Out and About in Accra

After many years of cancelled plans and non refundable plane ticket, I finally made it to Ghana last August. The Chale Wote Street Art Festival was the main reason for the visit.

We arrived Accra late on Thursday night, we got in around 10pm Accra time which was 11pm Nigerian time. We boarded the Efex Express bus from their Yaba park and entered Benin Republic through the Idi-iroko border of Ogun state. 3 borders and about 12 hours later inclusive of the wait at the Efex park at Iyana-Ipaja and the Abule Egba traffic due to the ongoing bridge construction, we arrived Accra. The wait time at the numerous borders was not as long as when we travelled to Togo the last time.

We had to get off the bus with our bags to be searched before allowed entry at the Aflao border (Ghana). We had really interesting travel partners on both bus rides in and out of Accra. Unfortunately pictures are not allowed at the borders, so no pictures to capture the activities around there. One of the reason I love road trips is the great conversations. I live for those moments, we had great laughs, complained about the Nigerian Govrnment, talked about food, the Ijebu people's love for party, about the Ghananian environments, life in secondary school entered the conversation self at some point. 


We had Friday to explore Accra, we didn't get to see much. We visited Tayo's Ghana office and met her boss and colleagues. Asides from her boss, the rest of the team have never met Tayo so it was good opportunity for her. 


We went out to get lunch and got to see a different part of Accra. Tayo insisted on eating 'Wanke' and Sandra decided to taste the staple as well, we bought this at a store called Finethings Patisserie. Here is the thing, I hardly experiment with food. I always stick with familiar dishes, blame this paranoia on a food allergy I had back in 2004. We visited Papaye Fast Foods on the popular Oxford street in search of fried rice for me.




 








After close of business, we found our way to Accra mall which was on another end of town. 




Apparently the makers of Robb produce sweets as well
 



Saturday was all about the Chale Wote festival, we got to spend the whole day in Jamestown where the event took place.



I also got to visit the Makola market on Sunday because mum insisted I buy her ankara. The market was empty and I didnt get what she wanted.






So I got to taste Ghana Jollof, actually only took a spoon out of Tayo's food as I stayed on my Fried rice diet all through. Going by the slander from both countries, I really couldn't tell the difference, although I suspect the cook who made Tayo's food has some sort of Nigerian influence because it tasted just like the Nigerian party jollof. I found Chicken republic and there fried rice was way better than the one from Papaye.



I must say Accra did not blow me away, it is a pretty decent city, but just not what I expected despite all the comparison and all. Accra gave me the Ikeja and Abuja vibe and Jamestown gave the Ajegunle feel. My sister told my mum when she saw the pictures that Accra looks like Mile 2 in Lagos. I wasn't disappointed, but it was underwhelming. The neighbourhood where we stay, "Dansuman" reminded me of Mafoluku-Oshodi and in a way Mumbai.

Accra is relatively safe and expensive, the recession did not help our currency at all. Changed 100Naira to get 1Cedi. Imagine the bureau de change in Accra were not changing our currency, we were only able to change our money at the border. Everyone was quick to rub our recession in our face, I kept hearing at the border "Naira e no good again"

Transport: we moved about in taxis and buses aka 'Tro tro'. The bus is way cheaper compared to the taxis, the highest we paid was 2.50 Cedis while for cab was 15Cedis.

I will definitely visit Ghana again and maybe next time I will get to explore Accra more. A friend is planning a trip to Cape Coast in December so I guess that will be my next visit.


Have you been to Accra? What was your experience like? If you haven’t visited, would you like to go?



♥Lara

'Lara A

17 comments:

  1. Love this recap of your trip - the comparisons, food, everything! I am also looking forward to returning to Ghana next month but this month, I'll be going to Cotonu. How did you get to the Idi-iroko border? What would you recommend as the easiest way to get to Cotonu?

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    1. Are you going with a transport company or plan to cross the border on your own. The Seme border is closer to Cotonou than Idi-iroko. I would advise the Seme border, only that the madness at the border is gangster.

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    2. I'll advise against the idi iroko border too, went with Efex and there was something about ladies not allowed in the border town, we had to 'hide' in the bus on our drive into benin Republic. Asides that, I enjoyed my trip, it was solo but I had mad fun. Visited the Kwame nkrumah Park, saw the independent arch, went to kakum Park, visited 2 beaches, visited elmina castle and Osu castle (which is closed to the public) etc... And I had banku and okro too. Lol. Ghana is really like lagos well except It calmer, there wasn't the lagos madness

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    3. Thanks Ladies, I'll go through the Seme border. I hope I have a somewhat hassle-free entry. I have many questions about the 'ladies entry' thing at Idi-iroko. Curious to know the details about that. Lara, did you experience the same thing?

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    4. Did not experience such and I am totally surprised. I am guessing there was some sort of "Oro" going on when Dayo visited, because that is the only reason why women will have to hide in the bus. You can go with ABC, but they only use luxurious buses which are really slow. There is also Chisco

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    7. Makes sense now. It really didn't occur to me. True must have been the 'oro' thingy going on at that time.

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  2. My Ghana trip was a little better than this recap and it def gave me a Lagos feel. I guess that was because I had "tour guide" so we visited nice places. I visited the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and it was pretty cool.

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    Replies
    1. The trip wasn't planned to visit anywhere else but Jamestown, I would explore more when next I visit,

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  3. They like to do extra for their food. I don't like their food that is not a traditional food of theirs. I went by road too when I did and it was stressfulllllll

    Loved the recap.

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  4. Wow! 12 hours is not so bad, I always though it'd be 16-20 hours by road. Its so sad about our currency isn't it? sigh.

    I enjoyed your photos a lot.

    Ummi's Blog

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    1. 16-20 hours, if you go with those huge luxurious buses, but that is also subject to the number of checks at the Nigerian border and probably Aflao where everyone has to come down. Thank you for visiting the blog.

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  5. At a time when I am contemplating a visit to Ghana, this post sure comes in handy. Then again, it's so sad that the value of naira has so fallen that the Ghanaian Bureau de Change will hesitate to change our currency.

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  6. I can't wait to get to see Accra for myself sometime soon.
    And you had their Jollof :-D , the biggest controversy between us and them (even though fried rice is the real bae)
    Lol
    It looked like fun though, thanks for being our eyes!

    Ima | LemonsLemonade.com

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  7. I've been to Ghana once by road and it was fun. Accra is really beautiful and yes, Makola Market! I spent all my money there. That time, 1cedi was N100 too. It was really fun cause their things were quite cheap.
    The Confident Woman: Joyce Meyer
    Www.laitanbee.com

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  8. What an interesting experience. The food pictures did have me wanting some.

    Happy New Year, darling!

    Funmi xx
    www.funmialabi.co.uk

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