Friday, 6 February 2009

Travelling in Ghana

What sort of holidays do we have in Ghana? Please do not mention the take-a-leave-stay-at home holidays. I mean holidaying Ghanaian style if ever there is one! should be different. Elsewhere people go to some far off village or abroad to Egypt, Morocco or Spain to sightsee and relax after a hectic working year. We can make do here with our plenty sunshine by just going around the country.(the northern regions and Volta region as e.g). For example in Volta,there are some villages which straddle on the borders why not cross over to Togo by just walking about in a village. Or if a bit adventurous trying taking some of the ‘’unapproved’’ routes to enter Togo and do some shopping. (Mind you to have your passport with you at all times (I am yet to do this myself- but 2 friends of mine from Uganda and Kenya have!)). The northern Ghana is also unknown to most of us, (except for some UDS friends of mine in Nadowli). Apart from the cost of travelling there, which is a little expensive, food and rest rooms are affordable. Afram Plains has a great scenery in some areas but I don’t know if there rest stops there. The southern parts are quite nice but because of the tourists, it’s a bit expensive to sightsee on the coast especially with the cost of hotels.

For most people, the only travel done was during primary and secondary school excursions. These excursions ended when working life started. And it was replaced by funeral tourism. This is not a bad idea, but funerals are attended in a day or 2 and then there is the hurry back home to Accra on Sunday night and one usually meets the hideous traffic at Nsawam. By the time you get home you are too exhausted for Monday morning. We cannot limit ourselves to Elmina Castle and the usual funeral picnics to get to know Ghana!Or the visiting our hometown (same town for 20 years?) during Xmas. What of taking a drive, or hopping on to the trotro (STC is much safer) to take you as far is possible. There are usually small hotels/motels available and at a good rate one could have a week to him or herself free from the hustle and bustle of Accra, traffic and car fumes and if lucky/unlucky no unnecessary mobile phone calls. A tip by the way- just call up friends who did national service in the districts and ask them of places of interest as well as rest rooms. They have been there before and know all the tricks. Or ask for people who know the area, friends of friends (believe me this is Ghana and a friends friend will surely know) On the other hand if you enjoy moving in a pack as I sometimes do just hook up with a couple of like minded friends and travel together. It’s much fun and a little cheaper. For the women who are usually worried of security, this is also much better for them.

Believe me it helps to take some time off to think on your own or to be in a different environment altogether. Try it once and you will be wondering why you didn’t start earlier.

Being a Ghanaian I know it is against our very nature to do this. Its uncommon and it has so many uncertainties (something which Ghanaians do not like at all!). If you happen to live with your parents like me, they will ask you who have you seen doing this in Ghana?, why do you want to do this?, ehhh you have soo much money and this is how you want to spend it. And several other questions which have no answers. The thing is 50 GHC (if it’s not too much to ask for) can take you to the eastern region, accommodate you in a rest house for a couple of days and enough to buy you tilapia and apem (plantain) on the way back. I usually tell my parents that this 50 GHC is my money saved from buying funeral cloth and other expenses I deem to be unnecessary. (I say it in a polite manner though) Also don’t forget to promise them some yams or vegetables on your return (believe me it works).

So why not pack your toothbrush/sponge/soap and some few clothing and head off. See more of Ghana, let the child in you explore a little and see how energized and refreshed you will get upon returning back to Accra.

This is my experience please share yours as well as pictures with us and let us know of your secret hideouts as well your experiences in undertaking these trips.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nii Ayi,
    First time visitor to your blog.
    I think I like what I have read so far and will be visiting again.
    As far as Ghana is concerned, I have never really looked at it as a 'holiday' destination. I think it is a fine idea to travel around the land to see what it offers.
    I have never been beyond north of BA before, never been to the Volta region before, never been to the western region before and now I think that is pathetic.
    Next time I are in town, I will try to move around as a tourist.


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