Where art and food combine

It’s always good when food and art combine, which it did beautifully at The Museum of the Zinsou Foundation in Ouidah, Benin. After a morning of sightseeing, we stopped for lunch in the light and airy café which was adorned with relaxing murals of the beach and palm trees. As it was a full day, […]…

A somber slave route being turned into a theme park

As well as voodoo, Benin’s city of Ouidah, is known for its role in the 17th to 19th century Atlantic slave trade. What is known as The Slave Route highlighted the journey captives would have taken before boarding the ships. We began at Tchatcha Square, where newly arrived slaves would be auctioned as a commodity, […]…

A forest full of voodoo deities

The Sacred Forest or Forest of Kpassè is located on the outskirts of Ouidah, in Benin. According to folklore, when King Kpassè, a 16th century ruler of the kingdom of Whydah, felt he was going to die, he didn’t want his body to be seen by his children, but after many signs from a peacock […]…

Conquering ophidiophobia

Sightseeing in Ouidah, the voodoo centre of West Africa, sounded like an unforgettable experience, although as I suffer from ophidiophobia, I was somewhat apprehensive about a visit to The Temple of Pythons. However, I decided it was time to conquer my fear of snakes and watched You Tube videos, so I knew what to expect. […]…

All about Krobo beads

Krobo beads are traditional handmade glass beads produced by the Krobo tribe. They are often referred to as ‘trade beads’ as they were a form of currency, but despite their beauty, had a sinister association as they were used in Ghana’s Trans-Atlantic slave trade. To see the beads being made we visited Cedi’s Beads Industry […]…

A fabulous range of trees, both familiar and unfamiliar

The Aburi Botanical Gardens, a 50-minute drive from Accra, are located on the grounds of a sanitorium built for British Gold Coast Colonial officials in 1875. However, because of the cool climate, it was turned into a botanical garden in 1890. In theory you should be able to see Accra in the distance, but because […]…

A very underwhelming experience

If you’ve watched the 2022 film, The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, you’ll know the Agojie were the all-woman fighting force of Abomey, the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey between the 17th and 19th centuries. The 6,000-strong force, raided villages under the cover of darkness, took captives and slashed off resisters’ heads to present […]…

Underwhelming holes and trees

When travelling, I’ve often been advised to cover legs, shoulders or head, but never to avoid wearing red. However, on a visit to the underground village of Souterrain Agongointo-Zoungoudo in Benin, our guidebook suggested avoiding the colour for ritual reasons. The village was discovered as recently as February 1998, during the construction of a ring […]…

The mysterious Zangbeto

After two underwhelming experiences whilst sightseeing near the Benin city of Abomey, we hoped our guide’s surprise, a Zangbeto show, wouldn’t disappoint. We’d learned that Zangbeto are traditional voodoo guardians of the night who act as informal police, and we’d seen their costumes whilst visiting the capital Porto Novo. However, nothing prepared us for what […]…

One of Ghana’s largest slave forts

Cape Coast Castle, a UNESCO site, is one of around forty slave castles, or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast, now Ghana, by European traders. From here slaves remained before being shipped, with this castle holding more enslaved Africans than any other in West Africa. We were warned not to give our names […]…

A tour aimed at Afro-Americans

After a non-stop, three-hour journey we arrived at Assin Manso Ancestral Slave River Park, one of Ghana’s largest markets during the infamous trans-Atlantic slave trade. A panel of murals greeted us at the entrance, depicting various aspects from slave raiding to transportation and despite stiff limbs, we were immediately tagged on to a group of […]…

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