Cultural sites & local activities

“Green spaces for Bohemian Travel and Experience”

 

We are located in the Greater Accra Region, and our area, POKUASE, links with AYAWASO, THE TRADITIONAL TOWNSHIP OF THE GA PEOPLE, the historical custodians of the land of Accra.

If you come at festival times you can take part in exuberant dancing and celebrating with the local people, and enjoy the regalia of durbars honoring the local chiefs. There are also sacred shrines to the Ga people in our vicinity.  We are just off the Accra-Kumasi motorway, and therefore easily accessible to the city ‘tourist hot spots’ of Labadi beach, Osu High Street, and Accra Mall. Here you can find many foreign restaurants, souvenir shops, and of course, lots of other tourists!  We are also accessible to the University of Legon, which can be reached either via Dome, or via Achimota, which are not far.

In fact, just on the outskirts of central Accra is where so much of the interesting personal history of communities in Accra can be found.  An area off Pokuase, called Myra, is home to one of the infamous slave markets in Ghana, where human beings were traded. Our tour will take you to see these sites and meet local historians.

Shop locally in Pokuase town a few minutes’ walk down the road, or visit the bustling markets of Nsawam (especially Mondays), or at Dome/St Johns, both a ‘hop’ on a local bus or trotro.

 

Cultural Sites & Local Activities

We are also close to Achimota, which is along the motorway going into central Accra. In Achimota there is perhaps the largest completed bus station in Ghana, with transport going to all over the country. You can hop on a bus and see where it takes you: to the Volta region, to Tema, to Cape Coast or anywhere in this great land. Achimota also hosts a golf club, which was developed by the English and Scottish teachers who came last century to establish and teach in one of the earliest and most prestigious schools in Ghana, ‘Achimota School’. Or you can visit the Forest Reserve and zoo, and do lots of local shopping, or visit international Banks in and around Achimota.

Uniquely, the local train service into central Accra runs just 5 minutes away from us, twice daily; and we enjoy hill-side views, minutes off the Accra to Kumasi Motorway. This is the main road in Ghana, linking the political/economic capital Accra, to the second main city Kumasi. Catch one of the numerous local buses to any location in town or out, or take a taxi and off you go!!!

Do not accept that Independence Square, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Gardens, and the slave forts of Cape Coast are all the history that Ghana has to offer. Ask for more.

Try one of our unique tours of Pokuase, Nsawam, or Aburi, filled with intimate local history, and folklore. These tours are exclusive to Legassi Gardens as we have taken the time to go beyond ‘the crowd’ in a groundbreaking quest to discover the intimate history of these areas. We can organize unique tours to the nearby historic town of Nsawam, famous for being the centre of coco production in colonial Ghana; it was once visited by the Prince of Wales, and has many historic buildings (though needing renovation). There is also the bustling Nsawam market, selling everything and more! We are also not far from Aburi: home to Aburi Gardens, a beautiful botanical paradise created during the colonial era, with contributions from the Caribbean  (particularly Jamaican) missionaries who came (back) to Ghana in the mid-1800s to bring Christianity. In fact, the Aburi region has many churches and even wells built by this missionary community, and one area is actually called ‘Jamaica’! Aburi also has the popular road-side wood carvers market, where you can find many bargains; and Rita Marley lives here, the widow of legend Bob Marley and one of the I-Threes. She has a recording studio and is a patron of several community development projects.

 

Some Year Round Cultural Festivals

Jan: Buryona, Elmina,Central Region (C/R)

Feb-March: Dipo,  Krobo in Eastern Region (E/R)

Feb: Rice, Avatime Volta Region (V/R)

March: Lalue Kpledo in Prampram (E/R) Asikloe, Anfoega (V/R)

April: Wodomi, Yilo Krobo (E/R)

June: Ohum, Kibi (E/R)

July: Bakatue, Elmina (C/R)

August-Sept: Homowo, Accra (G/A)

Sept: Yam, Peki (V/R)

Sept– Oct: Odwira/Ohum, Akwapim (E/R)

Oct: Akwantukese, Koforidua (E/R) Okyir, Anomabo (C/R)

Nov: Odwira, Denkyira (C/R)

 
 

TRAVELERS’ ADVICE

We hope that our guests will find these few tips helpful:

  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Responsible behavior
  • Responsible use of resources
  • General Information about Ghana

Cultural sensitivity

1. Dress can be casual, but avoid wearing shorts in offices or official places.

2. Ask permission before taking close pictures of people, and avoid taking pictures of banks and embassies, for security reasons.

3. Ghanaian customs are generally polite and formal:

-people shake hands often in greeting.

