Over the last Easter holiday (April 2017), my sister and I embarked on a road trip from Nigeria to Ghana via Grand Popo and Lome. We spent 2 days in Grand Popo, Benin, half a day in Lome, Togo and a total of 6 days in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana. This cost breakdown is based solely on our experience and is only intended for the purpose of trip planning and to present a fair idea of how much to budget.
All prices stated here are either approximate values or exact values at the time of this writing.
I have previously written a breakdown for Benin when I visited Fidjrosse and Ouidah for N20,000 only. You can find that here. This time, my sister and I stayed in Grand Popo and here’s a breakdown of our trip.
Getting from Lekki to Seme: We took a bus to CMS for N200, to Mile 2 for N400 and to Badagry for N800 (See detailed route here). A shared taxi from Badagry took us to the Seme border for N300.
Getting to Grand Popo from Seme: We grabbed a bike from the border into the town for N400 and a shared taxi into Cotonou for 1,000cefa each. Then another taxi from Cotonou to Grand Popo for 2,500cefa each.
Crossing the Seme Border
Crossing the border should be free but unfortunately, it isn’t. What this means is that you can and should haggle your way through immigration if you must get your passport stamped. Or be prepared to wait for hours if you refuse to pay. Crossing the border for the first time attracts a different fee from an ‘old crosser’. You need a valid passport and yellow card to cross these borders. Here’s what to expect.
On the Nigerian side: There are about 4 stops/shacks. The first isn’t really a stop but they ask for money anyway. You can get away without paying anything there. The second is the ‘Port Health’ stop. If you’re crossing for the first time (with your valid yellow card certificate), they’d ask for N1,500. We paid N1,000 for my sister. I didn’t have to pay.
Next stop is where you ‘register your passport’ (LOL, even writing this is ridiculous!). Anyway, first timers pay N500. I don’t think you can haggle your way out of paying this. After that is the ‘immigration office’. They asked for a total of N1,000 in the two rooms. We paid N500. And that was all for the Nigerian side.
On the Beninese Side: There are three stops. First is the main immigration office. PS: Don’t pay money to the guys outside the shack if you want to get your passport stamped. The price for first timers is N2,000 and old timers is N500. Next is the Port Health stop. Price for first timers is N1,000. (I paid N500, my first time). Old timers go for free. Last is a bike stop where first timers pay another N500.
Of course, you can escape all of this by taking a standard bus from Lagos. They manage all the border formalities on your behalf.
Accommodation, Feeding & Entertainment
We stayed at the Auberge de Grand Popo and it cost us N40,000 for two nights (including lunch for arrival day and breakfast for 2 days). Lunch on day 2 cost us N4,000.
We didn’t get up to much in Grand Popo as we had money issues but we got an offer to tour some key places for N7,000.
(Scroll down for overview)
Getting to Accra from Grand Popo: We took a motor taxi (bike) from our hotel to Hillacondji border for N1,400. After crossing the border, we shared a taxi to a stop in Lome and a motor taxi to Aflao border. Cost was N2,400. From Aflao border, we hopped on an STC bus into Accra for N4,000.
Getting from Accra to Cape Coast and back: Our onward journey with STC was billed at N3,800, while our return journey with another service cost us N5,000.
Our return journey to Lagos from Accra using ABC transport service cost us N21,600 each.
Crossing the Hillacondji & Aflao Borders
On the Benin Republic side, there’s just one stop and first timers are asked for 2,000cefa. It’s the same on the Togo side as well. For the Aflao border, I can’t say much because we crossed for free. But we were asked for 3,000cefa each on the Togo side.
(See, only a few lines. Seme border is really the worst!)
Accommodation, Feeding & Entertainment
Our first three nights were spent at a guest house in Accra. We paid N6,000/night. Then we moved to Urbano hotel which cost us N35,000/night and in Cape Coast, we stayed at Almond Tree Guest House for N16,500/night. We spent our last night in a lovely apartment hotel (Earl Heights), hosted by Meyiwa & Juliana.
We spent a total of N25,000 on food and another N30,000 on tours in Accra and Cape Coast.
Here’s an overview of everything we spent…
Again, this is solely based on our experience. Prices may differ due to various reasons.
PS: Here’s a list of all the articles in this series;
Accra to Cape Coast (The Castles & Kakum National Park)