The Margouilla's Advice on Nightstopping in Lomé

LOME - TOKOIN (DXXX/LFW)

 

What airfield can I expect?

Lomé Tokoin is a large international airport, open H24. Jet A-1 is available at all times from several companies: the most reliable and quickest to show up is usually Texaco – also, they use tanks so there is no need to park next to a hydrant. Avgas is only available in drums at a rate of 350,000 XAF a piece from the local Aero-Club , which is pretty active and friendly. Security on the airport is good.

Flight plan filing is easy, at the airport office located in the building north of the terminal. The only fees to pay will be Asecna airport & overflight charges. Handling is not mandatory, and not really necessary.

The airport is pretty much in town, and the taxis – yellow cars – will bring you anywhere in less than 15 minutes. The ride from the airport is a rip-off, though, the official fee being 4,000 XOF! However, once in town, you can get anywhere for 1,500 XOF or less. The other (and cheaper) way to get around in Lomé is using the moto-taxis, which are called ‘zémidjan’ or ‘zém’ (literally: “bring me there!” in Eve language). Fares are negociable, from 100 to 500 XOF depending on the distance.

 

Where am I?

With 800,000 inhabitants, Lomé is the capital and largest city in Togo. Originally founded in the 18th century by members of the Ewé tribe, the place was used as an outpost to smuggle goods into Gold Coast (Ghana) while avoiding Royal taxes. In order to fight this commerce, the Crown agreed for Germany to colonize the place, and the modern-day city of Lomé was founded in 1897. After WWII, Lomé and the rest of Togo became French.

Lomé retained its commercial roots, and became a major import-export player in the region. After independence, international investors helped to develop the city, notably by constructing the largest deep-water free port in the area in 1968. However, for the last 30 years, political and social tensions have led Togolese economy to collapse, and Lomé has lost much of its splendor.

Central Police Station: +(228) 221 28 71

Hospital (CHU): +(228) 225 25 01

Pharmacies (Grand Marché): +(228) 221 28 36

Banks: BTCI, Ecobank and many others

 

Where do I sleep?

Hotel Mercure Sarakawa (10mn from the airport)

PO Box 2232 – Lomé, boulevard du Mono on the oceanside

Tel: +(228) 227 65 90

Fax: +(228) 227 71 80

The best hotel in Lomé, with 211 luxury rooms located right on the beach. The hotel is surrounded by a vast park featuring plenty of exotic plants, an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, a golf course and a horse riding complex. Gastronomic restaurant "le Mercure" has the best table in town. Internet café and airport shuttle. From 80,000 XAF per night. (2009)

 

Hotel Palm Beach (15mn from the airport)

 

PO Box 2252 – Lomé, boulevard de la République
Tel: +(228) 221 85 11
Fax: +(228) 221 87 11
Very clean, recently refurbished and air-conditioned hotel located right in the city center and close to the beach. Health club and roof-top swimming pool. From 80,000 to 175,000 XAF per room. (2008)

Hotel Ibis Lomé Centre   (15mn from the airport)

PO Box 128 – Lomé, avenue du Général de Gaulle next to the Presidential Palace

Tel: +(228) 221 24 85

Fax: +(228) 221 61 25

This hotel has been entirely renovated in 2003, and offers 108 air-conditioned rooms right in the city center. Nice beachside park with a swimming pool. 24-hour restaurant and free airport shuttle. 50,000 XAF per room. (2009)

Hotel Laico 2 Février (10mn from the airport) CLOSED!!!

PO Box 131 – Lomé, place de l’Indépendance

Tel: +(228) 221 00 03

Fax: +(228) 221 62 66

36-story 368-room monstrosity dating back from the 1970’s, the Hotel du 2 Février has gone from splendor to abandon. In 2008, it was taken over by Libyan group Laico who had undertaken a major renovation programme. The hotel is currently closed and due to reopen in 2012 - or next decade... (2011)

Hotel Napoléon Lagune  (5mn from the airport)

Along the lagoon

Tel: +(228) 227 56 66 or 226 07 02

Fax: +(228) 226 22 32

Nice little hotel set in an exotic garden right next to the airport. The rooms are simple but clean and air-conditioned, and friendly owner Gaston will make sure you enjoy your stay. Swimming pool, outdoor bar and restaurant. Rooms start at 25,000 XAF. (2008)

 

 

Where do I eat?

