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Accra to Freetown

This incredible yet challenging adventure begins on the phenomenal beaches of the Freetown Peninsular and will head east through the remote forest region of Guinea and into the wonderful country of Côte d'Ivoire. We will then cross into Ghana and follow the Atlantic coast to its bustling capital of Accra, before continuing on to the unique and fascinating lands of Togo and Benin, two countries packed full of history, voodoo culture and stunning scenery. Unlike their more visited cousins in East Africa, these countries truly are hidden gems that are largely untouched by tourism - every trip through the region is therefore an incredible adventure involving fantastic community interaction, some wonderful wild camps, some difficult roads, and a rare opportunity to experience a more traditional way of life. West Africa boasts a huge arts and craft scene, colourful and vibrant markets, and incredible traditional music - however, what makes West Africa especially wonderful are the people - the fascinating cultures, incredible atmosphere, and warm friendly smiles that greet you every day are what makes a trip here so very special, and why the area is frequently on the top of the favourites list for many of our most seasoned travellers. Join us for this incredible adventure!

  • Duration: 48 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Trekking, Hiking
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 158267
  • Starts: Accra, Ghana
  • Finishes: Freetown, Sierra Leone
You will Visit
  • Accra
  • Akosombo
  • Lake Volta
  • Mont Klouto
  • Central Togo
  • Tata Somba region
  • Pendjari National Park
  • Central Benin
  • Abomey
  • Ganvie
  • Ouidah
  • Grand Popo
  • Agbodrafo
  • Keta
  • Kumasi
  • Kakum National Park
  • Elmina
  • Cape Coast
  • Grand Bassam
  • Yamoussoukro
  • Korhogo
  • Western Côte d'Ivoire
  • Nzerekoré
  • Forested Guinea
  • Faranah
  • Macenta
  • Guéckédou
  • Kabala
  • Gberia Fotombu
  • Tiwai Island Sanctuary
  • Freetown Peninsular
  • Freetown

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Accra

Border information: if you are joining in Accra, then you will most likely enter Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport (IATA code: ACC).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore the city of Accra.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Accra before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Accra.

In Accra we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Akosombo

This morning, we will apply for Togo visas at the Togolese Embassy in Accra. Once they are issued, we will leave Accra and head north to the village of Akosombo.

In Akosombo we will stay in a campsite next to the River Volta.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3: Lake Volta

Today we will have an included visit to the nearby Akosombo Dam, a major project built in the 1960s to provide almost all of Ghana's energy needs. The rest of the day will be free to relax at our campsite in Akosombo.

04

Day 4: Mont Klouto

Border information: Exit Ghana at Klouto, enter Togo at Klouto.

Today we will have a full day's drive to the spectacular Mont Klouto, crossing the border into Togo.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

In Mont Klouto we will stay in a campsite, with the option to upgrade to dorm accommodation.

05

Day 5: Mont Klouto

Today we will have a free day around the beautiful Mont Klouto region, with the opportunity to head out on optional forest walks or to visit Kpalimé town nearby.

In the evening, we will head to the village centre to see a spectacular show of drumming and dancing from the local villagers.

06

Day 6: Central Togo

Over the next 2 days we will drive up the length of Togo, all the way through the remote northern border with Benin. We will wild camp for 1 night en route.

Estimated Drive Times - 6-7 hours each day.

07

Day 7: Tata Somba region

Border information: Exit Togo at Ketao, enter Benin at Ouaké.

Today we will cross the border into Benin, before continuing our journey to the Tata Somba region close to the town of Tanguiéta. 

In Tanguiéta we will stay in a basic local eco-lodge.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

08

Day 8: Tata Somba region

This morning we will go on an included walking tour of the nearby Tata Somba villages with some of the local villagers. This is a fascinating visit to an area rarely visited by tourists, where we will learn a lot about the local traditional way of life and explore the famous two-storey mud huts of the area.

In the afternoon, there is the option to walk through the stunning area to some nearby waterfalls.

