Lomé City Guide (Togo)

Lomé aerial view

Lomé in a word: Pleasent.

Chance of Hooking up: 3.5 / 5
Quality of Girls: 3 / 5
Nightlife: 2.5 / 5
Smoking tolerance level: 2 / 5

City guide ratings explained

Costs €$£

Beer: €1 for a pint
Bed: €12 for a private room (stay here).
Bud: €2 for a small bag.
Board: €8 for a steak.
Budget other: More expensive clubs cost $10 in. Beers cost $6. You may want to chill at the pool at the ibis hotel. In cost 3,000CFA ($6) for the day.

Currency Conversion

Overview

Lomé has all the potential in the world given it’s incredible beaches. I imagine if this was a Anglophone country FDI would be flooding in. But life here totters along at snail-pace. It has a village vibe. Poverty is quite visible, as you will quickly discover trying to navigate its back streets, and nightlife is probably the most limited in the region (but not bad). That said, Togo is superior to it’s neighbors Ghana and Benin. The locals are friendlier and it’s infinitely less hectic. Take a side trip to Kpalimé.

The Girls

If you haven’t already, I’d strongly recommend  you read my article Sex in Africa 101 before continuing.

Edwige Madze, Miss World Cup

Togolese sounds Afrotastic, but in general, don’t expect a particular high standard of local girls in Lomé. With a GDP per capita of just over  $400, the good looking ones generally emigrate to richer Francophone countries where they can make better money. Like Ghana, Togo is used to tourists so don’t over-rely on your exotic capital. As you’d expect, where you find tourists and expatriates, you also find foreign sex workers and ladies looking for rich husbands. As a result, the most beautiful girls in Lomé are usually Ivorian or Cameroonian. Some of them are jaw-droppers.

If you would like to meet a Togolese girl, you should know the prominent tribe here is Ewe. Learning a few words will sweep them of their feet. You can find good girls at any marqui bar, while the young upper class Togolese head to the Byblos club. As you may expect, French will get you further, but English is pretty widely spoken also. For Pipelining, you can contact some chicks on the Privilege nightclub Facebook group here. Night time is also great for meeting locals.

If you’re looking for white chicks, La Galien’s hotel bar attracts the horny volunteers on vacation from Ghana. There are also a few Lebanese girls in town, but they are few and far between.

Nightlife Recommendations

You could almost conquer the entirety of Lomé’s nightlife is a single night. Outside of weekends, Privilege is the only place with a pulse. La Galien is great on Fridays (food is awesome too).

The Café Panini Area 

This area is the only real concentration of nightspots – and it’s tiny. You will inevitably find yourself at Café Panini – the “glorious sleazy epic center of Lomés nightlife” as described by lonely planet. It’s an outdoor seating area and the girls aren’t great, but the drink is cheap and it’s got a good vibe. Byblos is adjacent – the city’s most exclusive club. It very much a local hang out, but it’s crap and entrance is  5,000 CFA ($10), and it’s also the same price for a single beer! Avoid. My favorite spot was Terrasse. It’s a little more up market, attracting middle class local girls and a few Lebanese.

Le Domino

It’s small, only good on the weekend and attracts a few pretty prostitutes. It’s basically a pick up joint for old French guys but it’s easy to shore if you’re lazy. The crowd is pretty friendly and it’s not a bad place to get a quick pint in before you hit the next place.

Le Privilege 

This is the place to be – West Africa’s biggest nightclub. I’d almost recommend you don’t bother going anywhere else the whole night. Most of the girls from the Café Panini area, Dominos and other places end up here anyway. With 3 floors, two clubs and several bars, it attracts a crowd every night. Apart from the main discotheque, I’d recommend scrubbing up and checking out Le Privé VIP section. You’ll notice the crowd gets whiter and drink prices double, but the quality of women skyrocket. This is where you will find the best looking women in the whole of Togo. Official website here.

Another good blog describing Lomé nightlife here.

West Africa's Biggest Nightclub

Getting High

Where to buy marijuana: We got sorted easily enough in Kpalimé. Ask your tour guide (best) or the guys at the hotel. In Lomé, ask the guys working at the breakfast shacks selling coffee and omelets. Moto drivers may offer to help you out but just sum them up first. Alternatively, trying talking to male waitors at marquai bars.

Prague Marijuana Prices: 2000 CFA (€3) will get you a respectable handful.

My Lomé Experience

We found the city quite agreeable (especially after Ghana) and as a result the Siege of Lomé took longer than planned. My first night in the Le Privé VIP, I got picked up by a hot well-to-do Ivorian refugee “with an ass dat would swallow up a g-string”  to quote that prick. Gary the fish ended up with her mate – a slammin’ hottie he managed to steal off the French Ambassador! Sac le bleu! That cheeky fish…what a legend/asshole. She was also a refugee from Cote d’War. We end up hanging out with them for a few days. Lomé inpired a controversial post on Refugee game.

We also took a rather eventful side trip exploring the beautiful countryside near Kpalimé. If you meet a nice girl in Lomé this is a great place to escape the city with her. Regardless, I’d recommended it for a few days.

;)

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3 Responses to Lomé City Guide (Togo)

  1. gavinmac August 17, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    I missed Le Privilege when I was there two years ago. Damn. There was a decent bar across the street from Domino called Mini Brasserie.

    What I remember most about Panini was the disgusting bathroom. It was just a tiny room with a tile floor with a hole in it. I remember opening the bathroom door, letting the door close most of the way against my ass, and with my feet and ass still in the bar area, leaning forward and pissing. Weird. That seemed to be the way to do it.

  2. TONY April 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Quite impressed by your forum and the insight it gives to travellers,tourists alike.I was in Lomé last in 1996 as a student of Frenchlanguage on stage at village du Benin near the university.It was an interesting sojourn for a whole year,I see things have greatly improved out there and lured by your reports I am thinking of spending part of my vacation there in August.I just saw Auberge de Galion on net,may I know if this place is good,any other advice that can make my vacation there memorable,I love clubbing a lot and wouldn’t mind a tip on hangouts and girlie stuffs.

  3. gj February 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    I lived there in 2010 for some months. It is crap, overall. But, it is pretty safe, and there are quite a few girls. Domino’s is 100% hard-core hookers. We had some success with local girls, but they take some time, so it would be really difficult in a few nights. Also, it is very, very difficult without knowing French. We found very few girls that could speak English. II can see how girls from other countries in Lome could be easier. The info is spot-on about the clubs.

    There is another place, that looks very expensive, but is not too bad, where you can hang out and mingle…no music/dancing. It used to be a large residence and is now a bar…sorry can’t remember the name or location.

    The food is good, and there are many good restaurants. We met two tourists there. Basically, there are no tourists. Everyone not from Togo is either there on business, is connected to an Embassy, or is connected to an NGO (“Non-Governmental Agency”….an aid agency that is private, like Doctors WIthout Borders).

    The hotels, overall, are crap. The best ones are a few small ones, like 12-20 rooms…a type of “boutique” hotels. The Mercure, the largest, is OK. ALL of the other large hotels are crap. The best place we found to meet local girls (and stewardesses) was by going to the pool at the Mercure on the weekends. It is a huge pool, and a lot of hot girls hangout there. It costs $20??? to hangout there for the day.

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