Royal Festivals, Mask Dances, Voodoo Spirits, Castles of Clay

Tribal Ghana, Togo, and Benin

Benin, Ghana, Togo

15 Days

From $7,995

Level 3

Moderate

Overview

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    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Traditional cultures, renowned art forms, flamboyant festivals, mask dances, and a dazzling ethnic mosaic are the golden gems of West Africa. Our cultural odyssey brings us into fascinating tribal worlds guided by ancient spirits. Along the way, we meet unforgettable people including the Tamberma, with their fairytale clay castles. In the heart of voodoo country, we visit practitioners, watch trance-dances, and learn about the awesome power of the voodoo spirits. Our journeys witness the Akwasidæ Festival in Kumasi, honoring the Ashanti king, and the exuberant mask dances of the Egun Mask Festival in Benin.

    Arrive: Lomé, Togo

    Depart: Accra, Ghana

    Highlights

    • Traditional Ashanti culture, with its kente cloth, bead-makers, and elaborate funerary rites
    • The surreal voodoo world of the Togo and Benin coasts
    • Elmina Castle, the “talking drums” of the Dagomba, the Tamberma people and their castles of clay
    • Vibrant Akwasidæ and Egun Mask festivals on every departure

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      Outside Lomé, Togo's capital, we meet traditional healers at a “voodoo hospital,” visit a fetish market, and witness a village voodoo ceremony accompanied by the hypnotic rhythm of chanting and drums. Heading down Benin's coast, we visit the port of Ouidah, known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade, the stilt village of Ganvié, and the eerie Royal Palace of the Dahomey Kingdom at Abomey. We'll witness Zangbeto and Gelede mask dances at villages along the way.
      In a remote baobab-dotted landscape that rarely sees outsiders, we call at rural villages, including those of the isolated Tamberma and Somba, known for their adobe castles, and northern Benin's Dagomba people, with their “talking drums.”
      The Ashanti Kingdom was once one of the most powerful nations in Africa. In Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, we attend a traditional “funeral” and enjoy the pageantry of the Akwasidae Festival. On Ghana's palm-fringed coast, we visit the 15th century Portuguese fortress of Elmina, entering its slave dungeons and peeking through the sobering “Door of No Return,” where captives were taken to awaiting ships. Depart on Day 15 via Accra.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in hotels and guesthouses
      • All meals
      • Soft drinks and beer with meals
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Sena Gatri

      View Profile

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. This is a rugged trip in a very remote region. Participants should be fit, healthy, and have no mobility restrictions. Medical facilities on the trip will be far away and often non-existent.
      Review Trip Level Details
      Ghana, Togo, and Benin have very hot, humid climates that vary very little year round. Mid-day temperatures can be in the 90s, with little cooling in the evening. In the inland regions, the wind can sometimes stir up dust storms. Rain is unlikely in the areas we visit, but possible. The intense heat can be very wearing, and it doesn't cool down much at night. We don't recommend this trip for people who can't tolerate humid conditions.

      There are few first-class hotels anywhere outside the cities, but rest assured we always try to obtain the best possible. For the most part, the hotels are comfortable, but they are very basic. Hotel air conditioning in West Africa does not cool a room to American standards of comfort, and may not work sometimes, and there may be occasions where the hotel electricity goes off for periods of time. We travel by one minivan or by two 4WD vehicles, depending on weather and road conditions. Our support staff travels in another vehicle with cooking supplies. On our road journeys, we make frequent "outdoor bathroom" stops and you have ample opportunity to stroll around villages and markets to see and experience the differences in architecture, dress, and culture among the many tribes in West Africa. On travel days, our staff prepares a lunch for us ahead of time in the morning and we enjoy it in a roadside restaurant en route.

      Tourist facilities are very limited in the remote savanna regions and small villages we visit. Although we are accompanied by a support crew staffed by experienced veterans of West Africa, participants should understand that this trip involves long drives, lack of proper bathroom facilities, hot and humid weather, and somewhat basic hotels outside of Accra. The physical shape you are in will be an important factor in your enjoyment of your trip. We recommend you bring Gatorade-type powdered mixes or packets of OHS (oral hydration salts) to add to your water bottle from time to time on really hot days. Dehyration is a serious risk and should be prepared for.

      There are dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote regions. These dangers include everything from the possibility of a vehicle accident or sickness without access to the means of rapid evacuation. The availability of medical supplies, or the adequacy of medical attention once provided, cannot be guaranteed and cannot be expected to measure up to Western standards. If you have any chronic health problems (respiratory or cardiac problems, a bad back, or diabetes), we recommend you consider a different trip.

      Client Testimonials

      "I have traveled extensively, but this trip was truly an exploration of a totally different world. Just fabulous!"

      Brita A.

      Washington, DC

      "The trip was outstanding! Our exposure to the different tribes and various ceremonies was fascinating and really the highlight."

      Diane M.

      Elm Grove, WI

      "This was a very worthwhile and horizon-expanding trip. This part of Africa is not a heavily-traveled tourist destination, and tourist facilities are often basic, but the wealth of cultures, tribes, and customs makes this a great trip for those who have already experienced the more 'popular' Africa destinations."

      Jack S.

      Evergreen, CO

      "Sometimes I felt as if I was back in the pages of a 1960s National Geographic. It was that kind of unique experience. Can't wait to do another trip with WT!"

      Marcia O.

      Sacramento, CA

      "The cultural interchange was amazing and our tour leader injected our road travels with unexpected stops and community visits that were incredible experiences."

      Michael H.