Le Malesan (15mn from the airport)

39, avenue du 24 Janvier – Lomé, city center

Tel: +(228) 221 80 74 or 905 43 90

Fax: +(228) 221 60 71

Email: infos@restaurantlemalesan.com

Founded in 1967, le Malesan is maybe Lomé’s best table, with great traditional cuisine served in a nice setting. Probably the highest prices in town. (2011)

L’Hibiscus (20mn from the airport)

59, rue de l’Ogou – Lomé, quartier Kojoviakopé

Tel: +(228) 222 74 99 or 915 15 76

Fine French cuisine. Open Monday to Friday. (2008)

La Main à la Pâte (10mn from the airport)

Lomé, in the side streets near Oro Night Club

Tel: +(228) 221 63 62

A bit hard to find but worth the effort! Friendly chef and good Mediterranean cuisine. Excellent pizzas. (2011)

La Belle Epoque (20mn from the airport)

Lomé, quartier Kodjoviakopé

Tel: +(228) 220 22 40

Fine bistro, serving an array of traditional European dishes at affordable prices. Expect about 10,000 XAF dry for a dinner. (2011)

Les Brochettes de la Capitale (10mn from the airport)

Boulevard du 13 Janvier – Lomé, quartier Dekon

Roadside restaurant serving some of the best skewers in West Africa. A few tables set in the dirt around a mango tree, with chickens running between your legs. Excellent atmosphere, very safe and lively, not to be missed! 4,000 XOF including a couple fresh beers. (2011)

 

What can I visit?

Lomé’s city center is clearly the Grand Marché, a huge African market where one can find just about everything. The place is safe, and it is a good idea to have a walk there. There are nice African arts & craft, lots of cheap African cloths, and plenty other things.

Togo, with neighboring Benin, is the birth place of Voodoo. Close to the airport (just east of the runway), after wandering through dirt roads, go have a look at the Marché des Fétiches. There, you will find dead rats, Elephant skulls, snake skins, and all sorts of disgusting dead animals used in Voodoo rituals. The place is a bit hard to find, but taxis will know.

If you fancy having a walk on the beach, do so, it's beautiful. But restrain from bathing, as ocean current are particularly strong on the Togolese coast, and claim many lives.

 

Where can I go out?

Le Privilège

Palm Beach Building, city center

Tel: +(228) 222 11 25

One of the largest clubs in West Africa, le Privilège is the central meeting point for Lomé’s night crowd. A must see. If you fancy a cosier atmosphere, Privilège also offers a VIP club with a separate entrance, just nextdoor. Pizzeria and pool tables on the ground floor. (2011)

Le Domino

Rue de la Gare – Lomé, city center

A bar / night-club with a "Valentine's Day at the whore-house" atmosphere... Try the homemade snake alcool. (2011)

Le Calens

Avenue Nicolas Grunitsky - Lomé, city center

Tel: +(228) 902 99 04

The hottest place in Lomé at the moment, mostly young African crowd with a few expats. Lingerie shows on Thursday nights. (2012)

L’Abreuvoir

Rue de la Gare – Lomé, city center

The oldest club in Lomé, l’Abreuvoir gathers crowds every night of the week. The rendez-vous of "night fighters". (2011)

 Le Byblos

303, boulevard du 13 Janvier – Lomé, city center

Mostly young & wealthy African crowd. (2011)

La Villa

Boulevard du 13 Janvier – Lomé

Jazz-bar and club, on the classy side. A good place to start the night with Lome's expatriates. (2011)

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