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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
More Trips Like This
GeoEx Mystical West Africa wins Tour of a Lifetime from National Geographic Traveler
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure & Sample Itinerary
Destinations:
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 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.

After a good look around Cotonou, we visit the stunning stilt village of Ganvie, experience the powerful, shape-shifting Egun mask dance, and spend time in Ouidah, the spiritual capital of voodoo. After immersing ourselves in the lives of fishermen who exist in rhythm with the seasons, we continue to Lomé to meet a more contemporary side of West Africa and take in wonderful art and fetish markets. Moving on Accra, we deepen our understanding of African history at the National Museum of Ghana and explore imaginative artwork found in the old quarter.

Next we visit Elmina’s coastline castles built for the slave trade and then plunge into the rain-forest canopy of Kakum National Park, walking on suspension bridges. We contemplate the legacy of the Ashanti Empire in Kumasi, witnessing one of the last ancestral rituals unchanged in West Africa, and finally wend through craft villages back to Accra.

Notes

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Itinerary at a Glance


  • Day 1: arrive in Cotonou, Benin
  • Day 2: drive to Ketou via Ganvie
  • Day 3: to Abomey, Egun mask dance, drive to Dassa
  • Day 4: explore Dassa, drive to Ouidah
  • Day 5: on to Lomé via Glidji
  • Day 6: explore Lomé
  • Day 7: drive to Accra, tour city
  • Day 8: on to Elmina, sightsee
  • Day 9: Kakum National Park
  • Day 10: drive to Kumasi, Ashanti funeral
  • Day 11: Akwasidae Festival
  • Day 12: on to Akossombo, craft villages
  • Day 13: drive to Accra, depart.

  • Please note:
    The January departure varies from this itinerary. Learn more