From walking among the treetops, to an hour long sermon on a bus ride. My last few days in Ghana had some unique experiences, and only some of them were intended. Since my time in country was pretty brief, I didn’t get to explore too far, but I tried to make the most of the time I did have.
Kakum National Park, Ghana
A group of us went to Kakum National Park to partake in a canopy tour. It was only an hour or so from Ko-Sa, but like every trip in Ghana, the journey was made for a decent part of the adventure. There were 5 of us, so rather than pack into a taxi, we opted for a slightly larger vehicle, a tro tro. This is a minibus, and functions sort of like a private taxi. Prices are negotiated up front.
All throughout Ghana, there are Christian themes on signs, buildings, etc. I didn’t get too many photos of them while moving in vehicles, but here is one I did see:
The Great Messiah Spot, Ghana
We passed through a few town that had various buildings grouped together. This small building was along the way to Kakum in what seemed like a residential area. I’m not sure what it was, but It was tiny, but I was surprised to see a satellite dish on the roof.
minimal amenities, but there is Satellite TV…
Once we made it to Kakum National Park, we arranged for a canopy walk, along bridges and walkways supported up to 50 meters (164 feet) above the forest floor. The park is primarily tropical rain forest, and is home to various species of organisms. We didn’t see any large animals, but there are forest elephants and buffalo in the park.
Some sort of centipede along the trail in Kakum
Besides mobile creatures, there are also many unique plants including this red pineapple:
After a short hike along some trails, we had arrived at the canopy tour. It is a series of bridges made from cables, ropes and aluminum ladders. There are wooden planks along ‘floor’ to walk on. This is definitely not for someone who is scared of heights. There are nets near the bottom to prevent falling through. It is very sturdy, but it definitely wobbles a lot. I’m not normally scared of heights, but I had a few ‘whoa!’ moments while moving along the paths, particularly in one small area where some of the wood planking was cracked and worn.
Some views of the canopy tour
This was a fun tour, and easy to access from the Cape Coast area. It was nice explore the rain forest after the madness on the roads, and our time at the beach.
Several of the wedding guests had already headed home, and others were staying in Ghana for even more touring. My own vacation time was nearly over, so I had to head back to Accra for the long journey home. I could have booked a taxi the whole way, but I decided to try out some local transportation. I could have taken a tro tro into Accra, but those aren’t really on a schedule, so some of the hotel staff suggested I take a bus. I took a taxi to the bus station in Cape Coast.
bus station in Cape Coast, Ghana
I bought my ticket (cash only, of course!) for about US$5, and waited for the next bus. They run frequently. I climbed on the bus, and noticed it was nearly full. I was the only obvious obruni (foreigner) on the bus, but at not point did I feel at all unsafe. I was welcomed to an open seat near the front. The trip had limited stops. Besides the long distance riders like myself, there were a few short riders who paid the driver a few cedis to take them somewhere along the route. There were also a few checkpoints between municipalities where vendors offered food and drinks through the windows of the bus. Having already had lunch, I didn’t partake.
Soon after leaving Cape Coast, a well dressed younger man walked to the front of the bus and began addressing the passengers. I didn’t understand a word he was saying, but based on the bible in his hand, and the way he gestured, he seemed to be giving some sort of sermon. I didn’t learn anything due to my inferior language skills, but I was impressed at his ability to maintain both the volume and passion of his message for nearly 2 hours along the way. The trip back to Accra was faster than the outbound trip, but we still had plenty of traffic, especially as we approached Accra. Once we arrived in Accra, we stopped on what just seemed like the side of the road. Everyone got off, so I followed the masses. I am grateful for some help from some fellow bus riders who helped me flag down a taxi from there so I could get to my hotel.
While on the bus, with the preacher was going on in a language I didn’t understand, I mostly enjoyed the view. Here are some photos I took:
Ghana is a great spot for a relatively easy introduction to west Africa, especially for English speakers. People are exceedingly friendly, and while services are slow compared to what many westerners expect, infrastructure is much more developed than other places in Africa. I’m so glad I got to share in my friends wedding, and finally tick Africa off my my list of continents to visit. The bus ride was a good local experience, especially with the preacher!
My time in Ghana was nearly over. I had a quick hotel stay near the airport, then I flew out the next morning, and retraced my steps on the outbound, through Lagos to Houston. More adventures to be had in my long layover in Nigeria. Since I was in transit, I couldn’t leave the airport, or apparently even the eyes of the immigration officials.
Other posts about my trip to Africa:
- A Trip of Firsts
- Initial thoughts on my trip to Ghana
- United 787 Dreamliner BusinessFirst from Houston to Lagos
- An extended layover in Lagos Nigeria and a flight on Africa World Airways
- Cash only in Accra, Ghana, and Africa in general
- The drive from Accra to Cape Coast with a van full of wedding guests
- A stay at the Ko-Sa Beach Resort, Cape Coast, Ghana
- Exploring history of the slave trade in Cape Coast
- Travel to Kakum National Park and being the only obruni on the bus to Accra (this post)
- A flight on Arik Air and lounge hopping during a long layover in Lagos
- United 787 Dreamliner Business First from Lagos to Houston