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Ghana, Togo & Benin Including the Annual Ouidah Voodoo Festival January 2020

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Ghana, Togo & Benin Including the Annual Ouidah Voodoo Festival January 2020

Visit Ghana, Togo and Benin

In 1996 the government of Benin decreed that Voodoo was an official religion practiced by more than 60% of Benin’s over 10 million residents.

For millions of Beninese, voodoo is an integral part of everyday life. It does have a dark side – and you cannot avoid the many voodoo dolls riddled with  pins and nails.  Ouidah is the spiritual capital of voodoo and was once a major slave-trading post

On January 10 every year ceremonies and festivities take place   on the beach near the monument dedicated to the Place of No Return. Thousands of voodoo believers and adherents gather in Ouidah, the historic centre of voodoo religion to receive blessings from Ouidah’s voodoo chief. This is one of Benin’s most colorful and spectacular events.

The celebrations begin when the supreme voodoo priest slaughters an animal, usually a goat to honor the spirits. This is followed by singing, chanting, dancing, beating of drums and drinking of various spirits usually gin. The area is temporarily Benin’s yearly Woodstock.

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Day 1: ACCRA, GHANA – January 5, 2020

On arrival at Kotoka International Airport, our expert cultural tour guide will meet, assist and transfer you to your hotel in our private air conditioned vehicle.  Once you have checked in, your guide will brief you on what to expect during your stay here in Ghana.

Other activities today will depend on your arrival time and preference.

Overnight at Best Western Beach Hotel

Day 2: ACCRA – January 6, 2020

Arch of Ghana

Highlights:

  • Black Star Square
  • The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
  • Jamestown Fishing Community

After a sumptuous breakfast at your hotel, set off for a panoramic sightseeing tour of the bustling city of Ghana’s capital- Accra passing through the economic and administrative districts.

Visits today will include:

  • Independence Square where you will see the enclosed flame of African liberation, which was lit by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1961.
  • The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, final resting place of Ghana’s first president. Set in attractive gardens, there is an adjoining museum, which contains photos, artifacts and an insight into Dr. Nkrumah’s life. Adjoining the park is the National cultural center, which is Ghana’s largest outdoor arts and crafts market selling traditional crafts from all over West Africa.
  •  James Town—one of Accra’s most historic neighborhoods, where history resides on every corner.  Best known for its lighthouses (the first of which was constructed in 1875 by the British) as a navigational aid for trading vessels sailing through the Gulf of Guinea. The original structure was ruined but a larger and more improved lighthouse completed in 1921 is still functioning today.
  • You may visit “Brazil House” and learn about the seven Afro-Brazilians families who returned to settle in Ghana in 1836.  Familiar Brazilian/Portuguese last names such as De Souza,    Palmares,   Azumah, Amorin, Da Costa, Santos, De Medeiros, and Olympio are abundant in this section of Accra.

Overnight at Best Western Beach Hotel

Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 

 

Day 3: Accra – Lome, Togo – January 7, 2020

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YOU MAY JOIN THE TOUR ON THIS DAY IN LOME

Highlights:

  • Independence Square
  • National Museum
  • Grand Marche
  • Famous Nana Benz Ladies

 Today we travel to Togo. After a 3 hour drive you will be assisted through Togo immigration then begin the city tour of Lome and vicinity. Visits include Independence square, the Artisans village, the national museum, the fetish market– the heart of traditional medicine, the fishing harbour, Art Street and the grand Marché, realm of the famous Nana Benz ladies.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at M’rode Hotel 

 

Day 4: Lome – Togoville – Lome – January 8, 2020

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Highlights:

  • Akodessewa Fetish Market
  • Agbodrafo Slave House
  • Togoville voodoo ceremony

Today visit the Akodesséwa fetish market and the slave house in Agbodrafo. Continue to Togoville, a red-earth village which was the homeland of numerous slaves taken to Haiti. Here you will find magic remedies and voodoo charms used by local sorcerers.  Late afternoon return to Lomé.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at M’rode Hotel 

 

Day 5: Lome – Ouidah, Benin – January 9, 2020

temple-des-pythons

Highlights:

  • Ouidah Voodoo Museum
  • Temple of the Pythons
  • Kpasse Sacred Forest

After breakfast, drive to Ouidah the spiritual capital of voodoo religion and was once a major slave-trading post. You will visit the Voodoo Museum, the Sacred Forest, the Cathedral and the Temple of the sacred Pythons where you will see the 41 writhing pythons (41 is  voodoo’s magic number).

