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JONKANOO AFRICA TOURS

 AFRICA TOURS

GHANA















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This mildly adventurous tropical African tour introduces clients to myriad aspects of little known West African life: the friendly Ghanaian people, their colourful culture, the flora and fauna of an equatorial climate, the undiscovered landscape -   while you are lodged and transported in comfort and will feel welcome wherever you wander. . .

Visitors will tour southern Ghana from east to west in a chauffeur driven, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, conveying you to a range of mountain, riverside, seaside and inland hotels. The tour includes opportunities to attend a festival with drumming and dazzling costumes,   a rainforest canopy walk with wildlife spotting, and meals in an hotel restaurant   set over a crocodile pond,[ the crocs are friendly- like all true Ghanaians!]. You can go boating in dugout canoes on the Volta river, be pampered in a riverside spa hotel, visit legendary African  markets, take cookery lessons a la ghanaienne, mountain  walk above Lake Volta and tour  16th and 17th century  trading forts and castles.  The last 3 days are for total relaxation in a beach hotel set in a botanical garden.  On this immaculate crescent of palm fringed yellow sand, rainforest meets warm Atlantic surf.  Swimming here is superb.  Here too there are excursions to the local 17th century Dutch castle overlooking the bay and  to hike – or drive-  through the forest to the next beach.  A visit to  the local primary school will allow you  to help in the classroom.  At all times there is a choice between international and Ghanaian cuisine, with several gourmet dinners included in the package.   The group leaves on a night flight back to Europe but during that day there will be opportunities to explore Accra craft markets and historical sites.  Before checking in at the airport you may shower or swim and relax, drink and eat   in the bar and other reception areas of a local 5 star hotel.

DAY 1       Arrive on evening flight, transfer to VILLA CISNEROS spa hotel at SOGAKOPE on the banks of the Volta River in eastern Ghana. Cold supper on arrival.[N.I.]  

[Until 1919 the Volta was the frontier between German Togoland and the British Gold Coast colony.  To this day the Ewe people east of the river speak the same language and share the culture of their Togolese cousins. Their ancient religion, YEVE, was carried with the slave trade to Haiti and other regions of the Americas as VOODOO.] Overnight at VILLA CISNEROS.

DAY2      After breakfast spa treatments and a stroll to the little town nearby. After light lunch[ N.I]] a  half hour drive to DABALA to witness – and participate  at -  the DZAWUWU festival, in which the Ewe people, who also inhabit neighbouring Togo, celebrate the magical gift of an ivory stool and flute from a giant elephant in the mythical past.   The entire community of Dabala and many other neighbouring villages and distant towns join in the festivities.  Anyone and everyone can join in with the joyous dancing and general merry making. At sunset a 30 minute drive back to the hotel and dinner[ included in price].

DAY 3   EARLY MORNING : Breakfast at hotel.  120  minute drive to  HO town  to  explore stalls and market Swim and lunch [N.I.] at CHANCES HOTEL .  Before lunch we pay a  brief visit to Kalapka forest reserve, to see bird and other  fauna and flora.    Another  90 minute drive to MOUNTAIN PARADISE LODGE  in the AVATIME HILLS , a forested mountainous region where nights are cool enough to sleep without fan or air-con. The lodge serves its own home grown food and coffee and is magnificently situated on a mountain slope with fantastic views. In the cooler mountain air walking is highly recommended – in any direction.  At Amedzope, highest town in Ghana, it’s possible to walk up the second highest peak in Ghana. It only takes about 15 minutes but views to Volta lake in one direction and Togo in another are terrific.  Dinner at MOUNTAIN PARADISE included. Specialities here  are  local mushrooms cooked in different ways and a local classic, Yam in Palava sauce .


DAY 4  After Breakfast 30 min drive to TAFI ATOME MONKEY SANCTUARY, where our evolutionary little cousins are revered as sacred creatures.  Fun guaranteed!  On to nearby KPANDO to meet renowned women potters turning their wheels.  As everywhere in Ghana, the potters will be only too happy to explain their work and let you too ‘have a go.’  PACKED LUNCH FROM HOTEL [N.I.] Possibility of a Yeve religious ceremony nearby, before returning to the lodge for walks and dinner[N.I.]  Here is a good opportunity to sample more Ghanaian traditional dishes, like groundnut soup with sticky rice balls. Overnight at MOUNTAIN PARADISE LODGE.


DAY 5   After Breakfast  60 minute drive to AKOSOMBO where we have morning coffee or drinks at the Volta Hotel. From the balcony you can marvel at a tremendous view of the Volta Lake and hydro-electric dam.   In the little town after refreshment we find under shady trees we visit a textile and food market full of life and dazzling colours. Fabrics galore.  For lunch[N.I.],local freshwater fish and prawns are recommended at  the restaurant in the picturesque botanical garden at  AYLO’S BAY.  In the afternoon canoe trips on the river and a walk over the ATIMPOKU suspension bridge and along the verdant river bank  . An excellent – and extremely inexpensive  pedicure and manicure centre [actually a very clean and well equipped roadside shack!] is nearby.  You will be made very welcome by the expert beauticians. Drive [10 mins] to riverside AFRIKIKO HOTEL with swim pool and riverside garden and dining room for dinner.[N.I.].  Choice of international or Ghanaian dishes. Overnight at AFRIKIKO HOTEL.

