Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a narrow country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, Burkina Faso to the north, and stretched to south of Gulf of Guinea. Its capital and largest city, Lomé, is geographically located south to the Gulf of Guinea. It has a land area that covers approximately 57,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) with a population of approximately 6.7 million, whose majority has indigenous beliefs, and the minority being Christians and Muslims. The coastal region became a major trading centre for Europeans in search of slaves, thereby earning the title “The Slave Coast” between the 16th and 18th century. The country became officially independent from France in 1960. The official language in Togo is French, with many other languages spoken as well, especially those of the Gbe family.
What to see & do
This tropical, sub-Saharan nation is highly dependent on agriculture, relying on its climate that is perfect for good growing seasons. Although a small country, it is abundant with beautiful sceneries, refreshing views, sandy beaches, and plenty of amazing places to be explored – not to mention, its people are very friendly, too. Its capital, Lomé, is home to fascinating markets like Marché des Féticheurs, which has everything from the usual bazaar finds to traditional and/or unusual fetishes like porcupine skin and serpent head. Wander around the labyrinth of a market that is Grand Marché, a bustling, colourful market. Kpalimé, on the other hand, is not your usual destination. The area is hidden among the forested hills of the cocoa and coffee region and offers some the best scenery and hiking in Togo.
How to get around within Togo
At present, the only form of transport available to navigate around Togo is by taxi-moto (motorcycle taxi). Like at most parts of the world, they have yellow licence plates and their registration number painted on the car. Don’t forget to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in. It’s also helpful to ask a security guard to wave down a cab for you if you’re hailing one down on the side street.
How to get there
If you’re getting in by plane to Togo, you’ll disembark at Lomé–Tokoin Airport, also known as Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport – the only international airport in the country. The airport is served by Air Burkina (Cotonou, Ouagadougou), Air Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan, Cotonou), Air France (Paris), ASKY Airlines (which has its hub at Lomé–Tokoin Airport and flies to Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bangui, Bamako, Bissau, Brazzaville, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Freetown, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Monrovia, N'Djamena, Niamey, Ouagadougou, Pointe-Noire, Yaoundé), Brussels Airlines (Brussels), Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines (Malabo), Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa, Dakar, Rio de Janeiro (ends 25 May 2014), São Paulo), Royal Air Maroc (Accra, Casablanca), and Toumaï Air Tchad (Bangui, Brazzaville, Libreville, N'Djamena). Other ways of getting in are by car via bush taxis, which are available everywhere. A paved highway also connects Togo northwards to Burkina Faso and from there, northwest to Mali and northeast to Niger. Togo is also accessible via overland buses from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Benin.
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