Togo Travel Information

Photo French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Despite the facade of multiparty rule instituted in the early 1990s, the government continues to be dominated by the military, which has maintained its power almost continuously since 1967. The climate of Togo is tropical. Average annual temperatures range from 27° C (81° F) at the coast to 30° C (86° F) in the north. The south has two rainy seasons, from March to July and from October to November; the average annual rainfall on the coast is about 890 mm (about 35 in). It doubles in the mountains a few kilometers inland. The north has one rainy season (April to July) and receives nearly all of its annual precipitation (1,140 mm/45 in) during this period. This small sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton together generate about 30% of export earnings. Togo is self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs when harvests are normal, with occasional regional supply difficulties. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining is by far the most important activity, although it has suffered from the collapse of world phosphate prices and increased foreign competition. Togo serves as a regional commercial and trade center. The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has stalled. Political unrest, including private and public sector strikes throughout 1992 and 1993, jeopardized the reform program, shrunk the tax base, and disrupted vital economic activity. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of the currency by 50% provided an important impetus to renewed structural adjustment; these efforts were facilitated by the end of strife in 1994 and a return to overt political calm.
Population distribution is very uneven due to soil and terrain variations. The population is generally concentrated in the south and along the major north-south highway connecting the coast to the Sahel. Age distribution is also uneven; more than one-half of the Togolese are less than 15 years of age. The ethnic groups of the coastal region, particularly the Ewes (about 25% of the population), constitute the bulk of the civil servants, professionals, and merchants, due in part to the former colonial administrations which provided greater infrastructure development in the south. The Kabye (15% of the population) live on submarginal land and traditionally have emigrated south from their home area in the Kara region to seek employment. Their historical means of social advancement has been through the military and law enforcement forces, and they continue to dominate these services. Subsistence agriculture and commerce are the main economic activities in Togo; the majority of the population depends on subsistence agriculture. Food and cash crop production employ the majority of the labor force and contribute about 42% to the gross domestic product (GDP). Coffee and cocoa are traditionally the major cash crops for export, but cotton cultivation increased rapidly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with 84,500 metric tons produced in 1994. Despite insufficient rainfall in some areas, the Togolese Government largely has achieved its goal of self-sufficiency in food crops-corn, cassava, yams, sorghum, millet, and groundnut. Food crop production is controlled by small and medium-sized farms; average farm size is one to three hectares.
Although Togo is taking measures to increase its energy-generating capacity, power outages are often experienced in tourist facilities, especially upcountry.
Only certain credit cards are accepted in Togo. Most major hotels and the restaurants attached to them accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa; however, smaller hotels and restaurants do not accept credit cards. Travelers planning to use credit cards should know which cards are accepted before they commit to any transaction. Keep all credit card receipts, as unauthorized card use and overcharging are common.

Important: Travel to Togo may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Togo visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Togolese Republic
Capital city: Lome
Area: 56,785 sq km
Population: 6,961,049
Ethnic groups: African
Languages: French
Religions: Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%
Government: republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule
Chief of State: President Faure GNASSINGBE
Head of Government: Prime Minister Kwesi AHOOMEY-ZUNU
GDP: 6.464 billion
GDP per captia: 1,000
Annual growth rate: 4.9%
Inflation: 3.6%
Agriculture: coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava
Major industries: phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages
Natural resources: phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
Trade Partners - exports: China 10.7%, Burkina Faso 8.3%, India 8.3%, Benin 8.2%, Niger 6.3%, Germany 5.7%, Ghana 4.8%, Indonesia 4.7%
Trade Partners - imports: China 32.5%, France 8.7%, Belgium 7.9%, India 6.2%, US 5.1%, UK 4.6%