Togo Drive through


Having left Grand Popo in the dark at 6am, we drove westwards to the Benin Togo border, arriving as it got light. Although the border was relatively organized, it was still difficult to determine where to go first, and why, as there is no apparent pattern to the officialdom. We muddled through, having to pay Immigration a “fine” for Stewart not having a Visa. This visa was supposed to be purchased on entry, and the official wanted to send us back to Cotonou to obtain one. After some pleading he relented, however, and accepted the money himself, issuing a handwritten receipt to keep his conscience clear.


On the Togo side the officials were   slightly more organized, although seemingly half asleep. We discovered that there is an hours’ difference in the time between Benin and Togo, and it was in fact only 6.30am, not 7.30 am in Togo, when we left the border.


As we drove along the coastline of Togo, we noticed the beaches were full of people strolling, running and exercising on the beaches. Many of the beaches had been turned into football pitches, most of which even at this early hour had a game on the go. A tiny country in size and population, Togo were justly proud of having qualified for the 2002 World Cup Football, and if their dedication to the game is anything to go by, it probably will not be the last time the world hears of them.

 First view of TogoBeach Exercise

Togo is indeed tiny, and before we knew it, we were driving through the outskirts of the capital city, Lome, and after only 45 minutes, we were at the border post between Togo and Ghana. A familiar chaotic scene of moneychangers, semi-officials looking to “assist” us, and sleepy disinterested officials, was negotiated with relative ease, and we passed under the obligatory border boom into Ghana.

 Farming with proper irrigation Amazing and roadside nurseries

We feel sorry that we could not have spent some time in Togo, but felt that as we had been expected in Ghana on the 1st of July, we could not dawdle any longer.