      Big Sky, MT

      "This was an unforgettable trip, featuring cultural exchanges and visits to unbelievable festivals and sites. Every day held something of interest, and we had the benefit of meeting friendly people and participating in authentic festivals such as the tribute to the Ashanti king and the voodoo ceremony."

      Sara K.

      Las Cruces, NM

      "A cultural journey like no other I have ever experienced! The uniqueness and authenticity of the activities were truly remarkable."

      Thomas W.

      Sautee Nacoochee, GA

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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It is also one of the few capitals in the world bordering with another nation. These elements have led to the development of a unique identity reflected in the lifestyle of its inhabitants and in the architecture of the town&mdash;Lom&eacute; is indeed a crossroads for people, trade, and cultures, a cosmopolitan city in small size.&nbsp;We will visit the central market, with its famous &ldquo;Nana Benz,&rdquo; as the women who control the market are called. They control the sale of expensive &ldquo;pagne&rdquo; (cloths) coming from Europe and sold all over West Africa. We also visit the administrative quarter where the flavor of colonial time is still very present, and the fetish market, where we can find an eclectic assortment of all the necessary ingredients for love potions and magical concoctions.\r\n\r\nOver the last decades, some local modern artists have been exhibiting their work in Europe and US in a tradition called the &ldquo;Togolese school&rdquo; and we will visit the town accompanied by a contemporary artist. If you are shopping for African art, Lom&eacute; is the perfect place as it acts as a transit place for African tribal art, folk art, modern paintings, and handicraft. Some art galleries are known for their collections of old ritual objects, highly valued by collectors of primitive art. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Voodoo \/ Zangbeto Mask Dance \/ Ouidah, Benin","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"All along the coast of Togo and Benin, voodoo is a religion that has been passed on by the ancestors and is still fervently practiced. Although for many Europeans, voodoo is only a vulgar form of black magic, in truth, voodoo is a true religion, far richer and more complex than people often think. In a remote hidden village, we will join a voodoo ceremony. The frenetic rhythm of the drums and chants help in calling in the voodoo spirit, who then takes possession of some of the dancers. They fall into a deep trance, eyes rolling back, grimaces, convulsions, insensitivity to fire or pain. Sakpata, Heviesso, and Mami Water are just some of the voodoos divinities who can show up. In this remote village, surrounded by the magic atmosphere of the ceremony, we will finally understand what people mean when they say &ldquo;In your churches you pray to god; in our voodoo shrine, we become god!&rdquo;&nbsp;\r\n\r\nIn the afternoon, we cross the border into Benin and reach a village where we can attend a Zangbeto masked dance. The Zangbeto mask is covered with colored straw and represents wild, non-human spirits, such as the forces of nature and of the time before human beings. The mask-wearers belong to a secret society and keep their identity hidden, as the non-initiated cannot know who they are. When Zangbeto comes out, it is an important event for the village. Its performance guarantees protection against bad spirits and malicious people. The spinning movement of the mask symbolizes the spiritual cleaning of the village, and Zangbeto also performs miracles to prove its powers. We continue to Ouidah for overnight at Hotel Casa del Papa.\r\nApproximate driving time: 4 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Ouidah","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Considered the capital town of the African voodoo, Ouidah was conquered by the Dahomey army during the 18th century and become one of West Africa&apos;s main slave ports. The town has Afro-Portuguese architecture and a Python Temple that faces the Catholic cathedral. The laid-back attitude of the locals blends in harmoniously with the sound of waves from the sea and the rhythm of the drums&mdash;Ouidah has a timeless atmosphere well described by Bruce Chatwin in his book The Vice-Roy of Ouidah. In our walk around town, we visit the Python Temple and the Portuguese Fort, now a museum of the history of Ouidah and the slave trade. We end our city tour by walking the &ldquo;slave road&rdquo; to the beach, the point of no return, where slaves boarded ships. In the afternoon, we have time to relax on the golden beach of our hotel, visit fishing villages devoted to salt production, or make an excursion on the Mono River&apos;s mangrove ecosystem. Overnight at Hotel Casa del Papa.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Ganvie \/ Abomey \/ Gelede Dancing Masks","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A few miles north of Cotonou, we board a motorized boat to cross Lake Nokwe and reach Ganvie, the largest and most beautiful African village on stilts. The approximately 25,000 inhabitants of the Tofinou ethnic group build their huts on teak stilts in this lake, covering the roofs with a thick layer of leaves. Fishing is their main activity, and Ganvie has managed to preserve its traditions and environment despite the long human presence and the lake is not over-fished. Life unfolds each day around the canoes that men, women, and children guide with ease using brightly colored poles. It is with these canoes that men fish, women deliver goods to the market and children go to school and play.\r\n\r\nWe then head to Abomey, where we attend a Gelede dancing masks event. The Gelede is both a cult, a secret society, and a mask. First of all, it is the cult of Oudua, the great divinity, the old mother and the Mother Earth. Gelede is also the daughter of Ougun, the god of iron, and one of the main gods in southern Benin&apos;s voodoo religion. But the Gelede is also the secret society that holds the Gelede masks and organizes special dances. Gelede performances recall our western &ldquo;theater&rdquo; in which each mask represents a character, often humoristic or ironic. This theatrical aspect of the masks mimicking short stories has the function of educating, not simply entertaining the village. Gelede masks have feminine features but are worn by men dressed up like women and dancing incredible performances, sometimes a chorus made up of more than 20 singers dancing in a large circle, with two big drums in the middle. The surrounding public, happy and excited, sings along, laughing and clapping hands. Colors dominate the scene with the dancers dressed up and moving all the time.&nbsp;Overnight at Hotel Sun City.