09

Day 9-10: Pendjari National Park

From the Tata Somba region we have a short journey north to the beautiful Pendjari National Park.

We will stay for two nights wild camping in the National Park, where we will have freedom to explore and head out on game drives in the truck in search of wildlife.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours to the park, then as much time as required on game drives.

10

Day 11: Central Benin

Today we have a full day's drive heading south through Benin. We will wild camp somewhere en route between the towns of Natitingou and Abomey.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

11

Day 12-13: Abomey

Our journey today continues to Abomey, the ancient capital of the Dahomey kingdom. On arrival we will take an included tour of the Dahomey Palace and Museum. We will then have a free day to explore the local area.

In Abomey we will stay in a campsite, with the possibility to upgrade to rooms for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

12

Day 14: Ganvie

This morning we will drive to Abomey-Calavi (a port on the outskirts of Cotonou), where we say goodbye to the truck for the night and jump aboard motorised pirogues to Ganvie, a fascinating town built entirely on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué.

In Ganvie we will stay in a basic hotel in the stilt village itself!

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

13

Day 15: Ouidah

Today we will start with an included tour of the stilt town of Ganvie, exploring deeper on our pirogues and soaking up the unique way of life in the floating village. Following this, we will head back to land to re-join the truck and drive along the coastal road to Ouidah, where we may hopefully see many of the local fishermen bringing their catch in.

In Ouidah we will camp at an auberge on the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-3 hours.

14

Day 16: Grand Popo

Today we will take a very interesting half-day tour of the sites in Ouidah, including the Voodoo Python Temple, the "Route des Esclaves" (Slave Route), La Maison du Brésil art gallery and the Ouidah Museum of History in the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá.

After this, a short drive from Ouidah brings us to Grand Popo, where we have 2 nights of well deserved relaxation on the beaches!

In Grand Popo we will camp at an auberge.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

15

Day 17: Grand Popo

Today we will have a free day at Grand Popo for relaxing on the beach or taking a pirogue trip around the nearby ocean and mangroves.

There is also an option this evening to visit an incredible local vodun (voodoo) ceremony in the nearby village, complete with very energetic dancing and incredible magic tricks! It may also be possible to take a night walk in search of Atlantic turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches between November and March.

16

Day 18: Agbodrafo

Border information: Exit Benin and re-enter Togo at Hilla-Condji.

Leaving the beach behind, our journey continues over the border from Benin and back into Togo. We will head to the small quiet town of Agbodrafo on the southern shores of Lake Togo.

This afternoon we will take an included pirogue trip to Togoville, the centre of Vodun culture, where you will have a guided city tour and church visit.

In Agbodrafo we will camp in the grounds of an auberge on the lake shore.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

17

Day 19: Keta

Border information: exit Togo at Lomé, enter Ghana at Aflao.

Today we will cross back into Ghana and head for Keta, where we will visit the very atmospheric and evocative ruins of the abondoned Fort Prinzenstein, built by the Danes 300 years ago as a transit point for transporting slaves to the Americas.

In Keta we will stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

18

Day 20: Accra

The final drive of this trip takes us back to Accra, the chaotic capital of Ghana! 

In Accra we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

19

Day 21: Accra

Border information: if you are leaving in Accra, you will most likely exit Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport (IATA code: ACC).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Accra. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

20

Day 22: Accra

Border information: if you are joining in Accra, then you will most likely enter Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore the city of Accra.

In Accra we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

21

Day 23-24: Kumasi

Leaving Accra behind us, we journey north through Ghana's interior to the historic town of Kumasi.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day, we will have lots of time for free exploration of the fascinating town and its museums. Kumasi is the home of West Africa's largest market and was the centre of the Ashanti Kingdom. 

In Kumasi we will stay in a local guesthouse.

22

Day 25: Kakum National Park

Today we will drive south to the rainforests of Kakum National Park. On arrival we will head out on an included evening walk through the forests in search of wildlife, bugs and snakes! We may also have the chance to visit a small animal sancutary en route.

