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Mud Palaces and Voodoo Ceremonies - a Tour to Burkina Faso - Benin -Togo

Mud – this is what the fantastic mosques which you will encounter in Burkina Faso are made of. The colourful houses of the Kassena people in the South of Burkina Faso are built of mud, as well as the impressive fortress-like dwellings of the Somba tribe in Benin. Mud is the construction material of the legendary royal palaces of Dahomey’s notorious rulers and of the sugarloaf minarets dominating Bobo Dioulasso’s Great Mosque. You will come under the spell of West-Africa’s diverse mud-brick architecture and the red African soil of Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo will get into your blood!


mud palace of the Somba near Natitingou

Alongside with West Africa’s fascinating architecture we focus on the subcontinent’s unique people and mysterious cults and religions. We encounter a large number of different ethnic groups who preserved their traditional tribal lifestyle and customs. We meet the proud Mossi, who once founded the famous Mossi Empire, the artistically gifted Kassena in Burkina Faso, the brave Betammaribé and Tofinou in Benin, who each in their own way have worked out a strategy to escape the slave-raiders and in Togo we become acquainted with the hard-working Ewe, well-known for their yams-growing. Throughout our journey we will hear the muezzin calling people to prayer, the church bells ringing and drums beating during a voodoo ceremony or a mask dance. The secrets of West Africa are waiting to be explored!!


healer in a Taneka village





Ouagadougou Africa's film capital
Bobo Dioulasso Sudanese-style mosque and handicraft centre
Banfora Scenic rock formations, waterfalls and hippo viewing
Sindou Wonderland of rocks
Loropeni UNESCO World Heritage site
Gaoua Centre of traditional Lobi culture
Nazinga-Ranch Photo safaris in elephant sanctuary
Tiébélé Colourfully decorated houses in the land of the Kassena
Pendjari Animal Kingdom of West Africa
Natitingou Impressive mud-brick fortresses of the Somba tribe
Djougou Unique Taneka culture

Royal Palace complex of the legendary kings of Dahomey

Ganvié Africa's largest town on stilts
Ouidah The cradle of Voodoo
Grand Popo Fascinating Zangbeto-Ceremony
Togoville Togo's centre of Voodoo tradition
Lomé Fetish market and beach holidays





Day 1, Thursday, Welcome to Burkina Faso, the “Land of the Honest People”

Our tour guide will meet you at Ouagadougou International Airport. Transfer to the hotel. (15 km).

(-/-), overnight at Ouagadougou, Hotel OK Inn or similar


Day 2, Friday, Ouagadougou

After breakfast your tour guide will give you detailed information about your trip. Later in the morning we will explore Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s modern capital. We take a tour to the distinctive cathedral, to a traditional bronze workshop and to the Village Artisanal, an artisan centre on the outskirts of the city, dedicated to the skill and artistry of hundreds of local craftsmen. At Laongo Sculpture Park we discover a remarkable outdoor gallery where artists from all over the world have carved huge sculptures in the granite (90 km)

(B/D) overnight at Ouagadougou, Hotel OK Inn or similar


Day 3, Saturday, Ouagadougou - Bobo Dioulasso 

This morning we will leave Ouagadougou and its friendly people heading to Bobo Dioulasso. The road is lined with strange-looking baobabs and huge mango trees. On our way we visit the sacred crocodiles at Sabou. In the early afternoon we will reach the bustling town of Bobo, Burkina Faso's second-largest city. We will discover the town’s old Sudanese-style Grand Mosque and parts of its old city. We also wander through the captivating central market and take in the impressive building of the train station. (370 km)

(B/D), overnight at Bobo Dioulasso, Hotel Auberge


Day 4, Sunday, Bobo Dioulasso - Banfora

This morning we continue to Banfora which we reach after one and a half hours. Later in the morning we explore the stunning surroundings of this busy town set in beautiful scenery of sugar-cane fields and tree-lined hills. We explore the magnificent rock formations of the Domes de Fabédougou and the picturesque Karfiguela falls.  (100 km)

(B/D), overnight at Banfora, Hotel Cascades Palace or similar


Day 5, Monday, Banfora

Today we head to the little town of Sindou which is located at about 50 km from Banfora. The village is known for its beautiful rock formations which look like impressive rock castles when seen from a distance. Here we will spend 3 - 4 hours walking through this wonderland of rocks. In the afternoon boatmen will take us out on to the lake Tengrela where we will have the opportunity of watching hippos. (100 km)

(B/D), overnight at Banfora, Hotel Cascades Palace or similar


Day 6, Tuesday, Banfora – Loropeni – Gaoua

Heading west to Gaoua we reach the land of the Lobi and spend the day with a local guide, learning a little something about these usually reclusive people. On our way we visit the ruins of Loropeni, UNESCO World Heritage site since 2009. We also spend some time in a Lobi village getting acquainted with their behaviour and traditions and exploring their fortress-like houses. In the afternoon we will take a tour to the remarkable museum of Gaoua set up by the French anthropologist Madeleine Père. (200 km)

