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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: ghana: accra

Welcome to Accra and Freedom SquareWelcome to Accra and Freedom Square

On arrival at Kotoka International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to Accra. Full of modern and traditional contrasts, Accra is a great introduction to Ghana. It's a relatively low-key capital city, which originated as a scattering of villages. In the afternoon, a guided visit of the colorful central market, Makola, is sure to indulge the senses. From locally crafted jewelry to pets like the land snails, admire the wide range of items sold by (primarily female) traders.

Meals
Lodging
Labadi Beach Hotel or similar

Day 2: cape coast/elmina

Visit the casket makers of GhanaVisit the casket makers of Ghana

Depart for a half day city tour of Accra, including a visit to the National Museum of History and Ethnography, which showcases exhibits that reflect the heritage of Ghana throughout history. Later, visit the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Park, final resting place for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana. Continue to the unique casket making shops, where caskets are designed to reflect the earthly profession of the deceased so that they may continue practicing in the afterworld. For example, a bus driver will be buried in a bus or a teacher in a book. Later, drive past the Independence Arch and Black Star Square, Accra’s ceremonial grounds, to visit the Arts and Crafts market. View from a distance Christianborg Castle, former office and residence of the President of Ghana. Continue with a 3-4 hour ride to the Cape Coast. Visit the Cape Coast Castle which was originally built by the Swedes in 1652. It served as the headquarters and seat of the British colonial government until 1877. Take a comprehensive tour of the castle, the slave dungeons, and the West African Heritage Museum. Observe the slave quarters and Negotiation Hall where slaves were bargained and sold. Proceed to Elmina for the evening.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Coconut Grove Beach Resort (or similar)

Day 3: elmina/kakum/kumasi

Local people at Emira Castle for a ceremonyLocal people at Emira Castle for a ceremony

Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Elmina Castle, the first and oldest substantial European structure on African soil. It was built by the Portuguese in1482 and was used in the gold and ivory trade. Later, it was taken over by the Dutch who continued to use it for trade, but also as a slave market. We will view the dungeons and cells where slaves who attempted to escape were incarcerated. Then, for a stark change of scenery, depart for Kakum National Park, which lies approximately one hour north of Elmina. The park is home to many endangered mammals such as forest elephants, bongo antelopes, and various monkeys. Take a morning walk on the forested Kuntan Trail, amidst trees known for their many medicinal properties. Learn how locals use these medicinal plants to cure common ailments. For the young at heart, experience the “Canopy Walkway” suspended 100 feet from the forest ground for a panoramic view of the flora and fauna of the remaining vestiges of the rainforest. Make the 4 hour drive to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region, arriving in the late afternoon.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Golden Tulip Kumasi Hotel

Day 4: kumasi and ashanti craft village/tamale

Witness the crafts of the local villagesWitness the crafts of the local villages

Visit the National Cultural Center, where you can learn about brassworking, woodcarving, pottery making, batik cloth dyeing and kente cloth weaving. Then, continue on to visit a few Ashanti craft villages to witness the skill and imagination of local craftsmen utilizing simple tools and traditional technology to produce breathtaking artifacts. Approximately forty minutes from the center of Kumasi, proceed to Ahwiaa, the woodcarvers’ village specializing in woodcarving such as the Ashanti stools, fertility dolls and walking sticks. Then drive another forty minutes to Ntonso, Adinkra cloth processing village, where you will have an opportunity to try your own hand at designing patterns. Then, embark on a 6 hour journey to Tamale. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
African Dream Hotel

Day 5: tamale/yendi/tatale/kara

Pass though many villages Pass though many villages

Continue overland on the 3 hour journey toward Tatale, with a stop along the way in the Gnani village near Yendi. Gnani is a community made up of people who were exiled from their homes due to accusations of witchcraft and wizardry. Meet those who were exiled and hear their harrowing stories. An hour past the border into Togo you'll come upon Bassar, famous for its ancestral mastery of iron mining and processing. Here you will learn extensively about this history and its relevance today. Later, meet a village chief and his elders. Witness the captivating T’bol fire dance, performed by tribal members. Proceed with a one hour drive to Kara, where you'll spend the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel Kara (or similar)

