Togo Driving Guide
Togo is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit
Togo is a narrow strip of land nestled in Western Africa. Its official name is Republique Togolaise, or the Togolese Republic. Not everyone knows Togo because it is topographically hidden among Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin. In its southwestern highland, there are tropical forests, vast vegetation, and river valleys. It is one of the countries rich in natural resources such as phosphates, limestone, marble, and arable land.
With palm-lined beaches, vast lagoons, hilltop villages, scenic spots, and diverse culture, you will not run dry of adventure when you visit Togo. Togo has a growing 8 million population, where 99% of which are of Ewe ethnic group descent. The country's official language is French. However, the widely spoken language is Niger-Congo indigenous languages, so the communication barrier with foreign travelers can be challenging.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Acquiring knowledge about the country you are visiting is paramount because you have to avoid getting into trouble in a foreign land. With this guide, you will know what you can do in Togo if you plan to stay for a long time and the top destinations you must see in the country. As for driving in Togo, you will find in this guide the driving rules and etiquette you need to know and car rental information to get by when driving in any of Togo's locations.
Togo is a West African Country. The largest and capital city of the country is Lomé. The Togolese Republic is one of the smallest countries in Africa and one of the world's narrowest countries. Its exotic ambiance and great beaches are the ones that lure tourists to the country.
Since Togo is a tropical and sub-Saharan state, its economy significantly depends on agriculture. They are also one of the prominent producers of phosphates used in fertilizers in the world. Their way of life is very simple and quiet, so if you are looking for a place where you can have a short escape, you can try visiting Togo.
Togo is a tropical country just north of the equator bordering Ghana on the west, Benin on the east, Burkina Faso on the north, and the Gulf of Guinea in the south. The country is consisting of six geographic regions. Its coastal region is mostly low-lying beaches, tidal flats, and shallow lagoons. Beyond the coastal region lies the Ouatchi Plateau, which is also called the Terre de Barre region because of its reddish and iron-bearing soil.
In the northeast lies the tableland, which has the highest elevation in the country that reaches 400 to 460 meters. Located in the west and southwest is the region that has the Togo-Atakora Mountains, which stretches from Ghana, Togo, and Benin. The savanna region lies beyond the Togo Mountains, where you can find the Otis River and sandstone plateau. If you venture to the far northwest, you can find the granite and gneiss region where the cliffs of Dapango lie.
The highest point in the country, which reaches 986 meters, is in Pic d' Agou. The country's climate is tropical and humid for most of the year, but from November to March, they experience cooler weather brought by the desert winds of Harmattan.
Togo is one of the multilingual countries in Africa. There are more than forty languages, both native and imported are spoken in the country. French is Togo's official language. It is the mandatory language in schools, trades, and the sectors of the government. However, only 30% to 37% of the population use it.
There are two national languages in the state. It is Ewe and Kabiye. People of Kpalime, Notse, Atakpame, and Tsevie use the Ewe language as their common language. On the other hand, Kabiye is used in Kozah and Binah, Central and Plateau regions, Sotouboua, Wawa, and Amlane prefectures. It is also used in the national media.
The Togolese Republic has a total land area of 56,785 sq. kilometers, making it one of Africa's smallest countries. It is also one of the world’s narrowest nations because of its width of fewer than 115 kilometers. In comparison, Togo is about the size of Croatia, but it is slightly smaller than West Virginia.
The earliest inhabitants of Togo are the Voltaic and Kwa people. Before, it was an intermediate zone between the states of Asante and Dahomey. However, in 1884, Togo became part of the Togoland German protectorate and was declared part of the German colony. After that, under the League of Nations' mandate, it was split between the British and the French. The eastern part was assigned to France, while the western part is assigned to Britain.
A decade after that, the British portion became the Gold Coast while the French portion became the French Union's autonomous republic. The French portion became the Togolese Republic and gained its independence on April 27, 1960. However, the country experienced military rule and political unrest after that. It was only in 2007 when the Togolese Republic had its relatively free and just legislative elections.
The government of Togo has undergone so many challenges and changes. The military coup d'etat abolished its original constitution in 1967. It was in 1992 when a new constitution was finalized. Togo is now a presidential republic. The president will be the head of the state and can only serve two terms consisting of six-year per term. The government wields the executive power while the legislative power is under the government and the parliament.
The Supreme Court, with several law courts, is in charge of the judicial system. However, they still utilize traditional authorities such as ethnic chiefs, village chiefs, and sometimes, heads of family groups. The nation is divided into regions, and each region is subdivided into prefectures. A district chief heads each prefecture with the assistance of a district council.
Despite the country's small size, Togo's tourism industry has so much to offer. In 2019, the country recorded 876,000 tourists. It ranked 141st in absolute terms globally and ranked 3rd in Western Africa. The country also generated $269 million in the tourism sector alone. This amount is 4.9% of all international tourism receipts in Western Africa and comprises 4.9% of Togo's gross domestic product
The government of Togo prioritizes boosting tourist arrivals and diversifying destinations. The government believes that great tourism industry can lead to significant employment opportunities, local economic development, and international market integration. They are aiming to boost their tourism industry by up to 7% in the coming years. They have implemented the first stages of their long-term tourism master plan and sustainable development projects.
You will find driving in Togo easier if you have all the requirements needed to drive in the country. Since there might be a communication barrier in some countries, they usually require an international driving permit. The international driving permit will serve as a translation of someone's local driver's license.
