(Accra, Elmina, Kumasi)
This premium tour features some of the best properties available through Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Head out each day with your own private guide and vehicle to explore cultural and historic sites that will reverberate through your soul. Starting in Accra, Ghana we will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel. The next day enjoy a day at leisure to explore the city, art centres, beaches, sign up for a drumming or dance lesson or simply relax. Then begin your journey through West Africa as you drive to the coast. Here you'll visit Kakum National park and the UNESCO Elmina and Cape Coast castles that used to house the slaves being shipped to the new world. Heading up to Kumasi you'll retrace the routes that the slaves used to be taken down before heading to Cape Coast and learn about the historic and famous West African arts. As you move towards Togo and Benin, learn about the history of Voodoo as you walk through its birthplace, Ouidah. The Doorway of No Return in Benin is a haunting reminder of the turbulent past. Finally you'll float through the city of Ganvie, all built on stilts. Customize your trip through the journey with your guide and sign up for optional activities and excursions along the way. An incredible and unforgettable trip that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Customize your trip by switching activities, adding days or upgrading/downgrading hotels. With so many sights and opportunities, modify this trip to suit you. Speak to your travel consultant for more details.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer to the airport.
Set amidst tropical landscaped gardens, overlooking one of Ghana’s most beautiful beaches is the famous Labadi Beach Hotel. The hotel is located in Accra, Ghana’s administrative, communications, and economic centre in close proximity to Kotoka International Airport and within the vicinity of business, financial and entertainment districts. Labadi is locally renowned for its food and the unique spirit of Ghanaian hospitality, and is located within easy access of both the city and airport.
Includes private guide and vehicle.
Relax as your guide navigates you through the administrative and economic districts of Accra, the capital of Ghana. This 131 year-old city has a blend of colonial and modern architecture that summarize Ghana's history. You will visit the W. E. B. Dubois Center for Pan African Culture and the Independence / Black Star Square and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. The mausoleum and monument provide visitors with information about the prominent Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah, who spearheaded Ghana's independence in 1957; leading Ghana to become the first independent country in sub-Saharan Africa. Then visit the Arts Centre where you will have the opportunity to use your bargaining skills to shop from an open-air market. This is Accra's largest open air market which has different sections for fabrics, clothing, wooden carvings, jewellery and more - from Ghana and West Africa.
Drive from Accra to Kakum National Park, one of West Africa’s surviving tropical rainforests. Extending over 360sq km, Kakum is the home to over 40 large mammals and 400 bird species as well as many species of butterflies, flora and fauna. Enjoy this drive as you pass through villages, towns, and along the coast to the rainforest. The drive from Accra to Elmina takes approximately 3hrs plus stop time.
Today enjoy time at leisure to explore on your own, sign up for tours, or simply relax at your hotel or along the beach. Visit and volunteer at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf, head out for the evening to listen to the Traditional Bamboo Orchestra, visit Kakum National Park where you can enjoy a guided tour through the rainforest or walk high above the forest on canopy rope bridges. Explore the town on foot walking past local shops, markets, visit the fisherman's dock and markets, or sit back and relax at a local restaurant or pub on the beach.
Coconut Grove Beach Resort and Conference Centre is located in Mmoframa Akyinim, on the coast of Elmina the historic Capital of the Gold Coast. All rooms are air-conditioned, with hot and cold water, mini bar, satellite multi channel TV reception, and Wi – Fi connection. The Ocean View Restaurant has an enviable reputation for the best sea food served fresh in the region.
Includes private guide and vehicle for the day.
Embark on a tour of the infamous Forts, Castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana. Learn and watch as history unfolds the story of the slave trade in West Africa. Begin with visiting Cape Coast Castle. The largest of its kind, this castle was built by the Swedes in 1653 and was later taken over by the British. Walk the path of slaves as your guide takes you through each section. This castle also houses the West African Historical Museum established by the Smithsonian Institute in collaboration with the Ghanaian Government in 1994. It is filled with artifacts, stories, photos and more.