\r\nApproximate driving time: 4 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Abomey \/ Dassa \/ Egun Mask Dance","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In the morning, we&nbsp;visit the Royal Palace of the Dahomey Kingdom, whose walls are decorated with the symbols of the former kings. The palace hosts a museum and a temple built with a mixture of clay, gold dust, and human blood. The Dahomey Kingdom maintained its power by way of a permanent state of war, which allowed kings to capture prisoners and then sell them as slaves. The royal Dahomey army also included a female troop famous for its boldness and aggressive fighting spirit.&nbsp;Historians like to emphasize the &ldquo;secular&rdquo; aspect of the Dahomey kings&apos; rule. However, even though the king was considered neither a god nor a priest, many human sacrifices were performed on the kings&apos; graves on special occasions. The power was exercised in a rational way, easy to understand also for a European, the proof being that the kings of France and of the Dahomey interchanged diplomatic representatives at the end of the 18th century.&nbsp;\r\n\r\nWe reach Dassa, which was the capital of an ancient kingdom founded by Olofin in 1385. Here we witness the amazing Egun mask dance. The Egungun is a very powerful secret society, and Egun masks are considered to be the reincarnation of deceased people and are known and feared for their aggressiveness and their unpredictable way of moving around. Intensively colored, the masks are covered with a multitude of pieces of cloth in many shades of red. The men wearing the mask costumes emerge from the forest and form a procession through the streets of the village, leaping toward any foolish spectator who dares getting too close. And nobody wants to be touched by the Egun because any contact carries the danger of death. Better watch out! When masks arrive, they perform a kind of bull fight designed to scare the crowd, but in truth they are actually greeted with bursts of laughter! Overnight at Hotel Jeko.\r\nApproximate driving time: 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Dankoli Festish \/ Sokode Fire Dance","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"On our way north, we stop at the Dankoli Fetish, an important place for the voodoo cult: thousands of little sticks are pushed in this fetish as testimony of the countless prayers for a good harvest, a happy wedding, an easy delivery, success at school, and so on. Once the prayers are answered, people come back to sacrifice what they had promised&mdash;a goat, a chicken, or a cow, according to the nature of the prayer. Traces of blood, palm alcohol, or oil on the fetish are proof that many prayers have been answered.&nbsp;\r\n\r\nWe cross the border back into Togo and continue to Sokode, where this evening, we will watch a fire dance. At the center of the village, a large fire lights up the faces of the participants as they dance to the hypnotic beat of drums and eventually step into the glowing embers of the fire, picking up the burning coals, passing them over their bodies, and sometimes putting them in their mouths&mdash;all without hurting themselves or showing any sign of pain. It&apos;s difficult to explain such a performance. Is it matter of courage? Self suggestion? Magic? Maybe it really is the fetishes that protect them from the fire. Overnight at Hotel Central.\r\nApproximate driving time: 6 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Kara \/ Kabye Massif \/ Atakora Mountains \/ Tamberma Villages","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Today we head to Kara and&nbsp;visit the region around the Kabye massif, populated by a people of the same name. Their houses are called soukala, a group of huts linked together by a wall, and within each house lives a patriarchal family. In these Kabye villages, it is also quite interesting also to visit the blacksmiths who still work with heavy stones instead of hammers, and to meet with the women who make traditional pottery and old-style floors with pieces of pottery.\r\n\r\nA track across the Atakora Mountains brings us to&nbsp;villages of the Tamberma people. For defensive reasons, the Tamberma have for centuries taken refuge in the heart of the Atakora, a land so difficult to access that they could flee from any attack, especially from attacks by slave traders from Muslim North Africa. According to anthropologists, the origins of the Tamberma are similar to those of the Dogon people of Mali, with whom they share an absolute faithfulness to their animist traditions. Their strong traditional beliefs are proved by the presence of big shrines of phallic form at the entrance to their homes. Those fortified dwellings, similar in form to medieval castles, are one of the most beautiful examples of ancient African architecture. Their style impressed the French architect Le Corbusier so much that he spoke of them as &ldquo;sculptural architecture.&rdquo; In fact, the houses are built by hand, layer after layer, adding round mud balls and shaping them as per the plan of the house in a kind of sensual gesture that mixes strength, care, and beauty. With the permission granted to us by the inhabitants of these villages, we enter their homes to better understand their way of life.&nbsp;Overnight at Hotel Defale.\r\nApproximate driving time: 5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Dagomba Villages \/ Tamale","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In a rarely visited savanna region of Ghana, we find several traditional villages of the Dagomba people. Their homes are round clay huts with thatched roofs. The village chief&apos;s house is characteristic, as it is the largest and the only one with a central pole supporting the roof. It is where the elders&apos; council meets. The entry to the chief&apos;s home is nicely framed with pieces of colored burnt clay. If we are lucky, we may have access to one of last witches&apos; villages in Ghana. The &ldquo;witches&rdquo; have been exiled from their villages because they were found guilty of terrible events such as the death of a teenager, a mysterious disease, or a bad harvest, and they now live all together in a specific place. Overnight at Gariba Lodge in Tamale, the capital of Northern Ghana.\r\nApproximate driving time: 7 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Forest Monkeys \/ Techiman","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The scenery changes completely as we head from a brown, rolling landscape dotted with baobabs to a land of flowering trees. Our road follows what was once a caravan route between Ghana&apos;s Gold Coast and the vast reaches of the Sahara. It is by this route that people, goods, and gods moved across Africa. Gold dust and cola nuts from the lush coast were exchanged for salt, cloth, and spices from the Sahara. Sometimes the traders stayed and put down roots, establishing new communities. As the landscape changes, so does the ethnic makeup of the region. In the Brong Afo region, we leave the main road and follow a track to a sacred forest. The people living in this region consider the mona and colobus monkeys as their totems. As a result, they have one of the largest communities of these species in the world. Walking in the forest through giant trees with emerald-green light filtering down through the forest, we will meet many of these sacred monkeys.