Many holidays to Togo and Benin explore the vibrant Vodou culture of these nations. Calling us from outside the UK? Toggle navigation.
Arrival in Togo in October meant a sixth visit to Africa for me and my third time in West Africa. I was travelling with my Polish friend Malina this time and we planned to visit both Togo and Benin on a 10 day release from Poland, my home now since From here we did a few tours and side trips including to Togoville and Lake Togo.
GoNomad 1. I was visiting the Fetish healers there. Hundreds of carcasses splayed on the ground.
Within the dusty red square, each stall is covered with animal body parts — snake heads, bat wings and monkey testicles — arranged in rows so neat that Mary Portas would approve. The arrival of our four-person group is met with some interest: Togo has a population of six million and tourists are relatively rare. It has just announced its dates for this Cradle of Voodoo tour, which takes in Togo and neighbouring Benin over 16 nights. They are beautiful countries, where red dust contrasts with the deep green of the baobab trees, but are incorrectly written off as unsafe, partly due to their close proximity to Mali.
You name it. The market is located outdoors, but that makes it no less eerie. As a tourist, you can visit the market, but be advised that it might be quite scarring to see all the sacrificed animals.
A visitor's itinerary of Togo is never complete without a tour of Lome's Akossewa district, east of the capital, where one of the most unique trading centres in Africa, the fetish market is located. Thanks to a conspicuous plaque at the entrance, which provides information on the activities of the facility, there is no way of missing this market whose vendors are eternally on the lookout for visitors and demonstrate excessive energy aimed at attracting potential buyers to their stalls. Sporting badges around their necks, their hunger for customers can be as uncomfortable as the stench issuing from the items on display.
Photo: jrwebbe. Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on FacebookTumblror follow us on Twitter atlasobscura.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. At the famous Fetish Market in Lome, Togo, traditional remedies and magical talismans compete with modern medicine for Africans looking to cure illness — and also find love or cast a spell. In parts of West Africa, traditional remedies used in religions like voodoo or juju are as popular as Western medicines.
The Akodessewa Fetish Market, or Marche des Feticheurs, is a place where you can find anything from leopard heads and human skulls to Vodou voodoo priests who bless and create fetishes or predict the future and make medicines to heal whatever ails you. Although the market is owned and run by Beninese. The Akodessewa Fetish Market is a mecca to local practitioners and they travel there from all over the African continent.
Forgot Password? There, you'll find an enormous collection of items you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else—love charms, life enhancements, and cures, most in the form of dead animal parts. All of it is made possible by the blessings and rituals of the resident voodoo priests. What do you want out of life?