When It comes to chilling in Ghana, trust me when I say Ghana. Is. Lit.
I got around twice in the last 4 months and hadn’t been since 2014 (waaay before blogging or joining Insta!) I’ve been getting around regularly for over a decade and this time there’s been a lot of interest from followers (and Ghanaians!) As it stands, I’ve spent most of 2018 there. #MyHome
It’s such an undiscovered holiday/ honeymoon destination so here’s some rare insight. #ForTheCulture
Ghana is sooo lit, Ed Sheeran spent 3 months last year with Fuse ODG, learned some Twi (pron ch-wee) and made some tracks such as ‘Boa Me’. As I write this, model of the moment Adwoa Aboah ( November’s Woman Crush) is chilling there ‘living her #BestLife.’
Despite having over 60 ethnicities with 80 different dialects, English is the national language. I still think it should be Twi #JustSaying.
And just so you know, there are lots of Malls and shops to buy your everyday essentials and branded foods from home, so don’t get it twisted. The exchange rate is really good. 1 Ghana Cedi is currently 0.16 GBP !
Here’s how you can also live your best life in Ghana. #Akwaaba
ADA- Aqua Safari Resort
Ada is about 2 hour’s drive from greater Accra, near Volta Region and locals mostly speak Ga and Ewe language.
It’s so calm, ponies and donkeys mingle around freely. You can see exotic wildlife, take boat rides or jet-ski from island to island. Aqua Safari Resort is building a new Water Park section due to open in March! Overall the activities are expensive by local standards and if you go in a group it’s cheaper. Prices will change so check directly.
It’s also great for chilling poolside overlooking it all, selfies with your cocktail and watching it all while you tan. Either way, it’s a #Lituation
I took a 30min canoe ride over the beautiful lake to see some Crocodiles…
It’s an extra 5cedis (again less than £1) to see the Crocodile pit. Worth it!
The food on site is nice though pricey. The Flamingo restaurant serves quality traditional and continental foods (try the Irish Stew) with a buffet section. For premium cocktails, head outdoor to Barracuda Bar.
I’m hoping to spend a week here next time. It’s definitely a go-to destination. So go! http://aquasafariresort.com/
Head to Elmina’s fishing port on the South Coast of Ghana. The Fante locals are friendly and welcome visitors. Today most of Elmina’s trade comes from fishing- which is under threat from the Chinese but that’s another story!
You will find plenty of traditional crafts and beaded accessories in town- with the beach in sight.
The most important thing to see is Elmina Castle which haunts the beautiful location.
Below is some #WokeLevels history…
Elmina’s native African name was Anom Ansa which means “you drink, it don’t finish” because the place was so rich in resources. Before invasion, natives traded with visitors. The Portuguese sneakily built the castle (to protect their West African pillage) then turned it into the biggest slave port in West Africa. Later the Dutch (before the British) took over. The castle has been around for 535 years and is the oldest European building in Sub-Saharan Africa #WokeGameStrong
Tours are about an hour long and great value- I paid 5 cedis (under £1). You’ll be taken inside some of the cells, see living conditions of those imprisoned there and learn about how the place was run during colonial years. The smell in one of the ‘rooms’ is immense. It still smells of blood.
You’ll definitely understand why #TheStruggleIsReal
Despite the castle’s history there’s lots to smile about, my friend Dymond really enjoyed Elmina- it was pretty much her first time outside the US and she embraced it all.
Before you leave, go to Elmina Beach Resort for chill vibes away from the busy town…
Whatever you do, make the trip to Elmina- for the culture.
Check out Eco Tours: https://www.ghanaecotours.com/tour-packages/
Ashanti Tours: http://ashantiafricantours.com/ghana/
Kumasi- Ashanti Region
Another town to check out is Kumasi, which is governed by the Ashanti King- Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. I’ll cover it more next time, along with Adum market. If you pass through in the meantime, check out Manhyira Palace…and catch a game at the stadium!
For cultural tour packages around Ghana: https://www.ghanaecotours.com/tour-packages/
Accra- Ghana’s London
Accra is where its poppin’ overall. Christmas time is major- lots of street parties, concerts and events. In August it’s Chalewote Festival- it’s mood as f@ck. The main party is held in historic Jamestown which is like another world- so much character in that town and this festival makes Notting Hill Carnival look like a tea-party.
Despite Ghana being mostly conservative, when it comes to this event, it’s a ‘tunup!
This is where you’ll see cool fashionista’s, artists and performers who are really creative and colourful. #MyGang
Speaking of looks- I rocked as many hairstyles as possible. When it comes to braids- Ghanaians are one of the best in the world and braiding hair is like breathing air!
You can get braids everywhere, but if you wanna be fly, go to Nice Nails beauty salon (Osu and Kisseman) for your high quality pampering session. I went 3 times last month.
The service is really good and the talent is great. The girls braid quick and it doesn’t hurt! Nice Nails got me feeling myself like…
January ( dry season) was up to 33 degrees so keep hydrated on coconut water when on the move. Make sure to go down Ghana’s ‘Oxford Street’ in Osu. It’s a long strip of shops, bars and mayhem- there’s lots to see and the energy is great. Be prepared to haggle when buying cultural items there.
