I finally got the opportunity of traveling with my first ever travel mentor – Ikhine (a.ka @theblacktourist).
I’ve been following his Instagram page for years. I’d look at his travel pictures in awe and a little bit of, ok scratch that, with so much envy. One day I told myself I was losing out just being a
stalker silent follower. I reached out to him and well, what can I say? Dreams do come true…
Enroute Ghana with The blacktourist
How did the trip come about?
I was at the office few weeks back, trying to distract myself from what I was going through within. I got a buzz on my phone, a whatsapp message. It was brief and straight to the point – I’m off to Accra by month end…Free to travel??
See, I was sinking at this point already, having an all-time low moment. His message woke me up. Prior to his message, everything seemed grey, but all of a sudden I was alive and excited. My mind started processing how I could fit the travel plan into my work schedule. To cut the long story short, I was able to make the trip and honestly, it was a life saver.
Though getting to that point wasn’t all that smooth, one or two bumps (like the yellow card thingy) but I was determined to make the trip. I was going to do and not keep daydreaming.
Initially we toyed with the idea of a road trip to Ghana. The scenery, extra time to bond on the road, then there’s this extra cool feel to sleeping in a moving vehicle, like the car is rocking you while you are asleep.
I read up on the hassles of crossing the land boarders, though we wouldn’t really have encountered much of that since the plan was to go with a known transport line who normally takes care of all the border crossing shenanigans that goes on with the immigration officers. We agreed on going by air.
Accra is beautiful. Though the roads kinda looked a lot like some roads in Lagos, leaving me with feeling of nostalgia.
(Side note – if you like spacious cars, Ghanaian Uber isn’t for you. Damn! The cars are so tiny, somewhat like Kia Pincato).
Our first tour stop was the famous Independence Square. This place is the signature post to show you visited Ghana. All most all the travel pictures to Ghana I saw on instagram had people snapping here.
From there we took a ‘long’ walk to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Next stop was Labadi Beach hotel. We chilled by the beach here, waiting for our awesome tour guide – Henry, who’s an old friend of Ikhine.
The magic he worked getting us cheap rates for our Aqua Safari tour was really impressive. If you ever plan on visiting Ghana and you need a tour guide be sure to hit him up via IG – @hamp3lito
|With Henry, Tour guide toh bad!|
That evening we had a birthday dinner in honour of Ikhine at Coco lounge. I had the opportunity of meeting and making acquaintances of more Ghanaians. (See? I’m already making international friends). The night ride was really cool, seeing the city at night with all the lights and all.
In the car a mini war broke out, no not the jollof rice war, but the war about which country speaks proper English. The Ghanaian – Ekow, who was taking us around was of the notion that Nigerian’s pronunciation of words is horrible. Ikhine and Arinze couldn’t understand why Ghanaians had to add ‘A’ sound to every word like Brather, Mather…though I was silent, but I too couldn’t help wondering why also o…
The next day, was for a traditional wedding ceremony!! Yay!! Hehehe…nah…I’m not a wedding fan, but I actually looked forward to this one ‘cus it was an opportunity for me to try my hands on photographing a wedding. Well, I made a mistake of not using my camera which I am used to. I used Ikhine’s canon *sigh.
I managed to get some good shots but not as good as I would have gotten if I had used my own Nikon.
The wedding was at Medie kotoku. Getting there was a road trip of sorts. Gave me a chance to see more of the city. Funny, even the dogs obey traffic light, no kidding.
One thing I learnt is, wedding photographers are not appreciated enough. The constant movement, trying to get a good shot of constantly moving people or competing with fellow photographers to get a good angle…after the ceremony I was worn out and literally collapsed on a chair. Ikhine had to beg me to please stand up, to snap him with the couple. Wedding photographers are really trying. Maybe it was because it was my first time, but I was so tired I had to skip the white wedding the next day to rest.
Then came Sunday and it was the highlight of the trip. We took a two hour road trip in company of our newly made Ghanaian friends to Aqua Safari. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking of the beautiful resort.
(My journey is never complete without photography)
So basically, I’ve done boat cruise, kayaking, canoe ride and jet skiing. Can I add under water video dancing? 😀
What’s left is water skiing. As for surfing, I’m not sure I’m bold enough for that yet. My ultimate bucket list item is sky diving which I know would be done soon…
Now what will a post about touring Ghana be without mentioning Ghana Jollof?
I had the opportunity of eating it three times, cooked by three different persons in three different parts of Accra. The fourth time I saw it on the menu, I passed on the chance to eat it again. It’s a good meal but I don’t think its anywhere near the Nigerian Jollof, like its missing that kick that comes with jollof.
In general, the trip was fun and really enlightening, now the question is where next?