The Grand Tour of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Benin

The Grand Tour of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Benin, 28 Jan–13 Feb 2025

Many travellers to West Africa stay only on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea - Kameli Travel does not do this, but also wants to show you the almost untouched gems of the interior of the continent in four stunning countries! Our trip will be ethnographic, with an focus on the many different peoples and cultures of the countries.

Our grand tour starts in Burkina Faso, a French-speaking landlocked country that is home to perhaps the friendliest people in West Africa and the best-named capital city in the world, Ouagadougou!

Ghana is in many ways the opposite of the former, being English-speaking and one of the strongest economies in West Africa. The difference is evident in architecture, food culture and so on.

Togo and Benin - two neighbours on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. These two peaceful French-speaking countries are often lumped together and visited on the same trip. The distances are comfortably short and the roads are in pretty good condition. The countries are very similar in nature and culture. Both countries have voodoo, long sandy beaches and tropical nature.

With us you will experience the countries with a knowledgeable and reliable guide and tour leader in a small group of 6-10 people. Safely, of course.

Day 1 – 28.1.2025

Arrival in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, whose name tastes particularly good in the mouths of many foreigners. Ouagadougou is located in central Burkina Faso and has a population of around 2.5 million. We are staying overnight in Ouagadougou.

Due to flight schedules, you may have to arrive in Ouagadougou as early as 27 January.

Day 2 – 29.1.2025

Today we drive just under an hour south-west from Ouagadougou to the village of Bazoulé and the nearby lake, where we see sacred crocodiles. After the visit, we will return to Ouagadougou and explore this laid-back city with a city tour. We are staying overnight in Ouagadougou.

Day 3 – 30.1.2025

In the morning, we drive to the southern border of Burkina Faso to Tiébélé, a three to four hour drive. In Tiébélé we are on the land of the Kassena people. The Kassenas are still largely animists, as are many of the people of Tiébélé. The village has been called the most beautiful in Burkina Faso for the tradition of painting houses with colourful decorative symbols. Each symbol has its own meaning and painting is the work of women. The houses are particularly beautiful in the courtyard of the local royal family, where we will be guided by our Kassena guide. We will stay overnight in Tiébéle.

Day 4 – 31.1.2025

We cross the border from Burkina Faso into Ghana, where we drive to Bolgatanga and on to the nearby granite hills of Tongo and the ancient clay village of Tengzug. The village is inhabited by members of the Tallensi tribe, a small ethnic group. Most of the Tallensi are animists, who practice animal sacrifice. We see the shrines of the Tallensi in the village. We drive to Tamale, Ghana's most Islamic city, where we stay overnight. The day's driving time is about five hours.

Days 5-6 – 1.-2.2.2025

We will travel to Kumasi for seven hours, after which we will visit the Kukuo pottery village just outside the centre of Kumasi. Kumasi is one of Ghana's largest cities and the heartland of the Ashanti people. The people still had their own independent kingdom in the 1700s. Today, the king's role is ceremonial, but he is highly respected. We attend the Akwasidae festival, where the Ashanti people remember and honour their ancestors. At the same time, the King receives his dignitaries. The dates of African festivals are subject to change at short notice, so we cannot accept responsibility for any postponement of an event and therefore its non-attendance. In Kumasi, we will also visit Kejetia Market, the largest market in West Africa. We stay in Kumasi for two nights.

Day 7 – 3.2.2025

From Kumasi, the journey continues four hours to the Cape Coast, where we explore a colonial fort originally built in the 17th century. The castle was built by the Swedes and was originally called Carolusborg. Elmina Castle, on the other hand, is the oldest of Ghana's forts and dates back to the 1480s. The fortress has been exploited in the gold and slave trade. Today, the forts are on UNESCO's World Heritage List. We stay overnight in Cape Coast.

Day 8 – 4.2.2025

We travel about three hours to Ghana's capital Accra, a bustling metropolis of around two million people on the Gulf of Guinea. We will take a city tour and those who wish can also experience the city's nightlife. Accommodation in Accra.

Day 9 – 5.2.2025

Today we will make the approximately six-hour journey to the historic village of Togoville in Togo. In 1884, a local tribal chief signed a treaty with the German Gustav Nachtigal, which led to Togo becoming a German colony. The village has also given its name to the whole country. We visit the village's voodoo shrine and the cathedral, completed in 1910. We stay overnight in Togoville.

Day 10 – 6.2.2025

We drive a short distance to Lomé, the capital of Togo, home to around 1.3 million people on the Gulf of Guinea. We visit the Akodessewa fetish market selling ritual offerings of the voodoo religion (also known as vodun), where we learn about the religion itself, but also see a variety of dead animals, from crocodiles to monkeys and dogs. Dead animals, or fetishes, are used in the religion's rituals.

After the fetish market tour, we drive about three hours to the hilltop town of Atakpamé, Togo's cocoa and coffee production centre and the country's fifth largest city. The town's history dates back to the 19th century, when the Yoruba and Ewe arrived to settle the area. Later, the town served as a refuge from invasions by the Kingdom of Dahomey. We get to see a stilt dance performance called Tchébé. We will also visit the nearby village of Kamina, where the ruins of a German colonial military base are located. Kamina linked Togo to Berlin and on to the German navy in the South Atlantic. We will stay overnight in Atakpamé.

Day 11 – 7.2.2025

We drive about six hours to Koutammakou, the land of the Batammaribas. The Betammaribas are the same Somba tribe living on the Benin side and their buildings are similar two or more storey mud structures built with defence in mind. The buildings are known as 'tamberma'. We learn about their construction and meet the locals. With their permission, we may also gain access to a few local homes. Koutammakou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will overnight in Koutammakou.

