Day 1 - Accra
Border information: if you are joining in Accra, then you will most likely enter Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport (IATA code: ACC).
There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting.
The afternoon will be free to explore the city of Accra.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Accra before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Accra.
In Accra we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Hotel for the night: Niagara Plus Hotel
Niagara Plus Hotel
14th Lane (Behind Koala Osu)
Tel - +233 21 772404
Please note that in Accra there are 3 Niagara hotels: Niagara Hotel, Niagara Inn and Niagara Plus Hotel. The Niagara Plus is located in an area of Accra known as Osu, and this is where our groups stay.
Visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, dedicated to the founding father of independent Ghana : GHC 5
Learn all about the history and culture of Ghana in the National Museum : GHC 40
Visit the famous Labadi Beach situated on the outskirts of Accra : GHC 5
Freely explore the huge Independence Square and Black Star Arch in Accra, where independence was celebrated in 1957 : Free
Freely explore the area of Jamestown, Accra's oldest district and a vibrant fishing area : Free
Visit the outside of the famous Osu Castle, the seat of power in Ghana since the 1600s : Free
Ghana's sprawling capital of Accra is a bustling coastal city boasting a lively atmosphere and some busy urban beaches full of musicians, acrobats and souvenir sellers.
The Perpetual Flame at the Cenotaph in Revolution Square is worth a look, and the National Museum houses one of the best collections in all of West Africa. Next to the museum you will also find a good craft market, perfect for a bit of souvenir shopping.
In the evening you can sample Accra's lively nightlife, heading out to one of the many bars and restaurants that can be found all over this surprising city.
Day 2 - Akosombo/Lake Volta
This morning, we will apply for Togo visas at the Togolese Embassy in Accra. Once they are issued, we will leave Accra and head north to the village of Akosombo.
In Akosombo we will stay in a campsite next to the River Volta.
Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
The small town of Akosombo lies on the serene banks of Lake Volta, one of the world's largest artificially-created lakes. It was formed in the 1960s after the construction of the nearby Aksombo Dam, which supplies around 70% of the country's electricity demands.
Day 3 - Akosombo, Lake Volta
Today we will have an included visit to the nearby Akosombo Dam, a major project built in the 1960s to provide almost all of Ghana's energy needs. The rest of the day will be free to relax at our campsite in Akosombo.
Visit Akosombo Dam, the colossal 1960s project that provides almost all of Ghana's energy needs and created Lake Volta, one of the world's largest man-made lakes : Included in Kitty
About Lake Volta:
Lake Volta in Ghana spreads over a massive 3275 square miles and runs for over 320 miles from the most northern point, to the most southern point. The White Volta River and The Black Volta River combine to form the Volta River which eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean. There are tropical temperatures most the year round, which has created the opportunity to find many local fisheries.
Day 4 - Mont Klouto
Border information: Exit Ghana at Klouto, enter Togo at Klouto.
Today we will have a full day's drive to the spectacular Mont Klouto, crossing the border into Togo.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
In Mont Klouto we will stay in a campsite, with the option to upgrade to dorm accommodation.
About Mont Klouto:
Hidden away in mountains of central Togo is the serene village of Mont Klouto - only a couple of hours north of Lomé, it is a welcome relief from the heat of the coast. The mountains here are covered in dense forest, punctuated by gently cascading streams and waterfalls. A nature reserve has been established in the area because Klouto is an important habitat for butterflies - over 500 different species can be found here, many of them incredibly beautiful. It's an ideal place for doing some short hikes, and you can take a guided walking butterfly safari through the forests with a local naturalist guide.
Day 5 - Mont Klouto
Today we will have a free day around the beautiful Mont Klouto region, with the opportunity to head out on optional forest walks or to visit Kpalimé town nearby.
In the evening, we will head to the village centre to see a spectacular show of drumming and dancing from the local villagers.
Head out for evening of energetic drumming and dancing from the local villagers in Mont Klouto, with dinner included : Included in Kitty
Go on various guided walks around Mont Klouto looking for butterflies and enjoying the beautiful forest scenery : XOF 5000
Day 6-7 - Central Togo
" Day 6 to 7 "
Over the next 3 days we will drive up the length of Togo, all the way through the remote northern border with Benin. We will wild camp for 2 nights en route.
Estimated Drive Times - 8-9 hours each day.
Day 8 - Tata Somba region
Border information: Exit Togo at Ketao, enter Benin at Ouaké.
Today we will cross the border into Benin, before continuing our journey to the Tata Somba region close to the town of Tanguiéta.
In Tanguiéta we will stay in a basic local eco-lodge.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
About Tata Somba region:
The Somba people (also known as the Tammari people) are an Oti-Volta speaking people in the far north of Benin and Togo. They are famous for their two-storey fortified houses, known as Tata Somba ("Somba house"). The ground floor is used for housing livestock at night, internal alcoves are used for cooking, and the upper floor contains a rooftop courtyard and is used for drying and storing grain as well as sleeping quarters. These evolved by adding an enclosing roof to the clusters of huts joined by a connecting wall that are typical of Gur-speaking areas of West Africa.