Day 6: benin: kara/koutammakou/somba/natitingou

Visit homes in the village of KoutammakouVisit homes in the village of Koutammakou

From Kara, make the 3 hour drive to Koutammakou. Enroute, stop at Losso villages to admire their round houses, the “soukala.” Upon arrival at UNESCO World Heritage Site Koutammakou, interact with the local population and visit their famous mud-tower houses, still the preferred way of living today. Many of these impressive homes boast two floors and/or flat roofs. Later, cross into Benin via Boukoumbe. Drive through Somba tribal land in the Atakora mountains to Natitingou, approximately a 4 hour ride.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel Tata Somba

Day 7: natitingou/abomey

Abomey, former capital of the Kingdom of DahomeyAbomey, former capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey

Drive to the Yom village of Taneka Koko, well-known for preserving its ancient practices and traditions. Meet the spiritual head of this community and visit sacred places in the village before continuing to Doyissa. Here, you will witness the famous Dankoli voodoo shrine and learn about its significance for voodoo practitioners. Devoted followers bring sacrifices to the shrine in exchange for blessings from the gods. Later, continue to Abomey. Abomey used to be the capital of an African kingdom called Kingdom of Dahomey, which existed from around 1600 to 1900 upon the arrival of the French colonists. This kingdom was among the most influential in West Africa, famous for its lady warriors, the Amazons. Visit the historic museum, palaces of King Gezo, the 11th monarch, and King Glele, the 12th monarch, featuring the stool room, the weapon room, the administrative blocks of both kings, as well as the common sepulchre of King Glele’s wives, shrines and palace artisans. The driving distance on this day is 260 miles. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel le Tennessee

Day 8: abomey/ouidah

The Door of No Return, slave trade memorialThe Door of No Return, slave trade memorial

Drive approximately 2 hours through the valley of the Mono River to Ouidah, branded the voodoo capital city of Benin. Today is all about the Voodoo Festival. Enjoy elaborate costumes and the followers of this religion. Beside the main attraction, there will be side shows throughout the festival of the various voodoo gods. Depending on arrival into Ouidah, we may also visit Kpasse sacred forest. The visit to this shaded wood is an enlightening introduction to the Voodoo religion, including the opportunity to admire sculptures of voodoo gods scattered throughout the forest. Even the tree into which King Kpasse, the second monarch of Ouidah, got deified is still visible here. The tour continues with the visit of the museum of history, as well as a visit to a former Portuguese slave fort portraying implication of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Americas and back here in Benin. Experience the Slave Route from Chacha Square, the former slave market, and the Door of No Return, located on the beach that saw millions of Africans embark on a journey to the unknown. What we don't get to see today, we will plan an early start and a visit the following day. Check-in at Hotel Casa del Papa.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel Casa del Papa

Day 9: ouidah/ganvie/cotonou

Visit Ganvie, a village on stiltsVisit Ganvie, a village on stilts

Proceed to Abomey Calaivi, about an hour east of Ouidah. Here you will board a motorboat and cruise the Nokoue Lake for UNESCO World Heritage Site Ganvie, Africa’s stilt village. Due to its prime position directly over a lake, it's no surprise that Ganvie's main industries are fishing and fish farming. Navigate the narrow alleyways between the stilt huts passing Lovers’ Lane and the floating market. Stop at a local shop, offering an idyllic vantage point for admiring the beauty of the village. Return to Abomey-Calavi and continue with a half hour drive to Cotonou. Visit a local craft market, then later check-in at your hotel. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel de la Plage (or similar)

Day 10: togo: cotonou/lome

Independence Square, LoméIndependence Square, Lomé

Make the 3 hour drive to Togo’s capital, Lomé, a colorful mix of both modern and traditional. Enjoy a tour of the city, the Place de l'Indépendance and the National Museum. Observe sacred voodoo shrines side by side with the city’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Travel along Togo’s sparse coastline, home to several small fishing villages, some of which display fine examples of colonial architecture to admire. Later, in the Lomé central market, you can find pearls, baskets, pottery, and sacred pieces. After lunch in China Town, stop at the Akodesséwa fetishes market, where you can find magic remedies and local voodoo charms used by local sorcerers. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Radisson Blu Hotel 2 Fevrier (or similar)