Suppose your driver's license is not written in the language that the country you are visiting is familiar with. Your IDP can help you deal with the locals and the authorities. If you are still unfamiliar with IDP, here are several pointers you need to be aware of about an international driver's permit in Togo.
Is a Local Driver's License Valid in Togo?
Tourists with a valid local driver's license and an international driving permit will be allowed to drive in Togo for six months. These documents must be renewed every year. Remember that even if your IDP contains your name and other driver information, you can't use it as a substitute for your local driving license. If you are driving in any of Togo's locations, you must have your valid driving license with you so that you will not be charged with unlicensed driving.
Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of Togo?
Foreign travelers will be allowed to drive in Togo for up to six months if they have an international driver's license. Since 2019, international driver's permits are only available in 2500 UK Post offices, so it would be best to get your IDP on our website before you travel to Togo. However, you still need to take a driving test when you reach the country.
You must have your international driver's license, especially when you are driving in Togo's city, because there are times when local authorities conduct random checkpoints. Driving in Togo today is stricter than before because the government is doing its best to avoid road accidents in the country. Togo requires an IDP for all foreign travelers.
Make sure that you get yours ahead of time. On our website, you will see an application form. After completing it, it will be immediately processed. If approved, you can pay and have your international driver's permit mailed to you. Always bring your international driver's permit with you. When driving in Togo, know the updates so that you enjoy your road trip without worries and hassle.
Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver's License?
The international driver's permit you got on our website will be a valid form of identification in any foreign country because it translates your driving information into the 12 most widely spoken languages. However, note that it is only a translation of your driving information. It does not have the validity to be used as a driver's license.
When you are driving in Togo's region, you can use your IDP together with your valid driver's license. Again, an IDP is only a translation and not a replacement of your driver's license.
Renting a Car in Togo
Public transportation in Togo can be challenging and stressful, especially for tourists, so it is advised to avail of a car rental when driving in the Togo region. However, if you do not know the process of how to avail of car rentals and other important factors to consider, you might end up spending more.
You have to keep in mind your budget, car choice, and the road conditions in the country. Have an enjoyable and exciting road trip experience when driving in Togo's city by availing car rental companies' excellent services in the country.
Car Rental Companies
Fortunately, you will have a wide range of choices in cars in Togo because there are large car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Thrifty, and Europcar. It is advised to book a car rental online before you arrive in the country so that you will not endure long queues and other hassles.
For foreign travelers, booking a car rental online has many benefits, such as availing discounts and promos. If you are not comfortable with online booking, local car rental companies also allow walk-in booking. Make sure to appoint a car rental that will work best with your budget and the country you are visiting.
The most frequently rented cars in Togo are compact cars such as Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Auris, Volkswagen Golf, and others. These types of cars are well-suited for a savanna adventure. Before you head to your first road trip adventure and experience driving in Togo today, you have to acquire a reliable car rental to accompany you. If you want, there are available add-ons such as child seats, security deposits, and insurance.
With your valid driver's license, you can conveniently avail of car rental services in Togo. Besides your license, you will also have to present other proof of identification such as your passport and international driver's permit.
Driving in Togo without knowing English is easy because your IDP can help you translate your driving information for the car rental company. After filling out the application form on our website, it will undergo a short process. After your successful application and payment, you can have your international driver's permit mailed to you.
The car rental companies situated in Togo have cars that are well-suited for the country's road conditions. The most common vehicles rented in Togo are compact and economy cars because of the country's rugged and unpaved roads. It is convenient to use compact cars when driving in Togo now since some of the roads there are already in good condition. However, if you are driving in the Togo area's far distance, SUVs or full-size cars are the wiser choices.
Car Rental Cost
A rental car in Togo can cost around $55 a day. The rental expense may vary depending on the type of vehicle you want, the car size, and the insurance. If you avail of add-on products and services, the rental price will also go higher. You can choose whether to rent an automatic or manual transmission car. Some cars also have satellite navigation and air conditioning. Besides that, there are available add-ons such as child seats, security deposits, and insurance.
Aside from the add-on products, some rental companies in Togo also offer optional services such as Fuel Plans, pick-up and drop-off services, and more. Here are the average rental prices for each type of vehicle you can rent in Togo:
- Mini: $69 / day
- Compact: $65 / day
- Economy: $55 / day
The accepted age to rent a car in Togo is 21 years old. However, drivers between 21 and 24 years old are subject to additional local fees or a young driver's surcharge. If you are 25 years old, you can book Premium, Specialty, SUV, Minivan and Van, and other vehicle categories. However, if the driver is 21 to 24 years old, there will be a restriction on the type of vehicle you will be allowed to rent.
Car Insurance Cost
If it is your first time driving in a foreign country, you should be aware of how important car insurance is in your journey. Car rental insurance is your safety net from possible costly repair costs. Navigating on unfamiliar roads is not easy, and there are a lot of risks along the way.
Most car rental companies have car insurance inclusion. However, it is important to understand that its coverage varies, and you might still end up paying for most of the repairs when an unfortunate accident happens. Make sure to check and get car insurance when you are traveling in a foreign country.
Car Insurance Policy
There are various car insurance policies offered in Togo. The first one is the collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) that waives damage costs in full. Its excess payable for any type of car damage is very high, so it would be wise to avail. Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) is an insurance that you can avail yourself of daily. It costs around $30 to $45 per day.