Day 9 - Tata Somba region
This morning we will go on an included walking tour of the nearby Tata Somba villages with some of the local villagers. This is a fascinating visit to an area rarely visited by tourists, where we will learn a lot about the local traditional way of life and explore the famous two-storey mud huts of the area.
In the afternoon, there is the option to walk through the stunning area to some nearby waterfalls.
Go on a guided tour of the Tata Somba villages of northern Benin, learning about the traditional culture and way of life and visiting their incredible 2-storey 'mud castle' homes : Included in Kitty
Head out on a guided walk through the beautiful scenery in the hills of the Tata Somba region to visit some local waterfalls : XOF 2500
Day 10-11 - Pendjari National Park
" Day 10 to 11 "
From the Tata Somba region we have a short journey north to the beautiful Pendjari National Park.
We will stay for two nights wild camping in the National Park, where we will have freedom to explore and head out on game drives in the truck in search of wildlife.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours to the park, then as much time as required on game drives.
Visit the stunning landscapes of Pendjari National Park, famous for being one of the best wildlife reserves in West Africa : Included in Kitty
About Pendjari National Park:
The Pendjari National Park is situated in north western Benin, adjoining the Arli National Park in Burkina Faso. The park is named after the Pendjari River and is known for its wildlife. It is home to some of the last populations of big game in West Africa, and if you're very lucky you may spot elephants, hippopotamuses, buffalo, baboons, various antelopes, and even West African lions! Even if you're not lucky enough to spot some of the larger wildlife here, the park is also famous for its richness in birdlife and it is one of the most scenic areas of West Africa.
Day 12 - Central Benin
Today we have a full day's drive heading south through Benin. We will wild camp somewhere en route between the towns of Natitingou and Abomey.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.
Day 13 - Abomey
Our journey today continues to Abomey, the ancient capital of the Dahomey kingdom. On arrival we will take an included tour of the Dahomey Palace and Museum.
In Abomey we will stay in a campsite, with the possibility to upgrade to rooms.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Take a guided tour of the Dahomey Palace and Museum, the old royal enclave of the capital of the ancient Dahomey empire, one of West Africa's most important old kingdoms : Included in Kitty
Abomey is the ancient capital of the Dahomey Kingdom, once one of the most powerful empires in Africa.
The Dahomey Empire developed on the Abomey plateau in around the year 1600 CE, becoming an important regional power in the 18th Century after conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast. The Dahomey economy was built around conquest, slavery and international trade, and the civilisation was one of the most important practitioners of the Vodun religion in Africa. They were defeated by French colonial forces in 1894.
You can still see some of the original Dahomey palaces and treasures here, and the Musée Historique d’Abomey is a great place to learn about the history of the region. The palace is full of gold, silver, thrones, and tapestries of bloody battles, a testament to the prodigious wealth of this once-great kingdom.
Day 14 - Ganvie
This morning we will drive to Abomey-Calavi (a port on the outskirts of Cotonou), where we say goodbye to the truck for the night and jump aboard motorised pirogues to Ganvie, a fascinating town built entirely on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué.
In Ganvie we will stay in a basic hotel in the stilt village itself!
Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.
Ganvie is a phenomenal feat of human ingenuity - home to more than 20,000 people, the village is built entirely on stilts in the middle of the large Lake Noukoue and can only be reached by pirogue (dug-out canoe). The ancestors of the Tofinu people used the lake as a refuge from slave traders from the Fon and Dahomey tribes in the 17th Century and the Tofinu have lived on the lake ever since - the stilt village has slowly grown over the past few hundred years. The largest lake village in the whole of Africa, the local people here depend on fishing and fish farming for their livelihoods.
Day 15 - Ganvie, Ouidah
Today we will start with an included tour of the stilt town of Ganvie, exploring deeper on our pirogues and soaking up the unique way of life in the floating village. Following this, we will head back to land to re-join the truck and drive along the coastal road to Ouidah, where we may hopefully see many of the local fishermen bringing their catch in.
In Ouidah we will camp at an auberge on the beach.
Estimated Drive Time - 1-3 hours.
Visit the incredible stilt village of Ganvie, where an entire community of fisherman live in a town entirely built on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué near Cotonou : Included in Kitty
Benin is a country that takes the Vodun religion very seriously - it is recognised as an official religion and is practiced by over 60% of the population. Vodun is spread over wide areas of West Africa and spawned the related beliefs of Candomble in Brazil and Voodoo in the Caribbean. The tiny town of Ouidah is one of the centres Vodun culture, and hosts many voodoo festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
The town also has a fascinating and colourful history, and was an important port town during the days of the Atlantic slave trade. The "Route des Escalves" is a 4km road between the Ouidah's History Museum and the beach, and is probably the same road along which thousands of slaves travelled on their way to board the slaving ships for the New World. The Portuguese, English and French all constructed forts here to protect their trading interests - the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá now houses a museum that gives you a unique glimpse into the terror and destruction that the slave trade wreaked on this part of the world - interestingly the 5-hectare fort was once the smallest recognised enclave in the world, as it was officially part of Portugal until its final annexation in 1961 which expelled the last two occupants.