&nbsp;Overnight at the Encom Hotel in the market town of Techiman.\r\nApproximate driving time: 6 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Kumasi \/ Ashanti Funeral","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We drive through lush hills to Kumasi, the spiritual and historical center of the flourishing Ashanti Kingdom. Until the end of the 19th century, when the British annexed Ashanti land and created the British colony called the Gold Coast, the Ashanti people were one of the most powerful nations in Africa, and today the Ashanti traditions are still strong. We visit the market as well as the fascinating Ashanti Cultural Center, with its rich collection of Ashanti artifacts housed in a full reproduction of a traditional Ashanti house. Kumasi today has nearly 2.5 million inhabitants and a fantastic central market, Kejetia Market, one of the biggest in West Africa. Every kind of Ashanti craft is found here, along with tropical fruits, vegetables, and everyday goods.&nbsp;Afterwards, we&nbsp;hope to attend a traditional Ashanti funeral, a festive event held in a local stadium or perhaps in the courtyard of a school. Depending on who is being honored, there can be a thousand attendees, all wearing the beautiful black and red robes the Ashanti wear for funeral celebrations. We use the English word \"funeral\" for these events, but in Ashanti culture, funerals are important social celebrations, often held months or even a year after the person has passed away. It is an occasion for relatives, friends, and well-wishers to bring presents to the family and to socialize. Upon our arrival, we are introduced to the deceased&apos;s family and we proceed through the receiving line, where we will be made to feel welcome by the family. An Ashanti chief is usually in attendance, surrounded by his court, under the shade cast by large, colorful Ashanti umbrellas. Drumming and dancing can last late into the evening, but we attend for just a few hours to enjoy this unforgettable cultural event. Overnight at hotel in Kumasi.\r\nApproximate driving time: 3 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":12,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Kumasi \/ Akwasidae Festival","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Today we explore Kumasi, with its colonial buildings around the market and hand-painted shop signs and then head to the fascinating Royal Palace Museum, where we can see the unique collection of massive gold ornaments worn by the Ashanti king and court.&nbsp;Later, we attend an Akwasidae Festival. Overnight at hotel in Kumasi.\r\n\r\nAkwasidae Festival: There are certain days of each year on the Ashanti calendar set aside for a celebration at the Royal Palace. This ceremony is called Akwasidae. During the celebration, the Ashanti king, the Asantehene, is seated under a spectacular umbrella of colorful, draped cloth and is wearing vividly colored traditional royal robes and massive pieces of gold royal jewelry that are centuries old (Ashanti gold jewelry and masks are considered masterpieces of African art). In front of the king, a narrow passage is formed, made up of dignitaries of various functions: ritual sword bearers, guards armed with muskets, knife bearers responsible for carrying out executions, and carriers of beautiful fans made of ostrich feathers. Seated at the side of the king are the Ashanti elders and the advisors under the authority of the Royal Speaker, who holds in his hands the scepters and symbols of Ashanti power covered in gold. The ceremony includes a procession of royal attendants who bring forth gifts, storytellers who recite the history of the Ashanti king, drummers, and trumpeters playing horns of ivory. Dancers in vivid red costumes perform an erotic dance. This traditional ceremony takes place in one of the last African Kingdoms to have kept its ancient rituals alive. We will enjoy the splendor, the flavor, and the atmosphere of these grand monarchs of the forests of yesteryear.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":13,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Elmina \/ Elmina Castle","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head to Elmina Castle (St. George de la Mina), a dramatic white-washed fortress perched right at the water&apos;s edge. It was the first building constructed by Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa. On our guided walk through the castle, we enter its evocative slave dungeons, peek through the &ldquo;Door of No Return&rdquo; that the captives passed through as they were taken to awaiting ships, and look out over the coast from behind the old cannons on the roof. The castle was built by the Portuguese in the late 15th century, first as a refueling base for ships going around Cape Horn, later for trade in Ghana&apos;s natural wealth of gold, of great interest to Europeans, and then for the Atlantic slave trade. Outside the castle is a wonderful fishing village with a harbor full of huge, colorfully painted fishing boats. The alleys in the old part of town have a lively atmosphere harkening back to a time when Elmina was a thriving African trading post hosting merchants from all over the world.&nbsp;Overnight at the Coconut Grove Hotel, our beachfront lodge in the town of Elmina.\r\nApproximate driving time: 5 hours\r\n\r\nElmina Castle: Portuguese traders passed this way in search of trade routes to Asia, stopping originally in this natural port just to buy food and water. They soon discovered Ghana&apos;s major natural resource, gold, and a bustling trade in gold between Europe and African began. It is said that the gold that backed the currency of the rulers of the Venetian Empire came from the Elmina Castle. The original building was constructed in 1482 by Portuguese traders with stone brought from Europe. A tiny Portuguese church was built in the middle of the castle&apos;s courtyard in the mid 16th century. The castle was then captured by soldiers of the Dutch West Indies Company and turned into a major center for the Atlantic slave trade, set in motion by the Caribbean sugar boom and the demand for labor in New World colonies. The later and much larger expansion of St. George&apos;s in 1637 by the Dutch is what exists today. Some 10 million Africans were sold into slavery between the 1500s and 1800s from such forts along West Africa&apos;s coast, bartered by their own tribal kings and chiefs to European traders. Elmina eventually fell to the British, who in 1833 outlawed the slave trade at home and in their colonial possessions. The castle was restored in 1957 after Ghana gained its independence from Britain.