Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a West African country that is bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, and Burkina Faso to the north. The country extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, where its capital and largest city Lome is located. One of the smallest countries in Africa, Togo has an area of approximately 57,000 square kilometres with a population of approximately 6.7 million, and is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation.
Where to go
The capital and largest city of Togo, Lome is situated on the Gulf of Guinea, and is the country’s administrative and industrial centre as well as its chief port. Popular tourist destinations within the city include Lome Grand Market, the Togo National Museum, a fetish (voodoo) market, Lome Cathedral, and beaches. The landscape of the city itself is breath-taking, combining red earth with grand boulevards and massive squares, green spaces, and colourful houses. Colonial architecture like arcades and galleries are also still apparent in Lome.
Located in the centre of Togo is the second largest city, Sokode, 339 kilometres north of Lome, between Mo and Mono rivers. This commercial centre is interesting to visit as it is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city. A known activity here is the main Kotokoli festival, ‘Gadao-Adossa-Kosso’, which consists of three days of festivities from Friday to Sunday. ‘Gadao’ is celebrated to thank the ancestors for abundant harvest; ‘Adossa’, or Festival of Knives, is an initiation rite derived from Semassi warriors who showcase their strength and courage by going through physical challenges; and ‘Kosso’, or Festival of Women, is where women dance in the Municipal Park in Sokode City.
From Lome-Tokoin Airport, travellers can fly to key cities in neighbouring countries including Cotonou in Benin, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, Abuja in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Bamako in Mali, Bangui in Central African Republic, Bissau in Guinea Bissau, and Yaounde in Cameroon. Cotonou, the largest city of Benin, is a transport hub and serves as a crossroads of West African commerce. Points of attraction here include the Cotonou Cathedral, the Ancien Pont Bridge, and the Dantokpa Market.
Although serving mostly short haul destinations, Lome-Tokoin Airport also has a few long haul destinations including Paris in France, Brussels in Belgium, and Sao Paulo in Brazil. The global city of Sao Paulo in south-eastern Brazil has a strong international influence culturally, economically, and politically. The city is known for its melting pot of cuisine, varying from Chinese to French, from fast food chains to five-star restaurants. It also hosts the world’s largest gay pride parade, and more or less 90,000 annual events
How to get out
The only international airport in Togo is the Lome-Tokoin Airport, also known as Gnassingbe Eyadema International Airport, located in Lome, the country’s capital. Airlines that operate here include Air Burkina, Air Cote d’Ivoire, Air France, ASKY Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and Royal Air Maroc. Lome-Tokoin Airport serves flights to other nearby African cities, as well as a few European and South American destinations.