The Voodoo Trail

Classic, Lomé to Ouagadougou

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Get off the beaten track and into the hills, forests and villages that make up the 'Voodoo Trail' of West Africa for an immersive experience that few travellers get to have. Meet African royalty and witness tribal dancers fall into trance-like states as you enjoy an authentic cultural experience like no other. An expert CEO will guide you through the stunning landscape, helping with the cultural and lingual hurdles, ensuring you come away with deep insight into the origins of Africa’s mystical animist religions. This is a truly mind-blowing experience. Interested?

What’s included

  • Arrival transfer
  • Lomé city tour
  • Voodoo ceremony experience
  • Kpalime guided nature walk
  • Slave route guided walk (Ouidah) with Python Temple visit
  • Ganvié stilt village visit (Lake Nowke)
  • Porto-Novo city tour
  • Audience with Yoruba king (if his schedule permits)
  • Abomey palace guided tour
  • Egun dancing mask ceremony
  • Fulani tribe visit
  • Moba tribe visit
  • Somba and Tamberma adobe castles visit
  • Gurunsi tribe visit and traditional dance ceremony
  • Dagarti and Lobi tribes visit
  • Loropeni visit
  • Guen king and tribe visit
  • Senoufo village visit
  • Banfora town tour
  • Bobo city tour
  • Bwa mask ceremony
  • Craft market visit
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Witness authentic voodoo ceremonies and dances
  • Explore the forests of kpalime
  • Meet african spiritual leaders and even royalty
  • Attend a traditional bwa mask ceremony
  • Visit ancient mosques and modern cities
  • Learn about the slave trade in ouidah.

