Tag Archives: Elmina

Week 36: The Coast of Ghana

Week 36: The Coast of Ghana

This week the time has flown more quickly than usual, After spending a night in Akosombo we (Me, Charlie and Matt) headed south to Ada Foah, a coastal town east of Accra. We stayed the night in a hotel there called CocoLoco, we were actually thinking of staing a few days, until we realised that the toilet wasn’t working correctly and there was no sink, then Matt woke up in the night to find small beetles crawling over his body. So we decided to leave, Matt headed into Togo, Me and Charlie had a long, hot, tiring ride to Cape Coast on local transport.

Africa Trip

When we arrived in Cape Coast we bumped into Parisa’s friend Bahar, we spent a few days there before heading west to Elmina, to a hotel we had visited before called the Stumble Inn. It was here that Charlie realised his flight was a day earlier than he thought, so early the next morning he headed off to Accra to get his flight to the UK. I decided to head to the most relaxing place we have been in Ghana, the Green Turtle Lodge in Akwidaa. I arrived there yesterday and bumped into Bahar again, she had met a couple of guys from England and all three of them had flights home on Friday. They were heading back east so I decided to tag along. We are now in Cape Coast again and the only productive thing I need to do is confirm my flight to Namibia. The only problem is that I just heard that our container (containing our motorbikes) was not loaded onto the ship yesterday, this will mean we will have to wait around an extra week to get the bikes. I am trying to decide whether to stay here in Ghana for some extra time or go to Namibia on Friday as planned… All in all, not an overly stressful week.

Africa Trip

Week 35: Shipping and the Volta

Week 35: Shipping and the Volta

This week has seen a huge change in our method of travel, from Elmina we drove to Tema to meet the other people who are shipping their bikes. We arrived to meet the seven people and their six bikes (Heidi and Janz with their two diesel Enfields, Max and Marrian on their KTM, Hubert on his bike with sidecar, Charlie on his BMW and me with my Transalp) at the shipping office, we were a little late and they were just leaving the meeting. We soon found out that the bikes needed to be packed in to the container on Thursday, this meant we had to change our plans to celebrate Matt’s birthday in Peki. We stayed a night it a horrible little hotel in the port area and decided we didn’t want to stay there if it was avoidable, so the next day I took my bike for a wash and then headed to Kokrobite beach to meet Parisa and her friend. We spent the the night there but had to drive back to Tema and stay in the crappy hotel again so that we could be at the port for 8am Thursday morning. We arrived at the correct time but sat around for an hour or so before anything started to happen, eventually we were told we could start putting the bikes into the container, that took about an hour as each bike had to be man-handled into position. Then we had to wait another hour or two as they sent someone to buy lashings and someone else went to pick up the customs agent. When the customs agent arrived we were told he was the wrong guy and that someone else would come soon. We went for some lunch and sat waiting around for another hour or so. When the customs agent arrived he wasn’t happy that the bikes were in the container already so the shipping company bribed him and he signed off on the contents. Then we finalised the paperwork and paid £370 each, finally we were free to head up to Peki to meet Matt for his birthday, but on public transport as we no longer have our bikes.

We arrived in Peki and had some drinks to celebrate with Matt, then the next day we went to visit a disappointing waterfall nearby. The next day Parisa left Ghana heading back to Sweden, the rest of us headed north through Hohoe to Wli waterfall. This waterfall is supposedly the highest waterfall in west Africa, we hiked up to the upper falls and relaxed there before hiking back down to visit the lower falls, which is also home to thousands of large bats. After spending a night in Hohoe we headed south again to a monkey sanctuary in Tafi-Atome, went for a walk around in the forest feeding the monkeys and taking pictures. The monkeys are a little timid and although I had seen pictures of them climbing onto peoples shoulders to eat the bananas, we only managed to get them to eat from our outstretched arms.

Africa Trip

After we had finished there we got back onto some local transport (Trotro) and headed to the south of Lake Volta, while the minibus was quite full, we were also joined by a goat. I now have around three weeks before I need to be at the port in Namibia to collect the bike, so I am hoping to relax at a nice cheap beach in Ghana for a while before flying down to Namibia, maybe I can even arrange some couch surfing.