Roadside Assistance Cover can help you in case of car towing, fuel, and key lockout. If you want to ensure a worry-free trip, you can avail yourself of Full Protection insurance that includes various insurance types in one
Road Rules in Togo
Driving in Togo means that you are already familiar with the country's driving rules and regulations. It is one of your duties to ensure that you have to avoid getting into accidents and violating its road rules when you are in Togo. Most of Togo's driving rules are the same as the other countries, so even if you are a traveler, you can easily adapt to it. Note that you should follow Togo's driving rules to avoid getting into accidents and prevent risking trouble.
Before you attempt to drive in Togo, it is paramount to know and understand the laws and regulations enforced in the country. If you fail to abide by their laws, you may face severe consequences. Risking your life and spoiling your vacation because of stubbornness is not worth it. Always follow the rules to steer away from possible troubles. Listed below are some driving in Togo's data and summary of regulations.
While others may think that all countries have laws against drunk-driving or driving under the influence, in the real case, not every country has one. There are countries where there is no clear concept of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit, and one of them is Togo. However, once you crossed the border and reached Ghana, you will be charged with drunk-driving when you exceeded their 0.08% BAC.
On the other hand, Togo enforces laws against dangerous driving, so many citizens are changing their ways. In 2019, the police forces of Togo had started conducting random alcohol testing on different roads. They are aware of how much destruction and accidents are caused by drunk-driving, so they want to make sure that they lessen it as much as they can. Although, as of now, there is still no clear BAC limit, they mention an alcohol threshold not exceeding 0.5g
As a foreign traveler, do your part in maintaining the orderliness in the roads of the country you visit. When you are driving in Togo, it means you have to be extra careful because their road laws are still a work in progress.
Turning Signals at an Intersection
Most of the roads and lanes in Togo are narrow and unpaved, so you must look out for signals when you are at an intersection. You have to communicate with the other drivers on the road to make sure that they know your next move.
Giving early signals is a good practice to let other people know that you are about to turn. Continuously signal until you have completed your turn so that they are aware of what you are doing even from afar. Turn slowly and smoothly so that you will have enough time to react if other cars are about to turn.
There are 24 parking spaces listed in the directory of Togo. However, it is advised that you park your cars in the accommodation you are staying in to make sure that your car rental will be safe. There are parking spaces even in the cities' outskirts. Just look out for parking signs and the allotted time you are allowed to park to avoid violations. Before you leave your car rental in any establishment, make sure that it is locked, the machine is turned off, and the handbrake is on.
Check your vehicle's condition before driving.
Before driving in Togo, you must know the updates on its road conditions. Most of the roads in the state are in poor condition, so you should always check if your car is capable of handling your travel. There are unpaved roads prone to flooding, so it would be best if your car is in the right shape to handle the road's difficulties.
Make sure to always have your important documents with you, especially if you are driving in the Togo area's far distance. Avoid getting unlicensed driving violations by always bringing your local driving license and international driver's license for Togo.
General Standards of Drivin
The standards of driving in Togo are like a summary of what the locals commonly use when driving. Learning the norms in driving in the country you are visiting will familiarize you with their commonly used driving standards.
Most of the cars locals use reliable compacts or affordable economy cars because driving in Togo now can still be challenging due to its unpaved road networks. If you plan to avail of a car rental in the country, it is best to choose one base on the road condition of the country you are visiting so that you will encounter fewer troubles.
Overspeeding is one of the prominent causes of road accidents in the country since the speed limits are not enforced strictly even in the country's cities. As a visitor in the country, you should avoid racing with other drivers even if there are no speed limits indicated on the road. There can be fatal risks and injuries when you are not a responsible driver, so you have to do your part and be cautious on the road at all times
The speed limit in Togo when it is not explicitly indicated is 30 Kph. When driving in the city, the speed limit is 50 Kph, while the speed limit on freeways or highways is 110 Kph. For loaded trucks with above 12 tons of goods, the speed should not exceed 60 Kph. Note that you should always stay alert when driving on Togo's roads because many locals take advantage of the lenient road rules and violate traffic rules.
The locals' driving standards in Togo are generally poor, so you have to be ready at all times. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the considerably fundamental steps in ensuring that you lessen the risk of fatal injuries in case of a road accident.
Most of the time, the abrupt change in the vehicle's speed is the leading cause of risky injuries. Seatbelts can extend the time it takes for you to slow down during a crash. It protects your head and spinal cord because these two are vulnerable areas. This injury-prevention device is critical for your safety so ensure that you buckle up before you venture to your destination.
Unlike other countries, the enforcement of seatbelt law in Togo is not that strict. It is one of the countries with the lowest compliance percentage of 40% regarding road safety laws, including seat belts. However, wearing your seatbelt is still a must to avoid fatal injuries and prevent trouble with the local authorities. There are no child-restraint laws in Togo, so you can observe children riding in the car not fastened in a car seat.
Roundabouts in Togo are not a familiar concept for local drivers, but as a tourist, you should know what to do when entering the roundabout. It is one of the facets of driving that you must learn to ensure a safe ride. You can typically find roundabouts in the capital city of Lomé. You must slow down when you are approaching a roundabout.
Waiting for a decent opening is advised, and you must always enter with caution. Note that the traffic flows continuously in roundabouts, so take a good look at all angles before entering.
