When I arrived in Accra, it was early in the morning and the temperature was still nice. A better experience than the midnight jungle rain I had in Uganda last time. I only stayed in Accra two days, where I had some ‘interesting’ experiences with tough-to-decline marriage proposals (and I don’t mean “tough” because they were so tempting…). So I was happy to leave the place behind, though the city has a few nice spots to visit.
The place has a nice art shop, this guy, Papi, actually makes amazing things himself (instead of importing everything), and he is very fun to hang out with. Super relaxt, teaching me Ghanaian games and talking about his future.
Instead, I went to a small town just after Cape Coast, Ampanyi. Sun, sand, sea and coconut trees. Wonderful, did you see the picture on facebook? Though I really liked the motors (boda-boda’s) in East Africa, I was advised not to take them here, so I go everywhere by trotro (remember matatu’s?), vans stuffed full with people. On the way from Accra I had a two or three year old kid sitting next to me on a five-hour drive. He did not cry once. I was amazed.
Playground in the jungle
After spending the afternoon with my toes in the sand I went to Kakum the next day. Kakum is a very large national park with monkeys and forest elephants, though most tourists (like me) just come for the famous canopy walk and a small one hour trip into the jungle.
It was funny to see that when it comes to touristy stuff Europeans and Africans aren’t all that different. Slippers and uncomfortable shoes in the jungle, pictures with smartphones and Ipads, and oh that stupid selfie stick…I genuinely wonder how much these people enjoyed the rainforest. It was the same thing later in the slave forts; phone up in the air from beginning to end (just don’t check the pictures I took as a teenage-girl…).
What was really interesting to see was the annual Fetu Afahye festival. I still have not figured out what it is about, as it was very chaotic, but it was nice to see acrobats, traditional clothing and a lot of dancing.
Guessing from the amount of journalists, it must have been important…
As you might now Ghana (at the time gold coast) was the central trade station along the West African coast line, not only for gold, but also for slaves. Tribes would sell people from other tribes they conquered to the Portuguese, British and Danish, but also the Dutch… I went to visit two fortresses, the most well-known ones: Cape Coast and Elmina. It is strange to walk there, the friendly white color makes it more of a fairy tale castle or a holiday destination. The slave chambers on the other hand are impressive; small and damp, you cannot imagine surviving one night. Nonetheless, it is hard to visualize the things that actually happened, which sorta brought me back to the same experience I had in the genocide memorials in Rwanda.
Village on stilts in the jungle
On one of my last days of traveling alone I went to Nzulezu. For that I had to stay the night in Beyin (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere), I would not advise anyone to do so alone, and be aware of your options: shabby or really expensive. I was happy to leave the place, however the boat trip to Nzulezu was really beautiful. I would not want to live in the village, but it is interesting to see people having such a different lifestyle. In handsight I would maybe not do it again, at least not in this type of setting. People are not really happy to have you there as a sort of “monkey-watching” tourist, but it is an important source of income…
Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated 😀