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For the Kpalime towns in Ghana, see Kpalime Traditional Area.
Kpalimé is located in Togo
Location in Togo
Coordinates: 6°54′N 0°38′E / 6.900°N 0.633°E / 6.900; 0.633
Country Togo
Region Plateaux Region
Population (2010)
 • Total 75,084

Kpalimé is a city in the Plateaux Region of Togo, 120 km north of Lomé and 15 km from the Ghanaian border. It is the administrative capital of the Kloto Prefecture. Kpalimé has a population of 75,084,[1] making it the fourth-biggest town in Togo, after Lomé, Sokodé and Kara. The town has a cathedral, a scientific Lycée, and a post-office, as well as several banks, medical centres,[2] pharmacies, cyber-cafés and petrol stations.


Countryside near Kpalimé

Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and enjoying a pleasant tropical climate, Kpalimé is a popular tourist destination. It is a centre for exploring nearby Mount Agou, the highest point in Togo and Mount Kloto, from which there are spectacular, if distant, views of Lake Volta on a clear day.

Waterfall near Kpalimé

In the surrounding countryside there are also several waterfalls (at Tomegbe, Kpoeta, Woatti, Woma, Ykpa, Aklowa, Kpima and Amegape)[3][4] which cascade down from the Plateau, coffee and cocoa plantations, and forest trails for bird and butterfly watching. Local guides are available to help discover these.

Other nearby attractions are:

  • The Benedictine Monastery of the Ascension at Dzogbegan[5]
  • The Colonial Governor's House and German Cemetery at Misahohé[6]
  • Château Viale, the Presidential Château near Kouma Konda[7][8]


Kpalimé market

Kpalimé is Togo's main centre for crafts such as wood sculpture, weaving, wickerwork, decorated calabashes, batiks, painting, pottery, ceramics and mounted butterflies.[9] There are no less than 36 artisanal workshops and retail outlets in the town,[10] and also an artisanal training college.[11]


Kpalimé fruit vendor

Local specialities include palm wine and grilled chicken or fish served with fufu (boiled and pounded yams) and peanut sauce. There is an abundance of fresh fruit – mangoes, papayas, pineapples, water melons, oranges, grapefruit, star-fruit, corrosols – for sale all year round in the market.


There are regular taxis to Lomé, Notsé and Atakpamé as well as other smaller towns in the vicinity. Taxi-motos, known locally as Zemijans, are available for hire to any destination in and around the town. The nearest international airport is in Lomé.


Ewe is the main local language, being a lingua franca for the whole of the south of Togo. But northern languages such as Kabiye, Nawdm and Tem (Kotokoli) are also widely spoken, as these populations have migrated south. French, the official language of Togo, is spoken by anyone who has been to school.

Misahöhe Forest Reserve[edit]

The Misahöhe Forest Reserve is situated in the mountains north-west of Kpalimé, on the border with Ghana (Coordinates: 0° 35.00′ East, 6° 57.00′ North). It covers an area of 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres), and the altitude varies between 250 and 740 metres (820 and 2,430 ft). The reserve consists of steep hillsides supporting semi-deciduous forest dominated by bark cloth and Iroko trees. Other species include Flat-crown, Alstonia, False fig, Cola, velvet tamarind, orange milk, African mahogany, Macaranga, Malacantha, African nutmeg, Limba, African bitterwood and Abachi.

The site is the type-locality of the African green tree frog.

Sixty-seven bird species have been recorded in the reserve. It is the type-locality of Baumann's olive greenbul and the olive-green camaroptera. Pallid harriers have been recorded, as have two species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome. It is the only site in Togo from which many forest species have been recorded.[12]


Pre-colonial period (pre-1890)[edit]

Kpalimé was originally called Agomé-Kpalimé, being one of the villages of the Agomé people. Their origins can probably be traced to Yorubaland in modern Nigeria, and in particular to two cities: Ifè (the religious center) and Oyo (the political and administrative center). Migrants gradually moved west settling in Kétou (Benin), Tado (Togo), and eventually founding the town of Notsé.

King Agokoli, who ruled Notsé in the early 18th century, was a tyrant. This caused many people to flee, taking refuge in Gamé. There were three main groups of fugitives, one of which was made up of Agomé, Agou, Kpélé, Danyi, Gbi, Peki, Kpando, Matsè and Wodzo people.

