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Togo Travel Guide

Togo or the Togolese Republic as its fully known is an area of nearly 57,000 square kilometres, where people from 37 different ethnic groups live. These locals speak Ewe or French and are of Christian, Muslim or native belief.

Originally named French Togoland, the nation changed its name to Togo in 1960, with General Gnassingbe Eyadema being established as the country’s military ruler in 1967. Combined elections were introduced in the 1990s, but suspiciously, this voting hasn’t altered the country in the slightest, and the control continues to be dominated by President Eyadema, the longest-ever serving leader in Africa. Since then international organizations for human rights from abuses, have caused a lot of hubbub in Togo, with the country forever being haunted by political turbulence. At the moment Togo is receiving no help, whatsoever, to vanquish itself of its instabilities.

When it comes to having some fun in Togo, visitors should only use beaches at the area known as Robinson’s Plage, as this is the only place that is free from hazardous undertows. Visitors can also enjoy some trekking and camping whilst in Togo, with some good areas being found south of Dapaong, in La Fosse aux Lions, where woodland savannahs abound. The capital city of Lomé is not a busy tourist spot but there are a few hotels to stay in whilst here and anyone needing to make a connection with friends and family will find two Internet cafes in the region. Visitors will find, whilst meandering round the city, the Palais des Congrès, a place that was once the head office of Eyadéma's faction and at the rear of the building is the country’s National Museum, which has many collections of pottery, woodcarvings and historical artefacts on display.

Travellers wanting to get into the hullabaloo of it all though, need to get down to the Grand Marché, 5 miles west of the town centre. The market is a three-storey building where bartering, buying and selling are the name of the game. Entering the place, visitors will find items including arts and textiles, modern man-made merchandise and traditional African fare, but try and avoid buying any traditional medicine products such as dried animal organs, as it only encourages more animals to be cruelly hunted in the name of silly, kooky love potions. To actually see an artist at work on items such as wooden sculptures, visitors need to go to the area’s Artisanal Centre.

Car hire is one way to get around Togo, with car hire available in the major towns but visitors will find that this form of transport can be expensive and only safe by day, due to the elevated crime rates. Minibuses are a good and cheap way to travel, and anyone only wanting to travel short distances at their own pace, would be better off hiring a bicycle. To get to Togo, visitors have many European and African airlines to choose from, which will take them direct to Tokoin Airport, only 6 miles from Lomé. Anyone travelling from America though, will need to make a transfer in Abidjan, Dakar or Accra, with all flights having buses and taxis available to take visitors into town.

This place can get very hot during certain times of the year, to the point where people will need to frequently escape from the sun, throughout the day. To avoid the heat, visitors should arrive in Togo during the cooler months, which are from November to February.

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