Africa Ghana Travels

Ada Foah – a little piece of paradise on the coast of Ghana

October 19, 2013

Ghana is most famous for its coastline which is where the majority of tourists will spend their holidays, though the best beaches lay way out west, too far for a weekend getaway from Accra. I was luckily able to find an exception to the rule in a relatively undiscovered piece of paradise in the East going towards Togo – a gorgeous palm-lined and rustic beach near the fishing town of Ada Foah…and decided to give it a try one weekend. Best. Escape. Ever.

Ghana

Traveling ‘short’ distances in Ghana is best done by tro-tros which are beat up mini-vans squeezing in as many passengers as possible. They’re everywhere and can take you also just about anywhere, dropping and picking people up along the road. Though not super comfortable, it’s a great way to travel with the locals and super economic as well. Our ride to ‘off-the-beaten-path’ Ada Foah took a little more than two hours and costs us about $3 each – a bargain to reach the dreamy coastal town.

Ghana

We arrived in Ada Foah in the hot midday sun on a Saturday, greeted by a buzzing market right by the tro-tro station.

We waited in the shade of the market for our local pick up which would bring us by boat to our beach accommodation, observing in the meantime the locals doing their groceries of fish, fruits, and vegetables.

The fishing town has the particularity of being right at the point where the Volta river meets the Gulf of Guinea. We had a boat waiting for us on the river for a beautiful 10 minutes ride down to the peninsula where we would be spending the night.

Ghana

After the long and stuffy tro-tro ride, this open boat ride felt like a dream. None of us had expected the river and surrounding vistas to be so beautiful and we quickly reached for our cameras to capture some gorgeous scenery along the bank.

Ghana

Ada Foah is home to Ghana’s sailing club and apparently a favorite destination of wealthy Ghanaians who own secondary houses here for weekend getaways.

Ghana

I never expected to see such posh villas around these parts.

Ghana

The Volta river is a busy commute with colorful boats whisking locals away and back and…transporting disco boys??

Volta River - Ghana

Soon the posh villas gave way to little fishing villages and houses made of palm leaves.

Ghana

The riverbanks were full of life with kids playing on the beach…

Ghana

… and family going about their shores, washing laundry in the river to dry it in the hot sun.

Ghana

Ghana

We soon saw our final destination, right at the tip of the peninsula where a thin barrier of sand is the only thing standing between the calm river and the raging ocean.

Ghana

Welcome to Maranatha Beach Camp! A true piece of paradise, easily noticed by the palm trees painted in red, yellow, and green – the colors of the Ghanaian flag.

Ghana

Accommodations are simple beach huts on the sand, all with a different country flag painted on their door. And no, I didn’t get to stay in Canada… :-(

Ada Foah - Ghana

Sand floor, double bed, mosquito net, little crabs, and the roaring sound of the ocean nearby… I couldn’t wait to sleep there! At 10$/night, this is a rustic and ideal room for volunteers on a break.

Maranatha Beach Camp - Ghana

The bar/restaurant was where we hung out most of the time, so comfortable in the shade especially with cold beers an arm’s length away.

Ada Foah - Ghana

The food was amazing for such a remote place though patience was required. Meals could take at least 1 or 1.5 hours to be ready so we learned to order dinner at lunch time and breakfast at dinner time…not a big issue, just the chilled way over here.

Waiting for food meant lots of time for contemplation, and there was always a lot happening around us like adorable puppies hiding under the tables…

Ada Foah - Ghana

…beautiful babies hiding behind the bar….

Ada Foah - Ghana

….but mostly local kids vying for our attention. Seems they learn to dance before they can even walk and love to show expats their best moves!

Ada Foah - Ghana

They even dance when they walk…oh, and this will be a big bonfire tonight!

Ada Foah - Ghana

Local fashion showdown on the beach.

Ada Foah

Nothing better than a fresh coconut on a hot day, and these kids will not only climb up the palm trees to get you one, they’ll also cut it up with a machete – a scary sight!

Ada Foah - Ghana

Ping Pong game on the beach.

Ada Foah - Ghana

Water polo match in the river?

Ada Foah - Ghana

When you eventually get tired of sitting down, walking around the camp will stretch your legs and present quite a few good photo ops whether you like the calming view of the river on one side…

Ada Foah

…or the rough waves of the Gulf of Guinea on the other, literally just a few steps away. Pretty cool to be standing on top of that thin strip of land and seeing both bodies of water at the same time.

Ada Foah

Abandoned fishing boat
Ada Foah - Ghana

Beach crab
Ada Foah - Ghana

My hammock siesta companions….