-when meeting a seated group, shake hands from the right to the left of the group

-Avoid pointing and gesticulating with your left hand.

4. When using hands to eat, try to use your right hand only

5. A smile will avoid or resolve most disagreements more effectively than raising your voice, or appearing to be angry

6. Elders are respected, children are prized

7. It is not common to invite a guest inside the home and most social entertaining takes place outside, on a porch or patio area

8. Being helpful and polite is part of the culture, so do not be quick to assume that someone is trying to deceive you. However, please remain cautious and do not interpret friendliness to mean any more than that.

 

Please Be Responsible in your behaviour:

1) The legal age of consent in Ghana is 16 years. Culturally, it is considered good manners to be friendly and helpful to strangers. Children are also helpful and respectful to those older than they are. Please do not take advantage of this respectful innocence.

2) Platonic relationships between men and women are not common in this culture, so be cautious and do not raise expectations that you do not intend to meet.

3) Foreign, particularly Western, clothes and behaviour, are seen as very fashionable, and many young people try to imitate what they see. Please remember that people will be influenced by what you do, so be mindful of your language, dress and actions. In particular, please do not smoke or abuse alcohol publicly.

4) The economic hardships of living in a developing country means that there are many vulnerable people in Ghana. Please do not exploit such people, and make promises you do not intend to keep.

5) Items are usually fairly priced for sale. Please do not exploit the desperation of some sellers by bargaining for unconscionably low prices. Buy locally made products wherever available as this will benefit the local economy and encourage the growth of the skill base.

 

Please Be Responsible in your use of resources:

1) Please turn off taps and lights when not in use, minimize toilet flushing, and let us compost your raw peelings.

2) Please be patient: ‘Light Off’ is still common in Ghana, so please carry a ready torch in the evening, until we can give you some light.

3) Study the ‘AKWAABA’ information sheet provided in your apartment.

 

General Information About Ghana:

The People: Ghanaians come from six main ethnic groups: the Ga-Adangbe, the Ewe, the Akan (Ashanti and Fanti), the Mole-Dagbani, the Guan, and the Gurma. The Ashanti peoples (Asante) of the Akan are the largest group in Ghana and one of the few matrilineal societies in West Africa. Once known for their military might, they are most famous today for their craft work, particularly their hand-carved stools and fertility dolls and their colourful kente cloth.  The Ewe largely settled in southeastern Ghana and the southern parts of neighboring Togo and Benin, and are also known for beautiful Kente work.  The Fantis are mainly located in the coastal areas of Ghana, where the ‘castles’ and fortresses used during the Atlantic Slave Trade are located.  The Ga-Adangbe people inhabit the Accra Plains. The Adangbe are found to the east, the Ga groups, to the west of the Accra coastlands. 

The major languages spoken: are Twi, Fante, Ga, Hausa, Dagbani, Ewe and Nzema.  However, English remains the official language of Ghana.  The Legal System: Based on the English Legal system. 

Religions: Ghana has the highest percentage of Christians in West Africa. An approximate breakdown of religions suggests that 60% are Christian, 15% are Muslim and 25% practice traditional African religions.

The Climate: Ghana’s climate is tropical but relatively mild. There are two rainy seasons for most of the country, from April to June and from September to November. However, in the north of the country squalls occur in March and April, followed by occasional rain until August and September, when the rainfall season peaks. The temperatures range between 21°C and 32°C (70°F – 90°F), relative humidity between 50% and 80%. Rainfall ranges from 30 to 80 inches a year. The ‘harmattan’, a dry desert wind, blows from the northeast from December to March lowering the humidity and causing hot day and cool nights in the north. The effect of this wind is felt in the south during January. In most areas, temperatures are highest in March and lowest in August after the rains.

Visas: To enter Ghana, citizens of all but ECOWAS -member States require visas (at a nominal fee).

The Currency: 100 pesewas=1 Cedi

Local Time: Ghana has the same time as that of GMT

Electric Power: is 230V running at 50Hz.

Travel Insurance: It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.

The food: Soups are the main dish in Ghanaian food and are eaten with fufu (either pounded plantain and cassava or yam), kokonte (cassava meal cooked into a paste), banku (fermented corn dough), boiled yam, rice, bread, plantain, or cassava.

 

Related Links

 

www.dontforgetyourtoothbrush.com

www.travelsense.com

www.travelistic.com

www.virtourist.com

www.travelervideos.com

www.onebag.com

Vegetarian Vacations, The Veggie Holidays Directory

www.vegetarian-vacations.com

List of tour operators offering vegetarian or vegan food.