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Casa Del Papa

 

 

Day 6: Ouidah – January 10, 2020

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Highlights:

  • The Annual Voodoo Ceremony
  • Zangbeto Mask Dance

Today’s you will experience the mysteries of Voodoo religion at Ouidah’s annual voodoo festival.  Although there are many festivals around the country, this is the largest and most revered.  You will see followers and adepts of the various voodoo gods, from the elaborately costumed Zangbetos, to the followers of Kokou. Around the edges of the main performance area groups from various voodoo temples perform their own rites and rituals.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Casa Del Papa

 

 

Day 7: Ouidah – Cotonou – January 11, 2020

Gate-of-No-Return

 YOU MAY END THE TOUR ON THIS DAY IN COTONOU

Highlights:

  •  Tree of Forgetfulness
  • Gate of No Return

Today we complete our tour of Ouida including visits to   the common grave, the tree of forgetfulness and the “Gate of no Return”.  Late afternoon we continue to Continue to Cotonou

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Sun City Hotel

 

 

Day 8: Cotonou – Ganvie – Abomey – January 12, 2020

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Highlights:

  • Ganvie Village on Stilts
  • Maison de la Francophone
  • Floating Market

After breakfast and check out, we depart for Ganvie, one of the fascinating villages on stilt also known as the Venice of Africa. We shall go by small boat to Nokoue Laketo Ganvie, the biggest stilt in Africa. Visit the “Maison de la Francophonie”, Lover’s Lane and the floating market. After Ganvie, continue to Abomey.  Transfer and check into hotel. Evening at leisure

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Alheri Hotel

 

 

Day 9: Abomey – January 13, 2020

 800px-Abomey_royal_palace_wall

Highlights:

  • Royal Palaces of Abomey
  • Historical Museum and the Royal Sepulchers

Tours today include the Royal Palace Museum where you may  have an audience with the King of Abomey.  Abomey retains many reminders of its magnificent past including the Palace, the Historical Museum and the Royal Sepulchers bearing witness to a brave and powerful people.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Alheri Hotel

 

 

Day 10: Abomey – Sokode – January 14, 2020

Highlights:

  • Dankoli Fetish Priest
  • Fire Dance

Complete the tour of Abomey then travel to Sokode. Stop to visit Dankoli fetish, believed to be the most important fetish in Benin. Cross back into Togo and drive to Sokode. This evening you will experience a traditional fire dance.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Kara

 

Day 11: Sokode – Kara – January 15, 2020

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Highlights:

  • Tamberma Village
  • Kara Blacksmiths

Drive to Kara, home of the Tamberma people, straddling the border between Togo and Benin. Visit a traditional village where  each mud- house is built as a fortress.  You will have time to visit  several of these magical and enchanting structures, and meet the Tamberma people, some of whom still wear headgear made from the horns of gazelles. In the evening witness a traditional fire dance.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Kara

 

Day 12: Dagomba Villages – January 16, 2020

 dagomba

Highlights:

  • Bassar Iron Works
  • Nania witch camp

Today you will cross the border into Ghana via Banjeli village known for Bassar iron works. The original inhabitants were known to live in the sacred forest of Kibre. Continue to Ghana. As soon as we cross the border, we will visit the Nani witch camp in one of the Dagomba villages.  You will learn about the traditions of these proud people who have maintained their culture through many centuries.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Gariba Lodge

 

 

Day 13: Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary – Techiman – January 17, 2020

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Highlights:

  • Kintampo Waterfalls
  • Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary

After breakfast depart to Techiman,  enroute visit the impressive Kintampo Waterfalls before continuing on to the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, an area of forest which is home to Mona and Colobus monkeys-considered sacred by the villagers.

