Discover the heart of Ghana in its capital city, Accra. Situated in the lush green of West Africa, Accra is a perfect example of Ghanaian culture: optimistic, laid back and smiling. Here, you will experience thrumming streets, intense heat and some of Ghana’s best food. Don’t be intimidated by the busy roads and limitless street stalls; Accra has everything to offer someone wanting to discover Africa, from beautiful beaches to great nightlife and from fabulous art galleries to vibrant markets. Accra is home to several international communities, each of which brings its own, warm vibe to the city. The universal greeting, “akwaaba”, doesn’t mean “hello”, it means “welcome”. On your trip to Accra, you will be granted an undeniably warm welcome, from communities with hearts as big as their smiles.
Direct flights to Accra will bring you to Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC), situated six miles north of the centre of Accra. Ghana is located close to the equator, meaning that it doesn’t experience a range of temperatures, but remains hot most of the year. Daytime temperatures hover at around 30°C and evenings are balmy; if you venture to the highlands, however, you will experience a dramatic fall in temperature after dark. The best time to visit Accra is from October to April, when it is hot, but there is little rain, and humidity is at its lowest. With the dryer weather comes easier travelling (waterlogged roads can, in rainy season, become impassable), and there are fewer mosquitoes. However, if you are looking for better deals on hotels and cheap flights to Accra from london, plan your trip for May or September, just outside the high season.
Ghana offers a rich choice when it comes to arts and culture, and Accra gives you a wonderful insight into the country’s vibrant art scene. For fine or contemporary art, a trip to the Artists’ Alliance Gallery is a must. The works of Ghana’s most prominent artists are displayed in this veritable Aladdin’s cave, which spans three jam-packed floors. Here, you will see a whole range of art: beautiful Kente cloth, antique flags and mesmerising masks jostle for space among vast metal sculptures and furniture. The Alliance takes credit card and ships art to buyers all over the world, but don’t worry: if you can’t quite afford an original, the gift shop has more wallet-friendly souvenirs for sale.
The National Museum of Ghana gives an insight into the history of the country’s Atlantic slave-trade. Here, you can learn more about the Accra’s culture and crafts; you can take in a demonstration of Kente cloth weaving and learn about the importance of ceremonial objects and traditions. A trip to the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum is a must: it was here that Doctor Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, declared independence in 1957. The national park is built on a former British polo field and today you can wander the five acres of land which pay homage to Nkrumah’s life, finishing at the mausoleum at the centre, where Nkrumah and his wife are interred. Fashion, too, is an important part of Accra’s art and culture. In addition to Kente cloth, batik is popular in Accra and you will be spoilt for choice with beautiful batik art and fabrics that are almost impossible to resist. Alongside traditional fabrics and styles, Ghanaian designers are making waves in the couture world and in Accra you will discover Western-
Aside from art galleries and gift shops, you will find Accra’s streets awash with stalls and markets, purveying hand crafted local produce, traditional musical instruments and irresistible food. It is virtually impossible to go anywhere in Accra, on foot or by car, without stopping for delicious, tempting snacks, such as the traditional kelewele – a dish of chopped, spiced plantain, gently fried. It is wise to err on the side of caution, however, when it comes to sampling street food; if you are in doubt, pop into a “chop bar”, where you can choose from a full range of traditional Ghanaian fare.
For an authentic Accran Market experience, visit Makola market. Be prepared for the cacophony of sights, smells and sounds that will greet you, and get ready to use your elbows to get through the crowds! The bustling, hectic market is packed with people and stalls selling literally everything you can think of. Feast your eyes on dazzling women wearing gravity-defying headdresses, but be mindful of the locals: as tempting as it is to take photos, it is frowned upon. So, leave your camera behind and, instead, spend your time gazing upon the bright colours, spiced scents and beautiful people that personify life in Accra.
Accra’s most popular beach, Labadi, is a truly unique experience. The vibrancy of the city itself overflows onto the seafront, where you can while away hours in the sun, watching beach life unfurl before you. Behold children doing impossible acrobatics, horse riders cantering along the surf, beautiful young Ghanaians dancing, and busking Rasta bands. Each sight is complemented by a background of powerful ocean waves and the scent of West African food cooking from nearby restaurants and stalls. A trip to Labadi beach is a feast for your senses – shut your eyes, relax, and enjoy being in Accra. There are scores of words that can be used to describe Accra: enticing, warm, hospitable, vibrant and mesmerising are but a few. One word that can never be used to describe this city of colour, music and life, is dull; your trip to Accra is guaranteed to leave you with memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. For the holiday of a lifetime, let Travangelo help you to find cheap flights to Accra.