Ghana, West Africa has friendly people, wonderful beaches, good food and a great atmosphere. Accra is the capital of Ghana; it's a busy, smelly, vibrant city. Accra is not a city made for tourism - it's a living, working, breathing city where Ghanaians work and party, especially during the weekend. However, as a tourist, you will be made very welcome; but as always it's best to try to blend in.
English is the official language of Ghana and is universally used in schools, but nine Ghanaian languages exist. Below is a list of useful phrases (phonetically spelled) that you can use in Accra to get by:
- toy-yah-tain? - How are you?
- ee-oh-joh-bahn. - I'm fine.
- oh-yea-wah-dong. - Thank you.
The best beach in Accra to visit is the Labadi Pleasure Beach. During the slow months it will cost you a minimal fee to enter. There you will find a full range of beach-side bars and lifeguards in the surf - this is important, as the currents in this part of West Africa can be lethal.
If you want to venture out of the capital, take the State Transport Company buses to Cape Coast. Visit the castle and see the terrible conditions the slaves were held in1.
Another place to visit on the road between Cape Coast and the towns of Sekondi and Takoradi is Kakum National Park. This is one of the only remaining rain forests in West Africa. It features a walkway which should only be attempted by the brave-hearted. You end up walking along rope-bridges well above the forest canopy.
On the road between Kakum and Cape Coast, you will come across Han's Cottage. This is a restaurant with a difference as it's set on a pond with crocodiles waiting to eat the bread which you throw for the fish - the fish come for the bread and the crocs come for the fish.