The town is also home to the fascinating Temple of the Python - the serpent deity Dangbé has been revered in the Ouidah area for centuries, and this temple in his honour is home to dozens of the sacred pythons which freely roam the grounds.
Day 16 - Ouidah, Grand Popo
Today we will take a very interesting half-day tour of the sites in Ouidah, including the Voodoo Python Temple, the "Route des Esclaves" (Slave Route), La Maison du Brésil art gallery and the Ouidah Museum of History in the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá.
After this, a short drive from Ouidah brings us to Grand Popo, where we have 2 nights of well deserved relaxation on the beaches!
In Grand Popo we will camp at an auberge.
Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.
Visit the Ouidah History Museum at the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá, and learn all about the terrible history of the slave trade in West Africa : Included in Kitty
See the Vodun Temple of Pythons in Ouidah, dedicated to the voodoo snake Deity Dangbe and home to hundreds of revered pythons! : Included in Kitty
Visit the Point of No Return, the UNESCO-built memorial to the thousands of slaves that last departed Africa at that point - there is also the option to walk the 4km route from the fort to this point, known as the Slave Route : Included in Kitty
Visit La Maison du Brésil, an excellent exhibition of modern sculpture, paintings and photos, as well as a museum of voodoo culture and objects related to the African diaspora : Included in Kitty
About Grand Popo:
Grand Popo, located in the far south west corner of Benin, is a great place for a bit of rest and relaxation on the beach. The town was originally a colonial port, although coastal erosion has destroyed most of the old buildings. It is a pleasant coastal village with a strong Vodun culture and some mangroves to explore nearby.
Day 17 - Grand Popo
Today we will have a free day at Grand Popo for relaxing on the beach or taking a pirogue trip around the nearby ocean and mangroves.
There is also an option this evening to visit an incredible local vodun (voodoo) ceremony in the nearby village, complete with very energetic dancing and incredible magic tricks! It may also be possible to take a night walk in search of Atlantic turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches between November and March.
Relax on Benin's Grand Popo Atlantic beaches, meeting the local fishermen and soaking up the ambiance of the coast : Free
Observe a local voodoo celebration in the nearby village of Grand Popo, watch the hypnotic drumming and dancing of the 'Night watchman', and see some mind-blowing black magic! : USD 20
Explore the rivers, mangroves and villages of Grand Popo on a pirogue trip around the local area : XOF 5000
Head out at night to walk to the remote beaches where Atlantic Green Turtles are often seen laying their eggs between November and March (please note that sightings of turtles are not guaranteed, and the chances of seeing them are more like 50-50!) : XOF 5000
Day 18 - Agbodrafo
Border information: Exit Benin and re-enter Togo at Hilla-Condji.
Leaving the beach behind, our journey continues over the border from Benin and back into Togo. We will head to the small quiet town of Agbodrafo on the southern shores of Lake Togo.
This afternoon we will take an included pirogue trip to Togoville, the centre of Vodun culture, where you will have a guided city tour and church visit.
In Agbodrafo we will camp in the grounds of an Auberge on the lake shore.
Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.
Take a trip in a local non-motorised pirogue across Lac Togo to the famous village of Togoville, where you can explore the town and learn all about its history and culture : Included in Kitty
Relax on the beach of the stunning Lac Togo at Agbodrafo : Free
Only 30 minutes east of the Togolese capital of Lomé is the small town of Agbodrafo, a quiet and serene town on the shore of Lake Togo. The lake is surrounded by a number of small villages, and fishermen drift on the waters in their dug-out canoes. As well as enjoying the lake and the beach, a highlight of our stay is to ride across the lake in a pirogue to the old German town of Togoville with the local fishermen.
Day 19 - Keta
Border information: exit Togo at Lomé, enter Ghana at Aflao.
Today we will cross back into Ghana and head for Keta, where we will visit the very atmospheric and evocative ruins of the abandoned Fort Prinzenstein, built by the Danes 300 years ago as a transit point for transporting slaves to the Americas.
In Keta we will stay in a small local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Visit the ruins of the small Danish slave fort of Fort Prinzenstein, and take in its haunting and moving atmosphere : Included in Kitty
Keta is a coastal town lying in the Volta estuary region, a wetland in the south east of Ghana which comprises of several small islands and a complex of lagoons along the coast. The town has some pleasant beaches and contains the haunting ruins of the Danish Fort Prinzenstein.
Day 20 - Accra
The final drive of this trip takes us back to Accra, the chaotic capital of Ghana!
In Accra we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Day 21 - Accra
Border information: if you are leaving in Accra, you will most likely exit Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport (IATA code: ACC).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Accra. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money