Their migration eventually led them to Anidi, on Mount Kloto (then named Méléku) which is located 13 km north west of Kpalimé. The Agomé consisted of five clans led by a chief called Tsali. Here, they were free to practiced activities such as agriculture, hunting, farming, fishing, crafts and trade.

However, it was common for tensions to break out among migrants on their arrival in a new location, and the Agomé were no exception. They quarreled over a goat’s head, and since the conflict could not be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, some of the elders decided to leave Anidi and go and live on the plain.

The first group went to live on the lower slopes of the mountain, in a place where the trees were called "Yoti", hence the name Agomé-Yo. The second group settled on a rise at the foot of the Kouma plateau. This became known as Agomé-Kpodzi. The third group settled in a place they named Agomé-Koussountou. The fourth group crossed the river and founded Agomé-Tomégbé. The fifth group moved to "Mokpalipé", meaning crossroads, and the pronunciation gradually evolved into "Kpalime".

Since those who founded "Mokpalipé" chose the location for its potential for expansion and communication, it is likely that they made their first settlement in the vicinity of the crossroads near the Kpegolo river on the road to Agomé-Yo. They forced their distant relatives the Tové Ahoundjo to cede their territory, which extended from the river to Tsihinou (located behind the current neighborhood of Noumetou Kondji). The Tové Ahoundjo eventually found refuge in their present location on the Lomé-Kpalime road. Later, in order to properly control their vast new territory, the Agomé-Kpalimé decided to move to the middle of it, which is now the Domé neighborhood in the town center.

In their new location, the Agomé-Kpalimé came into contact with Hausa traders who crossed their territory with caravans from Salaga on their way to what is now Keta in Ghana. They learned commerce from them.

The chiefs of Kpalimé are from the Apeto dynasty, who were the first to settle there. However, it is the chief of Agomé-Yo, not Agomé-Kpalimé, who is the paramount chief of the Agomé.[13]

Colonial period (1890-1960)[edit]

The German Cemetery

Until 1880, Kpalimé was a small inland village surrounded by forest. It had no connections to the coast. It was colonization that led to its emergence as a large, inter-connected town. The colonial history of Kpalimé is unusual in that it is one of the few places in Africa that passed from German (1890–1914), then to British (1914–1920), then to French (1920–1960) administration.[13] Malaria and other tropical diseases took their toll on the early colonizers: none of those buried in the German military cemetery lived beyond the age of 35.[14]

In 1890, Jesko von Puttkamer, the German Imperial Commissioner for Togoland, founded the first field station at Misahohè, 9 km from Kpalimé and "five day's march from Lomé". It was a strategic location in the German's "Togo Hinterland Expedition", and was considered the gateway to the north of Togo. The Commissioner had the station named after his former lover Misa von Esterhazy.

Misahohè’s small size and remoteness obliged the German government to invest in nearby Kpalimé by establishing offices, administrative services and a minimum of socio-economic infrastructure. Kpalimé quickly stole the limelight from Misahohè, becoming the regional capital. Located on a crossroads it attracted a lot of traders. By 1913, there were 39 businesses in Kpalimé, with only eight white employees. Originally the town consisted only of four districts: Domé (the center), Avéwin (near the forest), Dzigbé (higher town) and Anigbé (lower town). Domé is the center of the town. Most of the town’s extant colonial buildings are in this area. The Germans also invested in road and rail links between Kpalimé and the coast, opening the Lomé-Kpalimé branch of Togo Railways in 1907, with its terminus in the Domé district. At the time, this revolutionized the town, breathing new life into the region’s commerce and agriculture. However, the railway has not been functional for many years.

However, the First World War (1914-1918) was to cut short the German domination of Kpalimé. Moving in across the border from what was then the Gold Coast, the British occupied the town for six years (1914-1920). They did nothing notable for the development of Kpalimé, preoccupied as they were by the war. Following the Treaty of Versailles (28 juin 1919), they ceded the town to the French in 1920.

