This post is only my personal opinion while traveling around Ghana as a female. It might NOT be 100% correct so please take note:P To most people traveling around Ghana seems to be easy because it’s “safe” and it’s an English Speaking country. Personally I have no issue regarding personal safety because I didn’t feel anywhere were unsafe so far, but cautious is highly recommended:)
(2) Tried to research on where you are going instead of asking the local. I am not saying all the local cannot give you correct information. If you are lucky you might find a very helpful local, but most of the time(for me), people do not know anything beside their routine! I mean I do not blame them, they only concern about their work.However, I suggest everyone to see the whole traveling journey as an experience because you never know what you are going to get.
Example 1- the last time I wanted to travel from kokrobite beach to Kumasi, people told me the whole journey only will take 4 hours, but it turned our to be 7 hours instead(that include transit from one tro-tro to the other and waiting/walking time. I had experienced a lot of this bullshit all the time in Africa! If you hire a car on your own, the journey is QUICK, but if you take local transportation-trust me, the time will be double!
Example 2-Couple days ago, me and Martine went to visit her family friend in Somanya. It’s a little town close to lake Volta and I really want to visit the Volta region so it’s good for me to stay with her friend’s house. His name is Mr Mclaren and he’s from Jamaica. He had lived in London for 22 years before he decided to reside in Ghana. His house is big but after 6 years of building this house, it’s still “in progress” ! I am so glad we have a chance to stay with him because it really very interesting talking to him:) Me and him both have the same opinion about why Africa is so “rich” but yet “poor” However, I do not want to talk about politics in my site, so I will just tried to use my photos to show you the true Africa and let you guys figure it out yourself.
Below is Mr Mclaran’s shop where his girlfriend is looking after it.
So, from Accra, we first took a “Tro Tro“- a privately owned minibus that travel fixed routes leaving when filled to capacity.While there are tro tro stations, they can also be boarded anywhere along the route. Mr Mclaren told us it will be a 2 hours ride but ofcourse it turned out to be more than that:P Anyway, he got lots of fruit trees around his house so the first thing we did after entering his house was to turn on the Air Conditioning and ate Mangos! But it’s so fascinating to see how big all the Fruit Trees(Mangos, Soursap, Guavea,pear, mango and plantain) are after only a year! The soil is so rich there, if people just utilize it properly, nobody is ever gonna starve!
The next day, we took a tro tro and went to “a lake” which I thought was Lake Volta but it turned out to be Lake Atimpoku:P The lake and the bridge is beautiful but I really want to take a boat ride along Lake Volta so we headed for a taxi and went there. I saw on Lonely Planet guide book that there’s lots of Monkey, crocodiles and Hippo there. However, when we tried to asked the local, they all said NO NO NO. Even Mr Mclaren’s Girlfriend(she said she had took a cruise around the area said there’s NO ANIMAL at all!) But the worst thing was. when we arrived the Volta lake area, the people there said the cruise to lake Volta was BURNED DOWN last year due to a fire in the kitchen! I don’t know, this have been the second time I believe in a guide book or the local people but it turned out the information is NOT up to date at all.
We then headed to a town called Tafi and there’s a monkey sanctuary over there. But after 2 hours of tro tro ride, we are still 4 km away from the monkey sanctuary and NOBODY know where is Wli waterfall which should be close by(the highest waterfall in West Africa) A local in Tafi told us ALL THE MONKEY in the sanctuary is DEAD! Other told us there’s a waterfall but it’s not called Wli. But when I check online there’s definitely Monkey over there and the Wli waterfall is just close by. It’s just the local do not know! Sometimes, I though asking local maybe is better but definitely NOT for Ghana(Senegal is MUCH BETTER). Even after I phone the lodge nearby they didn’t even know the lodge is in Volta region and they told me they are NOT in the Volta region@_@
(3) Do take “Tro Tro” as your main transport if time is NOT limited for you. Taxi is a much faster option but do negotiate the best price before you jump on one because if they see you as a tourist , most likely they will rip you off. Private taxi is common in Accra but not on other town. To me, tro tro is quite comfortable if the weather is NOT too hot:)
(4) Do not expect local to know anything about a building/tourist attraction, go find it on the internet!-Ghana to me is LESS TOURISTIC than SENEGAL! In Senegal, everyone seems to know about where the tourist attraction are and they will tell you before you asked! BUt in Ghana, when I asked them what is a FLAGSTAFF HOUSE in Accra, they will tell me THEY DON”T KNOW!!!!
(5) Try to act like a local, eat like a local-Don’t be scared of eating street food, it’s perfectly fine to eat street food in Ghana. If you are scared of the meat is unsafe, ask them to heat them up for you again:) I promise, they are so yummy:)
Above: Banku Below: FuFu, pork and beef stow
(6) If money is not an issue, do take internal flight to travel around big cities-A flight from Accra to Kumasi cost about 103 Ghanian money(CD) and take about 45 mins. If you take a bus instead, it will coast you 15 CD and 4 hours without traffic. So, it’s up to you to decide what you gonna do:P-pls do note 1 CD= 1.93 US$
(7) Be extra careful when you are at a beach at night-There’s more robbery on the beach at night than in town. Why? Because it’s usually filled with lots of people at night and african people are normally more active at night than during the daytime!
(8) High speed internet access(wifi and NOT internet cafe)-Always go to the biggest hotel in town(big town like Accra and Kumasi) and you will always get that for free! If you go to a small one, they will charge you for a fee. The only place I got charge for wifi is at Busua a big hotel. Well, At least I got wifi:P
Other options is always go to the most fancy restaurant and they mostly likely have wifi. No need to ask the local where you can find wifi because they probably don’t know. I had experienced people telling me 50 millions different stories about the wifi located in Accra Mall and none of them are true. There is NO MTN, IPhone wifi available, the only wifi working is at a facy restaurant called Phapsody’s!
(9) Do not believe in the sign on the road-the things they listed on the road sign might not be there anymore, or it might not be true. I have been wasting so many time and energy try to find internet/wifi or a place with Air conditioning. Many time when I got there the staff would told me….ARH?? We DON”T HAVE IT!!! THEN WHY YOU PUT THAT ON YOUR SIGN!!!!AHHHHH!
(10) Do not totally believe in what the staff said! They might not know anything about their company/hotel/job at all!
I am not saying all the Ghanian people are like that, me and Martine had met some very helpful local who gave us excellent information! But again, this post is just my personal experience and everyone have different travel experiences all the time. So just come and SEE for yourself:P. Afterall, you just need to be chill and everything will be OK:P…cheers