Africa Ghana Travels

Goodbye Ghana

February 1, 2014

My last post on my West African adventure is a personal ode to the little everyday things that filled my days in Ghana, particularly in my home base of Accra. While seeming rather common to the local eyes, now that I’m back home in New York they’re conspicuous by their absence and became the true souvenirs I keep going back to.

The street food of course, eaten outside at a chop bar, always looking so bizarre, always tasting so good. A special mention to the Waakye (pronounced waachay) served at Aunti Muni’s in Labone, Accra.

The children everywhere, auditioning in front of my camera,Β  with such vitality and potential.

The long yet very short history of a country only recently made independent.

The omnipresent billboards and shop signs, most often religious, always amusing.

The wide availability of Guinness, not always cold but always satisfying.

The even wider availability of Club, the local beer and preferred companion to many nights and dinners.

The fundamental place of religion in everyone’s life, with the grandest churches juxtaposing the poorest neighborhoods.

Jamestown, the oldest and poorest area of Accra, where colonial buildings mix with shacks and make for the liveliest of villages.

Women carrying just about anything on their head.

Beautiful landmarks from the colonial era such as the lighthouse in Jamestown.

The abundance of fish, sometimes grilled, more often smoked for preservation.

The proximity of the port and all its activity, reminding us of Ghana’s old name of Gold Coast.

The startling sight of a beachfront slaughterhouse, huge piles of carcasses laying around and a constant reminder of the scarcity of space and proper facilities…

The Ghanaian colors proudly displayed everywhere in the most creative ways, here adorning an old wall by the fishing port.

How in just a few minutes drive from the city you’ll get to a nice white beach filled with locals enjoying their weekend break.

The strong Lebanese foothold in the country which meant delicious falafel whenever I was tired of fufu…

…and quite a few hookah bars which have seen many volunteers relax to the aromatic fumes of a local shisha.

This was my Ghana…

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  • ed February 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I am from Ghana and moved to Connecticut after high school. I must admit, I like your blog. I have returned to Ghana on two occasions ever since I moved to the USA, and I did not have the time to visit all the wonderful places you visited. I am planning of visiting my beautiful country in 2016. Hopefully by then there will be more to see.

    • Sandra February 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Ed. I must say you come from a beautiful place and I’m sure 2016 can’t come soon enough for you! Hopefully you’ll have more time then, as the best places are often the hardest to reach. I can imagine there will be a lot more of them in the next few years too…

  • cherina April 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Sandra,

    I stumbled on your blog this morning while searching for travel tips in west africa. I must admit I was very impressed with your posts. The pictures and stories were very engaging. Thank you for posting these stories. I will be traveling to Ghana for study abroad this summer and I am really looking forward to it. When you traveled to Togo and Benin did you go alone? I am thinking of travelling solo after my study abroad is done. Was it safe? Do you have any tips? I am a Brooklyner too!

    Thanks so much!

    • Sandra April 20, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Thanks Cherina!

      You’re going to have an amazing time! For Togo and Benin, I did go by myself and hired a driver as I was short on time (they work independently so you can find one by asking around or contacting a tour agency there). If you have a couple of weeks, you could definitely do it using the public transportation instead – it’s super safe though extremely slow (!) so it’ll definitely take a lot of time and patience to visit these two countries. You’ll get to meet a lot more incredible people this way and it’ll be easier on your wallet too so it all depends on your time and finances really. Don’t hesitate to contact me at if you have more questions, happy to share more tips!

  • Mustapha Asomani March 15, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Hello Sandra,
    What an amazing blog you have here on my country, I was born and raised in Kumasi, while am aware of how beautiful this country is, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel to some of the places you have been. I am a fine artist and a portrait painter so I obviously appreciate people and nature, and sometimes I paint scenes and landscapes from photos of places am not able to go. I visited lake bosomtwe through excursion when I was in junior high school and I remember how beautiful it was, earlier on today I was searching the internet for some photos of the place so I could repaint/draw and then stumbled on your blog, very nice. You don’t just have great photos of the lake , you have done a great story on my country. I’d like the opportunity to draw/paint some scenes using some of your photos as inspiration and reference material. Thank you !