Ada Foah - Ghana

Of course there was going to be a sunset pic… A bit too many clouds but still quite the sight.

Ada Foah - Ghana

The evening was a bonfire party with music and locals shaming us with their dancing prowess. The night in the pitch darkness with the sound of the crashing waves was one of the best I’ve had since I’ve been in Africa. We all slowly woke up for breakfast on the beach (which we had ordered the night before!) and a lazy morning thinking how much we didn’t want to go back to Accra…

Before heading back though, we asked the camp’s manager Winfred, whom we’d just met the night before, to give us a tour of the land and the community. On top of before a super cool beach hangout and in my opinion one of the best weekend getaways from Accra, the Maranatha Beach Camp actually is a lot more than that and serves a greater purpose than entertaining expats and locals. Beyond a small lagoon at the back of the restaurant lies part of a local community which we got a glimpse of…

Ghana

The beach camp is attached to a fishing community pretty much cut off from the bigger cities and lacking a lot of services including a good school to send the kids to. Buildings in various state of construction line the shore, waiting for more funds to fulfill their purpose.

Ghana

Founded and built by Winfred, a local boy who grew up in the community, the beach camp generates revenues to help fund the construction and maintenance of the local school, a project that Winfred started a few years ago and is still in need of a lot of work to be fully functional.

Ada Foah - Ghana

Some basic education is already taking place, but most of the classrooms have yet to be completed, there are no toilets on the premises, no money to get competent teachers to come on a regular basis, and Winfred would also love to add a library.

Ada Foah - Ghana

An insight into a Natural Science class for the primary level…

Ada Foah - Ghana

So many projects to get done and seeing the beautiful grounds I felt like just rolling up my sleeves there and then and get to work! I know many of you reading this would love the adventure, and Winfred is looking for volunteers to contribute their time for as little as two weeks and more if they want. What could be cooler than staying in this mini paradise for a long holiday while giving back? Email Winfred at maranathabeachcamp@yahoo.com to inquire about volunteering…I promise you won’t regret it!

Ada Foah - Ghana

Good thing to know all the money from our stay this weekend would go towards the school and reason more to come back and visit which we all promised we would. I can’t think of a better reason to spend a weekend at the beach, and interacting with the local kids made our visit even more special.

Ada Foah - Ghana

Ada Foah - Ghana

Winfred & Moi…a true inspiration.

Maranatha Beach Community Project - Ghana

I’ll be back…

 

 

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  • Heather January 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    What a thoughtful and well written blog – and with terrific photos.
    So glad you got to meet Winnfred and to learn about what he’s doing
    for the community. You clearly appreciate the place and the culture.
    Well done!

  • Marta January 26, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Such a great blog about the Ada region. Next time I go to Ghana I want to go to this place!!

  • Beverley November 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Really good blog! Very informative nice pictures too.

  • Michael Flannery September 1, 2015 at 3:55 am

    What an excellent, informative article and first class photography. Well done!

    Michael

  • Samuel December 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

    That very good I like this blog.
    please I and my group we would want to visit this place, can u help us get the contact of the people who received u when u went there. Thank you.

  • Akosua February 23, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for writing so beautifully about one of the towns in my country.

  • Isa March 15, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Wonderful place which I love
    Your photos are just great!
    Isabelle
    A French expat in Ghana for 2 years now,

  • Magda May 4, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the recommendation! Lovely pictures and the escape option sounds great. Will try to get there for a weekend during my stay!

  • Abena_blessing November 2, 2016 at 5:07 am

    wow
    am in Ghana yet I haven’t been there yet
    and this is making me want to move there
    wow
    great
    truly paradise

    thanks for appreciating there……….
    great work

  • Zebby Chris amey January 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    So nice and beautiful just like the Paradise on earth that the Bible talk about as the name even depicted Maranatha. Charity work is what we are doing here.

    You can reach us on
    Facebook ; maranathabeachcampghana
    Instagram and Twitter ; @maranathabeachcampghana
    Email ; MaranathabeachcampGhana@hotmail.come
    Website ;WWW.MaranathabeachcampGhana.com
    Contact ; +233 (0) 243528248 / +233 (0) 555223323

    Thanks

  • Sara Asafu-Adjaye February 5, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Very well written and factually accurate. I know the area and it is a truly beautiful part of our country. Your pictures are also exquisite! Thank you for drawing attention to the great work Winfred and others are doing to help the local children. If only the owners of those luxury villas you saw from your canoe would give back too.