We (two 20 year old girls) have just returned from a month in Ghana – just some updates/suggestions for future travellers!
Firstly thank you SO much for producing such an amazing guide book! There is no way we could have survived without it.
-Nzulezo is more expensive than the book suggests, it now costs GhC 20 for a non-ghanaian adult and C15 for a student. We were hassled slightly about giving the guide a tip but were spared having to give donations in the actual village as apparently we looked too young for the chief to bother asking! However, it was a wonderful trip and we went around 8am which was just so peaceful. We were told to avoid friday-sunday as apparently it gets very busy.
– Getting to and from Beyin is different and more expensive again than the book suggests. From Takoradi it costs C4.50 to Beyin in a tro-tro with several extra cedi for bags. Getting back to Takoradi from Beyin requires a different route – you have to get a tro-tro to “T1” (Tikobo 1, a small town, but the locals know what you mean!) C1.40 and then another tro-tro from T1 to Takoradi C4.50. We would HIGHLY recommend the Beyin Beach resort – we stayed in the economy rooms which were immaculate and on 2 days were the only people in the resort. It is absolutely beautiful, the food is great, beach empty and we were woken at 6am by Patrick following some eggs hatching to come and watch the baby turtles make their way down to the sea! Amazing.
– We really enjoyed Cape Coast and Elmina but heard some unpleasant stories from friends about being accused of being involved in the Slave trade, hassled for money for an obviously fake charity and finally being threatened (outside Cape Coast castle) by some men that they would kill them. Personally I enjoyed Elmina more as again we got there early in the morning so there were only 6 of us in the guided group (as supposed to 30 in CC), and the guide was fantastic. Cape Coast was a nice town to walk around in, and we felt completely safe. There are some good rasta/souvenir shops opposite Castle View Restaurant which we enjoyed browsing.
– Boti Falls in the E/R was in the throws of a music festival and therefore we were charged C5 which seemed ridiculous, and may have just been because we were a big group but it is absolutely filthy- litter everywhere, and I mean everywhere, human excrement and a generally unpleasant environment. We were advised that we needed a guide to do the Jungle walk- this is a con, the man didn’t ‘guide’ us, it is an obvious footpath which starts off deceptively easily and then becomes a scramble vertically for quite a long distance to reach an umbrella rock for a view of the surrounding area. (and a 3 headed palm tree). Certainly would not bother with that again! And it is very hard work (we are both physically fit), and pretty dangerous unless you have suitable footwear and enough water in the heat.
-Big Millys was great, yes it is touristy but the resort is just what you want for a very reasonable price. The food was delicious and there are people selling fruit etc on the beach just outside. I have just read a previous report advising people to explore outside the resort, in daylight this is absolutely fine, but after dark it is best not to leave the resort. Some friends were staying in another resort further down the beach and the only way they were allowed to walk down to BM at night along the beach was with an armed guard. It is a dangerous area and we certainly felt when we were walking back at dusk that there was a different atmosphere and we wanted to get back as quickly as possible!
– We found Accra the most unpleasant experience of all! It was simply filled with honking transport and hassling people, the most we were hassled in the whole country and after 10 minutes we decided we’d had enough. This was the end of our trip so it wasn’t like we hadn’t experienced being hassled as obrunis before, and in most other places it was simply verbal, but in Accra it was physical as well. We were grabbed by stallholders desperate for us to look at their stock and sometimes they were unwilling to let go. We had to shout at people to let go and frequently say “don’t touch me” as we felt threatened just walking through the market. I certainly wouldn’t bother going to Accra again. Jamestown sounded like something worth seeing from the guidebook but just walking through the edge we were getting hostile glances and again felt very uncomfortable.
The only good thing was visiting the Jay Nii project by the lighthouse- what an amazing couple and would highly recommend people just going and having a look or talking to them. At present they are completing an accommodation block and currently work with 50 children, paying for their primary education, and their food, clothes, board etc if they need it.
Kaneshie market was an experience – it has everything you could possibly want (and more!) fruit, veg, spices, meat, beautiful cloth, household items, store cupboard supplies, beads, buttons, jewellery, shoes…. If you want clothes handmade then it is the place to go! We spoke to a group of women who said they could make a dress in any material for the next day.
Crystalline Hostel was brilliant, although it is located in a suburb which is quite hard to find when you’re first trying to get there! However there are tro-tros connecting it to surrounding areas and the centre which are cheap (C0.55 to central Accra) but there are chop bars, fruit stores, shops etc in Darkuman so everything is there without the need to go into Accra. Aunty and uncle are great, and the food we had at the hostel was delicious. It is a fantastic set-up, highly recommended.