Erika’s updates

I just got back from Ghana and have some comments

The Rising Phoenix in Accra is dirty and there are some annoying types hanging around. Would be good to advise people about that. The food is still wonderful and the price is good. They will pick you up at the airport if you ask them to (for 20 cedis, i think)

Nzulezo was a huge disappointment, we felt very unwelcome in the village, the people pretty much ignored us and were sullen when we wanted to take photos. The village was dirty and not very interesting in any way. I would not recommend this tour to anyone, and i have serious doubts that they are putting any money into any community programs, judging from the attitude of the villagers we met.

All the info about how to get to Nzulezo is still correct. We paid 30 cedis for the taxi from  (can’t remember, starts with an E) to Beyin after dark, but if you pay 40 youre more likely to get a driver who actually knows how to get there! we were cheap and our driver almost got lost!

The Beyin Beach Resort is incredible and they made us the MOST AMAZING red-red for breakfast. the 10 cedi cabins are great value, the place is amazing, i can’t recommend it enough.

The tour at Kakum is not worth what they charge, the canopy walk was cool, but way overpriced. the guide and our taxi driver were in cahoots to steal the money, they tried various ways to get us to pay them directly. please re-emphasize to tourists how important it is to ALWAYS GET A RECEIPT FROM AN OFFICIAL at any “community or official governmental tourist site” to prevent things from degenerating into a terrible tourism experience. The nature walk at Kakum cost 15 cedis and was a disappointment. it was pretty cool, but for 15 cedis for one hour, we felt way overcharged.

We stayed at the Mighty Victory hotel in Cape Coast, it was great value and very clean and safe.

We stayed at the Sambra hotel in Kumasi, it was 44 cedis which felt overpriced. There was a robbery of a guy staying there, someone climbed onto his balcony at night and stole his laptop and some other things, the hotel management was not very helpful apparently, i am not sure i would recommend Sambra to anyone after seeing that disaster.

We stayed at the Al Hassan in Tamale, it was great, not that clean, but great location and price (21 cedi for two beds and a fan) they did my laundry for 2 cedi.

We ate at Sparkles, it was very good, if somewhat bland. We went to the rooftop bar at the Crest and it was pretty scary for two women at night, but not dangerous in any way. We just did not appreciate all the attention.

We took dance lessons from Idrissu and Osman in Tamale, they were incredible, we loved it and cannot recommend it enough.

We stayed at the CICCS guesthouse for one night, very clean, great value at 20 or 22 cedi for two beds and a fan.

Mole was a huge disappointment. please mention to people that between June and February it is very difficult to see Elephants and other wildlife, because they are other places in the park. the guides were grumpy and not very informative. the hotel is a dump and not a good value at all.

we got a car from M&J Travel for the day to go to Mole and do a driving safari and the driver tried to charge us extra to go into the park and even tried to charge us to go back to Tamale!!!!
please warn people about this problem.

The tour in Abompe Bead Factory and the Bamboo Bicycle tour at Abompe were a total ripoff and we were very disappointed. We saw and learned basically nothing and we felt that it was just a gratuitous way to get money out of tourists. i think it is bad form to habituate these communities to charging tourists for worthless tours. I think a higher standard needs to be set from now on, i am considering writing to the Ghanian peace corps to comment on this as well.

We stayed at the Bunso Arboretum Guesthouse and loved it, though it is now 15 cedi per person, so, not the best value, but it is a great spot, very cool and peaceful. you need to bring your own food. The tour was ok, not excellent as the book says, but we enjoyed it, it was better value than the others we took in ghana.

Though I am disappointed in so many of the tours, I should clarify that I am not disappointed in our trip overall, it was wonderful, educational, interesting, exciting and beautiful. Ironically the best part about Ghana was not any of the tourist activities we endeavored to participate in, but the daily effort to find food, find transportation, meet people, and experience the place was the best part of the trip. I will recommend Ghana to any of my hardy traveler friends. Needy tourists need not apply!

We had a great trip overall and LOVED having the Bradt book with us, which we ended up calling “the ORACLE” hahaha.

Erika Vohman

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