Let’s go to Ghana!
Hey! Let’s go to Ghana!
And just like that, it’s the end of another grueling work week. Day to day, week to week it’s the same old thing; building to the two to three weeks of vacation that you (and let’s face it) rightly deserve. And then you’re thinking, sunny beaches, coconuts palm trees etc – but then the question is: Where they heck do I spend my hard-earned money on a vacation that truly matters to me? A quiet whisper flows into your ear… You can barely make out the words…. Hey! Let’s go to Ghana.
What did you say?? A quick Goolge search will provide you the basic geo-political information that you would require to get familiar. The colonizers named Ghana, the “Gold Coast”, probably because of all the gold that they found and mined out before 1957 when Ghana achieved independence from the British. During the “Gold Coast” era, Ghana was a major trading hub. Ports, forts and castles line the Ghanaian coastline as a reminder of this long held title. By 1957, Ghana had achieved independence from the British. The first African country south of the Sahara to do, is something a Ghanaian will tell you chest out and proud. In the subsequent years Ghana has faced many of the challenges that most African countries face: civil unrest, coup d’etat to mention a few. However, Ghana’s recent history has been followed by safe and secure, peaceful elections as well as moderate economic growth.
So, you close the Google browser seriously considering spending your vacation in Ghana. But the questions still plague you, the most immediate being: how do I get there!? You can apply for a visa from your local Ghanaian embassy, or like most west African countries you can get a visa on arrival (you can get more information at ghananimmigration.org).Once you land at the newly remodeled terminal three of the Kotoka International Airport, you will find that the weather is very… HOT. But there is a nice cool sea breeze. There is a lot to see, hear, smell, touch and experience in Ghana. No matter what your interests are, you can find them in Ghana.
If your desire is to drink, party and have a good time mingling with people just like you; Accra’s got you. You could check out the widely known and popular Republic bar and grill. This establishment is a staple for visitors; with their local Akpeteshie(local gin) based drinks: Kukurantumi (vanilla cinnamon spirit, coconut spirit, ice, lime, Coke), Kokroko (pulverized ice, spirit shot, hibiscus, lime, mint and brown sugar) to name a few. The locals also patronize this place thoroughly, and you won’t be hard pressed to find a friend to share a drink with. There are a ton of other bars that’ll be worth your time: Purple Pub, Kona, Africa, Honeysuckle, Champs, Tee’s Tavern just to mention a couple.
OR you’ve been sitting down for the past few months – you feel this pent-up energy and need an appropriate release… Like Jamiroquai said: Just Dance! Ghana is definitely known for her vibrant music and expressive dancing. Then we would find you at Twists. Where you will hear all your Afrobeat favorites: Wizkid, Davido, Mr. Eazi, Stonebwoy, EL etc. Hey, you may even SEE one of them! There’s also Plot 7, Bloom Bar, Shisha Lounge, Carbon, and Firefly.
After you have been partied out (or maybe before) you would like to visit some of the ports, forts and castles mentioned earlier. It would be a wise choice to experience the Cape Coast Castle. Initially built by the Swedes, this castle was a major component in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The slaves, after being captured, were kept in the underground dungeon. The dungeon was a cold, dark, damp hole of no hope. Many died, the ones that survived made it to the “gate of no return”, the last time they will see their home, Africa. It is a truly humbling experience to see and feel what these humans went through, you would be missing a lot of you skip this.
It is said that modern humans came from Africa – whether this is true or not, who knows. But what is known is that there are humans there now! Humans that are warm, vibrant and welcoming. Humans that are ready to help you have an amazing, fun, and impactful visit. And just like that you close the browser on your laptop/smart phone staring at the gate anxiously waiting for the flight to your new adventure. Welcome to Accra. Akwaaba.
Tichama… (Lets Go)
By Helel Smith
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