West Africa is a part of the world that particularly fascinates me. The geography, people and culture, wildlife – they all seem so fascinating and unique. As I have been reading more about this region, I am also struck by the similarities in weather with India. Many of these countries experience the rainy season between May and September, followed by another smaller rainy season from December to February. And this seems to influence the vegetation as well, as much as I could make out from some of the pictures that I have seen online.
If, or rather when, I do visit this region, these are some places that I would love to explore:
Cote d’Ivoire – One of the larger countries in the region with a population of over 25 million. A visit here would cover the erstwhile capital cities of Grand-Bassam, Abidjan and Yamoussoukrou. I would then continue to Tai National Park for wildlife and end with a relaxing beach-side stay at Jacqueville.
Ghana – Moving east, I would reach the Republic of Ghana. With a population of over 30 million, this is considered as a great introduction to the continent itself. Accra, the capital, would be a great place to start, followed by Cape Coast, Kakum and Mole National Parks and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Elmina Castle.
Togo – Continuing eastwards, I would enter one of the narrowest countries in the world and one of the smallest in Africa, Togo. The UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Koutammakou in the far north of the country would be an interesting place to explore. The waterside towns of Togoville and Agbodrafo also seem like interesting places to visit.
Benin – Another narrow country lies to the east – Benin. Considered as the birth-place of Voodoo, places to visit in this country would include Ouidah, Grand Popo, Cotonou, Abomey and Porto Novo.