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":14,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Kakum National Park \/ Cape Coast \/ Accra","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"This morning we experience the thrill of a &ldquo;canopy walk&rdquo; in the deep rainforest of Kakum National Park. This is one of the world's highest suspended rope bridges held by steel cables. From 120 feet above the ground, we'll enjoy a stunning bird's-eye view of the rainforest. We then head to&nbsp;Cape Coast castle, built by the Swedish in 1653. Between 1657 to 1664, it changed hands many times as it was conquered by the Danes, the Dutch, the Fanti (a local tribe), the Swedes, and finally the British. Today, it hosts a museum on the history of slave trade.&nbsp;\r\n\r\nWe head up the coast of the Gulf of Guinea past fishing villages to Accra, the capital of Ghana. Accra has maintained its unique identity despite the fast-paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city. Today we stop by the Kwame Nkrukmah Park and Mausoleum, created to honor Dr. Kwame Nkrukhmah, who led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1956. We also take a trip to the old James Town section and the Accra seafront, with its harbor full of fishing boats. One special visit is to Accra&apos;s famous coffin makers. These wood handcrafted &ldquo;fantasy&rdquo; coffins are in the shape of fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes&mdash;and designs only limited by the intended occupant&apos;s imagination. Accra&apos;s flamboyant coffin designs have been collected and shown in museums. Overnight at La Villa Boutique in Accra. This evening, we gather for a festive Farewell Dinner.\r\nApproximate driving time: 5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":15,"DayTo":15,"Headline":"Accra \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Day rooms will be held for us at our hotel until 6 pm. In the evening, transfer to the Accra Airport for departure on homeward-bound flights.\r\ndinner?","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Lom&eacute;, Togo \/ Voodoo Priests and Fetish Markets of the Coast","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Outside Lom&eacute;, Togo&apos;s capital, we meet traditional healers at a &ldquo;voodoo hospital,&rdquo; visit a fetish market, and witness a village voodoo ceremony accompanied by the hypnotic rhythm of chanting and drums. Heading down Benin&apos;s coast, we visit the port of Ouidah, known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade, the stilt village of Ganvi&eacute;, and the eerie Royal Palace of the Dahomey Kingdom at Abomey. We&apos;ll witness Zangbeto and Gelede mask dances at villages along the way.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Traditional Tribes of the Savanna \/ Castles of Clay","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In a remote baobab-dotted landscape that rarely sees outsiders, we call at rural villages, including those of the isolated Tamberma and Somba, known for their adobe castles, and northern Benin&apos;s Dagomba people, with their &ldquo;talking drums.&rdquo;","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":15,"Headline":"Kumasi, Ghana \/ The Ashanti Kingdom \/ Elmina Castle","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The Ashanti Kingdom was once one of the most powerful nations in Africa. In Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, we attend a traditional &#8220;funeral&#8221; and enjoy the pageantry of the Akwasidae Festival. On Ghana&#39;s palm-fringed coast, we visit the 15th century Portuguese fortress of Elmina, entering its slave dungeons and peeking through the sobering &#8220;Door of No Return,&#8221; where captives were taken to awaiting ships. Depart on Day 15 via Accra.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true}],"itinpdf":[{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/tribal-ghana-togo-and-benin-itinerary-2024.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"2","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/tribal-ghana-togo-and-benin-predeparture.pdf"}],"whattoexpect":[{}],"highlights":[{"DisplayOrder":1,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Traditional Ashanti culture, with its kente cloth, bead-makers, and elaborate funerary rites","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32848,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":2,"HighlightText":"","Description":"The surreal voodoo world of the Togo and Benin 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in West Africa since 2007. He studied English at the University of Lome and is also fluent in French, and understands different local dialects, which include Fanti, Twi, Achanti, Ga, and Ewe. He loves to travel and read, and makes it a point to create a wonderful atmosphere for guests to explore this diverse region in Africa.","BioLong":"Sena Gatri was born in Akossombo, Ghana, and has been a guide in West Africa since 2007. He studied English at the University of Lome and is also fluent in French, and understands different local dialects, which include Fanti, Twi, Achanti, Ga, and Ewe. He loves to travel and read, and makes it a point to create a wonderful atmosphere for guests to explore this diverse region in Africa."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Brita A.","GuestLocation":"Washington, DC","GuestReview":"I have traveled extensively, but this trip was truly an exploration of a totally different world. Just fabulous!"},{"GuestNames":"Diane M.","GuestLocation":"Elm Grove, WI","GuestReview":"The trip was outstanding! Our exposure to the different tribes and various ceremonies was fascinating and really the highlight."},{"GuestNames":"Jack S.","GuestLocation":"Evergreen, CO","GuestReview":"This was a very worthwhile and horizon-expanding trip. This part of Africa is not a heavily-traveled tourist destination, and tourist facilities are often basic, but the wealth of cultures, tribes, and customs makes this a great trip for those who have already experienced the more 'popular' Africa destinations."},{"GuestNames":"Marcia O.","GuestLocation":"Sacramento, CA","GuestReview":"Sometimes I felt as if I was back in the pages of a 1960s National Geographic. It was that kind of unique experience. Can't wait to do another trip with WT!"},{"GuestNames":"Michael H.","GuestLocation":"Big Sky, MT","GuestReview":"The cultural interchange was amazing and our tour leader injected our road travels with unexpected stops and community visits that were incredible experiences."},{"GuestNames":"Sara K.","GuestLocation":"Las Cruces, NM","GuestReview":"This was an unforgettable trip, featuring cultural exchanges and visits to unbelievable festivals and sites. Every day held something of interest, and we had the benefit of meeting friendly people and participating in authentic festivals such as the tribute to the Ashanti king and the voodoo ceremony."},{"GuestNames":"Thomas W.","GuestLocation":"Sautee Nacoochee, GA","GuestReview":"A cultural journey like no other I have ever experienced! The uniqueness and authenticity of the activities were truly remarkable."