Itinerary

Day 1 Lomé There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Lomé/Kpalimé (1B) Enjoy a city tour including visit to the central market, colonial buildings, and the fetish market. The central market is home to the 'Nana Benz', selling the colourful fabric synonymous with West Africa. Visit the fetish market for an eclectic assortment of ingredients for love potions and magical concoctions. Later, travel to the Kpalimé region. Join a voodoo ceremony in one of the local villages. Included Activities: Lomé City Tour Voodoo Ceremony Transport: Private Vehicle (140km)
Day 3 Kpalimé/Ouidah (1B) Enjoy time in the Kloto forest learning more about indigenous plants and how the locals use them. Continue back towards Lomé and stop for lunch before heading to Ouidah. Here, learn about the history of the slave trade in the area and follow the sombre slave route to the sea. Included Activities: Kpalimé Guided Nature Walk Border Crossing (Togo - Benin) Transport: It's a full day of sightseeing from Kpalimé to Ouidah, jumping in and out of the van along the way. Private Vehicle Private Vehicle
Day 4 Ouidah/Porto-Novo (1B) Visit more sights around fascinating Ouidah before crossing Lake Nokwe. Stop at the unique Ganvié stilt village, built completely in the middle of the lake. Continue on to the capital of Benin, Porto-Novo. With time, visit some of the city. Included Activities: Slave Route Guided Walk Temple of Python Visit Ganvié Stilt Village Visit Transport: Drive from Ouidah to the port. Change to boat for a 20 min ride to the stilt village. Private Vehicle Boat
Day 5 Porto-Novo/Bohicon (1B) Enjoy a Porto-Novo city tour with visits to the Ethnographic Museum, religious centres, and herbal market. Visit a genuine Yoruba king, the Abomey Royal Palace, see the colourful Egun Dancing Mask celebration, and visit the Savalov. Included Activities: Porto-Novo City Tour Audience with the King of the Yoruba of South Benin Abomey Palace Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 6 Bohicon/Dassa-Zoumé (1B) Attend a performance of Egun masks; this is a traditional celebration of the Fon and Yoruba of South Benin. Egun masks represent the spirits of the deceased, and according to the local population, they “are” the deceased. Visit some remains of the capital city of an ancient kingdom in Dassa. Stop at the wooden horse walk up the Royal Hill, where the kings used to be buried. Included Activities: Egun Mask Performance Wooden Horse Visit Royal Hill Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (415km)
Day 7 Dassa-Zoumé/Natitingou (1B) Stop at the fetish of Dankoli en route to a Fulani encampment. Witness their nomadic culture firsthand. Included Activities: Dankoli Fetish Visit Fulani Tribe Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours, 50km)
Day 8 Natitingou/Atakora Department (1B) Enjoy a day of walking in the land of the Somba people. Learn about the unique architecture and meet the locals. Included Activities: Somba Villages Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (80km)
Day 9 Atakora Department/Dapaong (1B) Cross back into Togo and visit Tamberma and Moba villages. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Benin - Togo) Moba Tribe Visit Tamberma Villages Visit Transport: Spend a full day visiting villages, hoping in and out of the van. Private Vehicle Private Vehicle
Day 10 Dapaong/Pô (1B) Cross into Burkina Faso. Visit the Mossi people then stop in the towns of Bagre and Zabre. See the Gurunsi tribe's fresco houses. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Togo - Burkina Faso) Gurunsi Tribe Visit Transport: Private Vehicle Private Vehicle
Day 11 Pô/Gaoua (1B) Travel through the savannah to the Dagarti region and Gaoua. Explore the Dagarti tribe's villages. Included Activities: Dagarti Tribe Visit Transport: Travel time includes stops. Private Vehicle (360km)
Day 12 Gaoua (1B) Explore the fascinating Lobi tribe's villages with a local Lobi guide. Meet a traditional healer and have a peek inside his home. Included Activities: Lobi Tribe Visit Traditional Healer Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 13 Gaoua/Banfora (1B) Explore the Loropeni ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, visit the Guen people and their king and gold diggers in Senoufo village. Included Activities: Ruins of Loropéni Visit Meet with Chief of Obiré in Kingdom of Guen Gold Diggers in Senoufo Village Visit Transport: Travel time includes stops. Private Vehicle (10.00 hour(s), 220km)
Day 14 Banfora/Bobo-Dioulasso (1B) Visit sights around the Banfora region, like the Pics of Sindou. Hike to the top for breathtaking views. Take a boat excursion on Lake Tengrela and keep your eyes peeled for hippos. Continue on to Bobo. Included Activities: Pics of Sindou Visit Lake Tengrela Boat Excursion Bobo City Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (95km)
Day 15 Bobo-Dioulasso/Ouagadougou (1B) Arriving in the capital in the late afternoon, and enjoy a final night out with the group recounting unforgettable experiences from the trip. Additional Notes: En route to the Ouagadougou, we search out a Bwa ceremonial dance. This dance uses wooden masks, with each mask representing characters in family myths. Some masks represent animals, other represent bush spirits; particularly striking are the “plank” masks, featuring a stylized face surmounted by a tall, rectangular plank. Plank masks tend to be two-dimensional with impressive geometrical patterns. These masks are predominantly white, red, and black. The traditional dance ceremony is an important aspect of village life, and masks are considered the spirits of the village, providers of the agricultural bounty that the village depends on. As such, the spirits are to be appeased through cult offerings. Masks are symbols relating human beings, nature and spirits. With the start of a drumbeat, the spirits arrive in shape of wooden owls, butterflies, antelopes, buffaloes, and hyenas; spectators participate with songs, comments and laughter. The dance is a form of street theatre that melds sacred, traditional and entertainment elements. Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, is seen as part village, part town. Life in the city plays out in the streets, in a unique fusion of village and town ambiances: old taxis, bicycles, scooters, donkeys pulling carts, porters caring loads on their heads. Streets are lined with informal traders offering colourful goods, small open-air restaurants serve beer, music blares, and everywhere chickens and goats run free. Street barbers shave their clients in the shade of mango trees, while in the street markets the colours and smells assault the senses. On the outskirts a large area is dedicated to craftsmen displaying their wares—a great chance to appreciate the skills and the products of African artisans. Arriving in the capital in the late afternoon, enjoy a final night out with the group as you share stories of the many unforgettable experiences that you have had in this part of West Africa where very few other foreigners travel. Included Activities: Bwa Ceremonial Dance Transport: Travel time includes stops along the way. Private Vehicle (10.00 hour(s), 385km)
Day 16 Ouagadougou (1B) Depart at any time.
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