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Ghana

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In this post, I will tell you 16 reasons why you must visit Ghana.

Ghana is usually not on a lot of people’s radar as a tourist destination, like, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles or Zanzibar.

I hope you will put it on your list after reading this post. A little side note, I was born here, studied here for the most part and work here. I have been to all 10 regions of Ghana as a solo backpacker and I have experienced its “luxurious” side too on some occasions because of work. The traveller in me always finds a way to explore a destination, even if I am there for a few days to deliver a training session.

I say the world is my country and Ghana is my place of birth. This beautiful country used to be called the Gold Coast (We have a lot of gold) until we changed our name to an African empire when we got our independence from the British, (so yes, we speak English, although all our immediate neighbours are French-speaking. Just so you know, most Ghanaians don’t speak any French beyond “Bonjour” , ”Oui” and “Monsieur”)

Ghana is a happy place with friendly locals and lots to see and experience.

Ghana is sometimes referred to as the Black Star of Africa, we have been a shining example on a number levels for the continent.

We know there is room to do and be more. I also call Ghana my Garden of Eden and I will soon explain why.

So here are my 16 reasons why you should seriously consider visiting Ghana.

1. Ghana is safe, peaceful and politically stable. All tribes and religions live side by side.

There are communities with houses called compound houses where in some cases, you can have over 10 tribes living together. I grew up in one of those houses. It built my tolerance level and appreciation of other cultures. I will always be grateful for the language skills I gained as a result.

We are a peace-loving bunch and very conciliatory too. There is a popular Ghanaian saying  in the Twi language, “Fa ma Nyame” translating to, “Leave it for God” or “Just let it go.” You are more likely to find young men in a passionate and heated argument about football, notably the English Premier League or Spanish league than anything else. We love our football and we have been to the world cup twice.

2. Ghanaians are friendly, helpful and kind people. Even more so to foreigners and their guests. We smile a lot and we have been called Africa’s friendliest people.

Ghanaians will gladly welcome you to their homes and cook for you or share their meals with you. They can sometimes come across as nosy and ask all sorts of questions, but for them, friendship is an instant thing and they are curious to know about you and your world. Once they meet you and know your name, you are friends! They will even want to pay your taxi or bus fare in most cases. In fact, they might insist. We always find a reason to celebrate and we always say, “All are cordially invited”. From the church to naming ceremonies to marriages, to funerals, just show up and you will be welcomed.

Unless the event is a very high profile or strictly by invitation. Even that, you might know a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend, who…

3. There are a variety of accommodation types for all budgets here. From homestays to 1-5 star hotels and international chains. Just know Accra is not Bali. Accommodation can be pricey in the capital, but there is plenty of choices, and you won’t be sleeping on a tree.

4. Now, let’s talk food. If a whole street has an unofficial name as Plantain Street, then that should tell you something.

We have lots of great street food and if the queue is long it means it is really good or cheap. We have different ways of cooking one food. If you love spicy foods to keep your stomach excited and your heart content, we have it. You can decide between cosy coffee shops like and Cuppa Cappuccino and Café Kwae

in the airport area or Givenchy styled Sushi restaurants such as Santoku, or head to Osu to experience Buka and enjoy delicious West African foods served in an afropolitan atmosphere or try Pallet Kitchen also in Osu and enjoy tasty food in trendy green atmosphere. You have to try our roasted plantain or the ginger spiced plantain called Kelewele and a host of other foods, including our legendary Jollof rice.

  

I call Ghana my Garden of Eden because you can plant seeds pretty much anywhere and it will grow. I have 2 coconut trees, a huge mango tree, multiple pawpaw/papaya plants, banana, guava and a host of other fruits and herbs, whose English names I do not know, all in my house.

There is so much organic food in Ghana; I am embarrassed when I see it go waste sometimes. So get excited about the wide selection of foods in Ghana.

5. We have great weather and the sun is here all year round. There are lots and lots to see and do. You can watch or help fisherman draw their nets from a fishing expedition

or get coconut on the go in most regions of the country.

6. The list is endless and if you want to explore nature which dotted across the country. You can explore nature  on another  level at the Likpe caves, walk in the rainforest on the Kakum canopy walkway,

hike Mountain Afadjato, or see the Wli or Boti falls, the monkey sanctuaries, Mole National Park,

Cape 3 points. Or see and touch sacred crocodiles in Paga.

7. You can also experience the diverse culture of this West African gem. So many cultural festivals happening across the various regions at different times of the year.

There are traditional festivals across the 10 regions like Homowo, Hogbetsotso, and Fetu Afahye all rooted in history. There is a wave of recent urban ones like the Chalewote festival, which is fast becoming the cool place for creative souls to meet and connect.

8. Step into history and have a tour and learn about the slavery and the slave trade at Elmina and Cape Coast Castles

or go up North and see the Pikoro slave camp or the slave market.

9. You can also choose to live in the present and experience everyday activities like visiting a market anywhere in Ghana.

This is quite an experience. It is not just the beauty of the well-arranged foodstuffs

or the colourful fabrics (which you can get a tailor to make any style for you in a day or two without the price tag of Hong Kong or Singapore)

or the various temperaments of the market women, but the energy in these markets is something you won’t experience anywhere else.

10. There are various concerts all year round at places like Alliance Française.

11. In most neighbourhoods, you will find small kiosks or stores or shipping containers transformed into bars. We call these bars Spot. This is where locals hang out to listen to loud music, have a drink and talk about their day and lives. There are as many Spots as there are churches in Ghana. There are a variety of fancy international style bars too.

With the exception of the local Spot, dress smartly for the rest. Ghanaians like to dress up for the occasion.

12. If you were looking for a honeymoon destination, there are places like Lou Moon lodge in the Western Region or Zaina Lodge in the North or several cosy places in and out of the capital Accra.

13. Ghana is easily accessible from pretty much all the continents. No wonder it has been called The Gateway to Africa. For most, if not all Africans, you can get your visa on arrival. For non-Africans you can most likely get a visa before you come to Ghana If you are yet to visit Africa, it is the perfect introduction of what the continent has to offer. Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Delta, Turkish Airlines, TAP Portugal, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, and a bunch of other airlines come here; some daily.

14. We have loads of beaches. You can relax with a fresh coconut on many public or private beaches.

15. Just come with an open mind, and an empty suitcase because you will have loads of ideas that will make you want to carry the entire Arts Centre back with you. I am not just talking about drums and our beautiful Kente cloth.

16. We have the best cocoa in the world and you just might want to know where your delicious chocolates come from.

Ghana is really worth a visit. I will be thrilled to show you around or get one of my enthusiastic guides to show you around.

Just come with a smile and a sense of adventure.  Send me an email at edem@vamejo.com and let’s take you on an epic trip to experience Ghana beyond the surface.

Edem AdzahoGhana

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