EK’s updates

“Ghana Essentials” (Inside the left part of the cover page): => Apparently, exchange rates have changed; By the beginning of 2010, 1 euro was about 2 new Ghana cedi (and not about 1.29 new Ghana cedi).

* Chapter 2, section “birds”; pages 44 – 50: => Since the Bradt guide already provides extensive information on bird species in Ghana, it may also be helpful to readers to include the titles of two proper field guides on birds which appear to be very useful in Ghana: (a) Van Perlo, B. (2003) Birds of Western and Central Africa. …, USA: Princeton (b) Borrow, N. & Demey R. (2008) Birds of Western Africa. London, UK: Helm. According to my information and judgements both books are quite good, although the Van Perlo might be a better one for beginners and the colours of the pictures tend to be more realistic than those in Borrow & Demey.

Chapter 5, section “skin infections” p 97-98 => As the Bradt guide also recommends on page 101 for avoiding bilharzia, it may be a healthy habit in general to wash yourself with water put in a bucket with some antiseptic (“bucket shower”) instead of taking a shower etc. with water from the tap. Besides “Dettol” (based on parachlorometaxylenol (PCMX)), one could also use the Ghanaian equivalent “Camel” (a brand based on dichlorometaxylenol (DCMX)) to add to the water. “Camel” is widely available in Ghana and is also cheaper (although somewhat smellier according to several people including myself). Washing yourself on a regular basis with water with such an antiseptic has also the advantage that it simultaneously may prevent skin infections in early stages as will be the case – for hands – when using anti-bacterial (hand) gel (see p 57) on a frequent basis.

Chapter 6, section “Where to stay”, page 119: “Niagara Plus Hotel” I can confirm that, to my opinion, this hotel and its garden has a nice atmosphere. Moreover, the owner appeared to be very hospitable and the lamb kebab was excellent. However, the room I had was not quite mosquito-proof (windows of the bathroom couldn’t be closed properly), so I was happy to have my mosquito net with me.

Chapter 8, section “Getting there and away”, page 158: I found out that just after my arrival in Cape Coast by a STC bus from Kumasi, the taxi drivers located at the bus terminal were rather aggressive in their attempts to pick up bus passengers and their luggage. There was also a possibly self-proclaimed boss figure on the spot who was constantly yelling and shouting in an intimidating way and apparently tried to “manage” the taxi drivers (and their passengers). The taxi drivers also charged a non-negotiatable fixed price for a trip to the centre of Cape Coast (4 cedis for a relatively short trip).

Chapter 8, section “Where to stay”, page 159: “Mighty Victory Hotel” I can confirm that, to my opinion, this hotel is indeed a very good budget one and that the staff was indeed very friendly. Although the hotel is now renewing some of its windows and insect screens, also renewed windows/insect screens could not always be closed properly. So, I was happy again to have my mosquito net with me. 

 Chapter 8, map of Cape Coast Centre, pages 160-161: The shared taxis to Elmina as well as other destinations had moved to another location, just one street further to the southwest; they now pile up at the corner of the Royal Jackson (lane) and the street that runs from the north corner of the Chapel square to the Royal Jackson.

Chapter 8, “Kakum national park”, p167-171, in particular, p. 171 (where to stay) I discovered that the Kakum national park has now also a lodge since less than a year ago or so (“Rainforest lodge”; see picture in attached file). This may be important information to readers, since it now provides a comfortable opportunity to stay there overnight and to wake up early for a trip in the forest before 8:00u, or to stay there for more days. Prices are only 15 new GHc/ 18 new GHc sngl/dbl (I didn’t use the lodge myself, since I only discovered its existence when I was there for a day trip). Further, taxi drivers who bring tourists from Cape Coast to Kakum tend to wait in Kakum for you to enable you to get back to Cape Coast when a trip with a guide has ended. However, they seem to tell you that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get away there. Not true: it’s very easy to get away there at any reasonable moment; just walk to the main road and wait there for a tro-tro or so. So, it is not necessary for taxis to wait for you whatever they tell you; just take your time in Kakum.

Chapter 14, section “getting there and away”, p. 297 and 300 => Quite comfortable buses of the company “V.I.P.” also run between Accra and Kumasi (about 20 new cedi for a one way ticket, but definitively more comfortable than a STC bus) and I think also between Kumasi and Tamale. There is at least a terminal in Accra. I would recommend to check it further and to include the corresponding information on this coach company in a next edition of the Bradt on Ghana.

Chapter 14, section “where to stay”, p. 301: “Ashanti Gold Hotel” Unfortunately, the Bradt guide provides no telephone number for this hotel; I found the following in the online yellow pages for Ghana: 051 25875 and 020 8116128; but please check, because when I called them, they referred me to a third number (of which I don’t have the number anymore).

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