Koutammakou

Koutammakou, Kara: Address, Phone Number, Koutammakou Reviews: 4.5/5

Koutammakou
4.5
About
Koutammakou is home to the Batammariba of Togo, a tribe known for its remarkable mud tower-houses.
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4.5
40 reviews
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Very good
15
Average
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carla t
2 contributions
Totally worth it
Jul. 2019 • Friends
We went to Kara for the weekend and decided to do a day trip to Koutammakou. We got a taxi that we paid 30 000CFA roundtrip. When we got to the site, we had to pay 1500CFA each and 10 000CFA for the guide. By the way, there are a few english-speaking guides but they are not always there, so I advise calling before your visit if ever you need one. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable as he lives himself in a Takienta (the traditional houses there) in another village. It was very nice getting to know the history of the people there and how they live on a daily basis. There were also very nice handmade souvenirs made by the people there (all the money goes to them) that you could buy to encourage them.

There is also a visit of a baobab tree that is very impressive and should not be missed!

**Piece of advice: it is a village that lives in extreme poverty and they seem to lack basic necessities (e.g., soap to wash themselves, clothes, etc.). If you want to contribute, it could be a good idea to bring some school supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. ) for the children and basic necessities for daily needs. We were not aware that we could bring things to help them and unfortunately we had nothing...

Overall, it was a great experience that should not be missed if you go up in the North!
Written 14 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

debsletters71
30 contributions
Worth the long haul
Nov. 2018 • Solo
took the minibus up to Kande stayed the night there, negotiated a motorbike taxi for the touristy stuff, they will find you the moment you arrive to town, little cowboys, so here is their scam …your motorbike driver picks you up early whenever you want, just outside town you enter ‘the park’ they stop at the ‘entrance gate’ you pay the fee & with that you get some local guide who also rides on the motorbike with you and supposed to be entrance to the Koutammakou village, the DB at the gate absolutely refused to give me my ticket,’ why do you need it blah blah blah, youre already at the entrance so nothing to worry about’ I told him 5 times I want the ticket, he refused, my motorbike guy said ‘I’m sure its fine’ so of course they took the money, again there is no option unless you turn around and go back to Kande…long way for nothing….so anyway they took me to the guides village which is nice, but certainly not the main houses of Koutammakou, the guide said ‘no that washed away in the last rain’ I asked him if that happened to that village why didn’t that also happen to his village. Guess he had not considered that in his web of BS. Regardless it was cool to go to this village, but then I would have still expected to go to koutammakou. We drove further on and low and behold arrived at the entrance to Koutammakou, of course they wanted my ticket, another heated discussion about how they never gave it to me, I knew I had been scammed, but really hard to get an alternative. I did not pay for the ‘second’ ticket just told them they were lying DBs & continued with my ‘dear’ motorbike driver to the border,…. except there is no border to speak of – at all - so you must go to the police station in Boukoumbe and they will stamp your passport, so now you are in Benin. DO NOT miss getting this stamp

Took motorbike taxi to the next town of Naitingou, they are upgrading the road right now so it’s pretty dusty on the motorbike – actually super dusty. Did stop off at more of the fortress like mud houses, these ones were really nice 7 the people better IMO. From Nati stayed overnight then took the (cotonou) bus with WIFI, but got off at Bohicon intersection, then took another motorbike taxi to Come and stayed couple nights Grand Popo. Then shared taxi to Cotonou. Had to fly back to work early so ended up missing a few other things I might have liked to see.
Written 27 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Whereintheworlf
149 contributions
A fascinating account of the architecture, language and history of the people
Nov. 2018 • Friends
It is advisable to book your visit. There are 2 options; museum visit plus brief explanation of approximately 20 minutes. This costs 5000 FCFA + 1500 / 500 FCFA for the museum, depending on whether you are an ex-pat or a local. The other option is a one-hour tour of a house which is occupied by a family and then you do the museum. The museum costs the same but the tour costs 10000 FCFA. The Curator of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Monsieur Natta, is highly knowledgeable and gives coherent and well-structured explanations. He was a star. He does not always give the tours, unfortunately, as there are local guides for that.

It was fascinating to learn about the historical background to the architecture, and then to go into a homestead and learn what each nook and cranny of these unusual dwellings is for.
There is a small and dusty curio shop, but it is a bit pricey. Te money goes to the local artisans, apparently.

