For regular recipients of the old newsletter, the following are the updates that have been added to this site since the last newsletter was compiled:
1. LOGBA TOTO
Updated entry for Logba Tota, by a PCV working there: Set on a steep forested slope facing Mount Gemi, the small and attractive town of Logba Tota is yet another site in eastern Ghana undergoing development as a community tourist project. The main local attraction, about 2 km from town, is the Akpom waterfall, which plunges into a pool where you can swim safely. As with most waterfalls in the Hohoe District, the volume of water is greatest during the rainy season (May-Nov). The cliff above the waterfall is riddled with deep caves that house an impressive bat colony, and are studded with stalactites and stalagmites. In fact, a stalactite and stalagmite have formed a limestone pillar, the only structure of its kind in Ghana. Other notable attractions include a sheer cliff wall stretching over 200 meters in length and an isolated hilltop called Ozomkpo (meaning Ashanti Mountain) where the Ashanti people hid their chiefs during a war in the 17th century. All attractions lie within a 45-minute radius of town, and a guided tour can be arranged for around 5 Ghana Cedis (roughly US $5) per person by going to the tourist office which is currently managed by the Tourism Management Team. Coming in a private vehicle, the 7km turn-off to Logba Tota is signposted eastwards from Logba Alakpeti on the main Ho-Hohoe road. The dirt road initially follows a valley, and is reasonably flat. After about 3km, you’ll come to a junction where you need to turn left – from here onwards the road is mostly surfaced, and very steep ad winding. Occasional shared taxis run between Logba Alakpeti and Logba Tota, but you could be in for a long wait – it might be worth paying for the extra seats to effectively charter the vehicle. If you happen to arrive on a Logba market day (every 5th day), transportation by shared tro-tro is readily available. Beth Spletter, July 08.
There’s a wonderful restaurant in Kpando named Rose’s that serves Ghanaian and some American dishes, all in the $4.00 range. It advertises its location as across from the post office but doesn’t mention one has to traverse an unlighted dirt alley complete with sizable rocks and turn right after 100 feet or so ,go another 50 feet and turn right again. It’s worth the walk and if you go after dark, bring a torch to light your way. Robert Downey, July 08
I was surprised to find The Sir Max Hotel was not in the latest edition of the guide. This hotel is south of Ahodwo circle, not quite as far as the Four Villages Inn. I’ve not stayed there but they have two restaurants – an ‘El Gaucho’ style steak (good steak!) restaurant which is inside (and very cold, with not that much of an atmosphere) or an outdoor restaurant, by the pool, with a very relaxed vibe and great staff. It is by far my favourite place to go of an evening. They do great pizzas, and a half grilled chicken which rivals my mum’s roast dinners at home! They’ve also started serving some of the ‘El Gaucho’ dishes out by the pool if you ask. At the moment they have a great reggae band there on a Thursday evening. Alison Ely, Aug 08.
Supermarkets – A Life is really not that great anymore, I took a cursory look round when I frist moved to Kumasi and the shelves were sparse. A better bet is Opoku Trading, opposite the main post office in Adum and not far from Vic Baboos. It has food and housekeeping staples. In Ahodwho, going south from the Circle, there’s a couple of Lebanese-owned places, one of them Safeway, on the right, next to the Sweet Bite restaurant, and then further down, over the junction and past the little row of shops, on the left, a small place called Nadville, which both have lots of western goods, which you pay for! Alison Ely, Aug 08.
The Royal Park Hotel, also south of Ahodwo circle, does amazing chinese food, it’s our staple for meals out! Alison Ely, Aug 08.
We have just opened a newly built self catering house located on a stunning private beach in the Dixcove/Busua area of the Western Region. Sleeping 4 in 2 double rooms, this unique house has stunning views across the Gulf of Guinea from the 1st floor balcony, enjoys total seclusion, and to top it all is only 10 minutes from great bars and restuarants like Green Turtle/Safari and Busua. More info at www.cetoghana.com or SMS +233(0)272 925633. Jamie and Claire Wilkinson, July 08.
