- Watch a captivating fire dance, as Togolese villagers walk on hot coals
- Experience a Voodoo ceremony, where spirits possess the convulsing dancers
- Explore Pendjari National Park, home to a surviving population of West African lions
- Visit a royal temple, supposedly built from clay, gold dust and human blood
Explore these two neighbours on a journey through remote villages, ancient cities and lush savannah. Encounter impressive mud castles, meet fetish priests, step inside the world of Voodoo and search for big game on the fringes of the Sahel.
We are still finalising details of this trip, which we are expecting to depart in December 2020. Please enquire to register your interest.
Begin in Togo’s vibrant capital, Lome, where colonial history, cosmopolitan present and ancient traditions all coexist.
From Lome, head inland to explore tropical forests that are alive with colourful butterflies and travel through a cotton-growing area that produces an array of colourful woven fabrics. As the sun goes down, stop to experience a traditional fire dance. Watch as villagers dance over red-hot coals, even rubbing them on their bare flesh without signs of pain.
Continue into the rugged Atakora Mountains, where the Taberma people have traditionally taken refuge. Visit their impressive mud castles, beautifully sculpted and complete with phallic shrines at the entrance.
Pendjari National Park (Benin)
After crossing into Benin, travel further north, into a wild, sparsely inhabited region. Venture into Pendjari National Park for a safari through a rejuvenated landscape, home to recovering wildlife populations. Now under the management of NGO African Parks, this protected reserve is home to West African lions, as well as elephants, buffalos and endemic antelope species like western hartebeests.
Close to the Togolese border, just before entering Pendjari, meet the Betammaribe people, with their haunting scarification rituals. These are integral to the culture, linked to rites of passage for both men and women.
Then continue south towards the Voodoo heartland. Visit the Taneka people and meet the fetish priests, who oversee the deeply ingrained initiation rites that even define where you live within the village. Then explore Abomey’s Royal Palace, once home to the brutal rulers of the Dahomey Kingdom. Here, the royal temple is said to be built from a mixture of clay, human blood and gold dust.
Reach the former slave port of Ouidah, also considered the capital of African Voodoo and also home to impressive Portuguese architecture. Finish by experiencing a captivating Voodoo ceremony. Watch as the dancers surrender themselves to the spirits, entering a convulsive trance amidst a cacophony of drumming and chanting.
ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OF OUR TEAM
As with our other Pioneering Group Tours, this trip will be accompanied by one of the Steppes’ team. This not only means that a friendly face will be there at all times – willing to help out and deal with any issues that might arise – but it also gives us the chance to explore a destination that is just as new for us as it is for you.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.