The sealed Route Internationale is in fairly good condition – as are the main roads coming off it – as far north as Kara, but thereafter it disintegrates. Road safety is not one of Togo’s strong points – especially at night, when you may encounter vehicles without headlights.
Cars can be rented from Avis in Lomé. If you’re driving, you need an International Driving Permit. There are frequent police checkpoints.
Petrol stations are plentiful in the major towns. Unfortunately fuel prices are on the rise due to the political turmoil in Togo’s major supplier, Nigeria.
Travel in Togo’s six-, nine- and 15-place bush taxis and minibuses is often slow. During fee negotiations, drivers often cite rising fuel prices – this is a genuine problem for Togo.
Paying for two places gives you the front seat to yourself, as well as shortening the time you have to wait for the taxi to fill. The quickest and most comfortable option are the ‘express’ taxis that travel between the major towns, leaving early in the morning.
There is occasionally a surcharge for luggage, based on size.
Taxis are abundant in Lomé, even at night, and have no meters. Fares in the city centre are CFA200 for a shared taxi and CFA700 nonshared (more after 6pm). A taxi by the hour should cost CFA2500.
Taxi-motos, or zemi-johns, are everywhere. A trip across town costs about CFA100 –more in Lomé. They are a handy way to get to remote locations, but beware in Lomé, where there are daily taxi-moto crashes.