Traffic Road Signs
Even though you are in a foreign country, it is a good thing that most of the road signs in Togo are parallel to those of other countries. Togo has five categories of road signs: warning signs, information signs, signs giving orders, direction signs, and road works signs. You may be unfamiliar with occasional differences in Togo's road signs, so make sure to learn them and drive safely.
Warning road signs in Togo are the ones that give drivers a heads-up about the possible danger ahead. Due to some roads' poor condition, it is best to look out for warning signs when driving in Togo. The common warning signs in Togo may include:
- Road narrows ahead sign
- Road curves ahead sign
- Poor road surface ahead sign
- Two-way traffic ahead
- Road bends sign
- Slippery road surface sign
- Give way to all traffic sign
Information road signs in Togo are mostly rectangular and state the general information about the road they are using and the road ahead. The common information signs in Togo may include:
- Begin of parking zone sign
- End of a lane sign
- Parking permitted sign
- End of the expressway sign
- End of motorway sign
Signs giving orders in Togo are the ones that tell drivers what they should or should not do. If the message is inside a circle, it means that it is prohibitive. Meanwhile, if the message is inside a blue circle, it is a positive instruction. The common signs giving orders in Togo may include:
- Pass on right only sign
- Stop sign
- Give way sign
- No overtaking sign
- Maximum speed sign
- Minimum speed sign
- No entry sign
In Togo, direction road signs are rectangular signs that help drivers find their way and reach their destinations. You can easily distinguish these signs because if it is for freeways, it has a blue background. For primary routes, it is green, and for non-primary and local routes, it has black borders. The common direction road sign in Togo may include:
- Route confirmatory sign
- Junction number signs
- Tourist attraction sign
- Picnic site sign
- Direction to car park sign
Road work signs in Togo are evident in many roads of the country because they are still developing most of their roads. It is helpful to follow these signs to avoid getting into heavy traffic and disrupting your schedule for the day. The common road work sign in Togo may include:
- Temporary hazard at road works sign
- Temporary lane closure sign
- No entry sign
- One way traffic sign
- Uncontrolled crossroad ahead
Right of Way
Since many of the local drivers in Togo have poor habits when driving, you have to be aware of the give way rules to avoid arguments. In Togo, any vehicle that is already in the intersection has the right of way. Besides that, you must give way to the driver on your right side when you come upon a stop sign. Note that, when you are at intersections and crosswalks, pedestrians are the ones that have the right of way.
Legal Driving Age
The legal driving age to drive a vehicle varies depending on what country you are in. Unlike the majority of the world, the legal driving age in Togo is 16 years old. However, if you are a tourist availing of a car rental, you must be 21 years old or above. However, drivers between 21 and 24 years old are subject to additional local fees or a young driver's surcharge.
If the one driving is 25 years old or above, they can book Premium, Specialty, SUV, Minivan and Van, and other vehicle categories. If the ones renting the car are 21 to 24 years old, there will be a restriction on the type of vehicle you will be allowed to rent.
Laws on Overtaking
Overtaking is very dangerous, especially if you are driving in Togo. The cities' major roads are paved but still in poor condition, while minor roads are prone to flooding. Many reckless drivers in the country do not obey traffic laws, so you have to be careful when you plan to overtake while driving. Note that most of the traffic signals in the country do not function properly. It is your responsibility to signal to other drivers when you overtake.
You have to be alert at all times because there are drivers that may run red lights or stop signs. Some may also drive in the wrong direction on one-way roads, so it can be challenging to keep up with their habits. Ensure that you have ample space where you can overtake. Slow down when there is a vehicle overtaking you. Look out for signals from other vehicles to avoid accidents and arguments on the road.
When you drive in Togo, you should know that the traffic moves on the road's right-hand side. If you are used to maneuvering on the left side, this can be intimidating at first. However, with time and training, you will get used to it. If you are not that confident to drive on the right side, you can attend short driving lessons in the country. Remember that you must be on the right side of the road, especially if you are pulling out of an intersection.
Driving Etiquette in Togo
When driving on the roads of a foreign country, rudeness can compromise your safety in more ways than one. Besides having a long thread of patience and practicing defensive driving, you have to know Togo's driving etiquette. Safety is your number one priority. However, if you don't want to get into conflicts with other drivers and local authorities, you must know how to prevent them.
Car breakdowns are inevitable, especially if you're in the car and the roads are not in good condition. Well-known car rental companies in Togo are regularly checked, but it does not mean that you can avoid car breakdowns at all times. If your auto breaks down, make sure to pull over as far away from the traffic. Togo's narrow and unpaved roads can be a hassle, so you may also ask for assistance to move your car from the road.
You have to notify other people on the road of your situation, so you must put on your reflective warning triangle and hazard lights. Note that most of the country's traffic signals do not properly function, so you have to take extra precautions even when it is daytime. If you can't handle the situation, you can ask for the assistance of a car rental company or a towing service company. Do not attempt to fix your car, especially if you are unsure how extensive the damage is.
When a local authority asks you to pull over, you have to see if they are in proper uniform before talking to them. Sometimes, they conduct random checkpoints but do not worry because it is just a simple checkpoint if you did not violate any driving rule. Be prepared and always bring your passport, valid driving license, insurance documents, and international driver's permit. This is to ensure that you have valid proof of identification and license when driving.