Meal(s): Breakfast

Overnight at Premier Palace Hotel

Day 14: Techiman – Kumasi – January 18, 2020

OFORISTOOL

Highlights:

  • Manhyia Palace Museum
  • Okomfo Anokye Sword Site

We continue to South to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom.  Visit Manhiya Palace, official residence of Ashanti Kings (Asantehene) until 1974, now a museum containing treasured items relating to the Ashanti Kingdom. Visit the nearby Okomfo Anokye Sword, an important symbol of Ashanti unity that marks the spot where the Golden Stool “descended from the sky” and has been in place for 300 years. Legend says the Ashanti Kingdom would collapse should the sword ever be removed.

 Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Noda Hotel

Day 15: Kumasi – January 19, 2020

kente_cloth_warehouse--Barry-Williams

Highlights:

  • The 3 Craft villages of Ahwiaa, Ntonso and Adanwomase

After breakfast, visit the Ashanti craft villages:

–       The woodcarving village of Ahwiaa, known for the talented craftsmen who fashion royal stools, walking sticks and fertility dolls from wood.

Next visit the Village of Ntonso where artisan’s hand-stamp patterns on cotton cloth to make Adinkra textiles. You will learn how the black dye is made from the bark of trees.

Next visit   the village of Bonwire, where the famous Kente cloth is handmade on looms in a time-honored tradition passed down through generations. You will see the Kente weavers in process of creating Kente cloth in various styles, and have the opportunity to try your hand at weaving.

This evening you may visit Kumasi Central Market (also known as Kejetia Market), the largest open-air market in West Africa, where more than 10,000 vendors sell their wares. Here you will find just about everything, food, fabric, beauty products, handmade crafts

 Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Noda Hotel

 

 

Day 16: Kumasi – Cape Coast – January 20, 2020

Cape Coast Castle - Barry Williams

Highlights:

  • Assin Manso Slave River Site
  • Elmina Township tour

Today you travel to Ghana’s Central Region; enroute, you will stop at Assin Manso, the burial site of two former slaves from the U.S and Jamaica whose remains were re-interred here. Visit the “Slave River” where captured Africans were washed before being confined in the Slave Castles to await shipment to the Americas and Caribbean.

This evening go on a guided tour through the ancient town of Elmina. At the harbor you will see the colorful fishing canoes getting ready to go to sea for another night’s task of fishing. This is a picture perfect opportunity for the photographers in the group.

Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Elmina Beach Resort

 

 

Day 17: Kakum National Park – Cape Coast – Accra – January 21, 2020

 Kakum-walkway

(OPTIONAL DEPARTURE)

Highlights:

  • Kakum National Park
  • Cape Coast Castle

This morning we visit Kakum National Park, one of Ghana’s most famous parks. Take a brief walking tour on the forest floor; see birds, butterflies, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the forests over 40 species of mammals including monkeys and the reclusive forest elephant. Proceed to the canopy walkway. Kakum is home to Africa’s only aerial walkway through the treetops, a 1000 foot long and seven-bridge walkway with viewing platforms that reach heights of over 150 feet above ground. After lunch return to Cape Coast and visit Cape Coast Castle and the Castle Museum for a guided tour. Cape Coast Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was one of the departure points for Africans being sent into slavery in the Americas. The castle is home to the infamous “Door of No Return”. This evening return to Accra.

  Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Elmina Beach Resort

 

 

Day 18:Accra – Depart – January 22, 2020

 Today is at leisure.  You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meal(s): Breakfast


Was $3795.00 per person, sharing- now $3195.00!

 

 

2020 Tour Dates

  • January 5 – 22

2021 Tour Dates

  • January 5 – 22

 

TOUR INCLUDES

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival and departure
  • Round-trip airport/hotel transfers
  • Hotel accommodation in the indicated properties
  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Admission to listed sites and events
  • Meals indicated

 

TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE

  •  Cost of visas
  •  Meals not listed
  •  Flights
  •  Travel Insurance
  •  Gratuity to driver and guide