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Togo, Benin & Nigeria

Togo

Border Crossing Ghana-Togo. Menuso. GPS N07 34.836’ E000 30.862’.
This crossing point will bring you directly to Badou in Togo and is reached via the Yendi road when heading north from Jasikan. The turning off the Yendi road is not signposted, but is opposite a police post/customs check point on the left hand side of the road. The minor road leads directly to the border crossings of Menuso (Ghana) with both customs and immigration and Badou-Djindji (Togo) with only immigration; the Togo customs post is in Badou itself, 250m on the left hand side beyond a small bridge and on the main road to Atakpame. All the officials were very correct and pleasant.

Akloa. Auberge de Akloa. GPS N07 30.835’ E000 36.511’. The auberge is not signposted, if in doubt ask at the village office where you pay to visit the falls and pick up a guide; you may well walk past it on your way to the falls!. The auberge is managed by a villager who will arrange for a good Togolese meal to be brought over; it is recently built and consists of rooms and an en suite ‘apartment’. The apartment is as cheap as chips, so camping is not necessary, and very adequate, although without running water when we were there (large buckets and scoops sufficed). Should the electricity be running then hook up is possible.

Lome.Chez Alice.
GPS co-ordinates ‘misplaced’, but for Lome use the Mercure co-ordinates below. To the east of central Lome, follow the main beach/coast road past the port and oil depots. Not signposted until you are at the entrance, which is on the right hand side of the main road. Chez Alice is great value for money with excellent basic accommodation, good food with a Swiss German touch and cold beer. Cheap as chips so there is little reason to camp, the better huts are those not on the beach side. Electricity hook up is possible. In Lome and on your way to Chez Alice on the beach road you will pass the Mercure hotel (GPS N06 08.252’ E001 15.957’), wifi is available here at a reasonable hourly rate.

Benin

Border Crossing Togo – Benin.
No GPS, you can’t miss it, warned in advance by the queues of lorries on the roadside! Chaotic and time consuming, but throughout the officials were very straight, no problems.

Grand Popo. Auberge de Grand Popo. GPS N06 16.772’ E001 49.794’.
At the Y junction in the centre of Grand Popo, turn right onto the beach road; follow this beyond the end of the paved section, the auberge buildings are on the right and past an open grassy area on the right, the camp site, with reception at the far end. Camping (close to the sea) is possible and really pleasant, with the use of a shower and toilet in the accommodation nearby. Electricity hook up not possible. Good restaurant and cold beer, but the ‘pression’ is rather watery!

Abomey. Chez Monique. GPS N07 11.814’ E001 58.842’.
Not signed at all and not easy to find, but the route is navigable using the Bradt guide or, in extremis, a local on a motorbike! Camping is possible in the large court yard area with the use of, about adequate, facilities. Hook up difficult but not impossible. Good Benin food and only cool beer.

Djougou. Motel du Lac. GPS N09 40.813’ E001 39.164’. It is not signposted, but is unmissable and on the right hand side of the main road from Bassila, opposite a small lake and just before you enter Djougou. Camping is not possible, but the motel is reasonable value and has a good restaurant and cold beer. The main plus was the excellent guide, Zouma Rou Alassane, provided through the motel owner.

Parakou. Hotel Majestic. GPS N09 31.900’ E002 36.870’.
Not signposted, but aided by the Bradt guidebook it is relatively easy to find. Hotel service/facilities, including wifi, are reasonable but verge on the overpriced. Camping (rooftent/campervan only) possible but generally better and more flexible at next door Auberge Parakou.

Nigeria

Border Crossing. Benin – Nigeria. *** ***.
Very straight forward. The Benin customs post is in Nikki, on the left hand side of the road as you leave the town for the border; the Benin immigration/police post is at Chikandou on the border and the official OK, bearing in mind the visa problem (see journal). Nigerian health, immigration and customs are 200m away in Chikanda and slow, but otherwise very friendly and no problem.

Chikanda to Kiama.
On our map the road to Kiama was shown as an ‘Express Highway’, up to Kosubosu it was a wide graded dirt track; there after all the way to Kiama it is anything but an express highway, we averaged about 10 miles an hour and the journey took virtually a full day. But it was good fun. Bush

Camp.GPS N09 31.900’ E00.3 17.756’,
off the road to the left, the track leads to an open granite pan. After this there are further customs, health and police checks in the village at GPS N09 29.038’ E003 3O.740’ .

Kainji National Park.
The Park gates are at GPS N09 59.405’ E004 16.677’ and the Lodge some 40 Km away in the Park at GPS N09 54.752’ E003 57.324’. The Lodge has some serviceable accommodation, an adequate restaurant and very helpful and friendly staff. Camping and use of all the facilities is possible, so too electricity hook up.

Agwarra. Bush Camp. GPS N10 41.557’ E004 32.825’.
On the right in an open ‘field’ and just after the police post as you leave Agwarra.

Patikou. Camping in the village. GPS N09 47.689’ E004 43.256’
. Beyond the Kainji Reservoir dam and to the east of the main Wawa – Mokwa road. Very friendly village; the villagers were very happy for us to use the school football ‘pitch’.

