Make the world stop for a second and just feel the majestic power of nature in Togo. In its capital, Lome you could explore Lake Togo and dine out and enjoy the scenery. In the same city you could explore the Lome Grand Market and make sure you get something that could remind you of the wonderful experience in gathered during the visit. There is a UNESCO heritage site, Koutammakou in North Eastern Togo which will fill you with the exquisite cultural landscape. To continue the cultural fever, make sure you visit the Togo National Museum and see more of the history and culture that you should further explore.
Important and Interesting Facts about Togo
- It’s a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea
- Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. Togo is one of the smallest countries in all of Africa.
- In the north the land is characterized by a gently rolling savanna in contrast to the center of the country, which is characterized by hills. The south of Togo is characterized by a savanna and woodland plateau which reaches to a coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes.
- Sixty-two percent of the population lived below the poverty line in 2006.
- Lake Togo is the largest part of a lagoon in Togo, separated from the head by a narrow coastal strip. It is shallow and a popular location for water sports. Towns on the lake’s shore include Agbodrafo and Togoville.
- Lomé Grand Market is a large market place in the city of Lomé, the capital of Togo. Located near Lomé Cathedral near the city centre, the market often has live African music by local performers.
- Koutammouko, the Land of the Batammariba is a cultural landscape designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Togo. The area features traditional mud tower-houses which remain the preferred style of living.
- Togo National Museum is the national museum of Togo. It is located in the capital of Lomé. Founded in 1975, it houses ethnographical, cultural and artistic exhibits.
- Fazao Mafakassa National Park is the largest National Park in Togo. It is situated between the Kara Region and Centrale Region in semi-mountainous wetland. The park has dramatic scenery with rocky hills and beautiful waterfalls.
- Oti-Kéran National Park is located in the north of Togo, in the Kara area. There is only one road going through this area. Not many tourists visit Togo as the main national parks are more accessible in Ghana.
- The Abdoulaye Faunal Reserve is a protected area located in Togo. It was established in 1951. The fauna reserve covers 300 km².
Cool and Funny Facts about Togo
- Togolese carry everything on their heads – one banana, a fully-assembled ceiling fan, up to 300 eggs, firewood, a big basket of chickens, or a 5- gallon pan of water.
- You are expected to bargain for everything you purchase at market. You should offer about one-half of the first price quoted by the vendor.
- Togo’s traditional religions stress fetishism and idolatry. Ancestor worship is common, along with the worship of snakes, trees, rainbows, fire, etc. Fetishes are used as protection against evil spirits and against other men. (A fetish is an object that is considered holy or as having some special power.)
- Worn-out tires are recycled into sandals, toys or fuel for smoking meat (love that burnt-rubber flavor!
- Togo is the world’s 4th largest producer of phosphate.
- The green stripes in Togo’s flag symbolise hope and agriculture.
- The Rhinoceros Beetle in Togo can be up to 8 cms long.
- For 200 years the coastal region was raided by Europe in search of slaves and it was known as the Slave Coast.
- Togo has a Voodoo Market and many other colourful markets.
- Did you know that Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti holds the record of wining Togo’s first medal ever? This dual Togolese-French citizenship holder won a bronze medal in the K1 slalom kayak event at Beijing Olympics in 2008.
- Did you know that education in Togo was compulsory only for six years? This is mainly because of teacher shortages and poor infrastructure.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Togo
- A former German colony, Togo was conquered by Anglo-French forces at the start of World War I in 1914, then divided into British Togoland in the west and French Togoland in the east. Both had UN mandates from 1946.
- In 1956, British Togoland joined what the following year was to become the independent state of Ghana, the former Gold Coast. The remainder became independent Togo in 1960.
- Togo’s first president, Sylvanus Olympio, was killed in a coup in 1963 led by Colonel Etienne Eyadema, who later adopted the name Gnassingbe Eyadema.Nicolas Grunitsky, who succeeded Olympio, was ousted in a bloodless coup in 1967 by Eyadema, who proclaimed himself head of state. His position was confirmed by a plebiscite in 1972, and he was elected in 1979 and 1986, as the only candidate.
- Several hundred people lost their lives in political and social unrest in the early 1990s.Pressure for democracy and donor threats to stop economic assistance led to a national conference in 1991 and a transitional administration with a lifting of restrictions on the political opposition. The general’s foes denounced what they described as widespread torture, repression and political murders.
- Greetings include a handshake and verbal “Hello” in French (Bonjour), Ewe (Woezo-lo!), Kabiye (Alafia-we) or another tribal language.
- In Nigeria, young people never call anyone older than them by first name. As a sign of respect, they add “Brother” or “Sister”. So, you will never find a teen calling a 30 year old by first name.
- If someone older than you is carrying heavy stuff, as a sign of respect you should take it from them immediately. Don’t leave them carrying it.
- Togolese usually have two or three meals per day, each consisting largely of a starch product, such as cassava, maize, rice, yams, or plantains. A hot, spicy sauce is served with midday or evening meals, consisting of a protein—fish, goat, beans, or beef—and often rich in palm (red) oil or peanut paste. Fruits and vegetables, though readily available, are eaten more by the bourgeoisie. Traditional French staples, including baguettes, are mainstream in the cities.
- Fufu is a traditional food item of Togo is made from yam. The yam is first boiled and mashed to be made into dough. Dips and sauces of various flavors are used as side dish with fufu.
- Since the inception of the mandate, freedom of religious worship has been protected by law. The French interpreted this to include animistic African religions, and this perhaps partly accounts for the popularity of traditional vodou cults and rituals.
- Togo culture is highlighted by its prominent festivals, out of which Evala is the traditional fighting festival that last for 10 days at a stretch. The very ablest of sportsmen enter the arena to engage in a battle of the best. Such is its importance that even the President of Togo watches its proceedings. This festival is celebrated with a lot of pomp and joy by the native people and it showcases the ancestry of Togo culture.