Tag: Busua


Surf’s Up! A Look at Ghana’s Emerging Surfing Community

Michael Bentum can do 360 surf turns with perfection. He rides the waves along the coast of Busua, Ghana, with height and speed. His surfboard soars beside the ocean swell, as crowds of children watch from the coastline applauding in admiration. Bentum is their surfing hometown hero.

“I can tell you now that I’m the best in Ghana,“ the 21-year-old said. Bentum recently won the International Surfing Day Competition, held in the Krokrobite suburb of Accra. He took home a surfboard from Share the Stoke, a watch from Rip Curl and 500 Cedis ($112).

Forty-six surfers from 17 countries traveled here for the competition. Three are from Ghana. It’s the 12th surfing event in the country organized by Brett Davies of England. He owns Mr. Bright’s Surf School and wants the world to know that Africans have been surfing for centuries.

“Most Africans are very fit and athletic,” he explained. “The African surfers I have had the pleasure of surfing with and coach pick up surfing fast.”

Bentum, Ghana’s best surfer is from Busua — about four hours west of Accra. Children living in this small fisherman’s village also grow up surfing as way of life. Their playground is a raw, untapped beach. Women walk on the sand carrying items on their heads and babies swaddled in clothe on their backs. It’s picturesque Africa.

A surfer surfs the ocean swell in Accra, Ghana. Picture by Mr. Brights

Peter Ansah, owner of Ahanta Waves Surf School & Camp, says their home is a surfer’s paradise. “When I was small, I would always come to the beach and try to surf with a piece of wood.” As a child, he met a couple from the United States using surfboards at Busua beach. Intrigued by the long pointy structure, he asked to use it in place of wood – falling in love with catching waves.

“Whenever I’m surfing, I forget about everything. I have nothing to think about. The only thing is that I enjoy it!” he described. He’s been surfing for 13 years and opened his surf school for locals and tourists alike. “A lot of people think it’s not possible to surf in Ghana because they think there’s no waves or no ocean in Ghana,”Ansah said.

However, Ian Fraser from California said he’s familiar with surfing in the country from the 1960’s movie “Endless Summer.” It depicts a scene of kids surfing on wood. He’s in Busua taking his daughter and her teammates to Ahanta Waves for lessons.

“I saw the surf school and thought oh we should come here with the girls when we don’t have a game and go surfing with everybody,” Fraser said.

Ansah also teaches free lessons to the kids here. He wants them to be apart of the next generation of African surfers. “When you’re talking about surfing, they don’t normally count Ghana,” he explained. “When you travel to South Africa, it is an African country but all the surfers are white people.” Star surfer Bentum helps out too, teaching them lessons every Friday after school.

To keep up with growing interest, a program called Surf and Impact was formed. Volunteers from

Impact’s upcoming surfers share a laugh with their program’s director, Ebenezer Feliz Bentum. Picture by Erica Ayisi

Europe and the United States live with a family in Busua for a nominal fee and teach the budding surfers. Director Ebenezer Feliz Bentum feels the global exposure will help the 20 students in the program become international surfers. “There a few kids who have big potential to be big stars in the surfing industry,” he said.

14-year-old Clement Cobbinah learned how to inspect the surfboard leash, attach it to his ankle, and stand on it through this program.

“It was a bit scary and nervous on my first day,” he admitted. “But it got better and fun, especially on my first time standing up on the surfboard and riding the wave.”

Surfing is costly for a developing country like Ghana. A surfboard costs at least $625. A family here earns about half that amount in a month. Sandy Alibo from France assists Surf and Impact by shipping donated boards to Busua from Europe.

To sustain surfing here Alibo wants Ghanaians to manufacture it domestically. “I would love to teach Ghanaians how to shape the boards by themselves and produce the board in Ghana directly,” she said.

Bentum walked confidently with his surfboard in one hand and giving the signature “surf-ups” symbol with the other. As long as the children around him continue learning the ways of the waves, he said surfing in Ghana is here to stay.

“It’s not only Europeans surfing. We are surfing in Africa and right here in Ghana too.”

Article via NBCNews

Touring Ghana – Part 5

Western Region

They say the best comes from the west, and this cannot be more true when in the western region. One of the most interesting regions in Ghana, the western region is home to picturesque villages, former historic European trading forts, beautiful and affordable resorts, fantastic beaches, tropical rainforests and of course, birthplace of the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. I can’t even begin to tell you the things that one can find in that region, but whatever your tastes and interests are, there’s guaranteed to be something for you!

Getting there

Journeying to the western region is relatively easy. STC buses from Accra just takes four hours and trains leave from Kumasi to the capital Secondi-Takoradi twice daily.

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Where to stay

Being a coastal region, one is spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation. As well as resorts, there are several hotels, guest houses and lodges to choose from. Some of the best rated accommodation in the region include Busua Inn Resort, Ghana Spirit, Casablanca Guest Inn, Stellar Lodge, Anomabo Beach Resort, Planter’s Lodge, Lou Moon Lodge, Escape3points Ecolodge, Ezile Bay Village and many others. Most of these are located in the cities of Busua, Axim and Beyin, and Secondi-Takoradi.

Things to do

Where to begin!? There are a plethora of things one can do in this region. Let’s start with the beaches. Some of the best beaches in Ghana can be found here, and due to few visitors, the beaches are clean and safe. These include Miamia Beach, Busua Beach, Ajua Beach, Coconut Grove Beach Resort, Ankobra and Paradise Beaches, Sports Club Beach, Alaska Beach and Princess Town Beach. These beaches are perfect for picnics, quiet reflection and meditation, BBQs and those of you who want to get your surf on!

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For those who of who want to get into a bit of local history, the western region is littered with several forts and castles built by the Dutch, British, Portuguese and Brandenburgian during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for trading slaves, gold and other products. Some of these forts are World Heritage sites and the ones open to visitors include Elmina Castle and Fort St. Jago in the historic town of Elmina, Cape Coast Castle in Cape Coast, Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove, Fort St. Apollonia at Beyin, Fort St. Antonio at Axim, Fort Batenstein at Butri, Fort Sebastian at Shama, Fort Groot Fredericksburg at Princess Town and many others.

Also, be sure visit the original grave and pay your respects to the founding father of Ghana Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which can be found in Nkroful.

There are several other attractions that are not be missed if you’re in the Western region. These include a trip to Nzulezu, a picturesque village entirely built on stilts which one can explore on a canoe. Head out to Monkey Hill located at the Heart of Secondi Takoradi, a tropical rainforest inhabited by monkeys. For breathtaking views of the region and all its glory, visit the southernmost point of the country, Cape Three Points. Also, be sure to pass by the Wassa Dormama Rock Shrine, a nature shrine known as ‘bosom kese’ (great god) by locals. There, you’ll find a mammoth rock monolith reaching almost three storeys high and supported by three other rocks and wrapped in a forest of ancient tree vines. It is truly a sight to behold.

As the region with the highest rainfall in Ghana, the western region is awash with lush hills and tropical rainforests where one can find many wildlife and nature reserves. The Ankasa Conservation Area is one of the natural treasures of Ghana – its home to some of the most diverse plant and bird species, the bongo, forest elephants, endangered primates, several streams and rivers, and the spectacular Bamboo Cathedral (there are camping facilities for those who want to stay overnight). Another nature reserve worth visiting is the Amansuri Conservation Area, a wetland that has the stand of an intact swamp forest and is home to monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and marine turtles. Other wildlife reserves in the region include the Bia National Park, the Egyambra Crocodile Sanctury and the Akatakyi Crocodile Pond.

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Finally get stuck in local festivities that take place during the annual Kundum Festival which occurs between July and August. Enjoy the drumming, dancing and feasts that take place during this period. If you’re a foodie, make sure you check out Captain Hook’s, Han’s Palace Northsea Restaurant, Veivaag Lodge Restaurant in Secondi Takoradi, and Saha Country Kitchen and Cafe Puerto in Beyin for mouth-watering local and international cuisines. Local dishes to definitely try are akyekye (made from cassava) served with avocado and fufu with mushroom or snail lightsoup.

What I’ve covered above are just some of the things you can do in this region. There is so much to discover (fishing, whale-watching, canoeing etc.) in this part of Ghana so be sure.

Yaa Nyarko (@Yaayaa_89)