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10344,"SimilarTripID":10321,"Trip_Code":"ETHIOPIA","Trip_Name":"Lost Worlds of Ethiopia"},{"TripID":10344,"SimilarTripID":10326,"Trip_Code":"MORCAMEL","Trip_Name":"Morocco: Camels to Casbahs"},{"TripID":10344,"SimilarTripID":10533,"Trip_Code":"NAMGREEN","Trip_Name":"Namibia: Green Season Safari"},{"TripID":10344,"SimilarTripID":10484,"Trip_Code":"NAMBOTS","Trip_Name":"Ultimate Namibia and Botswana"},{"TripID":10344,"SimilarTripID":10571,"Trip_Code":"WAFRODYS","Trip_Name":"West Africa Odyssey"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":73371,"ProductID":86609,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Transfer","Vendor":"TransAfrica","Address1":"Rue Moyama 666 BP 265","Address2":"","City":"Lome","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Ghana Arrival Transfer: Lome Airport to Le Patio","Day":0,"Sequence":0,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73371,"ProductID":85138,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"TransAfrica","Address1":"Rue Moyama 666 BP 265","Address2":"","City":"Lome","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Lome Hotel (DATES, 1 night)","Day":0,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73371,"ProductID":83974,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Vendor Ops Payment","Vendor":"TransAfrica","Address1":"Rue Moyama 666 BP 265","Address2":"","City":"Lome","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Tribal Ghana, Togo, and Benin","Day":1,"Sequence":0,"Duration":14,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":11,"ProductID":54,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Single Supplement","Vendor":"Wilderness Travel","Address1":"1102 Ninth Street","Address2":"","City":"Berkeley","State":"CA","Postal":"94710","Product":"Single Supplement","Day":1,"Sequence":2,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73371,"ProductID":85139,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"TransAfrica","Address1":"Rue Moyama 666 BP 265","Address2":"","City":"Lome","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Accra Hotel (DATES, 1 night)","Day":15,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"A visa is required for your trip. For more information, please see the \"Visas\" section of the enclosed Pre-Departure Information.","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/exploring-the-wonders-of-west-africa\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our recent travelers, complete with amazing photos from their experience that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/exploring-the-wonders-of-west-africa\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our recent travelers, complete with amazing photos from their experience that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>West Africa<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-tribal-ghana-togo-and-benin\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>VISAS:<\/strong> US citizens need visas for Ghana, Togo and Benin, which you should have already obtained by now, per the instructions emailed to you.<\/body>","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS: <\/strong>One soft sided suitcase or duffel bag and a daypack.<\/body>","Custom_Carry-On":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>CARRY-ON:<\/strong> Valuable or essential items, such as well broken-in hiking boots, camera equipment, binoculars, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.<\/body>","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"<strong>IMMUNIZATIONS:<\/strong> You must have an International Certificate of Vaccination indicating either that you have a Yellow Fever vaccination or that you are exempt.","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>ARRIVING IN LOM&Eacute;<\/strong><br>\nA complimentary transfer is provided from the airport to the hotel for all trip members arriving on Day 1. Your Trip Leader or a WT representative will meet you outside the customs area and will be holding a Wilderness Travel sign, or sign with your name on it.<\/body>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>DEPARTING ACCRA<\/strong><br>\nA complimentary airport transfer will be provided for all flights departing on Day 15.<\/body>","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to our local contact (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground. <br><br>We recommend using <a href=\"https:\/\/www.whatsapp.com\/\">WhatsApp<\/a>, and suggest you download the free app and enter the local emergency contact number below in advance of your trip.<\/body>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>TRANSAFRICA<\/strong><br>\nAttn: Gabriele<br>\n(+228) 90 74 05 61<br>\ngabriele@transafrica.biz<\/body>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"ghana-togo-benin-festival-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"A cultural odyssey across West Africa's three most fascinating countries. Discover lost tribal worlds guided by ancient spirits and witness flamboyant festivals and traditional mask dances.","Custom_List_Description":"A cultural odyssey across West Africa's three most fascinating countries. Discover lost tribal worlds guided by ancient spirits and witness flamboyant festivals and traditional mask dances.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Tribal Ghana, Togo & Benin Tour | Festivals & Mask Dances","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-21T15:33:55 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport<\/strong>: Lom&eacute;-Tokoin International Airport (LFW)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time<\/strong>: Day 1, anytime <br \/><br \/><strong>Meeting Place<\/strong>: A complimentary transfer is provided from Lom&eacute;-Tokoin International Airport to Le Patio Boutique Hotel for all trip members arriving on Day 1. Your Trip Leader or a WT representative will meet you outside the customs area and will be holding a Wilderness Travel sign.<br \/><br \/><strong>Please Note<\/strong>: flight schedules to West Africa change constantly and extra overnights before or after your trip dates may be required. <\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-21T15:34:28 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport<\/strong>: Kotoka International Airport (ACC)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time<\/strong>: Day 15, after 7:00 pm<br \/><br \/>On the last day of the trip, day rooms are available at La Villa Boutque until 6:00 pm. A complimentary airport transfer will be provided for all flights departing on Day 15.