Day 11: lomé/accra / onward

Visit Aburi botanical gardensVisit Aburi botanical gardens

Depart early for the Segbe border with Ghana. Upon clearing customs and immigration, continue to Aburi botanical gardens, less than an hour north of Accra. Occupying 64.8 hectares, this century-old garden offers a rich collection of tropical flora which attracts various species of birds and butterflies. Learn about the history of the gardens and its role in encouraging cocoa and rubber production.

Transfer to the airport for your departing flight, likely late this evening.                                                                                                                                                                                

Meals
Breakfast

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,964
- $6,250
$5965 based on group size of 9 plus $6250 based on group size of 8
Single Supplement:
$1,350
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Jan 3-13, 2020

Need to Know

*Prices may fluctuate up to 30 days prior to departure due to currency exchange rate fluctuations, fuel surcharges and other circumstances beyond our control.

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
comfortable hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking, travel over rough roads
Group Size:
8-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Condé Nast Selects Journeys International for Top Travel Specialist Awards

Journeys International is proud to announce that Condé Nast has chosen Directors Will and Joan Weber for 2 Top Travel Specialist Awards

The beautiful people of Ghana
The beautiful people of Ghana
The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return
A typical West Africa village at Koutammakou, Togo
A typical West Africa village at Koutammakou, Togo
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
The casket of a photographer
The casket of a photographer
Wildlife of Kakum National Park
Wildlife of Kakum National Park
The stilt village of Ganvie
The stilt village of Ganvie

Cultural Discovery of West Africa

Breathtaking overland journey of wonder and immersion in the rich customs and history of Ghana, Togo, & Benin

overview

We’re pleased to present this comprehensive tour of Ghana, Togo, and Benin. This tour is a return to the West African region for Journeys International, and offers a new approach to exploring these three must-see destinations. We will also plan to delve into the voodoo culture by attending the Voodoo Festival in Ouidah.  Back by popular demand, as well as the Journeys staff’s own affinity for the region, we look forward to sharing the incredible cultures of West Africa with you on this trip of a lifetime! Accompanying this departure is Journeys' own Traveler Services Director, Florine Herendeen. Florine brings much regional knowledge to the group, as well as over 30 years experience of adventure travel. 

Begin your journey in the embrace of warm and welcoming Ghanaian hospitality. The name Ghana means “Warrior King,” a name which truly embodies the spirit of the country. Ghana is a democratic nation viewed as an economic and political powerhouse of West Africa. Here you will explore the colorful, bustling markets of Accra. Learn about the dark history of the slave trade, as well as the overwhelming European influences. Venture into the virgin forests of Kakum National Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to walk the 100-foot high canopy walkway and observe rich flora and fauna. Witness the artistry of woodcarving in a local village known for crafting fertility dolls and walking sticks.

After exploring Ghana, cross the eastern border into the neighboring country of Togo. Boasting a primarily agricultural economy and a bountiful, rarely traversed landscape, you’ll surely fall in love with the rural charms and well-preserved traditions. Travel to Bassar, and learn about its extensive history of iron mining and processing. Admire the infamous mud-tower houses of UNESCO World Heritage Site Koutammakou. Explore the capital city of Lomé, boasting both modern and traditional sights.

Finally, make your way to Benin via the eastern border of Togo. Regarded as the birthplace of the Voodoo religion, Benin offers a glimpse into this deeply held belief system and we will plan to visit the Voodoo Festival in Ouidah. Upon crossing over into Benin, marvel at the Atakora Mountains. The vastness of the range, rugged terrain, dusty red dirt roads, and huge baobab trees make for a strikingly photogenic landscape. Embark on a spiritual journey at the Dankoli Shrine, where devoted Voodoo practitioners ask for blessings from the gods. Learn about the French colonization of former African Kingdom, Dahomey, known for its female soldiers dubbed the “Amazons.” Board a motorboat in Abomey Calaivi, and cruise the Nokoue Lake to visit Ganvie, Africa’s stilt village.