Day 12 – 8.2.2025

In the morning we cross the border into Benin and arrive in the small village of Boukoumbé. It is about a 15 km drive from Koutammakou. Benin is mostly flat land, but there is a low mountain range in the north, the Atakora Mountains, whose highest peak reaches 658 metres above sea level. Boukoumbé lives from agriculture and is located close to the mountain range. The area is known for its two-storey earthen buildings, known as Somba Tata, which resemble a medieval fortress. We will visit the village and its villagers, who belong to the Somba tribe. We drive just under an hour to the town of Natitingou, where we stay overnight.

Day 13 – 9.2.2025

The journey continues today towards the south. We start by driving for about an hour to the small village of Tanéka Koko, a collection of beautiful circular clay houses. We meet the spiritual leader of the village, who is also a priest of the local vodun religion. After being crowned leader, the priest does not wear clothes until he dies. We will stay overnight in Tanéka Koko or in nearby Tanéka Beri.

Next, we continue to the town of Dassa-Zoumé. Driving time is about four hours. Dassa-Zoumé, a town of 41 hills, is like the rest of Africa very multicultural and there are many different tribes in the area. What makes the town special is that it is one of the centres of the Idaasha people. The Idaasha number around 200 000 in total and are a Yoruba tribe that migrated hundreds of years ago from what is now Nigeria to what is now central Benin. The Idaasha have their own language, which is considered a Yoruba dialect. For example, Dassa-Zoumé is Igbo Idaasha in the Idaasha language. We have also arrived in the Kingdom of Dassa, where the ceremonial power is held by King Egba Kotan II. We will stay overnight in Dassa-Zoumé.

Day 14 – 10.2.2025

Today we drive to the town of Abomey. Abomey was the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey and Dahomey was one of the most powerful kingdoms in West Africa and covered the southern part of present-day Benin. Between 1625 and 1900, Dahomey was ruled by a total of 12 kings. Then France subjugated the Kingdom of Dahomey and stripped the king of political power. We will explore the many royal castles of Abomey, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will also visit the historical museum.

From Abomey we continue to Porto Novo, the capital of Benin. The daily driving time is about 4.5 hours. Porto-Novo is home to a community of Afro-Brazilians, born out of a mixture of slaves returning from Brazil to their ancestral lands in West Africa and Portuguese slave traders. The architecture of the city is reminiscent of Brazil. We will stay overnight in the tranquil Porto-Novo.

Day 15 – 11.2.2025

From Porto Novo, we travel first to Ouidah, a town known for its slave trade. We start our exploration of the city with a walking tour of the historic centre. We will see the Python Temple, the city's beautiful cathedral and the Brazilian houses. We walk to the sacred forest of Kpassé, with centuries-old trees and a temple of the Vodun religion. A visit to Ouidah is not complete without exploring the "slave road", the route along which slaves travelled on their way to the slave ships waiting on the Atlantic shore. The ships took the slaves out of Africa, and these people never saw their homelands again. From Ouidah, we continue to the fishing village of Grand-Popo, where we stay overnight. The day's driving time is approximately two to three hours.

Day 16 – 12.2.2025

The day starts in the fishing village of Grand-Popo, where we visit Villa Karo, a Finno-West African cultural centre on a long stretch of sandy beach. In the evening we drive to and stay in Cotonou. The day's driving time is approximately 1.5 hours.

Day 17 – 13.2.2025

In the morning, we drive about 40 minutes to the small town of Abomey-Calavi, north of Cotonou. We board a wooden boat known as a pirogue at the town's port, which will take us to the village of Ganvié in the middle of the lake. Ganvié is built on stilts and is navigated by boat. The people originally moved to the middle of the lake about 400 years ago to escape slave traders who would not venture onto the lake.

We return to Cotonou, the business hub of Benin and home to some 700 000 Beninese. Although the metropolitan area is home to as many as two million people. But Cotonou is not the capital: it is the smaller city of Porto-Novo, a short distance to the east.

We explore Cotonou with a morning city tour, during which we see various monuments, the red and white catholic cathedral and Dantokpa market, known as the largest open-air market in West Africa. In the evening, we will transfer you to the airport for your journey home.

General information about the tour

Price: 3499 € (incl. booking fee 370 € + office fee 25 €)

The price of the trip includes:

  • All accommodation in 3-star hotels (extra charge for a single room; 495€)
  • All transfers (including airport transfers)
  • All entrance fees
  • English- and Finnish-speaking tour leader
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Meals and bottled water
  • Visa invitation letter

Not included in the price:

  • Kansainväliset lennot (jotka saat kauttamme, hinta-arvio alla)
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and anti-malaria medication
  • Personal expenses, such as souvenirs and tips


The trip does not include visas for Burkina Faso (approx. €50), Togo (approx. €40) and Benin (approx. €50), which are applied for as e-visas before the trip. The Ghanaian visa can be obtained from the Ghanaian Embassy in Ouagadougou (approx. €50). The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.

Example flights

The price does not include international flights, but here is an example of a Turkish Airlines economy class flight from X on the following schedule:

Outbound flights 27 January 2025

  • From your departure city – Istanbul
  • Istanbul – Ouagadougou, at 18:20-21:55

Return flights 14 February 2025

  • Cotonou – Istanbul, at 04:15-12:50
  • Istanbul – to your final destination

Price around 700-1200 € / person (incl. checked bag)

* Changes to flight schedules and routing are possible.

Other information

Due to the specific nature of the trip, we will follow special travel terms and conditions and the cancellation conditions contained therein (Cancellation terms and conditions A). The minimum number of participants is 6. If there are fewer passengers, the trip will be led by an English-speaking local guide, but if this is not suitable for the client, they will have the option to cancel the trip and receive a full refund. If there are 2 or less people on the trip, there will be an extra charge of €1300 per person for the total price.