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:33:29 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from West Africa. There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US. <br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"tribal-ghana-togo-and-benin","Custom_Passport":"Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from West Africa. In addition, we recommend that your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\/passport_1738.html\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> (the service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016) or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisaexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens need visas for Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Sixty days prior to your departure, we will send you an email with complete instructions for how to apply for all 3 visas. Please do not attempt to apply for the visas until your receive this email. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"Togo and Benin - The currency is the CFA (the West African franc, linked to the Euro). It is difficult to change money for Togo and Benin in country, therefore Wilderness Travel would like to offer you the opportunity to have your guide buy CFA for you prior to your arrival. Let us know how much you want to exchange (we recommend between $100-250 per person), we will add a credit card fee of 2.5%, charge your card on file, and wire the money to your guide who will deliver it to you in Lome. <br><br>Ghana - The currency is the Cedi (GHS). It is very easy to obtain Cedi prior to departure or at Forex bureaus in Ghana. We suggest you bring the money you want to exchange in small denomiination ($50 or less) USD or Euros (traveler's checks are not recommended as they can be difficult and time-consuming to cash). It is important that your bills be clean and crisp; old, faded, ripped, or soiled bills will be rejected. Your Trip Leader will assist you with exchanging money during the trip. <br><br>VISA is the only credit card accepted, and it is only accepted in a few hotels. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities and personal items such as beverages, snacks, phone calls, etc. Guides and local staff will accept gratuities in USD (dated 2006 or newer), Euros, Cedis, or CFA.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $125-150 USD per trip member for the Trip Leader, and $75-100 USD per trip member for the staff (this is a pooled tip). Please use small bills because change is difficult to find on the trip. The Trip Leader takes care of gratuities for luggage handling, waiters at restaurants, and local guides or drivers who may be with the group for only a short time.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Ghana is 233, Togo is 228, and Benin is 229. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Most of our hotels have Wi-Fi or a lobby\/computer room with internet access. Keep in mind that sometimes the internet may be very slow or not work at all. There are also internet cafes in towns.","Custom_Electricity":"West Africa has 220-volt current. Plugs usually have three rectangular prongs or two or three round pins. Electricity can be unreliable and subject to brownouts, even in the larger cities.","Custom_Laundry":"There are limited opportunities to do laundry on the trip.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling. This provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. We recommend you discuss the following with your physician: <br><br><strong>Yellow Fever (Required)<\/strong><br>Proof of a Yellow Fever inoculation is currently required for Togo and Ghana. For most travelers, a single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. However, some travelers may require a booster dose. Also, certain countries might require a booster dose of the vaccine; visit the CDC Travelers' Health link (<a href=\"https:\/\/wwwnc.cdc.gov\/travel\/\">cdc.gov\/travel<\/a>) for information on specific country requirements. Have proof of the shot recorded in your International Health Card and carry the card with your passport. Health officials at borders often (but not always) request proof of the shot. <br><br>Please note: According to the CDC, people 60 years or older may be at increased risk for serious adverse events following vaccination, compared with younger persons. This is particularly true if they are receiving their first yellow fever vaccination. If you are over 60, please discuss this with your physician. If you are advised to decline the vaccine, please get a written waiver from your physician or travel clinic in case you might need it during the visa application process.<br><strong><br>Polio<\/strong><br>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><strong><br>Hepatitis<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><strong><br>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years).<br><strong><br>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).","Custom_International_Health":"A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry into West African countries. Have the shot recorded in your International Health Card and carry the card with your passport as proof of vaccination.","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"Malaria is a serious but preventable disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. All travelers are urged to take antimalarial medications, available only by prescription. Please discuss antimalarial medication with your doctor, who will explain various antimalarials and their side effects and recommend a regimen for you. In addition to medication, a further precaution against malaria is to wear long sleeves and long pants at dusk. Thin clothing should be sprayed with insect repellent, especially around the elbows and ankles. Use repellent containing DEET. <br><br>If, after returning from your trip, you have a persistent fever with chills, muscle aches, and headache, report to your doctor the possibility of exposure to malaria. <br><br>For further malaria information, consult your doctor or the CDC Malaria Hotline (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers\/\">cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers<\/a>) or by phone at 888-232-3228.","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"At restaurant meals and our picnic lunches, there is always plenty of bottled water to drink, and bottled water is widely available for purchase. In hotels, don't brush your teeth with tap water; use bottled water. Don't use ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.<br><br>","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-tribal-ghana-togo-and-benin\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.<br>","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>International Health Card (&#8220;Yellow Card&#8221;) with proof of Yellow Fever inoculation within the last 10 years<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<strong>Note:<\/strong> International flights have a baggage weight restriction of 44 lbs.<br><br><ul><li>Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase, with a small TSA-approved padlock. Due to limited space in vehicles, all your clothing and gear must fit into this bag, without exception.