Blogs from Ghana, Africa

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Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi December 31st 2020

After a 5 hour VIP bus ride from Accra up to Kumasi, we started asking questions and found out se had accidentally timed our northward trip to coincide with the Akwasidae! The Akasidae is a celebration of the ancestors held every six weeks by the Asantehene (King of the Ashante people). He enters the courtyard of the Manhyia Palace in the royal palanquin protected by the royal umbrellas and there he meets his subjects and the lesser chiefs. The Golden Stool (the traditional throne of the Ashante people) is displayed at the palace grounds and honor is paid as the people have the liberty to present themselves and their gifts. Drums, horn, dancing and singing are also a big part of the celebration! We were told to be there by 10 am to catch all of ... read more
Kpanlogo drums
The Royal Umbrellas
Royal Umbrella

Africa » Ghana November 28th 2018

This trip was jinxed, or so I thought, still recovering from a duo of lurgies as I lay in an MRI on a Saturday evening five days before my flight. Not to mention the saga of getting a Ghanaian visa, the moral of which is – to save you the gory details, not least of which was the size of my ’phone bill to the High Commission – if in doubt, pay more to get it done fast. You can’t lose, and it beats having the travel agent on standby and almost missing a friend’s Kenyan wedding. This is not a time to be Scottish. So it was with a major degree of self-pinching that I found myself boarding the right flight on the right day, and then, still glowing from the buzz of a spectacular ... read more
scenic football practice area
James Town lighthouse
fishing village

Africa » Ghana » Northern November 5th 2018

Things don’t always go to plan in Africa, or even as might reasonably be anticipated. The old hands have a couple of acronyms for this: TIAB (this is Africa, baby), or the more fatalistic AWA (Africa wins again). But this can go both ways, and the positives never seem to get much of a name-check. Seeing elephants in Mole National Park was definitely one of the latter. It’s the back end of the wet season here. Water and vegetation are everywhere, so animals disperse; no need to congregate around shrinking resources when there’s an abundance. The chance of seeing anything in the long grass – sometimes 10-12 feet just high at the roadside – let alone in a national park where only a small percentage of the park is accessible and then only when being driven ... read more
kob
shooting the breeze, Mognori village
your boat is waiting...

Africa » Ghana » Volta October 27th 2018

Look at a map of Ghana and you’ll soon spot a spiky body of water towards the east that seems to reach its fingers back west and north, as if probing the country for Ashanti gold. This is Lake Volta, the largest manmade body of water (by surface area anyway) in the world. And it was proving remarkably hard to find. After a couple of days in the lively and colourful Accra, I headed east to the hills that form the border with modern-day Togo. My immediate destination was the Wli Falls, thought to be the highest waterfalls in West Africa. The road there led close to the Lake, or so it appeared from the map, but neither during that journey nor on my unexpectedly arduous six-hour scramble up to (and, more wobblily, back down from) ... read more
Lake Volta from the Accra-Tamale flight
patience is an African way of life
a welcome break in the greenery

Africa » Ghana May 10th 2018

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch Africa is hot. The sheer temperature of this place keeps me in constant sweats. Between the hours of 9am to 5pm the heat is almost unbearable. Trying to think let alone operate in this type of heat and humidity is simply not possible. The best hours in Africa therefore are dawn or dusk, this is when the people come out, this is when the suns rays are lowest and it actually lets you live. In days gone by travellers to this area of the world would have taken months to get here. Slowly acclimitising as the ship or horse carriage came closer and closer. A European traveler would cross France, into Spain and the heat of the southern region all via horse and ... read more
Skyscrapers of Abidjan
Fort Batenstein, Ghana
Surf Shack, Ghana

Africa » Ghana » Western » Busua November 30th 2017

Durant ces dernières semaines la charge de travail a été bien plus faible que d'habitude, la faute au paludisme qui a mis a plat un de nos hôtes. Comme nous nous sentions bien seul sur ce chantier vide nous en avons profité pour nous balader dans les alentours. Nous avons tenté une petite excursion vers la ville de Princess Town pour visiter son fort allemand (puis néerlandais et enfin anglais). les infos détaillées sur Wikipedia sont meilleures que le résumé que nous pourrions vous faire mais globalement il s'agissait d'or et d'esclaves... Mais la vraie histoire c'est surtout le transport, 1h30 de 'trotro' blindé (le jeu de mots n'est pas fait exprès) après avoir attendu 1h à la station de départ. Puis arrivé sur place une demi-heure pour faire le tour (avec un guide présse qui ... read more
Butre
The view from Butre hills
Axim

Africa » Ghana » Western » Busua November 22nd 2017

Now that we've been in Ghana for a whole two weeks, it's time for a culinary update. As you all know, we both love eating and we've been trying out loads of new and interesting dishes since we've arrived ! Here in Busua it's very easy to find food, in the restaurants the food is prepared there and then and usually takes about an hour to arrive so if you're starving it's best to try out food stalls in the street that have large quantities of rice, beans and plantain ready to go. Food is available all throughout the day and there are always a few ladies selling round doughnuts (Abdel's favourite breakfast), savoury pastries filled with beans, grilled or fried fish, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, mangoes and oranges (that's all we've tasted so far and it's ... read more
Chicken salad, they like their baked beans here !
Chilling out with a bean-filled pastry
A huge serving of beans and rice from the street

Africa » Ghana » Western » Busua November 18th 2017

After some migraines and 'funny tummies' this week we've realised that when we're feeling unwell we miss some of the home comforts ! Our living arrangements are pretty nice, right on the beach but it's basic and we've come to find that things like not having clean running water or consistent electricity can seem like a bigger deal when feeling a bit rough. Things like having to go outside to the toilet with a headlight (it gets dark around 6 here), carry a bucket of water to flush and another small bucket to wash your hands...or going outside to shower, again with a lamp and buckets of cold water. Especially in the middle of a tropical rainstorm ! Having some alone time is next to impossible here, there are neighbours and kids from the village on ... read more
Our (handwashed) clothes
Views from today's walk
Sunset on the beach

Africa » Ghana » Western » Busua November 16th 2017

Our trip isn't all about surfing, swimming and checking out the nearby hospitals... The main reason we're here in Busua is to help Peter & Julia with the eco lodge they're building (http://www.ahantawaves.com/eco-surf-house/). For the moment there are the walls, the roof, some of the electrics and plumbing and since the day before yesterday, 4 solar panels. There's a whole team that's motivated (for the most part) to get the work done and we try to keep ourselves busy with one or two jobs a day. So far we've sanded the floors in one of the bedrooms, filled in the floorboard joints upstairs with a mix of sawdust and glue, brushed down earthen walls and tried our hand at plastering (or rather clay + sand that has to be hand-sieved !). Here are some pictures to ... read more
Filling in between the floorboards
Plastering
Brushing the walls in one of the downstairs bedrooms

Africa » Ghana » Western » Busua November 14th 2017

Our first home together is a cabin on the beach with no running water and it's very nearly perfect ! We moved in on Sunday and were supposed to got to Princess town for the day with our hosts Julia & Peter but Olivia was sick (something like sinusitis with a fever somehow) so we stayed put and Abdel spent the morning surfing. Lobster red Abdel entered our new home to take off his t-shirt to put on some cream and forgot about the low hanging ceiling fan... The rest of the story is blood and panic as we (mostly Olivia) ran around trying to find out where to go. Luckily our new landlord was nearby to help us out. After a walk through the village to find the pharmacist, we ended up in a small ... read more
Relaxing on the porch




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