Tour to Ghana,Togo;Benin : amazing traditional festival Odwira

IN GHANA KING ASHANTI CELEBRATES HIS 20 YEARS OF REIGN BY CELEBRATING THE GREAT TRADITIONAL ODWIRA AND AKWASIDAE KESE FESTIVALS IN ONE MAJOR EVENT

On this special occasion, the Odwira, a month of purification held every five years, will end with the great celebrations of the Akwasidae Kese. A traditional festival of this magnitude is rare and grandiose: the last event of this kind took place in 1995.

The conclusion of the celebrations will bring together the entire Ashanti people around tribal chiefs, each accompanied by their court. Kings and dignitaries from all over the African continent will also be present in their most beautiful traditional attire, ancient solid gold ornaments symbols of power, palanquins, large colorful parasols, musicians, dancers and courtiers.

TAKE PART IN THIS EVENT WITH US!

  • Duration: 12 days
  • Guide: English speaking
Price from 2565 € Send request
Day 1

LOME  IN

Arrival in Lome (Togo) and transfer to the hotel

Day 2

VOODOO

Lome the vibrant capital of Togo, is the only African city which was a colony of the Germans, the British and the French. It is also one of the few capitals in the world bordering with another nation. These elements have led to the development of a unique identity reflected in the life style of its inhabitants and in the architecture of the town: Lomé is indeed a cross point for people, trade and cultures, a cosmopolitan city in small size.

In a remote village we will join a Voodoo ceremony: the frenetic rhythm of the drums and the chants of the adepts calls in the voodoo spirits who then takes possession of some of the dancers. They fall into a deep trance: eyes rolling back, grimaces, convulsions, insensitivity to fire or pain. Sakpata, Heviesso, Mami Water are just some of the voodoos divinities who can manifest. In this narrow village, surrounded by the magic atmosphere of the ceremony, we will finally understand what people mean when they say: “In your Churches you pray God; in our voodoo shrine we become Gods!”

 

Day 3

“BRAZILIAN” CITY

Drive to Ouidah. Ouidah was conquered by the Dahomey army during the 18th century to become one of the main slave ports. Today Ouidah enjoys an Afro-Portuguese architecture.  The laid back attitude of the locals blends in harmoniously with the thunder of the distant waves and the rhythm of the drums .On foot we visit the Python Temple and the Portuguese Fort, now a museum on the history of Ouidah and the slave trade. We end our city tour by following the “slave road” to the beach, the point of “no return” where slaves used to board ships.

Day 4

ROYAL PALACE

We cross Lake Nokwe with a motorized boat to reach Ganvie, the largest and most beautiful African village on stilts. The approximately 25,000 inhabitants of the Tofinou ethnic group build their huts on teak stilts and cover the roofs with a thick layer of leaves. Fishing is their main activity. The village has managed to preserve its traditions and environment despite the long-lasting human presence in a closed setting; and the lake is not over-fished. Life unfolds each day around the canoes that men, women and children guide with ease using brightly colored poles. It is with these canoes that men fish, women deliver goods to the market and children go to school and play.

We move to Abomey where we visit the Royal Palace. The walls of the palace are decorated with bas-reliefs representing symbols of the ancient Dahomey kings. Now a museum listed on the Unesco World Heritage List, it displays items belonging to the ancient kings: thrones, cult altars, statues, costumes and weapons.  In the middle of the royal courtyard there is a temple built with a mixture of clay, gold dust and human blood.

Day 5

 FETISH HILL

We stop at the Dankoli Fetish, an important place for the Voodoo cult: thousands of little sticks are pushed in the fetish as testimony of the countless prayers for a good harvest, a happy wedding, an easy delivery, success at school etc.

In the afternoon we discover old Taneka villages located on a mountain with the same name. The villages are made up of round houses covered with a conical roof protected at the top by a terra cotta pot. The upper part of the village is inhabited by the young initiated and by the fetish priests who only cover themselves with a goat skin and always carry a long pipe.

