Vacation in Ghana, Part I

After three and a half months in Côte d’Ivoire working as a logistician for Doctors Without Borders, it was time to take a few days off to relax, so I jumped on a plane in Abidjan to head next door to Ghana. Flying out of Abidjan:

Abidjan coastline, Côte d'Ivoire

I arrived in Accra, the capital city, in the afternoon of October 1st. Within a couple hours I was sitting at a beach-side guesthouse just outside Accra listening to a reggae band while cradling a cold Ghanaian beer.

Kokrobite Beach, Ghana
Horseman on Kokrobite Beach, Ghana

After two days of sitting by the beach, spending most of my time reading and chatting with other travellers and some locals, I started becoming a bit restless. Many of the other travellers were enjoying the beach, buying local crafts and clothing, and eating thrice daily in the expensive guesthouse restaurant, thus fulfilling their dreams of experiencing the “real Africa” as some put it. The conversations with these types of travellers soon began to grate on me; Ghana is sometimes considered “Africa for Beginners,” because it’s far easier for a Westerner than, say, Mali or Nigeria or the DR Congo. These travellers who had spent so little time in Africa invariably made patronising generalisations (mostly positive, but also some negative ones) about the entire continent of Africa based on a week or two of beach-side bronzing in a small, touristy area of Ghana, interacting only with souvenir hawkers and guesthouse staff (plus, in many cases, hookers). So, despite the great location and well-designed guesthouse, I decided to leave the coast to seek adventure.

I headed back into Accra on October 4th to see my friend Dave and his girlfriend, who had just arrived in Ghana for internships. Before meeting them for dinner, I tried to arrange an overnight bus ticket with a company called STC to Tamale, in the north of Ghana, with the hope of finding my way to Mole National Park, but the tickets were sold out for that day and the whole next day too! With no way to get there, and no place to stay in Accra, I decided to forget my present situation for the moment and get over to Osu, the part of town where Dave and Sophie had asked me to meet them.

To be continued…