In Kakum National Park we will camp in the grounds of the Park HQ.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

23

Day 26-27: Elmina

Today we have an early start with an included morning visit to the Kakum National Park canopy walkways. These are a long series of hanging bridges at the forest canopy level that gives us a unique perspective of the rainforest - and at that time of the morning we will have the place to ourselves!

We will then head back south to the Atlantic coast and into Cape Coast for a fascinating and moving tour of the old slave fort there.

We will then move to our stunning beach resort in Brenu Akynin near the town of Elmina.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

On the following day, we will get involved with the currently community projects being run in the Elmina area by the SABRE Charitable Trust. The Trust does very valuable work in developing educational projects across Ghana, with a focus on providing early-years education - Dragoman has been visiting their projects and providing a day of help and a donation for many years, allowing us to give a little back and to experience a wonderful bit of community interaction. The exact experience will depend on what the Trust has a need for at the time, but we could be asked to help to paint a classroom, do a bit of gardening in one of the schools, or simply come and play some games with the kids!

We will also have time for an optional visit to Elmina Castle and to relax on the beautiful beaches on Ghana's Atlantic Coast.

In Elmina we will camp at a stunning beach resort.

24

Day 28-29: Grand Bassam

Border information: Exit Ghana at Elubo, enter Côte d'Ivoire at Elubo.

Today we will follow the Atlantic coast and cross into Côte d'Ivoire, arriving at the old French colonial capital of Grand Bassam situated east of Abidjan.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

On the following day, we will have a free day to explore the old colonial town and to relax on the beautiful beaches around our hotel.

In Grand Bassam we will stay in a local hotel on the beach.

25

Day 30-31: Yamoussoukro

Today we will drive to Yamoussoukro, the tiny and bizarre capital of Côte d'Ivoire. Yamoussoukro was the birthplace of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the first president of independent Côte d'Ivoire, and is also the unusual location of the colossal and breathtaking Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the largest Christian church in the world.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, and then have free time to further explore the small city.

In Yamoussoukro we will stay in a local hotel.

26

Day 32-33: Korhogo

Today we will move to the northern Ivorian town of Korhogo and stay here for 2 nights, famed for the multitude of crafts that are made there. We will get a chance to visit many of the craft artists in the area, from painters to bead-makers to cloth weavers, and also to enjoy some walks around the surrounding area. 

We stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

27

Day 34-35: Western Côte d'Ivoire

The next 2 days are spent driving through central Cote d'Ivoire and then crossing the western border into Guinea. These days take us through some very remote areas and some very poor quality dirt roads, so a great deal of flexibility is needed as our progress will largely be determined by the state of the roads.

Both nights will be spent wild camping en route.

Drive times - 7-9 hours each day.

28

Day 36-37: Nzerekoré

Border information: Enter Guinea at Gbakor .

Today we'll cross the border into Guinea. We'll base ourselves for 2 nights in the small town of Nzerekore in the heart of Guinea's Forest Region, where we will have free time to explore the town, the nearby villages and the surrounding forests.

29

Day 38-39: Faranah

Over the next 2 days we will travel through the mid region of Guinea, stopping for a night in one of the towns en route (depending on how the drive goes it may be Macenta or Gueckedou), and then arriving at Faranah near the Sierra Leonean border. On the way we will visit one of the famous vine bridges (Pont de Liana).

We will aim to stay in small locally run hotel or guesthouse on both nights. 

Drive times - 7-9 hours each day.

30

Day 40-41: Kabala

Border information: Enter Guinea Sierra Leone at Gberia-Fotombu.

The next 2 days are spent travelling from Guinea over to Sierra Leone through the remote border near Kabala, driving through scenic areas very rarely visited by tourists. 

The road conditions in this area can be pretty tough going and unpredictable, and progress can be greatly affected by the weather conditions, so flexibility is very important over these days.

Kabala is famous for a being an oasis of cool air in the hills of northern Sierra Leone, and for its traditional Ronko dyed clothes - shirts or gowns made of strips of cloth, typically dyed a rusty reddish-brown using local pigments.

