A Journey Across Lake Togo - Maarten Schafer

Maarten Schafer
4 min readFeb 26, 2024
Maarten Schafer - Storytelling Expedition West Africa - Lake Togo

As the small boat gently navigates the calm waters of Lake Togo, I find myself inching closer to the historic town of Togoville, Togo. The sun casts a golden glow over the water, setting the scene for what promises to be an enlightening exploration. Part of a storytelling expedition across West Africa, my visit to Togoville is a dive into the heart of Togolese culture and history.

The approach to Togoville is picturesque, with the town’s simple yet elegant structures gradually coming into view. Upon landing, the warm welcome from the locals is as heartening as the serene environment. Though small, the town is rich in cultural significance, epitomizing Togo’s traditional roots.

One of the first things that struck me was the profound sense of community in Togoville. The town’s people move with a sense of purpose and unity, indicative of the solid communal bonds characteristic of many West African societies. Walking through the town, I am captivated by the intricate designs of the local homes, their walls adorned with patterns that speak to the region's artistic heritage.

Storytelling Expedition West Africa - CoolTravel

A visit to the local market is a sensory overload. The air is filled with the scents of spices and fresh produce, while the vibrant colors of textiles and handicrafts create a kaleidoscope of hues. Each stall tells a story, whether through the handcrafted artifacts that represent generations of artisanal skills or through the fresh produce that speaks to the agricultural practices of the area.

Togoville’s history is deeply rooted in its role as a center of traditional religion in Togo. The veneration of ancestors and the spiritual practices passed down through generations are palpable in every corner of the town. Visiting the sacred shrines, I am struck by the profound spirituality that permeates through the community, a spirituality that is both ancient and ever-present.

One must mention its reverence for the sacred Royal Python, a symbol of protection and prosperity, to talk about Togoville. The python temple, a unique aspect of Togoville’s cultural heritage, is a testament to the town’s deep connection with nature and spirituality.

As I leave Togoville, the tranquility of Lake Togo offers a moment for reflection. This small town, nestled along the banks of a serene lake, has opened a window to a rich cultural tapestry. The stories I’ve gathered here are not just narratives of history and tradition; they are living testaments to the enduring spirit of Togoville and its people.

Togoville, with its blend of spirituality, community, and artistry, has been a highlight of my storytelling journey through West Africa. It is a reminder of the region’s diverse cultural landscapes, each with its own story waiting to be told.

Maarten Schafer — Storytelling Expedition West Africa — Lake Togo

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Maarten Schafer

“I travel the world. I Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time and leave nothing but footprints.”