After lunch, visit the Elmina Castle. Built by the Portuguese in 1482, it is also known as St. George's Castle. This castle was the first European structure built in Sub–Saharan Africa and is the oldest castle in Ghana on the West African slave trade route. The colorful harbor nestled below the Elmina Castle, full of pirogues preparing to go to sea offers one of West Africa’s greatest photo opportunities.
Drive from Elmina to Kumasi. Drive through the forest zone to Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire to explore the legends of the famous Ashantis, whose legacies are still evident today. En route visit Assin Manso, the site of the “last bath” where slaves were taken for bathing before being shipped to the new world. It is also the burial place of two former slaves whose remains were returned to Ghana from the US and Jamaica. Then continue on to Kumasi. This transfer takes approx 3-4hrs, but can take more time depending on how long you spend at Assin Manso and stops made along the way.
Golden Tulip Kumasi City is the only four star hotel of international standards in Kumasi, only 20 minutes away from the airport and located close to the city center of the second biggest city of Ghana. This remarkable hotel, the Golden Tulip Kumasi is set in extensive tropical gardens in the central business district. This magnificent hotel has 160 rooms with various room types, a well- equipped Business Centre, a Forex Bureau for your finanacial transactions, a swimming pool specially designed for adults and another one for children. Enjoy this first class African style experience!
After breakfast embark on a tour of Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire to explore the legends of the famous Ashantis, whose legacies are still evident today. Visit Manhyia Palace Museum, to obtain firsthand information on the legacies of the Ashanti kingdom. A regal history that dates back to 1700 is told with relics and artifacts. Enjoy a drive through the city with monuments dedicated to the memory of the great Ashanti people. End the day’s tour at the National Cultural Center which features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and various studios of the brass makers, potters and batik makers.
Drive from Kumasi to Accra. En route stop at Besease to visit the traditional shrine of the Ashantis. Explore the beliefs, history and bravery of the Ashantis. You will be captivated by the Ashanti historic oral account as it is told by an old and knowledgeable Ashanti traditional linguist. From here, continue on to Accra. This transfer takes approx. 6hrs, but can take longer depending on time spent at Besease and any stops made along the way.
Drive between Accra, Ghana and Lome, Togo today. Your guide will help you at the border crossing and point out interesting sights along the way. Just ask! This drive will take approximately 3 hrs.
Today you will cross the border into Togo. Your guide will assist you with the border process before continuing on your journey.
After lunch, embark on an insightful city tour of Lome, a city where tradition and modernism overlap for the great delight of the visitor. Discover this metropolis with its Musee National, Place de I' Independence, fishing harbour, and the Grand Marche - the realm of the famous “Nana Benz “. Continue with a visit to the Art Street with its craft vendors, the Artisans' Village and climax the day at the Marche des Feticheurs (fetish market) - the heart of voodoo cult.
The Mercure Sarakawa hotel sits at the heart of a 62 acre (25 ha) coconut grove on Lomé Beach, close to the center of Lomé. The hotel has 211 rooms, including 82 with a sea view, and offers two restaurants (including the gourmet "Le Mercure" restaurant), two bars, an Olympic-size pool, two tennis courts, a golf course and a riding center.
Today will be a full day. You will drive today from Lome, Togo via Ouidah to Cotonou, Benin. Stop along the way for sights and tour. This drive will take approximately 3-4hrs.
Today visit the cradle of African traditional Religion, Ouidah. Tour the temple dedicated to the sacred Python, which is believed to give vitality and protection; you will also visit the sacred forest which houses many shrines dedicated to various deities. Visit the historical Museum of Ouidah located in an old Portuguese fort built in 1721. This Museum portrays Benin's role in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Later visit the Port of No Return; a monument built by the Benin Government to commemorate the Africans that were taken from the Dahomey Empire during the Slave Trade.
