Travel Report: Exploring Coastal Ghana

Accra, Cape Coast and more! via Social Nomads

Accra | Cape Coast | Dzita

– Accra –

Moving: Accra was the jumping off point for our coastal Ghana adventure. We coordinated airport pickup through our hotel for 10 USD. This was an easy and reliable process; our flight landed late at night so we were thankful to have someone waiting for us.

Unfortunately, there’s not one main bus station in Accra, but rather multiple smaller ones. You’ll have to figure out which station you should use, depending on your destination (more info below).

Sleeping: We crashed at the Sleepy Hippo Hotel before jetting out of the city. This place is one of the nicest hostels we’ve seen in West Africa. Sleepy Hippo offers very comfortable rooms with tv, air conditioning and ensuite bathroom for 40 USD per night (double occupancy). A decent breakfast is included in the rate. Sleepy Hippo also boasts a rooftop deck – complete with hammock – and a restaurant/bar area on the lower level. There’s a projector and large screen for communal movie viewing, etc.

– Cape Coast –

Moving: There are a few options when traveling from Accra to Cape Coast. We tried the more “local” method first, grabbing a 15 Cedis taxi to Kaneshie Bus Station on the edge of Accra. From there, we purchased tickets at the door of the bus for 20 Cedis per person. The bus is comfortable and travels along the main coastal road. Tell the driver that you’re going to Cape Coast and he’ll drop you at the junction, from which it’s a quick shared taxi ride to downtown. When returning to Accra, we took the Ford van option for 22 Cedis per person. The van departs from the ocean road, just west of Oasis Beach Resort. Although it may be a little more cramped, the van is the more direct option.

Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast Castle

From Cape Coast, we traveled to Kakum National Park in a private taxi. We found the taxi outside of our hotel and negotiated a rate of 100 Cedis to travel to the park and back. The rate included the driver waiting for us while we were in the park.

Cape Coast GhanaDoing: Our stop in Cape Coast was primarily driven by our interest in visiting two sites: Cape Coast Castle & Kakum National Park. Cape Coast Castle is definitely worth experiencing. There is a museum focusing on the history of the castle and the slave trade in Africa, several souvenir shops and a million photo opportunities. The entrance fee is 40 Cedis for adults and 30 Cedis for students. We visited the castle on a Sunday afternoon, which ended up being rather serendipitous. The entire town was out on the beach and, from the castle walls, we had a near bird’s eye view of the action. In addition, the sunset was beautiful.

The canopy tour is the main attraction at Kakum National Park. The tour costs 50 Cedis per person and a guide is mandatory. After a short hike into the park, we stepped onto a series of rickety rope bridges – don’t worry, they’re safe! Two hundred meters high, these bridges dramatically pierce through the jungle canopy. The views are fantastic and the experience of swaying through the jungle is worthwhile. After about an hour on the bridges, we’d had enough and headed back. Although there are rumors of wildlife viewing, we certainly didn’t see anything.

Eating: We ate both lunch and dinner at Oasis Beach Resort, which has a beachside restaurant/bar. The atmosphere is relaxed, especially in the afternoon. They play music at night, which is fun if that’s your scene. The average cost of an entree is 25-30 Cedis and the average cost of a Ghanaian beer is 7 Cedis. They also have specials on the chalkboard – enjoy!

Cape Coast Travel Report
The rope bridges of Kakum National Park

Drinking: Orange Bar & Restaurant is one of the few beach bars in Cape Coast. We stopped in to watch the sunset and have a few drinks. The place feels slightly run down but the service was excellent, which is not always the case in West Africa. The average cost of a Ghanaian beer is 6 Cedis. Otherwise, we did most of our drinking at Oasis Beach Resort.

Sleeping: We stayed at Oasis Beach Resort. Oasis has a variety of different accommodation options, ranging from private rooms to large dorms. Arriving without a reservation, we ended up in a ten person dorm (with eight vacant beds). The dorm price is cheap… and so is the quality. The bunks are pretty small, the mosquito nets have holes and the fan is in rough shape. Needless to say, it wasn’t our best night’s sleep. However, Oasis is undergoing some renovations, so perhaps improvements will be made in the future. If you’re in the area, let us know!

– Dzita –

Cape Coast to DzitaMoving: From downtown Accra we took a minibus to Anloga, which is in the direction of Togo, for 19 Cedis per person. Locating the right bus was challenging, as few people seemed familiar with Dzita (pronounced “Geeta”). However, once we said our destination was Anloga, which is larger and just beyond Dzita, we were able to make it happen. Be sure to tell the driver that you’re going to Dzita – he’ll drop you at a junction towards the end of the ride, from which point you grab a shared taxi for the remaining few minutes. The journey takes about three hours in total, depending on Accra traffic.

From Dzita, we traveled up the coast to the town of Aflao and the Togo border. The ride in a shared taxi costs 10 Cedis per person; a private taxi costs about 50 Cedis total.

When returning to Accra, we hired a private taxi to take us directly to the airport. The trip from Dzita to Kokota costs 250 Cedis and takes about three hours.

Doing: Our stay in Dzita was inspired by our interest in Meet Me There African Lodge. With a local and relaxed vibe, Meet Me There is the perfect place to chill for a few days. We spent most of our time hanging around the lodge or walking along the massive beach. However, if you want to stay a little active, Meet Me There also offers a variety of excursions.  In addition, Meet Me There is involved in the local community – chat with Dougal and he’ll tell you all about it!

Cape Coast to Dzita Beaches
The empty beaches of Dzita

We did venture out from Dzita once during our stay, heading to Lomé, Togo for the day. The trip is relatively easy, taking about two hours (including border crossing). Visas are available at the border and money changers are happy to offer their services. Check out our post One Day In: Lomé, Togo for more details!

Eating: The restaurant/bar at Meet Me There is built on a dock over the nearby lagoon. The calmness of the water, combined with a variety of tables and lounges, make it a perfect spot for relaxing.

Cape Coast to Dzita Beaches
Red Red with plantains, rice and salad (and beer!)

After a few days, we sampled almost everything on the menu. The dishes are creative, locally inspired and absolutely delicious. Our favorite was the Ghanaian Red Red, which is a traditional rice and beans dish. The average cost of an entree is 25 Cedis.

Drinking: We had several drinks at Meet Me There, which were all very enjoyable. The bar serves everything from local beer and wine to house-made cocktails. The average cost of a beer is 6 Cedis and most cocktails will run you around 20 Cedis.

Sleeping: Lodging prices at Meet Me There are very affordable and the accommodations are comfortable. We stayed in a Standard Double Room for 60 Cedis per night, which came with an ensuite bathroom and screened in porch/front room with a view of the lagoon. They also have dorms (30 Cedis) and larger doubles (120 Cedis).