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Visas are required by everyone except nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) countries. Currently one-week extendable visas (CFA10, 000) are issued at major border crossings with Ghana (Aflao/Lomé), Benin (Hillakondji) and Burkina Faso (Sinkasse).

Of these three countries, only Ghana has a Togolese embassy, which issues visas for up to one year within hours, starting at CFA20, 000 for one month. Payment must be in CFAs or US dollars.

The Service Immigration Togolaise (250 78 56; Route d’Atakpamé; 7.30am-noon & 2.30-6pm), near the GTA building 8km north of Lomé city centre, issues 30-day visa extensions within three days, though it may be possible to speed up this process. They cost about CFA10, 000 (depending on the length and type of visa) and four photos are required. It’s worth having a certified photocopy of your passport while your application is being processed, in case you encounter any awkward police officers.

Visas for onward travel

Inquire at the French consulate in Lomé about visas for Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, and the Visa Touristique Entente, covering one entry to each of these countries as well as Benin, Niger and Togo.

Two-day Benin transit visas (CFA10, 000) are issued at the Hillakondji border. Direction Emigration Immigration in Cotonou issues 30-day extensions (CFA12, 000), which take 48 hours.

The Ghanaian embassy in Lomé issues one-month visas within 48 hours for CFA12, 000 (less for Commonwealth citizens); four photos are needed.