Flights to Sokode
The north-central regions of Togo are not typical tourist destinations, and you will find this to be a rather remote area even around the city of Sokode, which is the second-largest in Togo. Even so, Sokode is still a rural place with dirt roads and not many typical tourist facilities.
There are no airports for flights to Sokode directly, so you will have to arrive at the Lome-Tokoin Airport (airport code: LFW) near the capital city of Lome. It’s just over 300km away but there are public buses running regularly so you can get between the cities. From South Africa, a flight to Sokode (arriving in Lome) with Ethiopian Airlines will connect once in Addis Ababa but South African Airways has its transfers in Luanda and Libreville. You can also fly through Europe with Lufthansa. Their flights connect in Frankfurt and Brussels.
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The Tourist Attractions of Sokode:
French is the main language spoken in Sokode and you will not likely come across anyone who speaks English except in larger businesses (like the bank). The city is mainly Muslim so you can expect restrictions on alcohol sales, and visitors should dress modestly while in the city.
Fazao-Malfakassa National Park
A short distance to the west of Sokode is the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park. This park is made up of rugged mountain and forest terrain, and a wide range of wildlife live in the park, including many warthogs, antelope, elephants, buffalo, primates, and many types of birds. Several tour groups offer safari tours around the park so you can be sure to see all the best sights.
Keran National Park
It will take a couple hours drive to the north of Sokode to reach the Keran National Park, one of the more popular parks in Togo due to the large population of elephants there. You can also see herds of antelopes and buffalo through the park and hundreds of species of birds.
There is a small museum in Sokode that has a collection of artefacts from the history of the Tem people who live in this area.
There are two good areas for open-air markets in the city; the Tchamba market and the Sokode market. They are held on different days of the week so you shouldn’t have trouble making time to see at least one. Hand-decorated gourds are a particularly popular souvenir items you can find here. Either market can be quite busy and noisy, so expect to see a lot of Sokode life up close.
When Should You Visit?:
You should probably visit Sokode in the summer, when the weather is actually the coolest. That would be in July and August, with high temperatures of 28C (82F). It does also rain a little more than usual during those months so you have to use your own judgement on that. The rest of the year will be over 30C (86F), with a peak in February and March at 35C (95F). If you are looking for wildlife safaris, you would be better to come when it is dry (and hot) because the animals cluster at the water holes.