Trip Report 5-26th Feb 2013

Sandra writes:

We (German couple, 41 and 52, journalist/university prof) visited Ghana for three weeks in February 2013 and found the guide very good and valuable (and – this for Germans who are preparing for Ghana –  far far better than the German one from Jojo Cobbinah, this one gives just lots of wrong and more of useless information.)

Here a couple of updates to the Bradt guide and highs and lows as we have experienced them (prices are usually for self-countained doubles or one of those big-bed singles, with fan)

Accra, Pink Hostel (100 GhC)

nice staff, full of young volunteers, feels a bit in the middle of nowhere, okay but nothing special.

Accra, Afia African Village – also called: Afia Beach, Accra (120 US Dollar)

the bungalow was nice, although the AC did not work, for being in Accra the beach looks very good, pay attention when you call to make a reservation: The guy I asked how much it is confirmed the figures, 100 for a standard bungalow, 110 with balcony and 120 with ocean view, but he didn’t say that it was in Dollars although I was talking of Cedis all the time. At the end Helen, the boss, proofed to be very professional: she charged us the 120 Cedi. In fact 120 Dollars seems a bit too much and 6 Cedis for a beer is double of what you pay elsewhere.

Ada Foah, Brightest Spot Guesthouse (25 GhC)

great value for the money! nice courtyard with very good tilapia & banku served.

ferry Ada Foah to Akuse (5 GhC)

the MS Sogakope left on time –  Friday 6h in the morning – and this is a great trip to do. Women are selling food and there are lots of little villages to see (even if I some times felt a bit like in a zoo).

Atimpoku, Adomi Hotel (35 GhC)

room was okay and quite – what you won’t expect, because the Hotel is right on the main traffic circle. The owner is half-german and has been living in Hamburg for most of his life, good opportunity for an interesting chat on Ghanain-German cultural differences.

Koforidua, Erdrec Hotel (34,50 GhC)

the Hotel description fits just perfectly! one feels a bit like in USSR already entering the reception Hall and for sure once touched the dark red carpeted floor – quite unique. still: good value, just a bit out of town, but plenty of shared taxis on the street.

Boti Falls didn’t have any water in mid February, even if the man at the Trotro-Station in Kof-Town was sure there was, they still want the full fee.

Kumasi, Sanbra Hotel (44 GhC) and Fosua Hotel (60 GhC with AC)

both okay, but alltogether not too friendly or nice, just okay. We didn’t find the coffee shop or the cocktail bar in the Aseda House though.

Tamale, Catholic Guesthouse (33 GhC)

very nice place to stay, we particularly appreciated the quiet garden after downtown trips, plenty of shared taxis to get into town.

Visiting the Mosque and walking up is worth and also walking along the Zongo Hausa to the leather workers, on the rooftop bar of the Crest Restaurant do not worry if a couple of young Ghanains take a seat at your table, they are just curious and want to talk and they will leave immediately if you just tell them friendly to do so!

There is a ForEx in Hospital Road now.

Bobiri Forest Butterfly Sanctuary (30 GhC)

this is a wonderful place to stay! Agnes prepares good diner even if you arrive without reservation and a very nice breakfast with lots of fruits, take it both on the terace of the main house. The walk though is for sure a bit longer than 3km, but still it is worth walking from Kubease. And: Jonathan does a great job as a guide through the Forest (4 GhC).

They told us they are open year round, but still maybe it is better to phone: 020 8094709 or 0236 464520 (the numbers Agnes gave me)

Winneba, Lagoon Lodge (35 GhC)

the first room somewhat stylish (in our sense) room for decoration and colours, huge bathroom – very nice. Food is good, somewhat ridiculous that there is no smoking allowed in the garden though. The guys at the reception/at the bar were friendly but totally clueless, it took them nearly half an hour to copy, re-copy and re-copy again the same invoice. Be patient!

Winneba itself seems poorer than other small cities, the beach is okay but nothing compared to the ones farer west and seeing the University Campus is worth – like a wholly different, elitist, world.

Green Turtle Lodge, (60 GhC)

it is (still) a great place to stay, what a wonderful project! But we had the impression that things are changing and that this might be related to the fact that the original owners have left (we talked to the caretaker who said the place is still for sale, but an American might buy it within short time). The huts could easily be in a better shape: for example the electricity didn’t work properly when it got humid at night, because the connecting wires were ‚connected’ in the most unprofessional way – though the staff managed to fix it after a while; time to buy new matrasses and pillows, and for sure to wash the cushions. The evening turtle tour now seems to be done only if tourists ask for it, at least the documentary book on the daily turtle watch tours stopps in february 2011 or 2012 (sorry can’t remember the year). The staff is friendly, the food is good and a bit different in style from what we had most of the time, but the reception looks a little bit like there was no-one there for the last two years.

Still the beach is great!

The canoe tour (10 GhC) with Jimmy at 6h in the morning in the mangroves behind Akwidaa (poor little village 25minutes west from the Turtle walking at the beach) is everything but exciting and Jimmy didn’t have a good day, he hardly said a word and after 35minutes he seemed only happy that is was over.

Butre, Hide Out Lodge (50 GhC)

Another great beach and another nice lodge. in comparison with the Green Turtle the food here unfortunately is done in some ‚western style’ kind and this is not a good idea at all: I had a bad banku which was cut into slices like Italian polenta, the pepper sauce wasn’t hot at all and the fish was just a fried slice – what a disappointment in comparison to so many great grilled tilapia, banku and pepper I had on the streets elsewhere. The advantage on the other hand is Butre itself, which is just around the corner – over the bridge to be exact – and a very nice little village, with fishermen who that morning we were waiting for a Trotro had exposed what to us looked like little sharks and dolphins!

Elmina, Coconut Grove’s Bridge House (110 GhC, 85 GhC when AC does not work!)

the idea was to go to the One African Guesthouse – but do not try to walk their from the main road where the Tros between Takoradi and Cape drop you off, it is just too far and it is all walking along the busy road. So we ended up in the Coconut Grove’s: the building is very nice facing the bridge and the castle, but for the room itself it is definetely a bit overpriced and the breakfast is ridiculous – every single street egg bread was a lot better.

Elmina was the only city we visited which had a square place and spots around – being from Old Europe that was what we missed elsewhere – thanks to the Portoguese!

the fish market is definetely worth the 1 GhC entry fee – quite an impressive quantity of tunas and even more impressive the way slight women cut them into pieces with machetes.

Cape Coast, Mighty Victory Hotel (40 or 50 GhC)

Oasis Beach seemed to us a bit too much an all-Obruni/volunteer meeting place, the Mighty Victory is worth the walk through town up the little hill and it isn’t far at all, a quite and nice place to stay with gazebos in the garden-kind entrance. Don’t miss the Market day on Sunday.

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