The process of obtaining a visa on arrival to Togo was simple and straightforward, but I came prepared.
Instructions: Visa On Arrival In Togo
After stamping out of Ghana in Aflao, I walked directly across the road (sorry, no pictures) to the Togo border outpost at the outskirts of Lomé. It was literally just crossing the street.
Togo was a former French protectorate and French remains the official language. I pysched myself to muster what little French I knew to get my visa and then negotiate a cab to my hotel.
Inside the border post, I found a man arguing with a woman in a white nurse’s uniform. I knew exactly what the problem was…he did not have his yellow fever vaccination (or at least proof of it). All my online research pointed to proof of yellow fever vaccination being the most important thing to enter Togo.
She pulled out a syringe from a drawer and waved it at the man. The needle had no cover on it and it looked dirty…no joke. An exchange continued in French, the guy pulled out some money (I could not see how much) and was then jabbed. She stamped his vaccination card and he was on his way out the door on the other side of the room.
I turned and the man behind the desk (no glass) just stared at me, then handed me a form (in French and English). It just gathered basic information about myself and my journey.
As expected, I was asked to 15,000 West African CFA francs (FCFA) for the visa (~28USD), reflecting the amount on the U.S. State Department website. Passport holders of other countries only pay 10,000 CFA.
By the way, I changed money at the border. I had my driver from Accra arrange it after failing to find a currency exchange office in Accra near my hotel . He had a friend and brought him to the car on the Ghana side of the border. I traded 100USD to 50,000 CFA. Technically, I was due about 54,000 CFA, but I was happy to pay the ~7USD “commission.”
After filling out my form, the man behind the counter took my passport, one passport photo, and went to work. He used three rubber stamps and two postage-liked stamps before handing me back my passport:
I was in.
The nurse demanded to see my vaccination card (in French). I handed it over, she verified that I had my yellow fever vaccination, and I wished me merci au revoir.
Taxi Into Lomé
Thankfully, I ran into a friendly German doctor crossing the border and we shared a cab from the border for the ~10 minute journey into central Lomé. If you don’t speak French or look like you do, expect a hard bargain for a taxi. I ended up paying 5,000 CFA to get to my hotel (~9USD), which was “teurer” (expensive) the German complained, but certainly better than some of the touts of 20-30K we received just outside the border checkpoint.
If you don’t know French, use hand signals and walk away if a taxi wants more than 5,000 CFA to get you into town. It really isn’t far…you can almost walk.
The two most important things you need to obtain a visa on arrival in Togo are your yellow fever vaccination card and a passport photo. Expect to pay 15,000 CFA if you’re a United States citizen or 10,000 CFA if you’re not (Brazilians are free). The process was painless and is nothing to be feared…unless you need a jab.
This story is part of my An African Adventure As The World Shut Down trip report.