There are a few cases of police officers asking for bribes at roadblocks. You might be a victim of these scams, especially if they know that you are a tourist. You can ask to see their badge of proof of identification but remember to talk to them politely. However, if they look suspicious and they are not in uniform, you can ignore them to avoid trouble.
Asking for Directions
The people of Togo are known to be warm and friendly to visitors, so asking for directions is not as hard as you think it would be. Driving in Togo and speaking English without an idea that only a little of the population can speak and understand English can be a problem. You have to ready your online translator when you ask locals for driving directions. It is also advised to make use of a navigation app when driving in Togo.
Since French is Togo's official language, you can learn some of the simple greetings. You can greet them by saying 'bonjour' (hello) and say 'merci' (thank you) to thank them. Other French greetings you should know are: 'bonne nuit' (good night), 'au revoir' (goodbye), 'comment allez-vous' (how are you?), and 'enchante' (pleased to meet you). Talk in a calm and friendly manner when you ask so that they will know that you appreciate their help.
Local authorities in Togo may conduct random checkpoints both in the urban and rural areas. It may include breath testing and checking driver's documents since unlicensed driving is one of the most violated road rules. When you approach a checkpoint, you can pull over slowly but make sure that your doors are locked. If a uniformed police officer approaches your car, you can roll down your windows a bit to have clear communication with them
There are a few cases of police officers asking for bribes at checkpoints. Do not raise an argument but make sure to decline them politely. If they say that you violated a road law, it is better to ask for a ticket and pay at a police station rather than paying upfront. This is to make sure that what you are paying for is legal and not a scam.
Aside from understanding Togo's road situations, it is also vital to know the preventive measures when traveling to Togo. Visiting a foreign country has its risks, so make sure to be aware of what to avoid. Read below to get some tips when traveling to Togo.
Is Togo dangerous?
There is political unrest in Togo, and sometimes there are protests from different oppositions and supporters of the government. These protests can lead to riots, so make sure to avoid going to places with large public gatherings to avoid getting hurt. Theft and pickpocketing are also common in Lomé's streets and markets, so when you are going out, leave any expensive belongings that may attract pickpockets.
There can be petty crimes such as pickpocketing on rural roads, so you have to be alert when visiting the country. Avoid traveling alone, especially at night, because there are only a few street lights on the streets. All these can be avoided if you stay alert and observant of your surroundings.
Driving Conditions in Togo
Besides being aware of Togo's driving rules and etiquette, it is also paramount to know the country's driving conditions and situations. The driving conditions in Togo may vary from other urban countries. When you are driving in Togo's airport, you will get a hint of what to expect in the country. Learning and understanding these things will mentally prepare you for the unexpected circumstances you may encounter on the road
Drunk-driving and overspeeding are the leading contributors to road accidents in Togo. According to Road Traffic Accident Deaths data presented by the World Health Organization in 2018, Togo recorded 2,510 deaths. Road traffic accidents are the 6th major cause of death in the country, with a 4.35% death rate. It ranks 5th globally with the highest death rate of road accidents due to its 46.62 death rate per 100,000.
Last November 2020, the Togolese government released a long-term project to reduce road accidents in the country. They will dedicate XOF 3.14 billion (USD 5,856,052.09) to resolve the road problems for more than two years. It mainly concerns the road safety policy in the country, which consists of six major axes. These are the management, infrastructure, vehicle quality, users, and rescue. They aim to strengthen their control and monitoring mechanisms in Togo's roads.
If you are driving in Togo's airport, you can commonly spot Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Auris, Volkswagen Golf, and others. These types of cars are well-suited for a savanna adventure. It is convenient to use compact cars when driving in urban areas of Togo since some of the roads there are already in good condition. However, if you are driving outside the cities of Togo, SUVs or full-size cars is the wiser choice.
In Lomé and other urban areas in Togo, public transportation is still limited to taxis, trains, and buses. You can quickly identify car taxis because they have yellow license plates and registration numbers. If you want to arrive early at your destination, you can hire motor taxis because they can zip through the traffic quickly.
Note that haggling for the lowest price for the fare is normal, so try your best to negotiate for the cost to save more. Togo has a railroad network, but the passenger train services are not yet in operation. When you are tired of driving in Togo, you can take a bus that travels south to north from Lomé to Cinkasse. However, you'll realize that driving in Togo is easier than riding the bus because there is only one available in the area.
Toll roads in Togo are spread on the main North-South highway, but sometimes you can also find them on rural roads. The toll rate usually ranges around XOF 300 (USD 0.56). The newly constructed sections of the major highways are in good condition, so it is worth paying for. For over 15 years, the toll fees in Togo have not changed. However, in 2021, the state plans to continue road developments, so the fee might be higher.
Togo has a total of 7,500 kilometers of roads, and one-third of it is well-paved. The main road is the Trans-West African Coastal Highway which connects Togo to Benin and Nigeria to the east, and Ghana and Ivory Coast to the West. Even if the major towns have paved roads, some of them are still in poor condition. The minor roads in the country are still unpaved and are prone to flooding.
Most of the country's traffic signals do not function, so you have to be careful even when driving in the daytime. It is advised not to drive at nighttime because there might be livestock and pedestrians in the road that you may overlook. The minor and major roads in Lomé to Cotonou coastal highway are considerably in good condition. However, you should be aware that when you reach the borders of Benin at Hilakondji, the roads may have badly deteriorated.
