- This is not a trip for the first time traveler. The roads in Africa as usual were rather lumpy. The accommodation was in many cases rather basic. However the staff that we had with us were excellent. This is the first time that have traveled with a cook, but it all worked very well , the food that Jo produced was excellent. We rarely ate in local restaurants , but this may have been a sensible precaution .
Our Guide Janvier proved to be very friendly , very knowledgeable, and very efficient at sorting out problems.
The trip round Togo was interesting but not startling. It was nice to see another culture which is so different from ours. The poverty and mal nutrition was a bit concerning however. The fire dance at Sokode was well worth the visit. It needs to be made plain in the trip notes that Iron production that we saw was a museum piece. Traditional iron production no longer takes place. We saw fetishes throughout the trip. these proved to be earth mounds covered with chicken blood and feathers in all cases . Crossing the border to Benin brought a total change in the trip. In Dassa we saw an authentic Dance of the Dead to which the whole village where we were, turned out. The next day we saw an Egun Mask performance . Both of these events were truly amazing . Moving on we went to the Stilted Village at Ganvie. This was a definite low point of the trip. The Hotel Chez M was not up to standard. The rooms were very hot , in my case with no fan. The rooms were not clean, especially the bedding which reeked. The hotel itself was not very safe with dangerous stairs and many trip hazards. The staff were rarely available, and when they were there, they were keen to take your money, but not keen on providing change. I would suggest that everything that one needs to see could be achieved by a day trip with lunch at the hotel. I do not recommend that the over night stay remains on the itinerary. Next day was Mask Dancing at Zangbeto followed by Vodoo dancing in the afternoon. Both fabulous events not to be missed.
Advice to future travellers. Do not change too much money. The opportunities to spend are limited. However look to change at least 5000 west african francs into 100 frank coins, if you cannot do this hoard them in the early part of your trip. You will need these coins for the voodoo dances and Mask displays , as throwing money to the participants is required .
Take lots of sun cream and insect repellent. Also a mosquito net ( some but not all hotels provide them)
Over all a great trip, but one for the experienced traveler
Published on: 19 April 2017