Watch street musicians and acrobats in Accra. Visit Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Explore the dense forest around Mount Klouto. Discover the incredible two-storey mud huts of the Tammari people
This remarkable trip through Ghana, Togo and Benin boasts all of the best bits of these three diverse and fascinating West African countries. From the butterfly sanctuary of Mount Klouto to the ancient voodoo culture of Ouidah and the unbelievable two-storey mud huts of the Tammari people, there’s no shortage of authentic West African sights on this jaunt. Journeying from Ghana by truck and bush camping along the way presents bucketloads of opportunities to really appreciate the stunning landscapes and diverse scenery of this part of the continent. Wildlife lovers will be thrilled at the chance to witness elephants, hippos, buffalos and some of the last populations of West African lions in Pendjari National Park, while chill-seekers will get their kicks lazing on the lovely beaches of Grand Popo. This comprehensive 21-day adventure showcases these three wonderful countries and offers an unrivalled way to experience a healthy slice of West African life.
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
4th 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Head out on a guided walk through the beautiful scenery in the hills of the Tata Somba region to visit some local waterfalls.
Optional: XOF 2500
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.
Pendjari National Park
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.
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.
Visit the stunning landscapes of Pendjari National Park, famous for being one of the best wildlife reserves in West Africa
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.
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. We will then have a free day to explore the local area.
In Abomey we will stay in a campsite, with the possibility to upgrade to rooms for 2 nights.
Estimated Drive Time:6-7 hours.
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.
A guided tour of the capital of the ancient Dahomey empire, including the Dahomey Palace and Museum: XOF 3800
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.
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.