If you want to fully live the #TouristLife hang around Osu and Airport Residential. You can get a bit of everything here and if you really want to spend your money like money ain’t sh!t- it’s the place to be. You’ll find majestic restaurants and venues that’d give Mayfair a run for its money. Speaking of which, here are some great places to chop.
La Tante DC10 is one of the coolest restaurants I’ve been to anywhere- it’s in a funkin Ghana Airways plane and will be the best plane food you ever eat. Ghana does not have its own airline anymore so this is legendary. One for the ‘gram. Authentic Ghanaian dishes, good value- make it a must go. Located near the airport. Obvs! @la_tante_dc10_restaurant
Coco Lounge is a stunning restaurant across two floors. It’s one of the most beautiful and elegant in Accra. They do a fusion of modern international dishes- no jolloff of banku here. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s a good look- the building is awesome. @cocoloungegh
Mama Africa Aka ‘Chez Clarisse’ is good value and great portions hidden in Osu. There is a broad menu with Ghanaian and international dishes, it has a local feel to it and there’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Make sure you have the ‘alloco’ plantain.
Coco Vanilla ( out in East Legon) is really dope. They do pancakes and ice-cream at one side, wicked cocktails, hot food (local and general fast foods like Pizza, Fajita’s and even Samosa). The DJ’s always on point! @coco_vanilla_gh
XO Ghana is my Hakkasan of Accra. It’s Mayfair standards, slick and the service is very good. They now have DJ nights and parties. The guy fronting the bar is ex Hawksmoor so expect decent cocktails. Gotta try the honey glazed wings too! #Sexy @xo_ghana
Tea Baa is a creative little hangout recently opened by Ghanaians. Iced-tea and cocktails are served with a mix of fast food and healthy options you would be familiar with from burgers to quinoa salads. They also have live music nights but generally it’s chill vibes. One for the culture, not the hype. @teabaagh
It’s easy to make friends with the locals as it’s a friendly place- so do! You gotta try home-made foods like Fufwo (fufu- pounded yam) Banku, Ampesie, Waakye (with the trimmings) and the now popular, Jolloff rice- Ghanaians do it best. Before I move to ‘Best Bars’, here’s a look at some local, home-made dishes to try #ChopLikeAGhanaian
As far as I’m concerned, until you’ve had Fufuo (fufu) you ain’t certified.
I love fufuo (pounded yam with cassava or plantain) with Nkate Nkwan (peanut soup) and also with Abe Nkwan (palmnut soup). You can get this in London but it’s made with a ready mix (Neat Fufu). In Ghana it’s the real deal. To really chop like a local, you gotta use your hands- respek the dish.
After all that chop, it’s time to drink. here’s some of the best bars in town…
Republic is my go-to spot. In a week I go three times. You’ll find retro images and old skool photos inside- but the fun is outside. You’ve got to have the ‘Kokroko’ cocktail (15GHC) and try a Ginger shot. This joint is unpretentious and hip. It’s all about cocktails and music. You must go! @republicbarghana
Purple Pub; It’s not a pub but an outdoor bar where most of the locals hang. I love this place because you get a feel of real Ghanaians hanging out and it’s great value. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the local boys bussin’ some serious moves to the afrobeats! Great for cocktails (Five Fingers) and a local BBQ chop.
Sun City is super modern and stylish (above). You’ll get trendy peeps and ‘rich kids’ here. The best bit is the rooftop where the pool’s at. The view from above is nice and there’s a good selection of cocktails although it’s pricey (40GHC average). It’s one for the ‘gram. @SunCityApartments
I walked into Kona (above) dancing and left dancing like a mad person (the usual!). It’s the beach in the city (by Oxford Street, Osu). The music is great and once again there’s a nice local vibe. Gotta try the- Palm wine @konacafegh
Other spots worth checking; Reggie’s Office, Little Havana Ghana, Carbon and Container (Osu) they do sexy ‘chi-chinga’ kebabs.
Places to stay:
I live like a local in Ghana so I aint done hotels but I have checked out (and drank in) a few I would recommend below. If anything- Google and feel free to check back with me!
Holiday Inn ( Airport Sq, African influences too) www.holidayinn.com/Ghana
Agoo Hostel ( Keta Close, cheapest & cheerful) http://agoohostel.com/
Urbano Hotel (Osu, modern apartments) http://www.urbanohotel-ghana.com/
Movenpick Hotel ( Independence Ave, swanky) http://www.movenpick.com/Ghana/Accra
Turkish Airlines do some of the lowest fares, but check on Skyscanner for the best online deals. The local bus (Tro-tro) is the cheapest and most interesting way to travel and the quickest way to travel is via Uber ( yes they’ve arrived!) or get a Taxi. There’s no set rates so get a local to estimate and be prepared to wait and haggle. I would not recommend driving in Ghana- even Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t survive. That’s part of the fun though, innit?
Ghana. Is. Lit. You definitely must go!
Lastly, Ghanaians love music and dancing- to get you in the mood and to give you some vibes, here’s some of my fave Afrobeats artists/videos right now. #GhanaIsLit: