Our Special Tours

image10

Retracing the Footsteps of Slaves (Ghana, Togo and Benin)

3-Day Retracing the Footsteps of Slaves (Ghana, Togo and Benin)

Between the 15th to the 19th century, around 12 million African men, women and children were enslaved, transported to the Americas and forced to work in plantations, construction and domestic homes. Over 30% of these people passed through the ports of Ghana, Togo and Benin.

 

Fast forward to today, these same coastal areas provide visitors with opportunities to learn about the slave trade and the impact it has had on this region of West Africa, by visiting former slave-trading outposts and forts, historic sites, monuments, and museums 


Our educational Tour can begin in either Ghana, Benin or Togo, and highlights include:


· Scenic drive along the Gold Coast of Ghana and the coastal part of Togo and Benin that became known as “the Slave Coast”

· Tour of Cape Coast Castle (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the largest slave-trading outpost in West Africa, and its museum. 

· Tour of Elmina Castle (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a former slave fort, and its museum that used to be a slave auctioning room. 

· Visit to La Maison des Exclaves (the Wood Home), which was built for the purpose of illegally operating a slave trade that had already been abolished long before its construction. 

· Tour of Ouida, a former slave port where slaves captured in Togo and Benin were kept prior to shipment, including - the History Museum, which tells the story of the slave trade; the Route of the Slaves, a 4 km road where slaves would take their final walk down to the slave ships; the site of the Tree of Forgetfulness and the Point of No Return. 

·  Tour of the cities of Lome, Cotonou, and Porto Novo where Portuguese traders once bought slaves from the kings of Dahomey, transporting most of them to Brazil. 


Optional Tour Extension [1 Day]
Visit the Royal Palaces and Museum (UNESCO World Heritage Centre), in Abomey. The Kingdom of Dahomey flourished and became a powerful empire during the Atlantic Slave Trade when the kings engaged themselves in the capture and sale of slaves in return for weapons, firearms and alcohol. 

Price $392

All Tours require a minimum of 2 people and include: pick up and drop off at your local hotel, English/French-speaking guides, private car and entry fees. Please note that all tours exclude food and lodging, although we would be able to assist and recommend places that you can book online.  All visa entry requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. Rates below are in US Dollars on a per-person basis. To make a reservation, click the PayPal link below or send us an email at tour@exploretogo.com

l

3-Day Unraveling the Mystery of Voodoo (Benin and Togo)

3-Day Unraveling the Mystery of Voodoo (Benin and Togo)

Beyond West Africa, Voodoo connotes a dark religion, a black magic, a witchcraft with imageries of devotees sticking needles into dolls to cause misfortune to their enemies. Thanks to a slew of Hollywood works of fiction, these imageries have stuck with us. Equally culpable to the tainted image of Voodoo, the European colonizers portrayed its practice as satanic and evil in their efforts to restrain and distort the faiths and hopes of their enslaved Africans.


With over 10,000 years of history, Voodoo is perhaps the oldest religion in the world that has been around in Africa since the beginning of human civilization. The Atlantic slave trade from the 15th to the 19th century had set off the rapid spread of Voodoo in the Americas and Caribbean where it evolved into different forms through the years. Today, Voodoo traditions and rituals remain primitive and highly visible at its origin in Benin and Togo, where it is still practiced by nearly half of the population. In this part of the world, Voodoo is not just a religious or a spiritual practice, but a way of life entrenched in the people’s culture, philosophy, language, food, art, music, dance and wellbeing. 


This Tour will provide an opportunity to immerse in the real Voodoo, to educate our guests on the intricacies of this ancient religion and to provide deep insights into its origins. Our guests will engage themselves in Beninese and Togolese life where Voodoo has a profound influence on the daily activities of the local people. This Tour can be started in either Benin or Togo. The highlights of the tour include:


· Introductory tour of the Capital cities - Lome and Cotonou 

· Tour of Ouidah, the home of Voodoo, including a visit to the Temple of Python

· Visit the world’s largest fetish market (an ancient pharmacy) that sells objects such as stones, statues, desiccated animals or animal parts for Voodoo rituals and spiritual healing.

· Visit remote and lake-side Voodoo villages in the heart of Voodoo country 

· Visit numerous Voodoo temples and shrines and meet Voodoo priests and devotees along the way

· Enjoy a pirogue boat ride to Togoville, a historic village and center of Voodoo in Togo

· Observe or participate in the different Voodoo rituals and ceremonies in Benin and Togo. Please note that regular village ceremonies that inevitably involve animal sacrifices are optional.

· An overnight stay in a remote Voodoo village with basic facilities (optional)

Price $365

All Tours require a minimum of 2 people and include: pick up and drop off at your local hotel, English/French-speaking guides, private car and entry fees. Please note that all tours exclude food and lodging, although we would be able to assist and recommend places that you can book online.  All visa entry requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. Rates below are in US Dollars on a per-person basis. To make a reservation, click the PayPal link below or send us an email at tour@exploretogo.com

image11

14-Day Northern Historic Circuit of Ethiopia

14-DAY NORTHERN HISTORIC CIRCUIT: ANCIENT CHURCHES, HISTORIC SITES, LANDSCAPES AND WILDLIFE

Northern Ethiopia is the historic and spiritual heartland of the country with its people devoted to ancient Christian orthodox traditions. The region has numerous ancient churches and sacred sites, mountainous landscapes and abundant wildlife. The tour follows a loop that starts and ends in the capital Addis Baba and can be done in either direction. The major stops on this circuit are Debre Markos, Bahir Dar, Lake Tana, Gondar, Simien National Park, Axum, Hawzen and the Tigray Valley, Mekele and Lalibela. The highlights of the tour include:

· City tour of Addis Ababa including Haile Selassie’s former palace and final resting place, and the National Museum, home to Lucy, the oldest hominid.

· Boat ride and guided tour of the monasteries on Lake Tana. The lake is inhabited by small pods of hippopotamus and hundreds of endemic species of birds. 

· Excursion to Blue Nile Falls where the Blue Nile, the main head stream of the Nile River, is born.

· Guided tour of the royal castles in Gondar.

· Trekking and wildlife spotting with local guides at the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

· Guided tour of the extraordinary 12th century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

· Visit to the church of St Mary of Zion in Axum, the probable location of the biblical Holy Arc of the Covenant

· Historical site visit of Axum, Ethiopia’s oldest city and the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 

· Guided tour of the ancient tombs and stelae fields of Axum

· Trekking and guided tour of the rock-hewn churches in the Tigray Valley

Price $1650

All Tours require a minimum of 2 people and include: pick up and drop off at the airport, driver, private car and entry fees. Please note that all tours exclude food and lodging, although we would be able to assist and recommend places that you can book online.  All visa entry requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. Rates below are in US Dollars on a per-person basis. To make a reservation, click the PayPal link below or send us an email at tour@exploretogo.com

$0.00
Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card