Traveling Luck for Togo

Togo is located in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana.

Togo has borders with Burkina Faso for 126km, Benin for 644km and Ghana for 877km.

Land in Togo is gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes.

Togolese land covers an area of 56785 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than West Virginia

As for the Togolese climate; tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north.

Togolese (singular and plural) speak French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north).

Togolese National Map

Togolese Map

Regions of Togo

French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, continued to rule well into the 21st century. Despite the facade of multiparty elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government continued to be dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has maintained power almost continually since 1967. Togo has come under fire from international organizations for human rights abuses and is plagued by political unrest. While most bilateral and multilateral aid to Togo remains frozen, the EU initiated a partial resumption of cooperation and development aid to Togo in late 2004 based upon commitments by Togo to expand opportunities for political opposition and liberalize portions of the economy. Upon his death in February 2005, President EYADEMA was succeeded by his son Faure GNASSINGBE. The succession, supported by the military and in contravention of the nation's constitution, was challenged by popular protest and a threat of sanctions from regional leaders. GNASSINGBE succumbed to pressure and agreed to hold elections in late April 2005 which legitimized his succession.


Togo Country Profile

This small, sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton generate about 40% of export earnings, with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is the world's fourth-largest producer of phosphate. The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has moved slowly. Progress depends on follow-through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations, progress toward legislative elections, and continued support from foreign donors. Togo is working with donors to write a PRGF that could eventually lead to a debt reduction plan.

Togolese natural resources include phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

the country's length allows it to stretch through six distinct geographic regions; climate varies from tropical to savanna

Togolese religion is indigenous beliefs 51%, Christian 29%, Muslim 20%.

Natural hazards in Togo include hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts.

Travel Advice on Togo

Togo

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Crime section (scam artists).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Since the Presidential elections in April 2005, there has been a sustained period of relative calm in Togo.  However, outbreaks of civil unrest could occur at anytime.  In the past demonstrators have targeted expatriates (see Political Situation for more details).

  • Entry and exit points at borders can be opened and closed without warning.

  • There is no formal British representation in Togo.

  • Crime is common in some areas of Lome.  Car-jackings have also been reported.

  • The threat from terrorism is low, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • You need a visa to enter Togo.  Overstaying on your visa without proper authority is a serious matter and can lead to detention or refused permission to leave the country until a fine is paid.

  • The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Togo is for replacing lost and stolen passports.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Crime
The sea front area in Lome, particularly around the Hotel Sarakawa is dangerous and you should avoid this area as far as possible.  Walking is not advisable in this area.  Pick-pocketing and theft are common, especially along the beach and in the market areas of Lome.  Some taxis are poorly maintained, and you should take particular care when seeking to use one.  Attacks on pedestrians happen in broad daylight as well as at night.  You should enter and exit public places such as restaurants in groups rather than on your own.

Foreign travellers are increasingly becoming targets by scam artists.  The scams come in many forms, and can pose great financial loss to victims. Scam artists are also targeting individuals in the UK.  Relatives or friends in the UK should first check with the person who has travelled to before becoming involved in the transfer of money.  If you are concerned about someone who has travelled to Togo you should contact the Consular Section of the British High Commission, Accra (E-mail: high.commission.accra@fco.gov.uk.  Schemes in operation by West African criminal networks are designed to facilitate victims parting with money, known as advance fee or 419 fraud.  Scam artists are also known to be targeting internet dating/personal sites with the intention of soliciting money from victims.  For further information on advance fee fraud please see: http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert.

Political Situation

There has been a sustained period of relative calm in Togo following the disputed Presidential elections in April 2005, which led to violent clashes between Government and opposition supporters and included attacks on expatriates.  Although a Government of National Unity has now been formed, the main opposition party has so far refused to be part of it.  Dialogue between the main opposition party and Government is ongoing but with little substantive progress.  Further political unrest and demonstrations could occur without warning.
Local Travel
British visitors and members of the British community in Togo should keep a close eye on developments, avoid crowds and keep a low profile in case the situation deteriorates.  Extreme caution should be exercised if you need to go out after dark.  You should not venture out alone in the dark if possible.  You may come across official and unofficial roadblocks even in the city centre.  You should seek local advice from other expatriates on the ground.  Exit and entry points at the borders can be opened and closed at short notice.
If you decide to travel to Togo, be prepared for checks of passport/identity papers and possible vehicle checks by the local Police and Military.  There have been reports of people being killed when attempting to resist car-jackings.  It is generally better not to resist armed attack.
If it is necessary to travel by car at night you should do so in a convoy of at least two cars.  You should stop at all control points on request, turn on interior vehicle lights and only continue when permission has been given to do so.
Road Safety
Do not travel outside Lome at night.  Roads are poorly lit and often hazardous.
Sea Safety
Ocean currents are very strong along the coast.  Many drownings occur each year.

Air Safety

The EU has published a list of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban or restrictions within the community.  You should check http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/air/safety/flywell_en.htm to see whether this will affect your travel.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

British passport holders require visas to enter Togo.  Although visas are available on arrival in Togo we recommend, where possible, you obtain your visa prior to your visit.  There is no Togolese Embassy in the UK; the nearest Embassy is in Paris:  Embassy of the Republic of Togo.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.  For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the Togolese Embassy to Paris at 8 Rue Alfred–Roll, 75017 Paris.  Tel:(00) (33 1) 43 80 12 13, Fax:  (00) (33 1) 43 80 06 05.


HEALTH

You should ensure that you have comprehensive medical & travel insurance, which covers a provision for medical evacuation.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.
Medical facilities are poor in Togo.
Waterborne diseases, HIV/AIDS and malaria are prevalent in Togo.  You should consider taking suitable protection against malaria and using insect repellent.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at:  www.dh.gov.uk


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help

The number of British visitors to Togo is low.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Togo is for replacing lost and stolen passports. You should keep a photocopy of your passport separate from your passport.  This will help to speed up the process of issuing a new one.

The Central Bank (BCEAO) has issued the following new CFA notes and coins in Togo: 10000, 5000, 2000 and 1000 CFA notes; 500 and 200 CFA coins.  The old notes ceased to be legal on 31 December 2004.

You are advised to reconfirm flights 48 hours prior to departure.

There is no formal UK representation in Togo.  In case of an emergency you should contact the British High Commission in Accra, Ghana (see contact details below).

We recommend that British passport holders who intend to stay in Togo for 3-months or more register with British High Commission in Accra.


OTHER

Togo Country Profile