The Fetish Market of Lome, Togo

We had a very interesting day driving from Tema, Ghana to Lome, Togo. Our driver was supposed to met us at 10AM at the gate to the port. We took the shuttle from the ship to the gate and looked for him. After about 30 minutes in the hot sun we decided we would take the next shuttle back to the ship. Just a couple minutes later our driver arrived. We jumped in car and began the three hour drive to Togo.

Tema, which is on the outskirts of Accra, is like most big cities: overcrowded, congested, and not particularly appealing. After fighting the traffic for a while we were out of the city and on our way. Rural Ghana is very poor. Our driver explained that it is difficult for most people. He asked if he could stop to try to buy some water for his village. The first place we stopped was out of water … They might have some the next day. He did find some later in the day.

The coastal road to Togo is very good until you get close to the border and then it literally disappears. It looks like there might be plans to improve the road but for now it is more of a pothole infested dirt track than a major thoroughfare.

The border was an interesting experience. Our driver took us to the Ghana immigration and that went quite smoothly. We then said goodbye to him and met Kokou who should be our guide whilst in Togo. After purchasing some CFAs, the Togo currency, we walked across the border to the Togo immigration. Again the authorities were nice and quickly processed our visa.

Our destination in Togo was Lome, the capital city that is right on the Ghanian border. Kokou took us to our hotel and we got checked in and had a nice lunch. After lunch we went to the Fetish Market. The market is where folks go to get Voodoo cures for various ailments. The cures are a concoction of herbs and animal parts. Once you have a prescription, the Market Chief will put together your custom formula.

The market was unlike anything I have ever seen. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of animal heads: leopards, hippos, dogs, cats, bats, snakes … you name it. They tell us for the cures to work the animals must be found dead and not hunted … we were not convinced 🙁

As always when we travel we try not to judge. The market is very important to those who believe in Voodoo … Plus we really did not want the chief to bestow any black magic on us.

Here are some photos from the market