If deep cultural exploration and authentic connection with locals is what you seek for your next trip abroad, look no further than this West Africa gem.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

We’re pleased to present this comprehensive tour of Ghana, Togo, and Benin. This tour is a return to the West African region for Journeys International, and offers a new approach to exploring these three must-see destinations. We will also plan to delve into the voodoo culture by attending the Voodoo Festival in Ouidah.  Back by popular demand, as well as the Journeys staff’s own affinity for the region, we look forward to sharing the incredible cultures of West Africa with you on this trip of a lifetime! Accompanying this departure is Journeys' own Traveler Services Director, Florine Herendeen. Florine brings much regional knowledge to the group, as well as over 30 years experience of adventure travel. 

Begin your journey in the embrace of warm and welcoming Ghanaian hospitality. The name Ghana means “Warrior King,” a name which truly embodies the spirit of the country. Ghana is a democratic nation viewed as an economic and political powerhouse of West Africa. Here you will explore the colorful, bustling markets of Accra. Learn about the dark history of the slave trade, as well as the overwhelming European influences. Venture into the virgin forests of Kakum National Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to walk the 100-foot high canopy walkway and observe rich flora and fauna. Witness the artistry of woodcarving in a local village known for crafting fertility dolls and walking sticks.

After exploring Ghana, cross the eastern border into the neighboring country of Togo. Boasting a primarily agricultural economy and a bountiful, rarely traversed landscape, you’ll surely fall in love with the rural charms and well-preserved traditions. Travel to Bassar, and learn about its extensive history of iron mining and processing. Admire the infamous mud-tower houses of UNESCO World Heritage Site Koutammakou. Explore the capital city of Lomé, boasting both modern and traditional sights.

Finally, make your way to Benin via the eastern border of Togo. Regarded as the birthplace of the Voodoo religion, Benin offers a glimpse into this deeply held belief system and we will plan to visit the Voodoo Festival in Ouidah. Upon crossing over into Benin, marvel at the Atakora Mountains. The vastness of the range, rugged terrain, dusty red dirt roads, and huge baobab trees make for a strikingly photogenic landscape. Embark on a spiritual journey at the Dankoli Shrine, where devoted Voodoo practitioners ask for blessings from the gods. Learn about the French colonization of former African Kingdom, Dahomey, known for its female soldiers dubbed the “Amazons.” Board a motorboat in Abomey Calaivi, and cruise the Nokoue Lake to visit Ganvie, Africa’s stilt village.

If deep cultural exploration and authentic connection with locals is what you seek for your next trip abroad, look no further than this West Africa gem.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: ghana: accra
    Welcome to Accra and Freedom SquareWelcome to Accra and Freedom Square

    On arrival at Kotoka International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to Accra. Full of modern and traditional contrasts, Accra is a great introduction to Ghana. It's a relatively low-key capital city, which originated as a scattering of villages. In the afternoon, a guided visit of the colorful central market, Makola, is sure to indulge the senses. From locally crafted jewelry to pets like the land snails, admire the wide range of items sold by (primarily female) traders.

    Meals
    Lodging
    Labadi Beach Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: cape coast/elmina
    Visit the casket makers of GhanaVisit the casket makers of Ghana

