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West Africa's Voodoo Kingdoms

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Accra
  • Cotonou
  • Kétou
  • Ouidah
  • Lomé
  • Kumasi
  • Elmina

13 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 21 Oct 2021

Hand-carved masks, dancing ancestral rituals, fetish markets and traditional healers. We have stumbled upon the ancient world of Voodoo. A religion which lifts the veil between the living and the spirit world, we readily immerse ourselves in the intrigue. Magic is also found in age-old cultures, golden beaches and the smiles of locals. This journey is reserved for 24 guests.

Land Only Map West Africas Voodoo Kingdoms 2021

We touch down in Ghana’s spirited capital city. Our welcome into Accra is a leisurely one, with plenty of time to settle in and relax before celebratory welcome drinks and a light dinner to begin our journey.

Death is viewed uniquely in Accra – almost as a celebration. This is found in the revered art of coffin making, where coffins are carved into unusual forms. Our discovery of Accra is rounded off with a visit to Independence Square and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, before we reconvene for a Welcome Dinner. It’s onwards to Cotonou, home to the Zinzou Foundation Museum. Within this Afro-Brazilian style villa, we view contemporary African art.

Ganvie Stilt Village, home to the ‘water men’, was formed so the Tofinu people could escape the Fon warriors – slave hunters for the European traders. We visit this World Heritage water town, where teetering homes, shops, a school and hospital make up the community. Our journey continues in Kétou. Gelede and Egun dancing mask practices are traced back to the city’s origins. Colourful masks and ritual dance form a powerful display of worship.

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are testimony to one of Africa’s most powerful kingdoms between 1600 and 1894. The city of Ouidah beckons with its sombre slave-trade history. At the Door of No Return, we see the arched monument where slaves were sent onto transatlantic slave boats to the New World, never to return to Africa’s shores. Our first glimpse is taken of the world of Voodoo, through a visit to the Temple of Pythons and a Zangbeto mask ritual.

We delve deeper into Voodoo territory by witnessing a Voodoo ceremony and meeting a healer. With an emphasis on ancestor worship, there is a long-held belief that the spirits of the dead exist alongside the living. A swift visit to Lome’s colonial edifices brings us to the Lome Grand Market and Togo National Museum. Upon return to Accra, a swift jaunt to Jamestown reveals a dishevelled neighbourhood inhabited by vibrant locals.

A flight brings us to Kumasi. We are warmly enveloped by the Ashanti culture through a visit to the National Cultural Centre and, if circumstances permit, a traditional Ashanti funeral. The Kumasi Central Market is a sensory overload, being one of the largest open-air markets in West Africa. We follow the drumbeats and melodic hollering of an Ashanti Akwasidae Festival – a day of ancestral worship celebrated by the Ashanti people and chiefs.

Along a stretch of coast off the Atlantic Ocean we find ourselves in Elmina. Its World Heritage castle is one of 30 slave forts tracing Ghana’s coastline. Today, the castle stands as a solemn reminder, and a place of pilgrimage for many who seek to connect with their ancestral heritage. In addition to the castle, we make a stop in Elmina’s thriving fishing village and see the Posuban, concrete shrines which are decorated with symbols and statues. As our journey comes to a close, we allow ourselves the indulgence of stretching out across golden sands and relaxing on Elmina’s palm-lined beaches. We return back to Accra, where the afternoon is ours before we are escorted back to the airport in the evening. We leave behind the mysteries of West Africa’s Voodoo magic in exchange for home.