New trip report

Bill and Carol Bailey write

We recently returned from a two week visit to Ghana, group of 4. We used the 4th edition, but will be buying the 6th as it sounds like a good update.

We spent a week at Asesewa (church link) in the Eastern Region staying at the Shai Hills Resort Annex just outside Asesewa (not the main Shai Hills Resort hotel) Rooms with running cold water, good A/C and fan were 65 cedis a night with breakfast extra at 8 cedis. Excellent local dishes cooked for 15 cedis if ordered at breakfast .Paul the manager was very helpful. Asesewa Friday market is worth a visit. One of our party bought some local material and had a pencil skirt made up by local seamstress for a really good price.

At Kumasi we stayed at Ashanti Gold Hotel near the Bantanama Road, convenient for the Craft Centre. Rooms a bit shabby, but the owners are building a large new hotel just over the road.

At Lake Bosomtwe had booked at the Paradise Resort, but when we got there the whole hotel had been taken over by a conference, so there was no room at the inn.Although they had our e-mail and phone numbers no-one contacted us. The owner took us to Wildwin Resort, about 2.6 kms the other side of Obono where rooms were 70 to 100 cedis (huge family room with two double beds) , and there was backpacker accomodation at lower rates. Rooms included excellent breakfast with choice between pancakes or eggs. Highlight was freshly cooked dinner served outdoors at the lakeside at dusk – magic. Probably better value than the Paradise Resort (138 cedis a room with breakfast.) and if we go again would stay there.

Near Cape Coast we stayed at Hans Cottage Botel for three nights, an old favourite of ours. Kwasi Hanson who built it is still around keeping an eye on things. A new swimming pool has been built by the entrance for use by locals, with the old rather idiosyncratic pool reserved for guests. This is
a good move. Internet cafe not working and free Wifi was down. Our A/C was struggling, and lobsters, previously a feature of the menu, were not available But still a great atmosphere. The same musician is murdering the same songs as ten years ago, and the guy in the bar remembered we left our pot of marmite behind three years ago. Where would you get that anywhere else.

We had intended to visit the Domama Rock Shrine and the canoe ride on the Pra river, but the road was closed from the Ankaako junction due to bridge works, and the locally suggested alternative was not feasible (even in a 4×4)

Instead we went to the Monkey Sanctuary run by a Dutch man near the Kakum entrance on the way back to Cape Coast. Orphan monkeys from the park are kept in cages prior to re-settlement, and there were other animals such as cats being cared for. Excitement was provided by a snake sliding off the path as we climbed the steps to the top of the hill.

Our first visit for three years and the investment in Accra in new hotels and offices was striking. The main roads were in better condition,particularly the one between Kumasi and Cape Coast, but the country roads were worse than ever. A new innovation is ‘Clean Up Ghana’ day which happens on the first Saturday of each month, where communities are charged with picking up litter, and districts are charged with disposing of it. Overall it seems to be working as the level of litter lying around seemed to be less. We noticed that before we knew about the scheme.

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