Greater Accra Region
Finally we get to the Greater Accra Region. The gateway to the motherland and of course home to the capital Accra, the Greater Accra region is the perfect blend of Ghana’s past and present and old and new, offering historical landmarks and locations all in the backdrop of a teeming metropolitan city.
As the capital is located in this region, getting here from other parts of Ghana is fairly easy whether you’re coming from by coach, bus or air. Best way to travel around the region is by trotro or taxi (but can be quite expensive)
Where to stay
Accra has a mixture of luxury and budget accommodation to suit all pockets. Among these are Labadi Beach Hotel, Villa Monticello, Hotel Elegance, Bojo Beach Resort, Mahogany Lodge, Osdahouse Home Lodge, La Paradise Inn among others.
Things to do
For such a small region there’s quite a lot to do in the Greater Accra region. Let’s start with historical sites one can visit. Independence Square is a must – the second largest square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China, it was built by Dr Kwame Nkrumah to honour the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Also known as the Black Star Square, it has two monuments: the Independence Arch and the Black Star Monument. Another historic place worth visiting is No.22 First Circular Road in Cantoments, where the remains of the ‘father of Pan African’ movement W.E.B Du Bois rests in peace. Also known as the Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-Africa Culture, the house is now a research library and a manuscripts gallery and was where Du Bois spent the last days of his life.
Now one cannot visit Accra without paying respects to the first president of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Head to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which also houses a museum that contains the personal belongings of Nkrumah. Another place not to miss is Osu Castle or Fort Christiansborg which served as the government house in the 19th and 20th century. Built by the Swedish in the 17th century, it has served as the seat of government and still is today. Other places also worth a visit are the National Museum which houses a collection of Ghana’s historical treasures and the Centre for Natural Culture in Accra.
If you’ve had enough of sightseeing, why not relax in one of many of Accra’s beaches? Accra’s beaches are popular with tourists and local alike. Ada Paradise Beach, Krokrobite Beach Resort, La Pleasure Beach, Cocoloco Beach, Ningo-Prampram Beach and Next Door Beach all have activities ranging from polo and water sports to game fishing, music and art performances and bird watching among other things.
Now to get a feel of Ghanaian culture its worth visiting the National Theatre, where the resident theatre groups put on various performances on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The International Conference Centre is also one to look out for: there’re always arts, drama and musical performances as well as fashion shows taking place. And the Krokrobite Academy of African Music and Art offers a combination of beach, music, dance and art with performances every Saturday and Sunday.
Next if you’re up for a bit of retail therapy, you can grab a bargain at the numerous markets and shopping malls in the region. Oxford Street (yes Ghana has her own Oxford Street!) in Accra is the perfect location for any shop addict, with numerous boutiques and restaurants, ice-cream parlours, handicrafts stores and tech stores. Oxford Street also serves as a night market for the night owls among you. For a more local shopping experience head to Mokola or Agbogbloshie markets for beautiful textiles, traditional clothes, shoes, beads, straw hats, woven baskets and traditional jewellery. For carvings and paintings, head to the Loom Art Gallery which sells spectacular carvings, paintings by local artists and textiles.
Like any metropolitan city Accra well and truly comes alive at night, offering a variety of bars, lounges and nightclubs for your entertainment. Osu is by far the best place to head to, but also the priciest, so be prepared to spend. Other neighbourhoods with good night life are Adabraka, Abeka La Paz, Asylum Down, Teshie-Nungua, and Bukom. Citizen Kofi, Firely, Rhapsody’s, Bella Roma and Venus are some of the best night spots in Accra, whether you want to relax or party. Weekends are extremely busy and crowded as locals and tourists alike are all out to let their hair down. Abrantie Spot is great for live bands playing local music, and Rockstone’s Office is the perfect place for hiplife lovers – the spot is also well known for their chicken and beer parties.
Finally as you travel around Accra, make sure you tuck into some of the delicious traditional and street food the region has to offer. The main dish eaten in Accra is kenkey with hot pepper and fried fish, banku with pepper and fish and red red or yo-ko gari (bean stew) with tatale (fried plantain). Also equally popular are fried yam with chofi (turkey tails) with pepper or shito (hot spicy sauce) and grilled meat or liver covered in hot kebab powder. Wash these meals down with asana (maize beer), palm wine or coconut juice (straight from the tree!) and you’ll never want to come back!
Hope you enjoy your time in the motherland! Happy travelling!
Yaa Nyarko (@Yaayaa_89)