Mystical West Africa

Traditions, voodoo, and craft

  • 50 Tours of a Lifetime Award from National Geographic Traveler (2014)
  • Venture far off the tourist track into Benin, Togo, and Ghana
  • Unique access to traditions, including voodoo ceremonies, mask dances, and bead making
  • Spectacular contrasts: the cosmopolitan capital Lomé, the rural stilt village of Ganvie, the beautiful beaches of Accra
GeoEx Mystical West Africa wins Tour of a Lifetime from National Geographic Traveler
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure & Sample Itinerary
Trip Length: 13 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour
Trip Extensions: Call 888-570-7108 for custom extension options

We are fired up by this new trip to West Africa, full of private access, unusual sights, and enchanting traditions. From Benin to Togo and then to Ghana, it’s a cultural exploration in which ceremony and tradition, along with landscapes of rain forest, swampland and coastline demonstrate the region’s beautiful extremes.

In Ouidah, the voodoo capital, the high priest invites us to attend a ritual that sheds light on spiritual customs here. Later in our ocean huts, we pause overnight to experience life in rhythm with the seasons as the fishermen here do. In Lomé, Togo’s capital and a destination for lovers of art and fetish markets, we are surprised by the cosmopolitan side of West Africa. We continue to Kumasi and, as guests at the Manhyia Palace, we witness the last unchanged ancestral ceremony of the Ashanti Empire. Later we enter the rain forest in Kakum National Park and walk suspension bridges through the canopy. Our last stop is Accra, where we behold artistically carved coffins, deepen our understanding of African history, visit the old quarter of James Town, and enjoy Ghana's best beach.


2015 dates now available.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Cotonou, Benin
  • Day 2: boat across Lake Nokwe to stilt village, drive to Ouidah
  • Day 3: drive to Dassa, attend Egun mask dance
  • Day 4: Dassa touring, drive to Ouidah
  • Day 5: Ouidah with Python Temple; voodoo ceremony in Glidji; drive to Lomé, Togo
  • Day 6: Lomé discovery, fetish markets
  • Day 7: into Ghana, glass bead making
  • Day 8: drive to Kumasi, cultural center, Ashanti funeral
  • Day 9: Manhyia Palace Museum, Ashanti king ceremony
  • Day 10: drive to Kumasi, visit Ashanti Cultural Center
  • Day 11: Royal Palace Museum, Akwasidae Festival
  • Day 12: Bonwire region: Kente cloth weaving and Ejisu animistic temple
  • Day 13: visit glass bead factory, depart for home.