    Depart for a half day city tour of Accra, including a visit to the National Museum of History and Ethnography, which showcases exhibits that reflect the heritage of Ghana throughout history. Later, visit the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Park, final resting place for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana. Continue to the unique casket making shops, where caskets are designed to reflect the earthly profession of the deceased so that they may continue practicing in the afterworld. For example, a bus driver will be buried in a bus or a teacher in a book. Later, drive past the Independence Arch and Black Star Square, Accra’s ceremonial grounds, to visit the Arts and Crafts market. View from a distance Christianborg Castle, former office and residence of the President of Ghana. Continue with a 3-4 hour ride to the Cape Coast. Visit the Cape Coast Castle which was originally built by the Swedes in 1652. It served as the headquarters and seat of the British colonial government until 1877. Take a comprehensive tour of the castle, the slave dungeons, and the West African Heritage Museum. Observe the slave quarters and Negotiation Hall where slaves were bargained and sold. Proceed to Elmina for the evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Coconut Grove Beach Resort (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: elmina/kakum/kumasi
    Local people at Emira Castle for a ceremonyLocal people at Emira Castle for a ceremony

    Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Elmina Castle, the first and oldest substantial European structure on African soil. It was built by the Portuguese in1482 and was used in the gold and ivory trade. Later, it was taken over by the Dutch who continued to use it for trade, but also as a slave market. We will view the dungeons and cells where slaves who attempted to escape were incarcerated. Then, for a stark change of scenery, depart for Kakum National Park, which lies approximately one hour north of Elmina. The park is home to many endangered mammals such as forest elephants, bongo antelopes, and various monkeys. Take a morning walk on the forested Kuntan Trail, amidst trees known for their many medicinal properties. Learn how locals use these medicinal plants to cure common ailments. For the young at heart, experience the “Canopy Walkway” suspended 100 feet from the forest ground for a panoramic view of the flora and fauna of the remaining vestiges of the rainforest. Make the 4 hour drive to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region, arriving in the late afternoon.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Golden Tulip Kumasi Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: kumasi and ashanti craft village/tamale
    Witness the crafts of the local villagesWitness the crafts of the local villages

    Visit the National Cultural Center, where you can learn about brassworking, woodcarving, pottery making, batik cloth dyeing and kente cloth weaving. Then, continue on to visit a few Ashanti craft villages to witness the skill and imagination of local craftsmen utilizing simple tools and traditional technology to produce breathtaking artifacts. Approximately forty minutes from the center of Kumasi, proceed to Ahwiaa, the woodcarvers’ village specializing in woodcarving such as the Ashanti stools, fertility dolls and walking sticks. Then drive another forty minutes to Ntonso, Adinkra cloth processing village, where you will have an opportunity to try your own hand at designing patterns. Then, embark on a 6 hour journey to Tamale. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    African Dream Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: tamale/yendi/tatale/kara
    Pass though many villages Pass though many villages

    Continue overland on the 3 hour journey toward Tatale, with a stop along the way in the Gnani village near Yendi. Gnani is a community made up of people who were exiled from their homes due to accusations of witchcraft and wizardry. Meet those who were exiled and hear their harrowing stories. An hour past the border into Togo you'll come upon Bassar, famous for its ancestral mastery of iron mining and processing. Here you will learn extensively about this history and its relevance today. Later, meet a village chief and his elders. Witness the captivating T’bol fire dance, performed by tribal members. Proceed with a one hour drive to Kara, where you'll spend the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Kara (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: benin: kara/koutammakou/somba/natitingou
    Visit homes in the village of KoutammakouVisit homes in the village of Koutammakou

    From Kara, make the 3 hour drive to Koutammakou. Enroute, stop at Losso villages to admire their round houses, the “soukala.” Upon arrival at UNESCO World Heritage Site Koutammakou, interact with the local population and visit their famous mud-tower houses, still the preferred way of living today. Many of these impressive homes boast two floors and/or flat roofs. Later, cross into Benin via Boukoumbe. Drive through Somba tribal land in the Atakora mountains to Natitingou, approximately a 4 hour ride.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Tata Somba
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: natitingou/abomey
    Abomey, former capital of the Kingdom of DahomeyAbomey, former capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey

