Country Information Togo
A yellow fever vaccination is necessary for entry into Togo. In addition, the standard vaccinations (tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), etc. (see Robert Koch Institute)) should exist. Hepatitis A is also recommended as a travel vaccination, and hepatitis B and typhoid are recommended for long-term stays or special exposure. A tropical or travel doctor should be contacted for medical advice. Togo is also repeatedly affected by malaria, so we recommend chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) for prevention. In addition, protective measures such as long, bright clothes, treated mosquito nets, anti-mosquito spray for textiles and skin, etc. can be taken. General medical care in Togo does not meet western standards. However, some specialists are represented in the capital (French and occasionally also German speaking). If there is a need for surgery, it should be carried out in Europe (in the home country) if possible. In the event of an accident, it can be assumed that there is no reliable ambulance service. However, transport to the closest possible hospital is guaranteed. It should be noted that prepayment is usually required from hospitals and doctors. We suggest that a foreign health insurance and a return insurance (e.g. ADAC) should be taken out and that a tropical doctor, tropical medical advice center or a travel doctor should be consulted for advice.
Togo has a tropical-humid climate all year with an average of 27 – 30 °C. The hottest months are February and March. In the north of the country, the rainy season runs from May to October, with the peak of the West African monsoon occurring in August. The average temperature in the northern areas in January is around 35 °C and it can reach 39 °C in March. In the south, the rainy season lasts from April to June and from September to November. The south is also the warmest in March at 32 °C. August is the coolest month on average in the whole country with 27 – 30 °C.
The capital of Togo is Lomé. It is the cultural and economic center of the country. One of the country’s two international airports is located in the capital (Lomé Airport and Niamtougou / Lama Kara). There is also one sea port for all imports and exports. Approximately 1,708,000 (2017) people live in Lomé. In addition to a few museums, the city also has numerous markets and others sights to visit. However, there are some instructions that you should note (see safety instructions).
Crime in Togo and especially in all big cities of the world is a recurring problem, so we especially advise against going out alone in the evening, walking on the beach and in the city, etc. Larger sums of cash, jewelry and valuables should not be carried around. In conflict situations, we advise against defending yourself, as this can lead to impulsive counter-reactions. In the event of traffic accidents, the police must also be informed and, if necessary, the next police station must be approached immediately in order to avoid major conflicts. In principle, copies of important documents (passport, ID card, driving license, etc.) and important documents should always be carried securely on your body. In general, Togo is a safe country, which is placing greater emphasis on controls in the north to avoid the spread of terrorist groups from Burkina Faso and neighboring countries. Therefore, multiple checks are to be expected there and it is recommended to follow the instructions of the tour guide and the security forces.
Religious freedom prevails in Togo, with the majority of the population professing the religion of the Ga and the Yoruba, which are the traditional religions in the country. In addition, the Christian faith and the Voodoo religion are strongly represented in the country. In Togo, the official language is French and the national language is Ewe and Kabiyé. In addition to these languages, about 39 living languages are spoken. The food is typical West African in Togo, so of course there is the West African national dish Fufu. The so-called fufu is a porridge made from yams. In addition, pate is often served, which consists of corn flour and is also mushy. It is common to eat omelets and sometimes baked beans for breakfast. A continental breakfast is also usually offered, and there is almost always fresh fruit to be found. For anyone who prefers to settle for simpler ingredients, there is rice and vegetables, pasta dishes, meat and fish dishes and pizza. In addition to the breathtaking scenic diversity, the colorful markets are also a sight to behold.
Togo is generally a very traditional country. The people of Togo are very friendly and courteous and with a handshake as a greeting you quickly feel comfortable. Before taking pictures of people, public or traditional events, you should ask the person concerned. In addition, no photos of military, important state buildings and the President should be taken.
The currency in Togo is CFA Franc. The CFA franc is on the fixed Exchange rate of 655.957 for 1 Euro (100 CFA Franc = 0.15 Euro, 100 CFA Franc = $ 0.17). In Togo we mainly pay in cash, as only a few upscale hotels accept credit cards. However, there is an option to withdraw cash via ATM in larger cities.
Internet- & Telephone-Communication
Togo continues to expand its fiber optic network, so the internet connection is usually good. The cell phone connection is available almost everywhere. In order to use mobile communications cheaply, the best option is to purchase a local SIM card, and we are happy to help with that. Fixed lines are rarely found in Togo, but the country is managed by a Network spanned by transmission towers. The mobile phone market is steadily expanding, as the mobile prepaid cards are often used as a replacement for expensive bank accounts.
The country’s history is shaped by exploitation and oppression by major powers. The beautiful coast of Togo has long been one of the largest points of contact for slave trade since the 16th century. The population would therefore have to assert itself again and again against slave hunters. From 1884 to 1916 Togo and a small eastern part of Ghana was a German colony. This colony was considered a “model colony” because it achieved the best financial balance and the colonial masters invested more in schools and health care. Among other things, three railway lines were created. Nevertheless, the colonial period was not as exhilarating for the local population as it was for the colonial masters. Misconduct was punished and house slavery was only abolished in the early 20th century. In addition, the national language has only been used in schools since the beginning of the 20th century. The exploitation was reflected in the financial balance sheets at the end of the colonial period. Due to the increased hunting of elephants and their killing, the main export material ivory was not available. During the First and Second World Wars, Togo became a UN trust area. In 1960 French Togoland was declared the independent Republic of Togo.
The relationship between Germany and Togo is good, since the colonial period was recorded as predominantly positive in the populations’ memory and Germany is now an important partner of the country.