There are many reckless drivers in Togo because their road rules are not enforced strictly. Overspeeding is one of the prominent causes of road accidents in the country since the speed limits are not enforced strictly even in the cities of the country. As a visitor in the country, you should avoid racing with other drivers even if there are no speed limits indicated on the road. Unlike other countries, the enforcement of seatbelt law in Togo is also a problem
The country is one of the countries with the lowest compliance percentage of 40% regarding road safety laws, including seat belt wearing. You have to be extra attentive at all times because there are drivers that may run red lights or stop signs. Some may also drive in the wrong direction on one-way roads, so it can be challenging to keep up with their habits. Converse with the other drivers on the road through signals to avoid accidents and arguments.
Even if the road conditions in Togo are considerably poor, the country is still worth visiting. Read below to learn why it is nice to visit Togo and what they are famous for.
Is Togo a Nice Country?
Togo is one of the undiscovered havens in West Africa. The exotic and unique culture in the country is what draws tourists from all parts of the world. The locals are charming and friendly, so you will have a warm welcome when you visit the country. You can find gorgeous palm-lined shores and attractive hilltop villages.
Do not miss out on the adventures that Togo has to offer. It is a nice place to be in, especially if you are looking for a habitat where you can breathe in the magnificence of nature and exhale the daily stress of a busy life.
What Is Togo Famous for?
Although Togo is one of the tiniest countries in Africa, you can't deny the fact that it has so much to offer. One of their best assets is the valuable phosphate deposits and bountiful agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa bean, and groundnuts. It generates more than 30% of the country's earnings in its export sector. Besides that, you can also find pristine and white sand beaches all over the country.
Things to Do in Togo
Besides the fun of a road trip adventure in Togo, you might want to consider some excellent opportunities to try in the country even if you are a tourist. Once you have the important documents they require, you can search for job opportunities and long-term employment in Togo. If you know the employment and residence requirements, you can stay in Togo without worries for a longer time. Check out the things that you can try out in Togo.
Drive as a Tourist
Tourists with a valid local driver's license and an international driving permit will be allowed to drive in Togo for six months. These documents must be renewed every year. Remember that even if your IDP contains your name and other driver information, you can't use it as a substitute for your local driving license. If you are driving in Togo, you must have your valid driving license with you so that you will not be charged with unlicensed driving.
On our website, you will see an application form. After completing it, it will be immediately processed. After a few minutes, you can pay and have your international driver's permit mailed to you if approved. Always bring your international driver's permit with you when driving in Togo so that you enjoy your road trip without worries and hassle. You still need to take a driving test when you reach the country. When driving in Togo, knowing the zip codes is helpful.
Work as a Driver
Even if you are a foreign wanderer, you can try finding stable employment in Togo. When driving in Togo, knowing the zip codes is useful, especially if you want to work as a driver. To apply for possible positions as a driver, you have to apply for a working visa. You can get one at Togo's ports of entry or through the embassy or consulate of the country where you are residing.
Your working visa can be renewed for up to 90 days. The employer will also have to obtain a working permit for the worker to be authorized to work for the company. Sometimes, employers will also ask for an immigration visa, especially for long-term employment.
There are several job vacancies for the courier, delivery, and transport drivers in Togo. The average monthly salary of these drivers in Togo is about XOF 141,000 to XOF 643,000 (USD 262.96 to USD 1199.19). Your responsibility will include delivering goods and products across the country. There are also similar jobs with average monthly salaries such as:
- Bus driver: XOF 165,000 (USD 307.72)
- Truck driver: XOF 192,000 (USD 358.08)
- Chauffeur: XOF 199,000 (USD 371.13)
- Courier Coordinator: XOF 267,000 (USD 497.95)
Work as a Travel Guide
The Togolese government prioritizes hiring local travel guides, so finding a job vacancy in this line of work can be challenging. However, many companies in the country are seeing the advantage of hiring international employees, so you might find various available jobs in Togo.
Apply for an employment visa before you enter the country. You must pass a copy of your passport that is valid for at least six months, copies of the employee's passport pages, visa application form, two passport size photos, proof of a return flight, travel insurance, and yellow fever certificate.
There are many private English schools in Lomé that are looking for qualified TEFL teachers. Before you can apply for the position, you will have to obtain a TEFL or TESOL certificate before you arrive in the country. If you want to try volunteering, you can also check out NGO job opportunities in the country, which mainly concerns medical care, orphanage, and social policy officers.
Apply for Residency
The Togo Embassy or consulate closest to you is where you can apply for Togo residency. However, if you are already in Togo, you can visit the Palace of Justice to get your Certificate of Residence. You will need a Certificate of Residence in Togo when you renew your driving license or in connection with the country's tax and social security contributions.
These things are important, especially if you plan to reside in the country for a long time. You can visit the Embassy of Togo's website to see the list of required documents and the criteria to acquire citizenship in the country.
Other Things to Do
Even if Togo is a narrow strip of land compared to larger countries, many tourists frequently visit it to witness its hidden beauty. Although most of its road networks still need a lot of work and development, there are various places to explore and experience and adventure. Listed below are the other things that you might find interesting when you plan to visit Togo
How Do You Get to Togo?
