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West African Kingdoms Overview
Head off the beaten track and uncover the fascinating customs of West Africa. Explore Burkina Faso's famous Bobo-Dioulasso market, go game spotting in Benin's Pendjari National Park, encounter voodoo culture in Togo and enjoy the beaches of Ghana.
- 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Embark on a thrilling small group adventure through Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Ghana
The allure of West Africa is calling on this truly off-the-beaten-path adventure from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Accra in Ghana. Meet a wealth of fascinating locals, admire a host of unique wildlife and witness the ins and outs of Togo, Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso on this cultural journey through four of West Africa's most impressive countries.
What's included in this trip
West African Kingdoms SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Welcome to one of Africa's least touristy – and hardest to pronounce – capitals. Set out for a stroll through dusty streets or pull up a chair by an outdoor eatery and watch the colourful local scene unfold.
Travel on to Bobo-Dioulasso. Peruse the local market for ornate masks and wood carvings, then delve into the city's colourful live music scene.
Admire the ridge of sandstone hills outside Banfora and go hippo-spotting on Lake Tengrela.
Discover the unique dwellings, ancient stone ruins and traditional customs of the Lobi people in Gaoua.
Return to Ouagadougou and visit the local cultural centre for a chance to purchase some unique African souvenirs. Admire the ornately festooned compounds of Tiebele.
Cross the border into the original home of voodoo – Benin. Search for elephants, buffalo and the rare West African lion in Pendjari National Park, one of the region's last wildlife havens.
Learn about the rise and fall of one of Africa's greatest empires, the Dahomey, on an educational tour of the Royal Palace and historical museum. Witness traditional dance performances by the Yoruba and Fon people, who draw heavily on elaborate costume and masks to evoke their unique synthesis of Christian and voodoo worship.
Catch a pirogue across to the small village of Ouidah, the birthplace and epicentre of voodooism. Have your preconceptions about this tradition debunked at the Musée d’histoire d’Ouidah – it's really neither as sinister nor as sordid as Hollywood might have you believe. A far more harrowing experience is a visit to the former slave-trading forts about town, one of which houses a museum attesting to the horrors that occurred here.
Cross into neighbouring Togo and explore the colonial buildings and Royal Palace of Togoville. Admire artefacts at the National Museum in Lome, the country's capital, and perhaps brave a stroll through the fetish market of Akodessewa.
Journey on into Ghana – the first African country to gain independence from the colonial powers. As a result, the country's capital, Accra, is home to an impressive National Museum and numerous imposing memorials. There is also no shortage of superb beaches to stake out a plot of sand.
Travel north to Kumasi, the one-time capital of the ancient Ashanti kingdom. Venture into West Africa's largest market, pop into the National Cultural Centre for a glimpse into traditional customs and watch kente cloth being woven while on a local community visit.
Bed down to the crashing of waves at one of the country's premier beach resort towns. Laze the days away on the sand, explore Axim town's historical sights or set out for a taste of nature on one of the forest trails.
Continue on to the coastal town of Elmina, the historical hub of the British slave trade. Take a chilling tour of Elmina Castle, where the slaves used to be held, or mosey on through the town's street stalls in search of fresh seafood delicacies and cups of palm wine.
Return to Accra where this West African adventure comes to an end. Why not gather the troops for a final group dinner and relive the highlights of this fascinating West African odyssey over a local brew or two.
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