Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a thin strip of land between Ghana and Benin in West Africa. Although the country is only a few hundred miles wide it has enjoyed international prominence for a few years following its football team's qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

Togo is a politically unstable country, but predictably so. President Gnassingbe Eyadema has been a fixture at the head of the country since his takeover in 1967 and the facade of democratic elections in the 90's has only seen him rise to greater power. Togo remains a safe place to travel regardless.

Where to go

Togo's population lives mostly near the ocean and the beaches along West Africa's southern coast are a big reason why. Tropical, sandy spots near capital city Lome are a popular with vacationers who lie out in the sun and spend their days in the ocean. Lome is also the best place to experience the culture of Togo. Pencil in some time for wandering the street flea market Village Artisanal.

Getting there

It's possible to fly directly to Lome, in Togo, but the cheaper option is to fly into Accra in Ghana and take a bus to Togo. You'll have to walk across the border, but you'll save some cash.

You'll need a visa to visit Togo and there's some debate about the best way to get one. Some travelers swear by waiting and purchasing the tourist visa at the border because you save time and the cost is about the same. Others don't feel comfortable approaching a country without the proper documentation already in place. Your choice should be made according to your comfort level with uncertainty and adventure.

Where to stay

Accommodations in Togo are going to either be at an overly expensive hotel or a cheap hostel that, shall we say, "lends itself to adventure." Lome is the main business and tourist area and you'll find most of Togo's accommodations there.