When I stumbled on WE_ Africa magazine, Ulrike Reinhard made me realize that I had left a whole continent out of the 10 Do's and Don'ts equation.
I asked her to help me remedy to that.
Today you see the first instalment with Mac-Jordan D. Degadjor guide to Accra, Ghana.
10 Do’s & Don’ts of Accra
Are you coming to Ghana’s capital city of Accra for the first time? There are a lot of stuffs you can do and others you can’t/shouldn’t do. First off, I’m going to start with the DON’Ts.
10 Things Not Worth Doing in Accra.
1. Don’t ever take taxis at the Kotoka Int’l Airport upon arrival. They are a big rip-off. Before your trip to Accra, make sure to arrange for your host or a trusted local to pick you up from the airport.
2. Don’t ever expose your bank or credit card details in public or even at the hotels. Make sure, you’ve exchange your foreign notes into the Ghanaian Cedis and don’t carry a lot of cash on you too.
3. Don’t ever wear bikini or very revealing clothes in Accra. The Ghanaian culture on dressing doesn’t approve of such types of dressing. Make sure, all sensitive areas are covered and you dress decent always. No mini-skirts.
4. Don’t shake hands with the left hand. Also, don’t eat with the left hand. Always use the right hand when dealing with people and showing directions.
5. Don’t be a fan of taxis in general whiles staying in Accra rather, opt for the cheapest mode of transport which is; Tro-tro (shared buses plying majors town routes within Accra). They are very cheap and economical but can get very uncomfortable sometimes. Don’t sit closer to the bus collector (mate) ever.
6. Don’t walk on the streets of Accra and its environs alone after 7pm. Make sure, you’re in the company of others; at least 3-4.
7. Don’t ever go to the beach to swim on Tuesdays as it is forbidden and a big taboo.
8. Traffic in Accra is like a snail with a limp. If you’re supposed to be at a place in an hour; please leave 2hrs before otherwise, you’ll curse yourself always. Traffic in Accra is actually a “part-time” job for most commuters.
9. Don’t ever buy/purchase anything from mobile phones to gadgets from hand dealers around Kwame Nkrumah Circle or Accra Central. You’ll be ripped off heavily and your item might be either a stone or an empty wooden box.
10. Don’t ever try to argue with the Ghanaian policeman when it comes to road/traffic issues. Never ever do that. Just oblige and “tip” him/her GHc1.00; sorry it’s been increased to GHc2.00.
11. Don’t go shopping for foodstuffs, groceries or garments all by yourself. Make sure, you’re accompanied by a local otherwise, the prices of the stuffs will be doubled (in case you’re a white person)
10 Things Worth Doing in Accra.
1. Do visit the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park and learn a lot about Ghana’s first President.
2. Do visit the Ghana National Museum which is located in the heart of Accra and is featured in all Ghana travel magazines.
3. A Must Visit: Visit Ghana’s only premier University; University of Ghana located in Legon. Very beautiful landscape and buildings.
4. Do visit the clean and sunny beaches in Accra after rainy season. I’ll recommend Bojo Beach, Tawala Beach (above), Ada Beach Sajuna Beach Club and La Pleasure Beach (always be in the company of trusted folks whiles here at night)
6. Do well to visit the Ohene Gyan Sport Stadium (Accra Sports Stadium) when there’s a local premiere league match going on.
7. Do try our sumptuous Ghanaian meals with their accompanying soups especially; Fufu with Light/Palm/Pea-nut soup (below), Banku with tilapia and shitor (local black sauce), Kenkey & red pepper and fried fish and Waakye. Places to visit: Asanka Locals (Madina & Osu), Bush Canteen (East-Legon), Osu Night Market (Osu), Agbaa Maame (Tema) & Auntie Muni’s joint (Labone)
8. When it comes to Night Life; there are a couple of places to visit for good music, networking and enjoying a great evening. In no other; +233 Jazz Bar (Kanda), Reggie Rockstones Office (Cantonments), Rhapsodys of Reality (Accra Mall), European styled pub: Bella Roma (Oxford Street, Osu), Citizen Kofi’s Sky Bar ( a great view of Accra at night), Celsbridge - best grilled & spicy chicken joint (Labone)
9. Visit the fishing community of Jamestown and also get to the top of the old light house.
10. Lastly, Go African artifacts shopping at Art Center located in the heart of Accra.
It takes a Mac-Jordan to navigate Accra.