Set in fertile countryside, Kpalimé was an ideal location for the pre-export storage of crops. This was a major factor in its growth, with the French colonizers giving Kpalimé progressively greater autonomy: “indigenous commune” (1939), “mixed commune” (1951) and finally “commune” (1959).[13]

Independence period (1960- )[edit]


  • Prefect of the Kloto Prefecture
  • Mayor of Kpalimé


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kpalimé (Latin: Kpalimen(sis)) is in the Ecclesiastical province of Lomé. Established in 1994, it has a population of 715,650, of which 295,420 (41.3%) profess to be Catholic. The bishop of the Diocese of Kpalimé is Bishop Benoît Comlan Messan Alowonou (since July 4, 2001).[15] His predecessor was Bishop Pierre Koffi Seshie (July 1, 1994 – April 25, 2000). The Roman Catholic Cathédrale Saint-Esprit (Holy Spirit Cathedral) was built by the German colonizers in 1913. It is neo-Gothic in style.


20th anniversary of the twinning with Bressuire, July 2011

Kpalimé is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]


Kpalimé has several reasonably priced hotels. Some of the more well-known are: Hôtel Geyser;[17] Hôtel Cristal;[18] Chez Fanny; Auberge Vakpo Guesthouse; Auberge Agbeviade; Hôtel chez Félicia; Au fermier; Hôtel 30 août; Hôtel Royal; Hôtel la détente; Maison petite suisse; Hôtel Ize; Hôtel Sunem; Hôtel Evasio; Auberge Beau rive.[19]


In addition to the restaurants in the hotels listed above, there are others such as: Chez Lazare; Macumba; Le Gourmet; Le plaisir[20]

Swimming pools[edit]

There are three swimming pools in Kpalimé:

  • Hôtel Geyser
  • Hôtel Cristal
  • New hotel on the Mount Kloto road (name?)

Non-Governmental Organizations[edit]

Kpallimé has a history of attracting non-Governmental organizations. The following list is not exhaustive:[21]

  • ADETOP-Togo (Association Découverte Togo Profonde) - environment and tourism[22]
  • ADIL-Togo (L’Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Locales au Togo) [23]
  • AFJEPET (Association sans frontières des jeunes pour la promotion de l'éducation et du tourisme) - environment and tourism[24]
  • AGERTO (Association germano-Togolaise) - environment and tourism[25][26]
  • Aide et Action (Action Aid) - education[27]
  • AIL (Association d'Appui aux Initiatives Locales) - democracy[28]
  • AJPS TOGO ( Association des Jeunes pour la Promotion de la Santé au Togo) - health, HIV[29]
  • AMC (Aides Médicales Charité) - Health[30][31]
  • AMECAA (Association Mondiale pour l'Echange Culturel) - environment, tourism, cultural education[32]
  • AMRAD (Appui à la Masse Rurale pour l'Aménagement et le Développement) - agriculture[33]
  • APGA (Association pour la Promotion des Groupements Agricoles) - agriculture, micro-finance[34][35]
  • ASMENE (Association pour la Protection de la Mère du Nouveau né et de l'Enfant) - women's health[36]
  • ASOF-TOGO (Action Solidaire sans Frontières) - women[37]
  • ASTERADHD (Association Togolaise Etude de Recherche et d'Appui au Développement Humain Durable)[38]
  • AVES TOGO (Association des Volontaires pour l'Environnement sain au Togo) - Environment, Tourism, Health, Education[39]
  • CAST (Centre d'Action Sociale au Togo) - social welfare[40][41]
  • CIRADD ( Centre International de Recherche-Action pour un Développement Durable) - democracy[23]
  • ESDES (Education Scolaire Développement Environnement Santé) - Education[42]
  • FECECAV (Faitière des Entités des Caisses d'Epargne et Caisses Villageoises) - microfinance[43]
  • FUPROCAT (Fédération des Unions de Producteurs de Caf? Cacao du Togo) - agriculture[44]
  • Mutuelle ADZEDZI - microfinance[45]
  • RADI (Recherche – Action pour le Développement Intégral)[46]
  • SEBADERS (Soutien aux Efforts de la Base pour un Développement Responsible et Solidaire)[23]
  • VSAH-TOGO ( Volontaires au Service de l'Action Humanitaire au Togo) - social welfare[47]