Day 6

FIRE DANCE

We enter the land of the Somba & Tamberma who live in fortified dwellings. Similar in form to medieval castles, they are one of the most beautiful examples of ancient African architecture. Their strong tradition beliefs are proved by the presence of big shrines – of phallic form – at the entrance of their homes. With the permission granted to us by the inhabitants we enter their homes to better understand their way of life.

In the evening, fire dance. At the centre of the village a large fire lights up the faces of the participants, they dance to the hypnotic beat of the drums eventually leaping into the glowing embers, picking up burning coals, passing them over their bodies and even putting them in their mouths … all this without hurting themselves or showing any sign of pain. It’s difficult to explain such a performance. Is it matter of courage? Self suggestion? Magic? Maybe it really is the fetishes that protect them from the fire.

Day 7

RAINFOREST

We will head southwards, with a stop on the way in Atakpame, a typical African town built on hills where all the products coming from the nearby forests can be found. Through their skilled work on small weaving looms, men of the region make the large brightly coloured fabric called “Kente”.

From Atakpame we move to the tropical forests surrounding Kpalime, a town with a rich colonial past which is now an important trade center. Visit of the market and of the arts center.

At night, walk in the forest to discover the mysterious world of the tropical forest in the darkness and so meet with the majesty of the tropical trees, the sounds of tam-tams and the echoes of wild animals. Under the guidance of a local entomologist, we will learn about endemic butterflies and insects.

Day 8

GLASS BEADS

The area of Krobo is famous all around the world for its beads. Here they are produced and used for cults and aesthetic purposes. We will visit a factory specialized in the production of those beads and even follow the process of making one!

We reach Koforidua on time to visit the weely beads market. Great opportunity for shopping.

Day 9

ASHANTI

Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. The tribute paid today to the Asantehene (=King) is the best evidence of their past splendour and strength. With nearly one million inhabitants, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market, one of the biggest in Africa. Every type of Ashanti craft (leather goods, pottery, Kente cloth) is found here, along with just about every kind of tropical fruit and vegetable.

In the afternoon we participate – if available – in a traditional Ashanti funeral, attended by mourners wearing beautifully red or black togas. We say “funerals” but it means a “festive” celebration: the deceased in fact is believed to be still with his/her family and through this ceremony he/she becomes an ancestor. Relatives and friends gather, socialize and celebrate his/her memory. The chief arrives surrounded by his court under the shade of large umbrellas while drums give rhythm to the dancers whose intricate moves are highly symbolic.

Day 10

GOLDEN KINGDOMS

 

We  will participate at the great event: Odwira Festival

KING ASHANTI CELEBRATES HIS 20 YEARS OF REIGN
BY CELEBRATING THE GREAT TRADITIONAL ODWIRA AND AKWASIDAE KESE FESTIVALS IN ONE MAJOR EVENT
April 2019

On this special occasion, the Odwira, a month of purification held every five years, will end with the great celebrations of the Akwasidae Kese. A traditional festival of this magnitude is rare and grandiose: the last event of this kind took place in 1995.
The conclusion of the celebrations will bring together the entire Ashanti people around tribal chiefs, each accompanied by their court. Kings and dignitaries from all over the African continent will also be present in their most beautiful traditional attire, ancient solid gold ornaments symbols of power, palanquins, large colorful parasols, musicians, dancers and courtiers.

 

Day 11

SLAVES’ CASTLES

Elmina Castle is the oldest European building in Africa. At different times the castle has been used as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory, and eventually slaves. The castle we visit today is the result of successive extension works and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site

Outside the castle is found a wonderful fishing village and its harbor full of large colorful fishing canoes. Every day these canoes are guided by skilled fishermen who face the strong ocean for a living.

Day 12

METROPOLIS

Accra, the capital of Ghana, has maintained its unique identity despite the fast-paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city. The program includes a visit to the National Museum (if open).  We explore the old quarter of James Town, inhabited by the local population known as the Ga. Our tour ends with the visit of a workshop where they specialize in building fantasy coffins. These special handcrafted coffins can reflect any shape: fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes…. the only limit being imagination! Started in Africa, these flamboyant coffin designs are by now collected worldwide and exposed in museums.

In the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

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