Why this Small West African Country is Worth Visiting

Shot by Isabelle Gbogbo, @zazalexploratice

Togo is a West African country that shares borders with Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin. To my surprise, many Westerners have never heard of Togo as it is not currently a popular destination for tourism in Africa.

Upon visiting the country, I can conclude that Togo is a destination that should be on the bucket list of many planning on making their way to West Africa and these reasons will tell you why!

The Authentic Cultural Experience

Togo is not as popular a destination as countries like Ghana and Senegal, which means that the country presents more opportunities for visitors to get an authentic experience of Togo’s culture.

Unlike some of the more popular West African countries, establishments in Togo have not been modified to attract and accommodate tourists, so your visit to Togo will mimic that of the Togolese.

You will get to effortlessly immerse yourself in the culture through traditional dishes, market shopping, practicing your French skills, and embracing your visit through a local lens.

The People

The country immediately gave me soothing, calm vibes as soon as I touched down. Friendly faces met me with bright, wide smiles that made me feel welcome and at ease.

Togolese people give off peaceful, friendly, and calm vibes. Their way of living appears to be very slow because they take the time to soak up every minute of the day and not just rush through.

There is something refreshing about being in an environment where people can just be. It encourages you to also live in the moment and try to adopt some of those same principles in your own life.

Easy Transportation

Togo is home to “Olé Togo,” a motorcycle taxi service. It’s like Uber and Bolt, but with motorcycles! There isn’t an app for Olé, but the service is very popular in the city of Lomé.

You can spot drivers riding around the city. It’s as simple as flagging one down and telling them your destination (in French, of course!). From there, they will start their meters to track the distance of your ride, which will determine the fare!

This method of transportation can be highly efficient and cost-effective, as prices tend to be very reasonable for the average pocket. Effective transportation means that you will be able to travel through Togo and see more for less!

The History

Located in Togo are several historical establishments and sites that have been pivotal in African history.

The Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) tells a powerful story of the house being the last slave trading institution before the abolition of slavery. Taking a tour of the home will give you an insight into what enslaved periods were like for our ancestors.

Historical sites like the Maison des Esclaves remind us that we are not as far removed from history as it may seem. Therefore, it’s important to visit these locations to understand why modern-day Africa is the way it is.

If Togo was not already on your list, I hope I was able to convince you that it needs to be this year. Let me know in the comments below if West Africa is in your travel plans anytime soon!

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