Well, as mentioned in my latest blog on Sophie Kingo Photography, I can’t quite believe it’s well over 10 months ago Projectbrownman and I were in Ghana. And all I’ve mentioned about it online is in my sorry excuse for a blog post back in February of this year.
Out trip to Ghana in August 2010 was my first. In fact, it was my first time in Sub Saharan Africa altogether. It took me a while to get there -25 years, but I made it. Something about Africa, granted primarily the natural element of the continent, has always appealed to me.
I think my interest in the continent started with my love for cats, big cats in particular, when I was little. This led me to watch hour upon hour of the BBC’s nature programmes. From Wild Africa charting giant mole rats in Ethiopia, Cheetah hunts on the savannah, and chimpanzees in the jungle, to Big Cat Diary following new lion cubs, cheetah and leopards finding their way in Kenya, I watched it all. Therefore it’s only expected that I’d always had a hankering to visit somewhere where these animals are, according to BBC TV documentaries anyway, in abundance.
Studying Sociology and Social Anthropology at Hull Uni, opened my eyes to the other side of Africa – the people and cultures. And when the BBC aired Tribe with Bruce Parry, which featured a couple of African tribes and left many anthropologists reeling at it’s inaccurate ethnographic elements, I was overjoyed. The BBC were finally opening up your average Joe to a world very different to their own. To me, anything to widen Britons’ knowledge of different cultures and societies has to be worth it.
Then, there was that fateful night in November 2007 when I ended up at a hat party in East Dulwich, London. There I spent many a minute treading on one Ghanaian/British Projectbrownman’s feet. One thing led to another and, well, by August last year we were 1 year and 9 months into our relationship and ready to pay a visit to the Motherland for PBM’s mother’s 60th and his Grandma’s 85th. We booked our BA flights, had our many jabs, I made some dresses, and off we went along with Marcia, Barry, Patrick, Phyllis, L1 and L2 for 10 days in Ghana. And what a wonderful place it is. The landscape, the culture, the hospitality, the people, and the spirit are just amazing.
Here are a few photos from our trip, with some background information to increase your knowledge of the beautiful Ghana:
Akosombo Dam and Lake Volta
Built between 1961 and 1965 under Kwame Nkrumah, the dam, which is 660m wide and 114m high now provides power to Ghana, Togo and Benin.
Lake Volta, the largest reservoir in the world by surface area and the fourth largest in the world by volume, has a surface area of c 8,502km2. The lake, formed from the Akosombo Dam, displaced approximately 78,000 people and 200,000 domestic animals.
Accra Centre for Arts and Crafts
One of the most important tourist attractions in Accra, this market is the biggest in the country for arts and crafts, including: wood carvings; traditional musical instruments; cane and raffia products; leather ware; gold, silver and bronze jewellery; beads; clay products; antiques; paintings; and ivory products from across the country and Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal and Nigeria.
Umbrella Rock and Boti Falls
Located in the Yilo Krobo District, Boti Falls is a 30m high waterfall, whilst Umbrella Rock is a natural rock formation with beautiful views across the Boti Reserve.
Labadi Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Accra for tourists. This stretch of the Atlantic Coast features cafes, souvenir vendors, and sometimes entertainment from drummers and performers.
Kakum National Park
Kakum is a rich moist rainforest covering 350km2 and located in the central region. The Park includes 40 species of mammals, including: elephants, buffalo, leopard, bongo, and primates, over 200 species of birds and 400 species of butterflies. It also includes a 40m high (rickety and scary) canopy walk.
Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast Castle is a fortification built by Swedish traders in 1653. Seized by the Danes in 1663 and one year later the English, the Castle became the seat of the colonial government of the British Gold Coast and traded in timber and gold. Later, the Castle was used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Obuasi, in the Ashante region in southern Ghana, had a population of 115,564 in 2000. Obuasi is known for its gold mine, now one of the ten largest in the world, with gold having been mined since at least the 17th century.
When can I go back?!