The drive to the site is most enjoyable, with hills and fields and open land. Best have a 4x4 or a sturdy vehicle.
Written 14 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Esther F
Vestal, NY91 contributions
Worth the trip
Jun. 2018 • Friends
This site is worth the trip and the money. We paid 10,000 Franks for the vehicle and 1500 per person. We also tipped our guide and those we took photos of. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. There are no English speaking people there - the tour is in French. We went to various homes and a village - people live in the homes you tour. They request money to have their photos taken and they sell trinkets at every stop. Bring small bills as they may not be able to make change. The Baobab tree is fascinating and fun - we fit four people inside the tree! Please note, this site may not be suitable for small children as there is nudity and fetish worship that may scare kids. We saw evidence of a recent animal sacrifice present.
Written 27 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nomade123
San Francisco, CA198 contributions
Very happy I went by bad experience with guide
Mar. 2018 • Solo
Well, first you need to go to Kara and spend the night there from Lome. Then you have to find a way to get to Koutammakou. I rented a whole taxi for the day for 20,000 CFA, a pretty good price and a very nice driver. You then go about 75 kilometers to the entrance of the site. There you pay CFA 1,500 plus CFA 10,000 for a guide that comes into your car. If you come with a motorbike, I am not sure what you do. It was Wednesday, market day, fortunately for me. I got the most expensive tour and the guide showed me the Unesco house that looks like a Tata house and we went inside another house where people actually live. Then we went to see the sacred baobab and someone else took me around there. They volunteered to do a dance in this village and ask CFA 20,000. I declined. Also you have to pay to take pictures of people. Then I had a discussion with the guide as I wanted to go to the market another 15 km or so. He was not very happy about it, but we finally went as the driver was on my side. We went to the market, it was very interesting as it is close to the border and people come to barter their wears for other things. The guide was mostly interested in drinking the local beer. Then we went back. The only explanation I got was when I asked questions. When we got back to the entrance it was closed so I could not complain. I was very disappointed with the guide, his name is Michel and he speaks English and French. So I was not sorry I went as the houses were beautiful and all of them different in some way contrary to what the guide said that they were all the same so no reason to stop again. I think that the people responsible for the visits of this site should pick their guide much better. It is aa disgrace that you go all the way there, spend all that money to be with a guide who does not care and just want to whole thing to be over.
Written 19 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bill F
Topanga, CA4 contributions
Amazing people and place
May 2017 • Friends
Be sure to walk to the enormous Baobab tree a little ways from the village. You can slip inside of it! Also be sure to buy lots of stuff from the people. They make great gifts and mementos.
Written 19 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Djesika D
Heerlen, The Netherlands144 contributions
Remote culture sights
Aug. 2016 • Friends
After sleeping near one of the touristic houses for the night ( in a tent) and having near heart attacks from the thunder we visited the koutammakou houses.

We first hiked up the mountain so we had an amazing view of the landscape. There was also a cave there which you could enter if you liked. After that we visited the great big tree which you can enter inside.

After that we walked through the village and got a guided tour inside one of the houses. After being some souvenirs, the villagers did a (kind of) typical dance and asked for money. This kind of put us in a awkward position seeing as no one had asked us for money in togo before. We had been invited to lots of dances by the locals and this kind of felt weird.

All in all it was a nice experience, it is each to their own how they handle the begging children. Personally I think we can support their community by buying their souvenirs, but not just giving money like you're father Christmas...
Written 4 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tolovetolive
Shanghai, China68 contributions
Great visit to remote UNESCO site
Dec. 2016 • Couples
Not easy to get to and if you don't speak French you'll need to take a guide with you. A guide can also prevent you from getting ripped off when trying to organise transport. We were lucky to meet up with a university student who assists English speakers and were grateful for his help and friendship.

Koutammakou visit was informative and you get to meet the village chief after which you will be taken around the homes. Ask lots of questions and participate in the traditional dance to get the most out of this experience. The visit to the Baobab tree is worth it.
Written 14 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Titi_Dokubo
Lagos, Nigeria341 contributions
Amazing site!
Aug. 2016 • Friends
It is amazing the things you see and learn once you set foot to travel! Coming in from Kande, you would have to pay 2500CFA.

The site is amazing and the structures make you wonder.

However, the people need clothings. Anyone going there can be nice enough to go with clothings for children of various ages, you can also go with food, writing materials, and be sure to patronise the kids in the wares they sell.
Written 27 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

born2travelit
Cesena, Italy15,480 contributions
amazing
Mar. 2014 • Friends
we had a such great time visiting this village. u can have a glance of how some african tribes live... it's amazing experience and you will feel like in another dimension and time. very recommended
Written 15 March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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