How do you sleep when you have a 7:00am flight to catch?
My alarm time was set for 3:00am and my Uber arrived early at 3:45am. Coming from Lekki Phase 2 all the way to the Airport in Ikeja, I knew I had to escape in the wee hours of the morning before this Lagos people wake up.
Welcome to Accra! Let me take you down this memorable experience
Arrival time at International wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport was 5:25am. Yay! made it right on time.
In less than 30 minutes I was done with all the security checks but this didn’t go down without the traditional syndrome at our airports, ‘Oga, your boys dey here oh, make we hold something na’ and in my head I was thinking, ‘Isn’t it too early in the morning to beg?’
“The human infrastructure at our airports are carefully design to extort money from passengers” – Quote from Accra Weizo 2018 Aviation Day
We, a group of travel and tourism professionals from Nigeria touched down Kotoka International Airport, Accra at 7:04 GMT + 0 Accra Time. The short one hour Airpeace flight was punctual and smooth.
Immigration in Ghana was completely different; they were cool, smart and very digital. In few minutes we got our passports stamped. Retrieving the luggage was equally swift and easy.
At the Kotoka International Airport, SIM cards are readily available for visitors. You can also exchange your USD to the local currency (Cedi) just opposite the SIM card shop to the right.
I felt somehow exhausted following the lack of sleep the previous night.
The transfer to Accra city centre took approximately 10 to 15 minutes and my first impression of the city – which reconfirmed during the stay – it’s truly an amazing and modern city with rich historic sites to experience.
We were first welcomed at La Palm Beach Hotel by the Ghana Tourism Authority in company of Accra Weizo organizer, Mr. Ikechi Uko.
La Palm Hotel is Ghana’s premier city-centre beach resort hugging the shores of the Atlantic with spectacular views from the poolside. This hotel has played host to Accra Weizo tourism expo for the past 4 years. Learn more: https://www.lapalmroyalbeachhotel.com/about-us.html
Agoh….Ameh! Our Famtrip to the Akosombo Region
Our pre Accra Weizo famtrip kicked off with a road trip from Accra to the Eastern region of Ghana, Akosombo with Mr. Yao Dzide from the Ghana Tourism Authority as our tour guide.
Aiming to understand this region better, read a little background on Akosombo and Volta region. Read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akosombo
Agoh….Ameh!!! the first native way of greeting we learnt from our tour guide – this was fondly use throughout the famtrip.
On the road trip, our tour guide further took time to share knowledge about various ethnic groups in Ghana and their history, he answered questions too.
While travelling between different towns, it came to my mind that the infrastructure were surprisingly in good condition. There were no potholes and police check points like its common in Nigeria.
Our first stop was at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve located in Doryumu in the Shai Osudoku District all in the Greater Accra Region, about an hour drive north of Accra bordering the Tema – Akosombo road. This makes this location one of the closest wildlife viewing areas to Accra and one of the most easily accessible in Ghana.
The Shai Hills Reserve is a comparatively small fenced area, about 48km2 and made up mammals like monkeys, baboons, antelopes, zebras and different bird species.
The amusing thing at Shi Hills is the baboon troop at the front gate. Our tour guide explained that some of the baboons are attracted to the roadside as a result of proximity and to enjoy edibles offered by passers-by. These include biscuits, bread, groundnuts and bananas.
Welcome to Paradise! The Royal Senchi Resort
After about 30 minutes drive from Shai, we arrived Akosombo, home to one of Ghana’s finest holiday resort, The Royal Senchi Resort.
This beautiful property welcomes the travelers with a soothing, exclusive and relaxing atmosphere and in our case with a well prepared and smooth check-in.
While our suitcases were lifted out of the bus, the sales and marketing manager, Mr. Emmanuel Mensah arrived within a minute – beaming to welcome us to a cocktail drink at the reception before we headed straight to the magnificent fine dining restaurant for lunch.
Immediately after lunch, we returned to the reception to get our room keys. There was an announcement by Miss Dien Gbabo of ATQ that some people will be staying at a different hotel. I’m sure everyone quietly made a quick prayer in their hearts to be on the guest list for Royal Senchi Hotel.
Mama! we made it again, I got my room key just next to my padi, Justina Ovat – The Calabar squad as often referred to by Oga Ikechi Uko….If you know you know!
I headed for my room, expecting to be housed nicely. All my expectations were simply trumped!
My room turned out to be a lavishly, almost overwhelming luxury style room with traditional architecture that was nothing short of stunning. Everything in the room and the beautiful bathroom is thought through to deliver soothing, luxury comfort to the guest. The bare floor gave it a native African feel. The balcony had stunning views overlooking the Volta Lake with a glass door that sheds daylight in the room and may be screened with a blind.
A large window over the bathtub facing the room invites you to immerge and take a long, long, relaxing bath….Simply Amazing!
At Royal Senchi, you are practically surrounded by nature that makes you forget the hustle and bustle of life. It is truly a retreat for your senses.
The luxury of this resort lifted my dinner expectations – The restaurant did not disappoint but the buffet was repetitive throughout our stay.
We tried our hands at everything the resort had to offer, from golf lessons to table tennis, volley ball, gym, swimming and yes kayaking on the Volta Lake inspired by the life of the party, Mr. Mohammed of South African Tourism.
The peak of fun was the boat cruise on the Akosombo Volta Lake – the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area. We sailed in 3 boats of about 15 persons each loaded with good music, drinks and plenty of fun. We cruise through the beautiful Adomi Bridge up to the foot of the Akosombo Dam and back to Royal Senchi. This cruise lasted for about an hour before returning to a dinner night hosted by the pool side where i ate the famous native delicacy ‘Banku’ with soup.
On this trip, Pelagie Egbane of 3Cords Leisure was my official photographer (She will kill me for this) while Mama Shalom made sure the gist never ends. How i miss them!
After two refreshing nights at this Ghanaian paradise, it was time to say goodbye. I went for breakfast sadly with my suitcase well packed to depart back to Accra with the team.
The Royal Senchi known as West Africa’s most romantic hotel destination is the first 4-star luxury resort in Ghana. It stands on 35 acres of lush greenery with a magnificent view of the Volta River. The hotel has more than 80 rooms and suites designed to take advantage of refreshing environment of the Senchi River and the commanding views that surround it.
The Royal Senchi is also an ideal place for intimate family/group holiday, destination wedding, business meetings, conferences, and other special events. For more information, visit https://www.theroyalsenchi.com/
If you are interested in planning a trip here, contact us for amazing deals; 0703-197-3119; [email protected]
Bye Akomosombo…Welcome Accra! Stay Tuned for Part 2.
I want to come back!
By Hope Obeten, CEO Calabar Blog