Abuja. The Sheraton Hotel car park. GPS N09 03.884’ E007 29.023’.
It is easy to find, the building and logo visible from most anywhere in Abuja. The camping is free, but you have to check in with the head of car parking and/or security. Facilities (toilet and basin) are available, but limited. Sadly there is no wifi, but there is a business centre with a good internet connection and reasonable hourly fee. Restaurants are good but pricey, the beer cold and pricey!

Abuja. The Cameroun High Commission.
The High Commission is best reached by taxi and is in Lobito Crescent in the Wuse district, close to the Russian Embassy.

Abuja. The Chelsea Hotel. GPS N09 03.106’ E007 28.804’.
The hotel has an internet connection in the room, but in every other respect it is overpriced! Camping not an option.

Jos.The County Home Hotel. GPS N09 54.443’ E008 52.482’.
Not signposted until you are within 400m or so, but quite easy to find. The hotel has an internet cafe, free for residents, and is reasonably priced but some of the food is of indifferent quality. Camping not an option.

Yankari National Park Lodge. GPS N09 45.579’ E010 30.500’.
The recently tarred road leads right from the main Bauchi – Gombe road to the entrance to the Park and then onto the Lodge. Although the whole Lodge complex has been completely renovated at great expense, camping is permitted and there are plans for a dedicated camping area with proper facilities, there are none at present apart from a water tap!

Kaltungo.Bush Camp. GPS N09 46.310’ E011 23.715’.
Heading south from Kaltungo the track is on the right and leads to a decent flat and open area used by the pylon erectors some years ago. Great views.

Yola. Customs Regional Office. GPS N09 16.006’ E012 25.001’.
We were not certain that there would be a customs post at the border crossing we were going to use, so stopped at the Regional Office. No problems at all, the GPS is approximate as we had no wish to be arrested for logging ‘sensitive’ details!

Fofore. Bush Camp. GPS N09 09.561’ E012 44.817’.
Beyond Fofore and within about 15 Km of the border; track on the left of the road to Gurin leads through scrubby wood to open clearing.

Gurin. Nigerian border post.
Once in Gurin ask for the road (track) to the border, there are both immigration and custom officials here. This is only a practical crossing option in the dry season or when the water is low; there is no bridge over the river and surrounding it is a flood plain.

Near Tchamba. Cameroun border officials. GPS N08 31.770’ E012 45.510’.
The GPS is of the closest customs post to our crossing point and is on the far side of THE bridge over the River Faro. On crossing the border we used a local motorcyclist to get us through the maze of flood plain tracks as far Beka and then followed the road to Tchamba; the bridge is about 10 Kms south of Tchamba and you should turn right at the T junction just before the bridge, at this junction a left turn brings you to the bridge but a right turn leads to the immigration post after about 4kms. You should visit the immigration post first.

Bush Camp. GPS N08 31.017’ E012 46.512’. About 2kms beyond customs post, turn left off the dirt road from the customs post, flat gravel quarry.

Lagdo. Lagon Bleu Resort. GPS N09 02.774’ E013 41.141’. Drive through to southern edge of Ngong, then take the last left turn before leaving the town and follow tarred road to the lakeshore village of Lagdo, the route to the resort is then signposted. Under new management (was German, now African) and deteriorating fast. Over priced and lack of investment in maintenance, fantastic location and worth staying for the views over the lake but only at half the price or less.

Ngaoundere. Hotel Transcam. GPS N07 19.309’ E013 35.800’. Take the well signposted right turn off the N1 in the northern outskirts of Ngaoundere and then follow the large signs for about 5 kms. Good hotel with internet in the bedroom and expensive restaurant, camping not possible.

Chutes du Tello. Bush Camp. GPS N07 13.840’ E013 56.508’. If approaching the falls from Ngaoundere, use a local moto taxi to put you on the D21 leaving the town. Stay on the dirt road for over 35 kms, the falls are signposted (hand painted and small) at the right turn off the D21, follow the piste to an excellent flat grassy area just beyond what passes for a makeshift car park.

Garoua Boulai. GPS details ‘misplaced’. The hotel is signed at a right turn off the main road (N1) in the middle of the town and just before the only roundabout in Garoua Boulai, where the CAR border is signposted, go up the sandy track and the hotel is about 800m on the right. The hotel is reasonably priced, the restaurant adequate and the beer cool. The management will allow camping in the secure car park with use of a wash room, etc.

Bertoua. Hotel Mansa. GPS N04 35.300’ E013 40.963’. The hotel is signposted, but intermittently, from the outskirts of the town. Probably overpriced, but only just, a reasonable hotel without internet and the restaurant is adequate and the beer cool.

Yaoundé. Catholic Mission (CASBA). GPS N03 52.611’ E011 31.445’. Not signposted within Yaoundé, but the Rough Guide map was sufficient to get us there! Great all round value and a piece of tranquillity in a noisy city. Well placed for the Congo and Gabon embassies. Camping allowed with use of washroom, etc.


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