    Drive to the Yom village of Taneka Koko, well-known for preserving its ancient practices and traditions. Meet the spiritual head of this community and visit sacred places in the village before continuing to Doyissa. Here, you will witness the famous Dankoli voodoo shrine and learn about its significance for voodoo practitioners. Devoted followers bring sacrifices to the shrine in exchange for blessings from the gods. Later, continue to Abomey. Abomey used to be the capital of an African kingdom called Kingdom of Dahomey, which existed from around 1600 to 1900 upon the arrival of the French colonists. This kingdom was among the most influential in West Africa, famous for its lady warriors, the Amazons. Visit the historic museum, palaces of King Gezo, the 11th monarch, and King Glele, the 12th monarch, featuring the stool room, the weapon room, the administrative blocks of both kings, as well as the common sepulchre of King Glele’s wives, shrines and palace artisans. The driving distance on this day is 260 miles. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel le Tennessee
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: abomey/ouidah
    The Door of No Return, slave trade memorialThe Door of No Return, slave trade memorial

    Drive approximately 2 hours through the valley of the Mono River to Ouidah, branded the voodoo capital city of Benin. Today is all about the Voodoo Festival. Enjoy elaborate costumes and the followers of this religion. Beside the main attraction, there will be side shows throughout the festival of the various voodoo gods. Depending on arrival into Ouidah, we may also visit Kpasse sacred forest. The visit to this shaded wood is an enlightening introduction to the Voodoo religion, including the opportunity to admire sculptures of voodoo gods scattered throughout the forest. Even the tree into which King Kpasse, the second monarch of Ouidah, got deified is still visible here. The tour continues with the visit of the museum of history, as well as a visit to a former Portuguese slave fort portraying implication of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Americas and back here in Benin. Experience the Slave Route from Chacha Square, the former slave market, and the Door of No Return, located on the beach that saw millions of Africans embark on a journey to the unknown. What we don't get to see today, we will plan an early start and a visit the following day. Check-in at Hotel Casa del Papa.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Casa del Papa
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: ouidah/ganvie/cotonou
    Visit Ganvie, a village on stiltsVisit Ganvie, a village on stilts

    Proceed to Abomey Calaivi, about an hour east of Ouidah. Here you will board a motorboat and cruise the Nokoue Lake for UNESCO World Heritage Site Ganvie, Africa’s stilt village. Due to its prime position directly over a lake, it's no surprise that Ganvie's main industries are fishing and fish farming. Navigate the narrow alleyways between the stilt huts passing Lovers’ Lane and the floating market. Stop at a local shop, offering an idyllic vantage point for admiring the beauty of the village. Return to Abomey-Calavi and continue with a half hour drive to Cotonou. Visit a local craft market, then later check-in at your hotel. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel de la Plage (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: togo: cotonou/lome
    Independence Square, LoméIndependence Square, Lomé

    Make the 3 hour drive to Togo’s capital, Lomé, a colorful mix of both modern and traditional. Enjoy a tour of the city, the Place de l'Indépendance and the National Museum. Observe sacred voodoo shrines side by side with the city’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Travel along Togo’s sparse coastline, home to several small fishing villages, some of which display fine examples of colonial architecture to admire. Later, in the Lomé central market, you can find pearls, baskets, pottery, and sacred pieces. After lunch in China Town, stop at the Akodesséwa fetishes market, where you can find magic remedies and local voodoo charms used by local sorcerers. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Radisson Blu Hotel 2 Fevrier (or similar)
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  • Day 11: lomé/accra / onward
    Visit Aburi botanical gardensVisit Aburi botanical gardens

    Depart early for the Segbe border with Ghana. Upon clearing customs and immigration, continue to Aburi botanical gardens, less than an hour north of Accra. Occupying 64.8 hectares, this century-old garden offers a rich collection of tropical flora which attracts various species of birds and butterflies. Learn about the history of the gardens and its role in encouraging cocoa and rubber production.

    Transfer to the airport for your departing flight, likely late this evening.                                                                                                                                                                                

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,964
- $6,250
$5965 based on group size of 9 plus $6250 based on group size of 8
Single Supplement:
$1,350
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Jan 3-13, 2020

Need to Know

*Prices may fluctuate up to 30 days prior to departure due to currency exchange rate fluctuations, fuel surcharges and other circumstances beyond our control.

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
comfortable hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking, travel over rough roads
Group Size:
8-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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