(B/D), overnight at Gaoua, Hotel Hala


Day 7, Wednesday, Gaoua – Nazinga Ranch

This morning we leave Gaoua heading north-east to Nazinga Ranch, which offers a great opportunity to see elephants. This small park contains 39 mammals including buffalo, different kinds of antelope, warthogs and primates such as red monkeys and baboons. The late afternoon is the best time to track the animals and take great photoshots. (330 km)

(B/D), overnight at Nazinga Ranch



Day 8, Thursday, Nazinga Ranch – Tiebele - Ouagadougou

In the early morning you have one more opportunity to see the wildlife which lives here and observe elephants. Then our drive takes us first to Tiébele, the best place to see well-preserved Kassena houses. We visit the Royal Court which contains a lot of beautifully decorated dwellings. In the afternoon we will reach Ouagadougou. (220 km)

(B/D) overnight at Ouagadougou, Hotel OK Inn or similar


Day 9, Friday, Ouagadougou – Pendjari National Park

Today we make a long drive to cross the border into Benin. On our way there will be time to visit a Gourmanche village. We will reach the Pendjari National Park in the late afternoon. (450 km)

(B/D) overnight in the National Park, Hotel Pendjari or, depending on the season, at Tanguiéta, Hotel Yakti or similar


Day 10, Saturday, Pendjari National Park

This day you will spend the whole day in the National Park. The morning and the afternoon are dedicated to game-viewing..

(B/D), overnight in the National Park, Hotel Pendjari or, depending on the season, at Tanguiéta, Hotel Yakti or similar


Day 11, Sunday, Pendjari National Park  – Half day excursion to the Somba fortresses - Natitingou

This morning we leave the Pendjari National Park heading to the Atacora mountains where we explore the land of the Somba people, beautifully set in this chain of mountains that starts in southeast Ghana and cuts through Togo and Benin. We visit a number of medieval-castle-like houses of this extraordinary tribal group. (160 km)

(B/D) overnight at Natitingou, Hotel Tata Somba or similar


Day 12, Monday, Natitingou – Abomey

Heading to Abomey we visit one of the fascinating Taneka villages embedded in a scenic area in the surroundings of Djougou. The Taneka are reclusive people, cousins of the Somba, who have kept their tribal traditions alive. We also visit one of the most powerful fetishes of West Africa, the Dankoli fetish, a few kilometres out of the town of Savalou. In the afternoon we will arrive at Abomey where His Royal Majesty King Gbêhanzin II gives us an audience. (350 km)

(B/D), overnight at Abomey, Hotel Guedevy or similar


Day 13, Tuesday, Abomey – Ganvié – Ouidah

This morning we visit the Royal Palaces of the pre-colonial kingdom of Dahomey. Today this UNESCO World Heritage site houses the Historical museum and a craft centre. From Abomey we continue to Abomey-Calavi where we take a boat ride out to the extraordinary stilt village of Ganvié which has been called – not without a good reason - “the Venice of Africa”. Towards evening we will arrive at Ouidah, the cradle of voodoo. (150 km)

(B/D), overnight at Ouidah, Hotel Jardin Bresilien or similar


Day 14, Wednsesday, Ouidah – Grand Popo

At Ouidah we will learn more about the history of slavery and the mysterious rituals of voodoo. Taking a walk along the slave route, from the slave market to the beach  where the unfortunate victims were loaded aboard the ships, we experience their last terrible trek on African soil. We also visit the amazing Python Temple dedicated to the ancient snake cult and get acquainted with the concepts of voodoo in the Sacred Forest. This afternoon we continue to Grand Popo where we will witness a spectacular Zangbeto ceremony. (50 km)

(B/D), overnight at Grand Popo, Hotel Awale Plage or similar


Day 15, Thursday, Grand-Popo

Today is left free to relax on the beach or at the swimming pool of your hotel. There is the opportunity to join an optional pirogue ride on the Mono River. The river brings us to the estuary which is called “Bouches du Roi” (the king’s mouth) where it meets the ocean.  The banks are lined with sand dunes, palm trees, patches of mangroves and little fishing villages constructed with the branches of palm trees.

(B/D), overnight at Grand Popo, Hotel Awale Plage or similar


Day 16, Friday, Grand Popo – Togoville – Lomé

Today we head west crossing into Togo. Via Aneho we reach Lac Togo where we take a pirogue ride to Togoville. We visit the town’s impressive cathedral built during the German colonial period and explore the animistic quarter where we will be met by an extraordinary voodoo priestess. Later in the afternoon we continue to Lomé, Togo’s vibrant capital. (60 km)

(B/D), overnight at Lomé, Hotel Novela Star or similar


Day 17, Saturday, Lomé – return flight to Europe

This morning we explore Togo’s capital. We visit the National Museum and the central market, the famed Grand Marché, one of West Africa’s largest markets. We also visit the amazing fetish market, where a mix of ingredients of traditional medicines and charms is sold. Alongside with crocodile bones, monkey skulls and leopard skins we will see dried chameleon and birds. The afternoon is left free at your leisure. Our tour ends this evening. You will have the use of two day rooms until the transfer to the airport for the flight home.

(B), two day use rooms at Lomé

Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended.







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Baco Djikoroni ACI

Bamako - Mali

Tel. +223 78683275 / 73180186