If you plan to visit the country, Togo's main airline service is Air France, located in Paris. You can also try flying from Brussels through Brussel Airlines. Royal Air Maroc from Casablanca offers connecting flights from the United Kingdom. If you are hailing from London, the flight can last for 10 hours. However, if you are from New York, it can last up to 19 hours. You can also enter the country's coastal ports through ferries from Benin and Ghana.
What Kind of Food Do They Eat in Togo?
Togo has a prominent agricultural sector, so the staple food in Togolese households is mostly composed of corn, rice, millet, cassava, yam, and beans. Corn or maize is the most commonly served food in the homes of Togo. Locals also enjoy their abundant fish produce. Togolese cuisines are influenced by African, French, and German cuisines.
You can find a variety of food stands in the country that offers groundnuts, omelets, brochettes, corn-on-the-cob, and cooked prawns. German beer is the most popular beverage for locals. However, those who can't afford it are used to homemade palm and bamboo wine.
What Is the Religion in Togo?
Many people think that Togo is a Muslim country. However, based on statistics, 43.7 % of the Togolese population is Christian. They are mostly composed of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and independent Christian communities. A Togolese archbishop heads the Roman Catholic Church in the country.
Approximately 35.6% of the people are keeping faith in their traditional faiths because most of them are still part of ethnic groups. Only 14% of the country practice Islam, while some locals have unaffiliated religions.
The Top Destinations in Togo
Topographically hidden among Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin is the thin sliver of land named Togo. However, its size has never been an issue for tourists because it is home to many charming and extraordinary tourist destinations. With palm-lined beaches, vast lagoons, hilltop villages, scenic spots, and diverse culture, you will not run out of adventure when you visit Togo.
Kpalime is a town nestled beneath the Plateaux Region. You will be transported to a different side of Togo even though this town is only 120 kilometers from Lomé. It is filled with German colonial relics and a European-style church spire. With its backcountry ambiance and numerous bazaars, tourists can spend a great time scouring the place. It is close to Ghana's border, so it is a bustling place filled with lively markets.
- From Lome – Tokoin Airport, head southwest
- Turn right after 400 meters.
- When you arrive at the roundabout, go to the 2nd exit onto Rue 330 HDN.
- At the roundabout, go to the 2nd exit onto Rue 251 HDN.
- Once you reach the roundabout, proceed straight to stay on Rue 251 HDN.
- Turn right after 1.1 kilometers.
- At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit.
- Exit the roundabout after 700 meters.
- Take a left turn after 26 kilometers.
- Turn right after 92 kilometers.
- Swerve to the left after 350 meters.
- Turn left after 70 meters. You can reach Kpalime after approximately 2 hours.
Things to Do
You can best visit this Kpalime between November and February because these are the months that are not too hot. As you reach the place, coffee and cocoa plantations will surround you. This is one of the busiest places in Togo. Make sure to try out these activities in Kpalime.
- Experience nature trips in Kpalime.
Coffee and cocoa plantations are all around the town of Kpalime. It is also one of Togo's best places where you can stay in tune with the beauty of nature because there are many hiking trails and cascading waterfalls. Mount Agou, which is the highest mountain in the country, is located here. You can also visit Tomegbe and Kpoeta to witness gushing waterfalls.
- Visit unique bazaars.
The bustling town of Kpalime is filled with lively markets. You can find much remarkable stuff in the area, such as Voodoo wood carvings, creative ceramic creations, interesting religious trinkets, and agricultural products such as coffee beans, cacao, and tropical fruits.
- Taste traditional African food.
After scouring the tourist destinations in Kpalime, have a bite of traditional African food in the town's intimate spots. There are two recommended restaurants in the area. If you are looking for a serene spot that offers European and African food, visit Le Fermier. However, if you are craving pasta or other French cuisines, try out Chez Lazare.
UNESCO declared Koutammakou as a World Heritage Site in 2004. It is nestled in the northern part of Togo. Do not be confused because it is sometimes listed as Tamberma Valley but popularly dubbed as the Land of Battammariba. This place is at its best during the dry season of November to April.
- From Niamtougou Airport, head east toward N1.
- Turn left onto N1 after 110 kilometers.
- At the roundabout, proceed straight to stay on N1.
- Turn right after 350 meters.
- Make a slight left after 33 kilometers.
- Swerve to the left after 2 kilometers. You can reach Koutammakou in about 2 hours and 41 minutes.
Things to Do
The Land of Batammariba is filled with various rustic villages. Many locals in the area still live in traditional mud houses composed of adobe walls and thatched roofs. Its rich historical value is what lures tourists in. Discover more about the things you can do in Koutammakou.
- Have a glimpse of Togo's history.
The area holds a great deal of Togo's culture and traditions. It is where the native tribal folks fled to avoid capture during the grim years of the Slave Coast. The mud-tower houses or 'takientas' are still around the area, and the locals still inhabit several of those.
- Enjoy the breathtaking views.
Although the place is known for its sad history, it is also a place where you can find solace and panoramic views. You can enjoy and bask in the mesmerizing views of mountain-topped horizons, mud-cracked bushlands, cultural landscapes, and rolling hills of greenery.
- Visit historical places.
Koutammakou is home to many interesting sites that hold Togo's history. There are ceremonial spaces, sacred rocks, and initiation sites where you can explore and take pictures.
If you travel to Togo, the first place you should explore is the capital city, Lomé. It is a throbbing town that German and Europeans found in the 1800s. Be at the heart of it all and experience the perfect mix of traditional and modern touches of the country in Lomé. Tourists love the town's gorgeous sand beaches and vibrant markets. You can visit Lomé any time but avoid coming from May to October if you don't want to experience the rainy season.
