Grand Marché de Lomé
Posted on 9th September 2020 at 17:27
Have you ever been to a market where you can get easily lost?
If the answer is yes, we will make it relive the trip. If it is no, well get ready to get lost in the noise, the heat and the colour. In any case, we guarantee that you will love it; all you need is a bottle of water.
Lomé is the capital and largest city of Togo and the economic, administrative and industrial centre of the country. It is the chief port of the nation. Lomé's port is situated to the east of the city. It was once dubbed the pearl of West Africa but Lomé still a charming and pretty little town with its friendly people.
Lomé main attractions are the Lomé Grand Market, Lomé's biggest marketplace, where I am taking you, the Fetish Market (Marché des Féticheurs), when you're in need for some animal heads or voodoo charms, and the Village Artisanal that offers Togolese handicraft.
Le Grand Marché de Lomé
The Grand Marché de Lomé is one of the biggest and the liveliest market of West Africa and the economic heart of the country after the Autonomous Port of Lomé. Women in colourful traditional outfits lead most of the trade and their children help them. It is a beautiful sight to see some of the women carrying stuff on their heads, babies on their back. Most of the goods sold there are from China and Europe.
As you get closer to the market, it looks like chaos at first sight - as the indoor market and all the surrounding streets overflow with vendors selling everything imaginable - but you are entering a vibrant place full of colour. Stay alert as the sellers, the shoppers and the “Zemidians” - taxi-motors - dropping or picking up their clients, use the streets around the market. Traders will offer you their goods by calling you "my friend". If you like to bargain, you will enjoy the shopping trip as the traders expect clients to do so. It is best to choose several items and bargain the overall price.
The stars of the market are the Nana-Benz, the women who sell of wax-print textile. They are called Nana-Benz because in the eighties, a number of women made their fortune by selling wax-print textile. Nana, which means mother in Mina (local language) and Benz because of the car they were all buying. Most of the Nana-Benz or their descendants called Little Nana have big shops around the market. In the shops of the Little-nana, lose yourself in fabrics with any colours and patterns you can imagine. Buy yourself one yard of wax-print and get one of the tailors of the market to make you a beautiful dress or shirt before you leave Lomé!
Let’s go and visit the art dealers now, where can be found different types of traditional artefacts such as masks, pottery and many handicrafts from wood, metal, leather, statues, ceramic etc. Do you love jewellery? You will not be disappointed because stalls of beads, necklaces, bangles, earrings of any colour, any material and size will be at your reach. This now the time to think of what you will bring to your family and relatives from your trip. You will have so many choices to find the perfect souvenirs: bags, African clothes, tablecloths and so on...
The market has a food section where vegetables, fruits, meats and other produce can be purchased. Restaurants and street-foods sellers are also part of the picturesque picture.
The Grand Marché of Lomé, which is the pride of the Togolese, can at time be found by some people as too busy, too crowded and to be avoided because you can sometime feel that you are pulled in every direction by traders but trust me it is a must-see. Togolese are the friendliest people of Africa so you do not be scared when traders are calling you to offer their goods. I Must admit it can be a little uncomfortable if it is your first time but quickly you will learn to enjoy this truly authentic African shopping experience.
If you are interested in a tour of different parts of West Africa, specifically designed for you to take in the bustling Grand Marché of Lomé then please contact us for more details and make the dream holiday of a livetime come true.
Tagged as: Coach tour in Lomé, Coach tour in Togo, Grand Marché de Lomé, Holiday in Togo, Lomé, Nana Benz in Togo, Shopping in West Africa, West Africa Tours
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