5. MOLE NP
Just wanted to send in a quick commentary that may be of concern in relation to Mole Motel in Mole National Park. I travelled there the other weekend with a large group. We have reservations but when we arrived late in the evening, after our Tro-Tro broke down, they informed us that our reservations have been lost or were never made. This happened to countless couples and groups that came after us during the weekend. We were forced to pay a large amount to sleep in mattresses on the dorm floor for the evening since there was no transportation at such a late hour to take us back to the neighboring village. It seems this is common practice at this location as I have heard similar complaints from other travellers as well. Travellers who arrive earlier in the day did not seem to have the same problem. Giving a warning to travellers to arrive during the day or to call once they reach the neighboring village to ensure that their Motel reservation is still in tact would be helpful. Allyson Roy, July 08.
6. GRAMOPHONE RECORDS MUSEUM AND RESEARCH CENTRE OF GHANA
Established in 1994 by museologist Mr. Kwame Sarpong, this unique museum, the only one of its kind in the World devoted to Highlife Music, contains a vast collection of music majority of which were recorded by Ghanaian Music Recording artists and Groups. Majority of the nearly 18,000 recordings majority of which is the Ghanaian Highlife music dates as far back as 1927. Inside the archives of the Museum you can view an original copy of the Highlife Music Seminal; Yaa Amponsah, recorded on the Zonophone EZ Label by Jacob Sam and his Kumasi Trio in London in 1928 as well as those by George William Aingo, Nathaniels, Ben Simmons, Gaddiel Acquaah and Harry Quashie. The collection represents works of nearly 700 Ghanaian Recording artists on both the 78 shellac rpm records as well as the 45 and 33 1/3 Vinyl records from the early part of the 1920’s to the mid-1960’s and early 1980. In the collection are again several recordings from other African Countries, Europe and America as well as over 50 Vintage wind-up Gramophone equipments by the Victor Talking Machine of America, Gramophone Company of the UK as well as others from Switzerland and Japan.
Activities at the Museum:
In 2003, the Museum received a Grant from the Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Art, Science and Technology, a Montreal Based Not-for-Profit Organization to digitize a part of its collections. From this Grant it has already digitized 1000 of the Highlife Music from the collection. Copies of these have been deposited at the National Library and Archives of Canada as well as the Folklife Centre of the Unites States Library of Congress and can be accessed by researchers and students. Another copy has been deposited at the Archives of the Daniel Langlois Foundation for on-line presentation in late 2008.The second phase of the digitizing project involving a further 1000 songs has started with a Grant from the French Embassy in Ghana and should be finished by July 2009. As a prelude and forming part of the collections towards the establishment of a future Highlife Music Museum in Cape Coast, the Museum is collaborating with Professor Carmelle Begin, Curator Emeritus of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Canada and Alliance Franciase de Development in Ghana in developing a permanent Exhibition of over 300 digitized Ghanaian Highlife Music Album Sleeves from the late 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s scheduled for opening in October, 2008.
Visitors to the Museum still located inside the Central Regional Centre for National Culture Buildings and opposite the Cape Coast University on the Accra /Takoradi main Highway in Cape Coast, will now have the opportunity of listening to some of the already digitized Ghanaian Highlife Music.
The Museum is open everyday of the year from 10.00 hrs to 15.00 hrs except Sundays, Christmas, New Year and Easter Holidays. However, visitors can book for special appointments by contacting the Director/Archivist, Mr. Kwame Sarpong on the following:T elephone: 233 24 671 4517 (International) or 024 671 4517 (locally) Email: email@example.com. Entrance Fees: Adultss (foreign): GhC 7.50; Adults (local) GhC 5.00; Students: GhC 2.00; Children (local): GhC 1.00; School groups: GhC 15.00 (10 per group); Children accompanied by Adults: Free. Kwame Sarpong, July 2008