- From Lome – Tokoin Airport, head southwest
- Turn right after 400 meters.
- When you arrive at the roundabout, go to the 3rd exit onto Boulevard de la Paix.
- At the roundabout, proceed straight to stay on Avenue de la Paix.
- Once you are at the roundabout, go to the 3rd exit onto N1.
- Exit the roundabout onto N1.
- Turn left onto Ave Du 24 Janvier.
- Make a right turn onto N1 after 600 meters.
- Turn right onto Rue Du Grand after 400 meters. You can reach Lome in about 16
Things to Do
Lomé is the center of all adventure and destinations in Togo. There are many fun things to try. Experience the lively beat of African music and the hum of the busy city. Do not miss out on exploring Lomé, and try out this list of things to do.
- Scour the endless markets of Lomé.
Lomé is the place to go if you are looking for a memento or souvenirs for loved ones. Nestled in the busy town are rows and rows of vibrant markets. The most famous market in Lomé is Grand Marche. There are many unique things such as local crafts, masks, jewelry, pots, voodoo items, talismans, and more. You can also shop for agricultural products such as palm and cocoa products.
- Visit well-known museums.
If you want to comprehend Togo's rich history, you can visit museums around Lomé. The Congressional Palace is where you can find the national museum that offers a glimpse of Togo's history through relics such as masks, musical instruments, pottery, woodcrafts, and more. You can also visit the central Independence Monument.
- Swim on Lomé's golden beaches.
Lomé is home to many white-sand beaches, so tourists frequently visit this place to cool down, especially during the dry season. Note that even when the town is filled with many beaches, the seafronts are still under-developed. Check with your guides to see where it is safe to swim because Togo's beaches are known for their strong currents.
This town is nestled in the southern part of Togo. True to its name, it is once named Togo. However, in 1884, it changed into Togoville when the town's chief, Mlapa III, signed a treaty with Gustav Nachtigal. It is famous for its cathedrals and shrines. You can visit Togoville all year round.
- From Lome – Tokoin International Airport, head southwest
- Turn right after 400 meters.
- At the roundabout, go to the 2nd exit onto Rue 330 HDN.
- When you arrive at the roundabout, go to the 2nd exit onto rue 251 HDN.
- Once you are at the roundabout, proceed straight to stay on Rue 251 HDN.
- Turn right onto Jean-Paul 2/N34.
- Make a right turn after 4.6 kilometers.
- Turn left after 50 meters.
- Swerve to the right after 1.6 kilometers.
- Turn right after 50 meters.
- Make a right turn after 10 kilometers.
- Turn left after 80 meters. After about 1 hour and 16 minutes, you can reach Togoville.
Things to Do
You should include Togoville in your itinerary once you travel to Togo. Explore its town and discover why it is popular for many tourists. Here are the things you can do in Togoville.
- Discover the mystic town of Togoville.
Togoville is one of the towns in Togo that holds mystical traditions and history. Opposite the town, you can find the sacred forest of Tatsiveglo, where the native voodoo priests buried the founding fetishes of the Ewe natives before settling in Togoville. It is best to come with a local guide to inform you of the town's interesting stories.
- Witness traditional ceremonies.
Since a large fraction of the population has deep roots in ethnic tribes, Togoville is still popular for its mysticism. You can witness fetishes and ceremonies of purification and thanksgiving throughout the year in Togoville. There are still voodoo priests present in the town, so do not be surprised with people dressed in ceremonial clothes.
- Visit cathedrals and shrines.
Contrary to the rich roots of ethnic tribes in Togoville, this town is also a sacred place for Christians. The popular story in Togoville is the apparition of the Virgin Mary on the town's lake in 1973. There is a large cathedral in the town built in 1910 to commemorate the holy martyrs of Uganda. You can also find the landing stage built in 1985 for the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Keran National Park
The vast forests situated along the gushing courses of the Kamongou River are now established in the Keran National Park. It has expanded throughout the years. Now, the national park is home to rich and diverse environments such as swamplands and rocky hills. You can best visit this Keran National Park between August and September because these are the months that are not too humid for outdoor adventure.
- From Niamtougou Airport, head east toward N1.
- Turn left onto N1. You can reach Keran National Park in about 1 hour and 16 minutes.
Things to Do
If you are a nature and animal aficionado, Keran National Park will be a haven for you. Withdraw from the usual hustle and bustle of modern existence and venture to this beautiful savanna adventure. Here are some things to do in Keran National Park.
- Have an authentic safari experience.
You can experience the authentic wilderness without the usual crowds of tourists in this national park as it is the home for various mammals such as hippos, African elephants, lions, antelopes, monkeys, and buffaloes. You can enjoy the park for yourself because this park is more accessible from Ghana.
- Enjoy sightseeing panoramic sceneries.
Keran National Parks is a sanctuary for many wild animals and a peaceful place where you can bask in many beautiful types of scenery. You can find numerous grasslands, hilltops, savanna woodlands, swamps, shrubs, and giant trees.
- Explore Koumongu River
Since the park is closely located near the Koumongou River and the coast, you can also witness fishermen with their bountiful catch. It may include mackerels, bass, seabreams, red snappers, triggerfish, rays, and more.
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