If you find yourself in Accra, Ghana with 48 hours to spare, Uyapo Ketogetswe gives us the inside scoop on what to do with your two days in the city.
Year of return, jollof wars and cultural events like Afrochella have put Ghana on the map in a big way. The buzzing and bustling capital, Accra, has struck the right balance as being a truly African, yet cosmopolitan city. Accra’s heart beats with her people’s cumulative resilience and strong sense of community, as the city offers a dynamic range of experiences and local culture, heavy-hitting sights and history, and people who pride themselves on their hospitality while championing a rich sense of self.
Where To Stay
La Villa Boutique Hotel
Winner of the Luxury Hotel Awards for Ghana in 2017 and 2018, La Villa Boutique Hotel offers rooms, suites and apartments designed to appeal to every personal taste and budget.
Located in the suburb of Osu it’s within close proximity of just about everything, including the airport, and offers a tranquil escape for business and/or leisure travellers looking for a little luxury.
This five-star hotel is Ghana’s most luxurious accommodation offering. Boasting 269 luxury rooms including 24 suites and two Presidential suites, the standout point of the hotel is its attention to detail and elegant rooftop pool and lounge area with wooden cabanas, outdoor daybeds and an infinity pool.
The 11-room apartment hotel is conveniently located in the Osu area and a short walking distance from Oxford Street. Complete with a courtyard and swimming pool, this intimate hotel is cozy and warm with a variety of hotspots and activities to be discovered nearby.
Where To Eat
The very basic roadside structures popularly known as ‘chop bars’ are ubiquitous in Accra. Serving some
of Ghana’s favourites such as fufu (a plantain-cassava dumpling), and banku (fermented-corn dumpling) accompanied with a sauce, you’ll find that most Ghanians love to eat with their hands. They may not look like much, but if you ever want to eat like a local, chop bars are your inexpensive plug.
Hidden down a side street in Osu, the tiny Chez Clarisse serves huge portions, flavoursome yet cheap plates of tilapia and chicken served Ivorian style with a variety of sides including attiéké (ground cassava), yam chips and alocco (sweet plantains).The Ivorian restaurant offers delicious local food served with a great dose of humility.
Where To Drink
Bloom Bar is fast becoming a favourite night-time destination for many Osu-goers. Perfect for pre-drinks, you’re guaranteed good music, cool company and amazing cocktails here. Try their potent fishbowls which are great for sharing under the night sky.
Famous for their Kokroko cocktail made with hibiscus and akpeteshie (Ghananian palm wine) and hugely popular flavoured beers, you can also expect live afro-infused remixes of old-school R&B, soul and instrumental
jazz for your entertainment. Outside, there is a terrace where tables and chairs spill out onto the street.
Accra’s city views don’t get better than this. Perched atop the tallest building in West Africa, SkyBar 25 provides an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the city. Watch as planes come in for landing and take off, network with locals and expats, and enjoy elegant drinks from this one-of-a-kind upmarket space.
Uber and Bolt are the most reliable means of transportation in Accra. The GPS-based apps make it easy for you to get around whether you know where you’re headed or not. Drivers often like to get paid in cash so spare yourself the trouble and select that option.
If you are daring and adventurous, jump on a local minibus known as a tro-tro. These are most people’s everyday means of transport due to their affordability. Just like most African countries, they don’t work on a set timetable but leave for their
different routes when full.
What To Do
Haggle at Makola Market
Makola Market is not your average market experience. The infamous market is an onslaught on the senses, bursting with colourful sights, persistent shouts of traders, mixed aromas of busy bodies and spices, differing textures of textiles, accessories and produce, and appetite-stimulating street foods that go on for blocks. Part cardio, part
minefield, and completely confusing to navigate alone – be sure to keep your wits about you.
Meet Locals at Labadi Beach
Labadi is the most popular beach in Ghana. Perfect for mingling and soaking up some sun, the coastline is
one big vibe where you can expect a lively atmosphere, music emanating from giant speakers, street food, horse rides and acrobats. The stretch of coast comes alive on weekends and it’s an experience not to miss.
Home of the Accra[dot]Alt network. Visit the Lighthouse for expansive views, watch the waves from the
pier or stop at Jamestown Café or lunch.
FLY SAA flies direct to Accra, Ghana from Johannesburg daily. Visit flysaa.com
By: Uyapo Ketogetswe