Entering Togo on an e-visa was not as straight forward as we thought it would be. The remote border crossing we entered from Ghana did not have the technology to scan us in but thankfully the border officials allowed our tour leader, Chloe, to enter Togo with all our passports to find a facility where she could get them scanned and have visa stickers affixed to a page in our passports. So we waited at the border for about 5 hours for Chloe to do a passport run and luckily were all granted permission to enter the country. However, our visas still weren’t stamped yet as we had been told that could only be done in Lomé, so our stay wasn’t technically “legal”. It was a long drive to reach Coco Beach, our campsite near the capital city. On our free day, we had to spend the morning at a government building where we had been promised we could get our passport entry stamp. However, a representative told us it could take up to 2 days…boo! Thankfully we had Chloe there to smooth things over as she sweet talked the official into expediting our group’s passports. In the end, he agreed to rush the processing and allowed Chloe to be the sole person authorized to pick up everyone’s passports that afternoon which meant the rest of us now had the remainder of the day free to explore. Our first stop was the Akodessewa Fetish Market, which is the largest fetish market in the world. Animal bones, skulls, skins and horns are on offer to be ground up for use as a paste, powder or potion by a voodoo priest or traditional healer. A list of ailments or desires (broken heart, safe travels, unrequited love, etc) along with their corresponding cures is what draws tourists to this fascinating market and not much had changed since our first visit 13 years ago. From here we hopped in a tuk tuk with Lynne, Lauren and Reto for a DIY walking tour of Lomé. Our first stop was the Palace of Lomé (open for pre-booked tours which we unfortunately did not have) followed by the Independence Monument and National Museum. Lunch was next on our agenda and we tried beef and goat banku. It was a very tasty meal and we all enjoyed it! Visiting the Sacred Heart Cathedral and Lomé’s street market rounded out our walking tour and we caught a tuk-tuk ride back to our campsite at Coco Beach. The next day, we bid farewell to our Madventure overland friends before they crossed the border into Benin. Our final goodbye present was a tent challenge…how many overlanders can fit in a tent (which we discovered was 16!). After our group left, we relaxed on Coco Beach for the remainder of our time in Togo. The next day we hopped in a Gozem car (a Togo ride hailing app) for the short drive to the airport. And just like that, our 3 month West Africa adventure came to an end! To be honest, we didn’t feel we did Togo justice with our whirlwind visit so we wouldn’t mind a return trip to explore more of what this vibrant country has to offer.

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