntonso, the home of Adinkra cloth. Here you can see the Adinkra cloth made from scratch. The Adinkra was originally only worn Ashanti Region for funerals and made primarily in black or brown, however, nowadays it is made in various colors and used throughout Ghana. Our last stop of the day is Bonwire, the Kente weaving village. Here you will be able to see how these colorful fabrics are made. Afterward, return to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Kumasi to Besease Shrine to Accra

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and depart for Accra. En route, stop at the Besease shrine, a fetish shrine (a traditional religious shrine commonly found in Ghana, Togo, and Benin) and a world heritage site located near the town of Ejisu. Each of these 10 shrines is a home for a particular spirit, called obosom that mediates between mortals and the supreme god Nyame. Observe the unique architecture and experience the mode of ancestral worship to the ancient gods before continuing back to Accra. Upon arrival, visit the local dressmaker for a fitting session followed by check-in at your hotel and the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

African Regent Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    African Regent Hotel



    The African Regent has gained recognition as the hotel of choice for both international travelers and savvy locals. Understanding the strong link between business and tourism, the African Regent provides an atmosphere to experience Africa and its rich culture right here at the hotel, making …

    The African Regent has gained recognition as the hotel of choice for both international travelers and savvy locals.
    Understanding the strong link between business and tourism, the African Regent provides an atmosphere to experience Africa and its rich culture right here at the hotel, making it a tourism destination in itself.
    The luxurious rooms and suites are not only world class standard, they are also tastefully designed with fabric, colors and etchings of 'Adinkra' symbols that symbolize everything good there is about Africa.
    The hotel's restaurant - 'Mukyia', hosts the best African themed Sunday brunch in the capital, prepared by our team of recognized chefs.
    Located less than 5 minutes from the main airport, Accra polo club, the Accra Mall and the Tetteh Quarshie Art Market, the hotel provides every traveler into the city, be it for business or leisure, the opportunity to explore and experience Accra in the most convenient way possible.

    Facilities

    • Car Rental Service
    • Gym
    • Lounge Bar
    • Pool
    • Restaurant
    • WI-FI

    More Details

Day 9

Accra - Lome, Togo

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and begin your drive to Togo. At the border, it is time to bid farewell to your Ghanaian guide and meet your new guide for the rest of the trip through Togo and Benin. Once the border crossing formalities are complete, continue your journey to Lome. Upon arrival, enjoy a tour of the city. Drive by the Musée National (National Museum), as well as the Place de I' Independence (Place of Independence, where the Independence Monument is situated). Visit Grand Marche (Grand Market) and Marche des Feticheurs (Fetish Market) before heading to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel 2 Fevrier Lome

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    Hotel 2 Fevrier Lome



    Ideally located in the heart of Lome, Hotel 2 Fevrier is at walking distance from the main banks, ministries and embassies, only 20 minutes away from the airport and at short distance from the Lome's corporate area.

    Ideally located in the heart of Lome, Hotel 2 Fevrier is at walking distance from the main banks, ministries and embassies, only 20 minutes away from the airport and at short distance from the Lome's corporate area.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Elevators
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lobby
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Shuttle Service
    • Wake-up service
    • WiFi

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Day 10

Togoville

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up by your driver and guide for your day's sightseeing to Togoville, a beach resort on Lake Togo. Enjoy a cruise on the lake to the 17th Century Catholic Cathedral, which hosted Pope Paul during his visit to Togo, as well as the 5 main voodoo shrines on the island.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Lome - Ouidah - Cotonou

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before checking out this morning and departing for Benin. After border crossing formalities, continue your journey with your driver and guide for a visit to Ouidah, the cradle of African Traditional Religion, en route to Cotonou. Tour the temple dedicated to the sacred Python, which is believed to give vitality and protection. You will also pay a visit to the sacred forest which houses many shrines dedicated to various deities.
Afterward, visit the Port of No Return; a monument built by the Benin Government to commemorate the Africans that were taken from the Dahomey Empire during the Slave Trade before continuing your journey northwards to Cotonou.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Maison Rouge Cotonou

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    Maison Rouge Cotonou



    Whether you are on a business trip to Cotonou or on vacation, the Boutique Hotel Maison Rouge is the perfect place for an exceptional stay.

    Whether you are on a business trip to Cotonou or on vacation, the Boutique Hotel Maison Rouge is the perfect place for an exceptional stay.

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Day 12

Cotonou - Ganvie

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at your hotel this morning, embark on a sensational visit to Ganvie (the village on water), commonly referred to as the Venice of West Africa. Witness first hand, the people of Ganvie carrying out their daily routine as vendors in dugout canoes piled high with wares, transacting with one another and with tourists. You will enjoy shopping on the floating market and taking a relaxing canoe ride on the waterways of this exotic 300-year-old village. After a stop for lunch (on your own account), drive through the multicolored center of the administrative and commercial capital of Benin to view its many statues and monuments.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 13

Cotonou - Abomey

Today, depart with your driver and guide for The Royal Palaces of Abomey. A UNESCO cultural world heritage site, The Royal Palaces are ranked as one of the most famous tourist attraction sites in Abomey and the greater Benin. The palaces are vital representations of Benin's cultural heritage and attract thousands of tourists from across the world yearly and are still being used for traditional ceremonies in modern-day Benin. During these ceremonies, rhythmic music, Benin's rich culture, rituals, religions, and customs are carried out in the complex. These ceremonies have significantly helped with the conservation of the complex, due to the palaces' continued functionality. Nearby sites include the Fetish Temple (traditional place of worship in Benin) and a local arts center that sells traditional handicrafts.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 14

Departure

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, check out and transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private arrival and departure airport transfers
  • 3 nights first-class accommodations in Accra
  • 3 nights first-class accommodations in Elmina
  • 2 nights first-class accommodations in Kumasi
  • 2 nights first-class accommodations in Lome
  • 3 nights first-class accommodations in Cotonou
  • Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle throughout itinerary with a professional driver
  • Private English speaking guide day 1 through 14
  • Global Mama’s Cooking Experience
  • Included Entrance fees:
    • Dubois Centre
    • Nkrumah Park
    • Kakum National Park
    • Cape Coast Castle
    • Elmina Castle
    • Elmina Walking Tour,
    • Assin Manso Slave River Site
    • Manhyia Museum
    • Prempeh Jubilee Museum
    • Ashanti Craft Villages (Ahwiaa, Ntonso, Bonwire)
    • Besease Shrine
    • Lome Museum
    • Fetish Market
    • Togoville
    • Sacred Python Temple
    • Sacred Forest
    • Port of No Return
    • Ganvie and Royal Palaces of Abomey
  • Breakfast Daily (excluding day 1)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Meals and beverages not explicitly listed as included
  • Gratuities
  • Optional excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees if applicable

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB LANDTOUACC0822SG: WAT M2
1 Dec 2022
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