The Benin Marina Hotel is situated right at the beach and is an idyllic spot for you to unwind. Enjoy a game of tennis, relax by the pool or have a drink at the bar. In addition, the hotel prides itself on its superb cuisine, attentive staff and luxurious accommodation. The Benin Marina Hotel has various rooms available. The hotel offers 200 rooms, including 1 Royal Suite, 8 Junior Suites and 12 Bungalows. Our staff is present 24-hours a day to provide you with our excellent room service. All rooms have satellite television available and direct international telephone dial.
Enjoy this sensational visit to Ganvie (the village on water), commonly referred to as the Venice of West Africa. Witness firsthand, the people of Ganvie carrying out their daily routine as vendors in dugout canoes make transactions with one another and with tourists. Try shopping amongst the local vendors in the floating market whilst taking a relaxing canoe ride on the waterways of this exotic 300-year-old village. After lunch, drive through the multicolored center of the administrative and commercial capital of Benin to view it’s many statues and monuments.
Depart for Accra. Today will be a full day of driving with a stop for lunch in Lome. This drive will take approximately 9hrs.
This evening spend time at leisure or relax at your hotel.
Visit the Arts Centre where you will have the opportunity to use your bargaining skills to shop from an open-air market for artifacts from Ghana and West Africa. For finer artwork, check out the beautiful art gallery next to the market. For musical instruments, see artists at near the front of the market. Ask them for a lesson in drumming and negotiate a price, then groove to Afro-beats!
Depart from Accra international airport - end of itinerary.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are required for both US and Canadian citizens. Visa Processing generally takes 3 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $100 for a Single Entry Visa and $120 for a Multiple Entry Visa. Visas are not routinely available at the airport. Visitors to Benin should also carry the WHO Yellow Card (“Carte Jaune”) indicating that they have been vaccinated for yellow fever.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you contact the Embassy of Benin for the most current visa information. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/benin.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Porto Novo (administrative). Government: Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960. Language: The official language is French. However, many ethnic groups have their own languages: Bariba and Fulani are spoken in the north, Fon and Yoruba in the south. Some English is also spoken. Religion: 35% animist/traditional, 35% Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) and the majority of the rest are Muslim. Time: GMT + 1. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +229. Mobile Telephone: Some roaming agreements exist. Coverage is limited. Internet: Public access is available in Cotonou.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are required, as is evidence of a yellow fever vaccination for both US and Canadian citizens. Visa processing generally takes 4 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $65 for a Single Entry Visa and $150 for a Multiple Entry Visa.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Ghana for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/ghana.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Accra. Government: Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1957. Language: The official language is English. Local Ghanaian languages are widely spoken, including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe and Ga. Religion: Christian, Muslim and traditional beliefs. All forms of religion have a strong influence on Ghanaian life. Time: GMT. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; usually three-pin plugs. Single phase three-pin plugs are used in larger buildings. Telephone: Country code +233. Mobile Telephone: Coverage is good around main towns and patchy to non-existent elsewhere. Roaming agreements exist with numerous companies. Internet: Internet facilities can be found throughout the country in most towns but connection is usually very slow (56K). Hotels have faster access. Internet popularity is rapidly growing and service is improving to keep up with demand.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are required for both US and Canadian citizens. Travelers are encouraged to obtain visas prior to arrival due to recent difficulties in obtaining them at the airport in Lomé or at some of the land borders. A Single Entry Visa costs approximately $75 and a Multiple Entry Visa costs approximately $85. Visas issued in Togo are limited to 7 days and can take an hour or more to be issued. Travelers applying for visa extensions can also experience significant delays. Vaccination against yellow fever is also required before entry. U.S. and Canadian citizens should carry copies of their passports and vaccination records with them at all times while traveling in Togo.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Togo for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/togo.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Lomé. Government: Republic since 1967. Gained independence from France in 1960. Language: French is the official language, while Ewe, Watchi and Kabiyé are the most widely spoken African languages. Very little English is spoken. Religion: 50% traditional or animist, 35% Christian and 15% Muslim. Time: GMT. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz single phase. Plugs are square or round two-pin. Telephone: Country code +228. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good around urban areas and patchy elsewhere. Internet: Public access is available in Internet cafes all over the country.
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