<\/li><li>Daypack for camera gear, water bottle, and personal items needed during the day.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Clothing":"We recommend loose, lightweight pants&mdash;synthetic &#8220;travel&#8221; fabric are good in very hot weather. Short-sleeved shirts can be worn during the day and evening. For city and hotel attire, we suggest long skirts or slacks for women, slacks and shirts for men. No jackets are required for men.<br><br>People in West Africa dress modestly and visitors should also take care to dress modestly. Men travelers can wear knee-length walking shorts. Local women wear long wrap skirts in colorful fabrics; women travelers may also find a wrap skirt or long skirt a comfortable option.<br><br>Ghana, Togo, and Benin have very hot, humid climates. Mid-day temperatures can be in the 90s, with little cooling in the evening. Be prepared for long, hot days. In the inland regions, the wind can sometimes stir up dust storms. Rain is unlikely in the areas we visit, but possible.<br><br><br><ul><li>Lightweight, quick-drying synthetic pants. Jeans aren't recommended because they are made of heavy cotton and are too hot for the climate.<\/li><li>Loose, lightweight travel shorts for men. Shorts should be modest and knee-length.<\/li><li>Lightweight batik sarong or below-the-knee travel skirt for women. West African women don't expose their legs. Shorts on women are frowned upon, so a comfortable long skirt is a great choice.<\/li><li>T-shirts<\/li><li>Underwear\/socks. Synthetics dry faster<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Shade hat with a wide brim<\/li><li>Tennis shoes or sturdy walking shoes with good traction and ankle support<\/li><li>Sturdy sandals such as Tevas<\/li><li>Bathing suit (for use in hotel pools where available)<\/li><li>City\/hotel attire<\/li><li>Funeral attire (darker colors or black, no shorts, no white)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Good quality sunglasses with case<\/li><li>Strong flashlight or headlamp, spare batteries<\/li><li>Compact umbrella or lightweight rain jacket<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Lip balm with sunscreen<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, Tylenol PM for sleeping<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>Insect repellent. Repellents with DEET are recommended. DEET content of about 30-35% is ideal (higher DEET content is not recommended). Wipe DEET off your hands before touching plastic surfaces (such as binoculars) because it can damage the plastic. Aerosol repellents are useful for spraying on clothes.<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing (at least 60% alcohol to be effective)<\/li><li>Antihistamine such as Benadryl and cold remedy such as Sudafed<\/li><li>Pepto Bismol tablets and Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Converter\/plug adapter for appliance use in hotels<\/li><li>Camera, spare batteries, spare flashcards<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Gatorade-type powdered mixes or packets of ORS (oral rehydration salts) to add to your water bottle from time to time on really hot days<\/li><li>Bandanas<\/li><li>Toilet paper (Kleenex pocket packs are handy)<\/li><li>Small tape recorder to record local sounds<\/li><li>Reusable water bottle (optional, since bottled water is carried in our vehicles)<\/li><li>Travel clock<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch<\/li><li>Travel laundry soap, clothespins, and line<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Royal Festivals, Mask Dances, Voodoo Spirits, Castles of Clay","Custom_Lodging":"14 nights hotels and guesthouses","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"Rugged road travel, cultural exploration, easy walks","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is rated <strong>Level 3, Moderate<\/strong>. This is a rugged trip in a very remote region. Participants should be fit, healthy, and have no mobility restrictions. Medical facilities on the trip will be far away and often non-existent.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"Ghana, Togo, and Benin have very hot, humid climates that vary very little year round. Mid-day temperatures can be in the 90s, with little cooling in the evening. In the inland regions, the wind can sometimes stir up dust storms. Rain is unlikely in the areas we visit, but possible. The intense heat can be very wearing, and it doesn&apos;t cool down much at night. We don&apos;t recommend this trip for people who can&apos;t tolerate humid conditions.","Custom_Accommodations":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-08T15:39:39 --><p>There are few first-class hotels anywhere outside the cities, but rest assured we always try to obtain the best possible. For the most part, the hotels are comfortable, but they are very basic. Hotel air conditioning in West Africa does not cool a room to American standards of comfort, and may not work sometimes, and there may be occasions where the hotel electricity goes off for periods of time. We travel by one minivan or by two 4WD vehicles, depending on weather and road conditions. Our support staff travels in another vehicle with cooking supplies. On our road journeys, we make frequent &quot;outdoor bathroom&quot; stops and you have ample opportunity to stroll around villages and markets to see and experience the differences in architecture, dress, and culture among the many tribes in West Africa. On travel days, our staff prepares a lunch for us ahead of time in the morning and we enjoy it in a roadside restaurant en route.<\/p>","Custom_Cuisine":"","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-08T15:47:43 --><p>Travel in Remote Regions<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-08T15:47:51 --><p>Tourist facilities are very limited in the remote savanna regions and small villages we visit. Although we are accompanied by a support crew staffed by experienced veterans of West Africa, participants should understand that this trip involves long drives, lack of proper bathroom facilities, hot and humid weather, and somewhat basic hotels outside of Accra. The physical shape you are in will be an important factor in your enjoyment of your trip. We recommend you bring Gatorade-type powdered mixes or packets of OHS (oral hydration salts) to add to your water bottle from time to time on really hot days. Dehyration is a serious risk and should be prepared for.<\/p><p>There are dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote regions. These dangers include everything from the possibility of a vehicle accident or sickness without access to the means of rapid evacuation. The availability of medical supplies, or the adequacy of medical attention once provided, cannot be guaranteed and cannot be expected to measure up to Western standards. If you have any chronic health problems (respiratory or cardiac problems, a bad back, or diabetes), we recommend you consider a different trip.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}