The stifling heat of Accra can often give visitors a much-needed push to get out of the city and experience some of Ghana’s beautiful natural scenery. Generally speaking, a short day trip out of the city can send you in one of three directions – east or west along the coast, or inland, into the hills. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Ghana...
Ada © Richard Goddard
Ghana’s west coast is becoming ever-more popular with tourists from around the world, with miles of tropical beaches dotted with historic forts and national parks. A day trip can get as far as Cape Coast and back, where Cape Coast Castle provides a historical insight into one of the busiest ports of the Atlantic slave trade. Hans Cottage Botel is an unusual spot for lunch – situated around a lake full of crocodiles in the middle of the bush – before an afternoon walk between tree tops at Kakum National Park, where canopy walkways provide an epic experience and the perfect photo opportunity.
In the same direction, but within just half an hour of Accra, is Kokrobite beach and its neighbour, Bojo Beach. Kokrobite, the more popular, hosts a number of beach bars and restaurants, with Big Millie’s Backyard holding drumming displays every Friday and hugely popular reggae nights every Saturday. Bojo is a quieter and more idyllic option, with the main beach only reached by crossing a lagoon by boat.
Going inland, the hills of Aburi are a breath of fresh air, providing moderate temperatures and stunning views over Accra. The Aburi Botanical Gardens are colonial-built grounds housing an array of tropical flora and fauna, and a tranquil environment in which to take relaxing walks amongst nature. Tucked into the hillside, the Hillbury members club provides the perfect setting to sip cocktails in the infinity pool with a view stretching for miles, and the nearby Aburi craft market sells all manner of souvenirs at far cheaper prices than those found in Accra.
In the direction of Koforidua, some of Ghana’s many waterfalls can be easily reached from Accra. Akaa and Boti Falls both provide a scenic spectacle, with beautiful walking routes around the area.
Ada boat tours © Richard Goddard
The area to the east is slightly less explored and equally beautiful. The mouth of the Volta River provides entrancing scenery; taking a fishing boat trip along the river towards the Maranatha guest lodge reveals a palm-fringed lagoon with cosy beach hut accommodation. From here, it’s possible to take the boat further on to a rum distillery and sample some of Ghana’s increasingly loved akpeteshie, or to any of the many islands on the river. From August to February guests can also witness loggerhead turtles laying eggs on the beach – truly a world away from Accra!
Header Image © Richard Goddard
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About the author: RichardGoddardRichard Goddard
Richard Goddard, from London, UK, lived and worked permanently in Ghana between 2009 and 2011, based mainly in Accra and Busua in the Western Region. During this time, he set up the Asabaako Music Festival on Busua Beach, in partnership with Kofi Debrah, a UK Ghanaian also from London. Richard now spends his time between London and Ghana, where he continues to develop the festival alongside partners and volunteers in Accra, Takoradi, Busua and the UK.