GONE WITH THE WYND

Expedition Number XVI

 

IN SEARCH OF VOODOO: SACRED TWINS FESTIVALS IN WEST AFRICA

04 October 2024 – 12 October 2024

(Togo extension 14 October 2024 – 17 October 2024)

AN EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY THROUGH BENIN AND TOGO IN SEARCH OF VOODOO SACRED TWINS. EXPERIENCE THIS VIBRANT CULTURE AND TWO INCREDIBLE COUNTRIES BY VISITING FESTIVALS, VILLAGES, ART GALLERIES, NATURE AND RESTAURANTS, WITH VOODOO PERMEATING EVERY DAY.

Join Gone with the Wynd Expeditions with cultural historian and anthropologist Dr Louise Fenton on this incredible journey through the ‘Cradle of Voodoo’, to discover Vodoun, to Benin and Togo.

Twins are sacred spirits, and this expedition will visit the annual Twins Festival in Ouidah, Benin. It is a large annual festival to celebrate the power of the spirit of twins throughout Benin and Togo culture. We will travel through villages dedicated to twin deities such as the twin festival in Ouidah and the sacred twins tree in Togo. We will be invited to see some vibrant ceremonies. Many of the locations are unique to these tours as we have built up a network of contacts and guides over many visits. There will be no staged ceremonies, we go to where Dr Fenton can secure permission to take you, sometimes at very short notice so be prepared!

You will need to come with an open mind and flexible approach to travel. Voodoo, or Vodoun, permeates the very soul of this part of West Africa. Dr Fenton will lead you on a journey to see altars, shrines and temples, you will meet Vodoun Priests and Priestesses and have the adventure of tracking down Twins ceremonies, you will learn about the history and culture of this incredible country through visiting sacred and historic sites.

We will visit Ouidah to see the annual sacred Twins Festival where hundreds celebrate and revere twins. We will experience the incredible natural environment that these countries have to offer such as the beach and river in Ouidah, the lake in Possotomé, the village of Davedi and waterfall in Togo. There will be a visit to the largest Fetish Market in Lomé where you will hear of how animals are so important to medicine. There will be numerous opportunities to taste the cuisine, dine in some of West Africa’s finest restaurants, buy incredible artefacts, see the art and culture of these countries in galleries and museums and to relax and enjoy this amazing journey through Benin and Togo.

Interested? Contact Dr Louise Fenton    [email protected]

PROVISIONAL ITINERARY

This is a provisional itinerary and subject to change, but it will give an idea of what we will see. The visits may change but the locations and dates will remain.

We have a maximum capacity of 10 places on these expeditions and spaces are allocated on a first come first serve basis. They do sell out very quickly so if you would like to join Dr Fenton in October, please secure your place with a deposit.

Price for BENIN (9 days / 8 nights)
Per person €2400 (approx. £2000)
Single room supplement €260

Price for Togo Extension only (4 days / 3 nights)
Per person €800 (approx. £700)
Single room supplement €120

INCLUDES

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Accommodation
  • Ceremonies
  • Transport
  • Tour Guide
  • Tour Leader
  • Visits
  • Water

NOT INCLUDED

  • Dinner
  • Drinks
  • Visa
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for guide and driver (not mandatory)
  • Spending money

PLEASE NOTE: We can advise on extra night hotels between tours and for the Togo extension, we will get you to the airport for flights home at the end of the tour or advise on hotels in Cotonou.

BENIN SCHEDULE 

Day 1: 04 October 24

Cotonou – Stay in Cotonou

-Flight to Cotonou
-Arrive in Cotonou airport, meet Tour Leader and Tour Guide just outside the arrival area

-Transfer to Hotel, night in double room (Hotel du Lac or similar)

Day 2: 05 October 24

Cotonou/ Ouidah
Stay in Ouidah

-Breakfast at the hotel
-Assistance for exchanging money
– visits in Cotonou (Fa reader, monuments, mural, artefact market)
-Lunch in a restaurant
-Departure to Ouidah
-Afternoon preparation for the
Twins; Day and various ceremonies
-Night at Hotel Casa del Papa or similar

Day 3: 06 October 24

Ouidah -Breakfast at the hotel

– Day dedicated to the Feast of the Twins
– Lunch at restaurant
-Continuation of the festivities
-Night at Casa del Papa or similar

Day 4: 07 October 24

Ouidah / Grand Popo / Possotome

– Breakfast in Hotel
– Travel to Grand Popo
– Lunch
– Lake tour / bird Island / salt island
– Stay at Hotel Chez Theo

Day 5: 10 October 24

Possotomé / Doutou / Possotomé

-Breakfast
-Village walk in Possotome
-Lunch
-Afternoon Vodoun ceremony at Doutou
– Stay at Hotel Chez Theo

Day 6: 09 October 24

Possotome / Abomey – Breakfast in the hotel
– Travel to Abomey
– Visit the UNESCO heritage site of Dahomey palace and centre for Contemporary art
-Night in double rooms at Hotel Tennessee or similar

Day 7: 10 October 2024

Abomey Breakfast at the hotel
Visits around ABOMEY: visits locally, forest, sacred river, voodoo priest in the bush, fetish market, …
-Lunch in a restaurant
-Afternoon Vodoun ceremony
-Night in double rooms Hotel
Tennesee or similar

Day 8: 11 October 2024

Abomey / Ketou / Porto Novo

-Breakfast at the hotel
– Departure Ketou
– Visit King of Ketou in his palace
– Museum with twins doors akaba
idena
-Lunch in a restaurant
– stay in Porto Novo at Hotel
Ouidada or simiar

Day 9: 12 October 2024

Porto Novo / Cotonou – Breakfast in hotel

– Morning walk tour around Porto Novo
– Lunch in restaurant
– Depart for Cotonou
– Transfer to airport
END OF SERVICES

TOGO ITINERARY
Day 1 / 10: 14 October 2024

Cotonou / Lome / Kpalime
Stay in Kpalime

– Depart Cotonou after breakfast
– Travel to Togo / border control
– Lunch
– Visit Lome former president’s palace (art)
– Lome national museum
– Travel to Kpalime
– Dinner
– Hotel in Kpalime, Parc Residence or similar

Day 2 / 11: 15 October 2024

Kpalime / Lome
Stay in Lome

– Breakfast
– Waterfall
– Nature
– Village walk
– Lunch
– Travel to Lome
– Stay in Hotel in Lome

Day 3 / 12: 16 October 2024

Lome / Davedi – Village walk
– Twins ceremony
– Agriculture
– Traditional music ceremony
– Hotel in Lome
– Stay in Hotel in Lome

Day 4 / 13: 17 October 2024

Togoville / Cotonou – Visit Togoville / Twins sacred tree and village walk
– Lunch
– Twins ceremony
– Travel to Cotonou
END OF SERVICES
END OF TOUR