Travel Diary: Accra, Ghana

Whenever I go to Accra, I tend to overextend myself. On top of being busy gathering pieces for the Ancestral Memory Boutique and doing photo shoots, each of my stays has been a week or less. I always wish that I had more than six days to fully explore and venture to other areas such as the Asante Region, the Volta Region and the Wii Waterfalls. For the time being though, I contend myself with making the most of my mini experiences in and around Accra.

I've come to accept that it is alright to not do everything on my list. Once I decide on the business activities, I decide on three places of interest that I absolutely wish to see if I do nothing else. These must-do's include one  place to eat, one nightlife/social event and one natural /historical attraction. It's not a hard set playbook, just a  way to experience a city within a narrow period.

On the first night of this recent trip I shook off jet lag and lost -baggage woes to party at one of my favourite Accra spots, the Republic Bar. While this venue was not 'new' to me, I did not mind it being the only social outing that I indulged in because I just love the vibe there. Republic Bar is situated in Osu, a hip part of the city. It's a laid back place with seating set up outside, even extending to the street. The main draw for me is the music. Each of the five times that I have been there, the djs'  selections have been hot. They play music from throughout the African diaspora covering genres from around the continent as well as music from the U.S. , U.K. and Caribbean/Latin America. 

Once I recovered from dancing up a storm , I went shopping the next day for fabric and artisanal goods. In addition to returning to the Arts & Crafts Centre, I made it to other markets in Accra including Makola. I had been meaning to check out this sprawling shopping centre before but I'm glad I waited. It can be intimidating. Fortunately, my photographer friend Dex took me and brought his pal Nii along. Not only were they both great company, Nii schooled me on the symbolism behind various Ghanaian fabric prints. The nerd and the artist in me were so happy. I highly recommend Makola. Its array of prints is bananas and the prices are possibly the best in Accra.  As soon as I finished stocking up on textiles, we headed to Café Kwae. This simple, cute eatery is located in the Airport City area. I thought that the food was just as unfussy, not to mention ,delicious. I regret not grabbing some of their shito (pepper) sauce.

After that satisfying meal, Dex and I dropped off Nii and drove from Accra to Aburi Garden, which is located in the hills approximately an hour outside the city. As we drove, Dex shared some Ghanaian history with me including a little about  the Akuapem tribe who settled in the Aburi hills. The garden itself, which was established in the 1800's, was a lush, beautiful albeit brief reprieve from Accra's intensity. I look forward to revisiting it to spend a full afternoon lying in the grass with a good book. On the way down from Aburi, Dex and I stopped to take in the expansive vista of Accra sparkling below. It was a perfect end to a good day.

I spent the final day following up with my seamstress and shopping for some last minute goods. With all these tasks, the hours sped by. Good thing I had already fit in some fun. Of course, there were more things I wanted to do but I count them as things I can be excited about in planning a longer visit to Accra/Ghana. 

Be sure to check out my other Ghana posts like this one here, this one here and this one here

Photography Credit: Dextdee Photography 


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