We will wild camp en route, and stay in a local guesthouse in Kabala.

Drive times - 5-8 hours each day.

31

Day 42:

Today we start our journey south through Sierra Leone. 

We aim to wild camp near the town of Makeni en route, or we may stay in a local guesthouse depending on the size and wishes of the group.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

32

Day 43-44: Tiwai Island Sanctuary

Today we will arrive at the Tiwai Island Sanctuary, one of Sierra Leone's largest inland islands.

We will stay here for 2 nights sleeping in tents perched on covered platforms.

On our full day on Tiwai Island we will enjoy various nature walks through the webs of trails that weave through the Tiwai forest. We'll be in search of the rare and colourful primates that inhabit the sanctuary, and if we're very lucky we may spot a very rare pygmy hippo!

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

33

Day 45-47: Freetown Peninsular

Today we have a big drive across Sierra Leone to spend 3 nights exploring the beaches of Freetown Peninsular. There are a few different options for which beaches we could choose to visit, our favourites being River Number 2 Beach and Bureh Beach.

On the beaches there will the be chance to go fishing, take a boat to explore the Banana Islands, get to know the local communities and of course relax on the beach!

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.

34

Day 48: Freetown

Today we will have a short drive up the western side of the Freetown Peninsular to arrive in the Aberdeen district of Freetown City., the capital of Sierra Leone. 

You have plenty of time to head out and explore the sites in and around Freetown, before heading out for a final group meal together!

We stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

35

Day 49: Freetown

Today is your final day and there are no activities planned.

No accommodation is provided for tonight, unless you are continuing on with us, however we are able to book you additional accommodation in Freetown. Please ask at the time of booking.

Border information: If you are leaving at Freetown, you will most likely exit Sierra Leone at Lungi Airport.

The fastest and most reliable way to the airport from Freetown is by water-taxi, as Lungi is across a bay from the city. Our hotel in Freetown is a 200m walk to the jetty where the water-taxis depart from - the departure times for the water-taxis are linked to every flight in and out of Lungi airport (usually around 4 hours before the time of the flight). We advise that when the trip arrives in Freetown, you go to the jetty to check the timetable for the water-taxis for your flight and purchase a ticket in advance (USD40 or EUR35) - your trip leader will be able to assist with this. The ticket counter at the jetty is open 24 hours a day. 

You should arrive at the jetty 30 minutes before the departure time, as you have to check in your large bags and take a luggage ticket. The water-taxi takes approximately 30 minutes, then you take a minibus for another 15 minutes to arrive at Lungi airport. Your large bags will be waiting for you at the water-taxi office on the left-hand-side of the airport entrance, just hand in your luggage ticket to get them back.  

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit Akosombo Dam, the colossal 1960s project that provides almost all of Ghana's energy needs and created Lake Volta, one of the world's largest man-made lakes
    • Head out for evening of energetic drumming and dancing from the local villagers in Mont Klouto, with dinner included
    • Go on a guided tour of the Tata Somba villages of northern Benin, learning about the traditional culture and way of life and visiting their incredible 2-storey 'mud castle' homes
    • Visit the stunning landscapes of Pendjari National Park, famous for being one of the best wildlife reserves in West Africa
    • Visit the incredible stilt village of Ganvie, where an entire community of fisherman live in a town entirly built on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué near Cotonou
    • See the Vodun Temple of Pythons in Ouidah, dedicated to the voodoo snake diety Dangbe and home to hundreds of revered pythons!
    • Visit the Ouidah History Museum at the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá, and learn all about the terrible history of the slave trade in West Africa
    • Take a trip in a local non-motorised pirogue across Lac Togo to the famous village of Togoville, where you can explore the town and learn all about its history and culture
    • Visit the ruins of the small Danish slave fort of Fort Prinzenstein, and take in its haunting and moving atmosphere
    Accomodation
    • 53% Camping - 47% Hotels
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