Togo - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Togo, a country in Western Africa bordered by Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, and the Gulf of Guinea has a total land area of 21,925 square miles and a population of over 6.6 million. Togo is a small developing country of West Africa characterized by a gently rolling savanna, hills, woodland plateau, and coastal plains with lagoons and marshes. The main sectors of its economy are agriculture, commerce and industry. Togo has reasonable limestone and marble deposits. The economy slipped following the political instability in the nineties. It is however open to tourism. Tourists generally find Togo much more affordable than the some other African countries. But  traveling in Togo is more for experienced hardy travelers.


Travel Resources: 



ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet West Africa978-1741048216$23Togo is covered in about 30 pages in this 900-page book.
Benin and Togo Travel Map978-1553414377$131:580,000 Scale.
Togo Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD5E6Q$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Togo were a set of six stamps issued in 1897 which were ‘Togo’ overprints on stamps of Germany. The set (Scott #1 to #6) catalogs for around $70 mint and around $120 used. Togo became a German Protectorate in 1884 and that status continued until World War I when it was occupied by Great Britain and France. After World War I, Togo came under France. The first set was followed by a set of thirteen stamps released in 1900 showing Kaiser’s Yacht in two different designs. The set (Scott #7 to #19) is sought after and catalogs for around $140 mint and around $715 used. Togo issued a set of thirteen stamps (Scott #33 to #45) on October 1, 1914 which were ‘Togo Anglo French Occupation’ overprints on the Kaiser’s Yacht issue. A couple of varieties of the same set (Scott #46 to #60 and #61 to #65) were also released the same year and in 1915. These sets are the most expensive stamps of Togo cataloging updwards of $30K. A couple of high values in the second set catalog individually in the $45K range as well. Similar overprints on key types of Gold Coast along with several surcharges on the first issues and a set which were overprints on Stamps of Dahomey formed the primary stamp issues of Togo during the period till 1924. The overprints are all pretty valuable although the French Mandate (Dahomey overprints) sets fetch into the 100s while the other overprints fetch well into the thousands.

The first original issues of Togo were a long set of thirty seven stamps released between 1924 and 1938 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #216 to #252) catalogs for around $35 mint and around $30 used. The designs show coconut grove, cacao trees, and oil palms in different colors and denominations.

Other issues of Togo enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of eighteen stamps released on October 6, 1947 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #309 to #326) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $10 used. The designs show extracting oil palm, hunter, cotton spinners, village of Atakpame, red-fronted gazelles, and Houses of the Cabrais. Togo became a republic in 1957 and Togo released a stamp showing a woman holding flag on June 8, 1957 to mark the event. The stamp is inexpensive and catalogs for less than a dollar MNH and around 20c for used. It gained independence from France on April 27, 1960.
  2. A set of six stamps released in January of 1968 in the Industrialization of Togo theme. The set (Scott #631 to #636) catalogs for around $4 MNH or used. The designs show The Gleaners by Francois Millet and Phosphate Works in Benin, and The Weaver at the Loom by Vincent Van Gogh and Textile Plant in Dadia. In 1967, Gnassingbe Eyadema led a military coup and became President. He went on to become the longest serving president of modern Africa serving till his death in 2005 – a span of 38 years. His son Faure Gnassingbe was elected president in 2005.
  3. A set of two stamps released on January 24, 1976 to mark the airplane crash of January 24, 1974. The set (Scott #922 to #923) catalogs for around $25 MNH and less than a dollar for used. The designs show Crashed Plane and President Eyadema, and Airplane Crash at Sara-Kawa. President Eyadema, the sole survivor, escaped uninjured from the crash and claimed the French had sabotaged the plane. His cult of personality increased after this incident as he attributed his survival to mystical powers and declared January 24 to the Economic Liberation Day.
  4. A long set of thirty four stamps and souvenir sheets issued on July 5, 1984 to mark the centenary of German-Togolese Friendship. The set (Scott #1194 to #1227) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $8 for used. The designs show Degbenou Catholic Mission, Kara Bridge, Treaty Site at Baguida, Degbenou Students, Sansane Administrative Post, Adjido Official School, Skode Cotton Market, William Fountain at Atakpame, Lome Main Street, Police, Lome Railroad Construction, Governor’s Palace at Lome, Commerce Street at Lome, Lome Wharf, Nachtigal, Wilhelm II, O.F. de Bismark, J. de Puttkamer, A. Koehler, W. Horn, J.G. de Zech, E. Bruckner, A.F. de Mecklenburg, H.G. de Doering, Land Development, Postal Courier, Treaty Signers, German and Togolese Children and Flags, Aneho Line Locomotive, Mallet Locomotive, German Ship ‘Mowe’, La Sophie, and Presidents Eyadema and Helmut Kohl.
  5. A set of four stamps released on July 15, 1996 showing Traditional Musical Instruments. The set (Scott #1732 to #1735) catalogs for around $5 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show gongs, cymbals, string instrument, and drums. A sister set was also released on June 30, 1996 showing Traditional Dances. That set (Scott #1736 to #1740) catalogs for around $4 MNH and around half that for Used.
  6. A set of six stamps, three sheets of six, and a souvenir sheet released on December 17, 2001 showing African Wildlife. The set (Scott #1978 to #1983, #1984a-f to #1986a-f, and #1987 to #1989) catalogs for around $35 MNH or used. The designs show forest giraffe, secretary bird, ring-tailed lemur, Western gorilla, small spotted genet, Fennec fox, Hamadryas baboon, African wildcat, meerkat, aardvark, blue wildebeest, greater kudu, leopard, African bush elephant, owl-faced monkey, saddle-billed stork, hippopotamus, sable antelope, Grants zebra, white rhinoceros, cheetah, dama gazelle, spotted hyena, African wild dog, Nile crocodile, lion, and reticulated giraffe.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Togo were French Colonial UN Trusteeship Standard Coinage (100 Centimes = 1 Franc) Aluminum-Bronze Centimes issued in 1924. They showed Laureate Head in Obverse and Value within Sprigs in Reverse. The issues had mintage into the millions but still catalogs upwards of $80 for UNC. The first gold coin was a 15000 Francs 0.1320 troy ounce proof issued in 1977 to mark the 10th Year of General Gnassingbe Eyadema as President. The issue had very low mintage (75) but remarkably catalogs for only a slight premium over bullion value.

Numismatic items of Togo include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$2 and upCommon UNCs start around $2. Commemorative Silver Proofs starts around $20. Colored Silver Proofs, Rare Essais from the 1950s, Gold Plated Silver Proofs, etc start around $30 and go into the $100 range depending on rarity.
Paper Money$10 and upUNC Francs from the 1980s and 1990s starts around $10. High Value UNCs and Rare Early Banknotes in VF+ start around $50.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Miscellaneous Collectibles$5 and upPatches, Flags, Pins, etc start around $5. 19th century original local scenes photos and prints, Mako Shark Tooth Extinct Fossils etc start around $20.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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