Weeks 33 & 34: Togo & Ghana

Weeks 33 & 34: Togo & Ghana

I didn’t manage to post last weekend so we have a double post this week. Last week I arrived in Togo, we drove straight to the capital city, Lome. The coast of Togo is really beautiful but short, it didn’t take long for us to cross the country and we were soon checked into our hotel and wandering the street stalls looking for food. While we were in Lome we met an American guy called Andrew, he had bought a motorbike in Dakar and was travelling around west Africa for a few weeks. We told him our plans to visit some waterfalls north of Lome and he decided to join us, so the four of us, Me, Charlie, Ida and Andrew, set off heading north.

Africa Trip

The first waterfall, close to Kpalime, was a bit of a disappointment, basically it was a moist cliff-face with lots of frogs, although it is supposed to be impressive in the wet season. We camped there for a night before heading to a different waterfall, the route took us through some awesome mountain piste, winding up and down through the mountain forests until we arrived in Badou, we decided to rest there for a night before heading to the waterfall. This waterfall was the tallest waterfall we have visited so far, the swimming wasn’t great but you could swim. There was a religious ceremony going on while we were there which continued for a few hours, after the ceremony the priest blessed the waterfall water and all the congregation stripped and went swimming in the falls.

Africa Trip

We slept at the waterfall that night and went for a swim in the morning before heading off back to Lome, then crossed the border into Ghana. We were expecting problems at the border because we were supposed to enter the country within a month of getting the visa, we were two weeks late, our visas were not technically valid. We lined up and eventually we were dealt with, nobody seemed to notice the visa dates and we were stamped in. The next problem was getting the vehicles in, all through West Africa we have managed to use Laissez-passer, but we had heard of people being turned away from Ghana unless they had a carnet de passage.

We walked up to the desk and we were asked for our papers, we passed over our registration documents and they asked us for our carnet. We explained that we didn’t have one and they said that Laissez-passer were only used for vehicles registered within ECOWAS, we couldn’t enter without a carnet. We asked if there was any way we could do it and they said we should talk to the boss. We were lead down some hallways and into a huge office with a massive desk at one end, sat there was a man in a very clean, smart uniform. We were politely introduced and our problem quickly explained, the man glanced up at us from the paperwork he was dealing with, looked at us for a couple of seconds then tilted his head back to the paperwork. With a wave of his hand he said “Give them it”, we were lead out of the office and back to the front desk, filled out the paperwork and were sent to pay for the Laissez-passer. This wasn’t the end of it, we arrived at the accountants office to find it locked, the accountant had gone home for the day. A boy was sent to the accountants house to bring him back to work, we sat there and waited, eventually he arrived, took our money, gave us our receipts and we were soon driving out of the customs area and into Ghana.

We spent a night in the border town before heading to the capital of Ghana, Accra, which brings us up to the start of week 34, and what a great week it has been. While we were in Accra we got a message from Matt saying that he was in a beach resort in the west, we had first met Matt in Bamako and he had come to stay at a couple of waterfalls with us in Mali, so the next morning we set off to meet him. We arrived and found that four of the people we are planning to ship to Namibia with were also staying there. The place was called the Green Turtle Beach Lodge and it was awesome, great beach, great food and best of all it was cheap, about £1.60 a night to camp. We chilled out there for a few days, during that time a girl called Parisa arrived, she is here on holiday and we hung out together at the beach for a while.

Africa Trip

After a few days at the beach we decided to go to visit a stilt village called Nzulezu. Matt, Parisa and I took public transport and Charlie and Ida were supposed to travel by motorbike and meet us there. We arrived after two ours of road travel and an hour in a canoe, to find a beautiful, quiet little village on the lake. We dropped off our bags and were soon sat looking out over the lake with some locals, after a little more time we decided to take a swim in the lake. The water was warm and calm and the view was amazing, looking back at the village on stilts, with the forest behind it, a truly unforgettable experience.

Africa Trip

In the night we were given a canoe and the three of us (Me, Matt and Parisa) took it out on the lake. We knew the lake had crocodiles and while we were paddling around the edge of the lake in the dark, we were sure we could hear them, but we didn’t actually see any. The next morning Charlie and Ida arrived, we had some lunch and took a swim, we met another group of tourists who refused to join us swimming, as they had just seen a crocodile in the lake, it was only a small one so we weren’t worried, apparently they are afraid of people. After a little while we headed back across the lake in our canoes. After one last night in the Green Turtle we started heading back east towards Accra, we plan to meet all the people who are shipping to Namibia so that we can sort out all the paperwork. If this week is anything to go by, the next few weeks in Ghana should be awesome.

Africa Trip