The Koutammakou in northern Togo is a cultural landscape that is inhabited by the Batammariba people, also known as Tammari people, or Somba people (of Benin), or Taberma people (of combined Togo and Benin). The Tabermas are known for their two-story clay huts or ‘Tatas’ which are built out of earth as a fortress for defense against invaders. Dancing with the Taberma women in their gazelle horn headdress is an experience not to be missed.
Known as the homeland of Voodoo (or Vodun, French Vaudou), many Togolese still practice this ancient religion or spiritual folkway. Voodoo traditions and rituals remain primitive and are highly visible across the country. Engage yourself in Togolese life in a remote village where Voodoo has a profound influence on the daily activities of the natives.
Fetishism is the worship of an inanimate object (fetishes) for its supposed magical powers or spiritual significance. The Akodessewa Fetish Market sells all sorts of fetishes, talismans, charms, remedies and parts of dead animals such as monkey heads, horsehairs and desiccated cobras. Voodoo priests, traditional healers and charlatans from all over the world procure their ingredients here for their rituals. This place provides a good opportunity to learn about Voodoo rituals.
Sail across the lake on a pirogue (traditional dugout canoe) to Togoville and sail back at sunset. It is on the waters of this lake that the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in the early 1970s. Slave traders once used Togoville as their point of departure for the Americas. It was also in this town where Gustav Nachtigal signed a treaty with its chief, Mlapa III, in 1884 from which Togo became a German protectorate. Visit this area to get some historical perspective of the nation.
The cool, lush green forest at the foot of Mt Kloto with fresh water streams and plenty of water pools provide an ideal habitat for butterflies. As a result, there are now over 1,000 species of butterflies of different size, color and form that flutter around night and day - quite amazing! The best time to see the butterflies is during the rainy season June-August although there are plenty all-year round.
The House of Slaves, or Wood Home, was home to the British slave merchant John Wood. The house was built for the purpose of illegally operating a slave trade that had already been abolished long before its construction. The slaves were kept in the cellar beneath the floorboards unable to stand during their confinement and were shipped on boats waiting on the coast a short walk from the House. Visit this property to gain an understanding of illegal slave trade operation during those years.
Climb up a sacred baobab tree from the inside walls of its enormous trunk the way the Taberma people do. Then when you reach the top of the trunk, you'd come out from a gap, then come down the outside wall of the trunk akin to rock wall climbing (the trunk nodules take the place of rocks). This is truly a unique experience.
The Grand Marche is archetypal West African market, lively and colorful, that is located near the Lomé Cathedral in the city center. The market often has live music. Navigate this market and get of glimpse of daily life in Togo.
Mt. Agou is quite small at 986 meters but it is Togo's highest summit. Climb Mt Agou, or Mt Kloto nearby for an easier hike, for panoramic views of Togo’s Kloto region and Ghana’s Volta region. There are several traditional villages on the slopes of these mountains. Hike through these villages and observe the everyday life of these communities.
From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading center for slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". Today, Togo's Slave Coast are lined with palm trees and placid beaches with soft, golden sand. Pick your favorite spot, relax and enjoy the hot tropical climate.
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