We announced earlier this year that we would be launching a brand new route between London Heathrow and Accra, the capital of Ghana, and now that day is finally here! We will be operating three services per week using an A340-300 aircraft, fitted with the Upper Class suite.
Over 200,000 people fly between London and Accra every year, so we're delighted to be giving them more choice. Ghana is a beacon for economic success in West Africa, and with Africa showing greater economic resilience and growth than other global regions, we are thrilled that this will be our fifth route in the continent, after Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos. Accra is a fast-growing city, with historic links to Britain and a growing oil and gas industry.
Don't just take our word for it though - well-respected travel writer and photographer Kim Wildman, an expert on Africa who has just completed her exhaustive Bradt Travel Guide to Ghana, tells us exactly how Accra came to be the city it is today:
"There are some African cities that top almost everyone’s must-see list: Cape Town, Cairo and Marrakech are the immediate stand outs. Accra, however, is not one of them. But more is the pity.
A sprawling chaotic place fringed by shanty towns and clogged with traffic, Accra is a city many people love to hate. Yet beneath its dusty and dirty veneer is a thoroughly modern city that is both amiable and absorbing. With a population of 1.5 million in the city centre and a further 1.5 million souls residing in the Greater Accra region, it is by far the most populous city in Ghana and the epicentre of business, government, arts and culture.
Accra was first settled in the 15th century by the Ga people (who lent their name to Ghana when it became independent in 1957). Originally seen as little more than a trading post, the city passed through a quick succession of Portuguese, Dutch and Danish colonial settlers who used it as a base to exploit the region for its riches – namely gold and slaves – before becoming the capital of the British Gold Coast colony in 1877.
Today modern Accra lays claim to a quartet of 17th century lighthouses and castles including the Dutch Fort Ussher, British Fort James, Danish Osu Castle and the James Town lighthouse which still grace the city’s seafront. The city also offers a handful of post-independence era attractions including the Centre for National Culture, the ostentatious Nkrumah Mausoleum where Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah rests and Independence Square, while the bustling Makola Market offers a frenzied introduction to everyday Ghanaian life."
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.
About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.