  1. ^ Quatrième Recensement Général de la Population et de l'Habitat 2010 (Fourth Population and Housing Census 2010)
  2. ^ "KPALIME (TOGO): portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo) : tourisme à Kpalimé, hotels à Kpalimé, restaurants, services, ecotourisme au Togo, artisanat au Togo, eadministration, ong kpalime, associations kpalime, camps chantiers Togo.". 
  3. ^ "KPALIME (TOGO): portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo) : tourisme à Kpalimé, hotels à Kpalimé, restaurants, services, ecotourisme au Togo, artisanat au Togo, eadministration, ong kpalime, associations kpalime, camps chantiers Togo.". 
  4. ^ Cascade de Kpalimé. YouTube. 2 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "Abbaye de l’Ascension de Danyi Dzogbégan-TOGO". 
  6. ^ "Architectural reminders of the German colonial era in Togo | All media content | DW.DE | 19.05.2014". DW.DE. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  7. ^ Kpalimé, Château Vial. YouTube. 23 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Château Vial-Château présidentiel : un patrimoine à sauver". 
  9. ^ "TOGO TOURISME ›› Découvrez Lomé, Aného, Togoville, Kpalimé, Atakpamé, Badou, Sokodé, Kara, Dapaong.". 
  10. ^ "carte_kpalime_artistes_artisans". 
  11. ^ @freak. "CEAA". 
  12. ^ "Birdlife Data Zone". 
  13. ^ a b c Administrator. "Presentation de la commune de Kpalime". 
  14. ^ "Architectural reminders of the German colonial era in Togo". DW.DE. 
  15. ^ Albert Komlan Gblokpor. "Diocese de Kpalime". 
  16. ^ a b "KPALIME (TOGO): portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo) : tourisme à Kpalimé, hotels à Kpalimé, restaurants, services, ecotourisme au Togo, artisanat au Togo, eadministration, ong kpalime, associations kpalime, camps chantiers Togo.". 
  17. ^ Lonely Planet. "Le Geyser". Lonely Planet. 
  18. ^ "›› HOTELS TOGO KPALIME ›› HOTEL CRISTAL (Kpalimé-Togo) -". 
  19. ^ "KPALIME (TOGO): Kpalime: Annuaire des hôtels à Kpalimé (Togo) - portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo).". 
  20. ^ "KPALIME (TOGO): Kpalime: Annuaire des restaurants, maquis et caféteriat de Kpalimé (Togo) - portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo).". 
  21. ^ "KPALIME (TOGO): Kpalime annuaire des associations & ONGs: ONG (Organisations non-gouvernementales), associations, groupements - portail web de la ville de Kpalime (Togo).". 
  22. ^ "Adetop Togo - kpalimé, association découverte togo profond, écotourisme, vacances différentes et authentiques". 
  23. ^ a b c
  24. ^[dead link]
  25. ^ "ASSOCIATION GERMANO TOGOLAISE". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "BIENVENUE - agertofrs Webseite!". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "Home - Aide et Action International". Aide et Action International. 
  28. ^énévolat-amsed.pdf
  29. ^ "AJPS-TOGO". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  30. ^ "AMC". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Séjours Solidaires en Afrique". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "fr-aaa". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  35. ^ "[ APGA- Association pour la Promotion des Groupements Agricoles - Fongto - Fédération des ONG au Togo ]". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  36. ^ "kpalimé". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  37. ^ Guillaume Gendraud, Tenqi. "ASOF TOGO : Association humanitaire - Action SOlidarité sans Frontières TOGO - Mission Humanitaire en Afrique". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  38. ^ "". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  39. ^ "Accueil A.V.E.S-TOGO". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  40. ^ "CAST : Centre d'Action Sociale au Togo". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  41. ^ "Avenir-Togo, soutien au Centre d'Action Sociale au Togo, échanges solidaires entre Afrique et Europe". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  42. ^ ":::[TOGO-PRESSE]:::Grand Quotidien National d'Information". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  43. ^ "Fececav - Faîtière des Entités des Caisses d'Epargne et de Crédit des Associations Villageoises". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "Savoir News - La première agence de presse privée au Togo". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  45. ^ "Mutuelle ADZEDZI". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  46. ^[dead link]
  47. ^

Coordinates: 6°54′N 0°38′E / 6.900°N 0.633°E / 6.900; 0.633