DAY 6   After early  breakfast, drive TO ABURI [2 hours ] where we lunch[N.I.] in the Rose Plot restaurant in the famous ABURI botanical gardens, embellished with a huge  variety of trees and shrubs .   From here we have a 4 hour drive through small towns and villages to KAKUM NATIONAL PARK and HANS COTTAGE BOTEL, where we find comfortable air conditioned rooms to overnight , while well fed crocs can be observed  circling  in a pond under the pier  restaurant  where we  dine.[N.I.]  There is also a filtered swimming pool as well – no crocs allowed!  Overnight stay at HANS COTTAGE BOTEL.


DAY 7   Before dawn start for nearby [10 mins] KAKUM forest park to be elevated to the highest forest canopy walkway in Africa, possibly the world. .  Far above the treetops, strung between the highest of towering rain forest hardwoods, walkers can be suitably staggered by the magnificent panorama beneath.  Immediately apparent is the conference of many and various exotic birds, including rufus winged illadopsis, yellow casqued hornbill and yellow footed honeyguide[ among many others]  winging their feathery flight paths above and below and around you. In the trees Colobus and Mona monkeys, young and old, play out their acrobatic, vegetarian lives in a fully natural habitat.    After fresh fruit juice at ground level we take a short trek with an official drive into the rainforest. Back to HANS BOTEL for a swim pool, then a 30 minute drive to    CAPE COAST  for lunch at the Castle restaurant[N.I.]  Walk about the old town , full of historic buildings.  Dinner [N.I.] and Overnight at HANS BOTEL.  

DAY 8   After breakfast we visit CAPE COAST  castle on a guided tour[INCLUDED IN TOUR COST].   This is a world heritage site from which millions of slaves were held in irons before being transported to the Americas.   Afterwards fresh fruit juice and snacks at nearby juice bar. [INCLUDED IN PRICE] On our  progress westwards we detour to old world Elmina town for a brief exterior inspection of  its imposing Portuguese medieval castle. 15 minute  drive to lunch[N.I.] at ESTEEM KOFI’S MOTEL .Then a  90 minute drive through SEKONDI and TAKORADI  to the legendary west coast of Ghana with its superbly undeveloped pristine beaches.  Down remote  forest roads we make for BUTRE,  where  we stay for 3 nights at  HIDEOUT LODGE, an Oceanside side hotel right on the beach with alfresco restaurant and bar and  individual bungalows  set in a hibiscus and bougainvillea bedecked    botanical  garden.  From your individual bungalow it’s only 30 seconds away from the emerald surf.  We swim, and have fresh crayfish seafood dinner[INCLUDED IN PRICE] and overnight at HIDEOUT LODGE.

DAY 9 After   breakfast and swim, a 20 minute drive  to DIXCOVE where an old pirate’s castle towers over a busy fishing village. We drive on to BUSIA, a little town 3kms away on the next beach, for  lunch at OKEREYE TREE café.[N.I.]   Here is a major surf school on this enormous beach  where swimming is delightful and safe.   In the little seaside resort  there are stalls, restaurants and hotels, providing a pleasant, bustling  contrast to the much  quieter Butre beach.    In the early afternoon we drive back to Butre to relax.  .  Tonight we dine [INCLUDED IN PRICE] at FANTA’S FOLLY, a superb French restaurant with an African twist .  This may well be highlight of our gastronomic experiences in Ghana.   OVERNIGHT AT HIDEOUT LODGE.

DAY 10   A school visit to BUTRE  Primary this morning.    Cookery lessons can be taken in AGONA, and on various other occasions during the entire trip. We also climb the hill to a seventeenth century ruined Dutch fort with fantastic views over forest and ocean.   A local boatman [PRICE INCLUSIVE] will   be happy to punt clients up the nearby river to view birds and monkeys in the trees lining the banks. But if you don’t fancy going anywhere you can just relax on Butre beach.   LUNCH at HIDEOUT LODGE [N.I.] On the beach you may -  with luck -  witness newly hatched  turtles crawling down the beach to the sea.  If the moon is bright, a beach walk is not to be missed. Small armies of luminous white crabs cartwheel down the beach in the moonlight and sometimes, if we are really lucky, plankton glows with the unearthly electric light in the salt billows. . . DINNER [N.I.] AND OVERNIGHT AT HIDEOUT LODGE.

DAY11

Drive back to Accra, stopping at points of interest and lunch at BIRIWA BEACH HOTEL[N.I.] . In ACCRA the craft market by the sea offers every kind of Ghanaian craft work while INDEPENDENCE SQUARE  with its vast, usually empty , parade ground, reminds us of Ghana’s temporary flirtation with Soviet Russian influence in the 1950s and early 60s.  Elsewhere in Accra we visit historic Jamestown and  Makola Market.  In the early evening we repair to a 5* hotel very near the airport, to cool off in the pool, take a shower and hang out in the coffee bar where drinks and light meals are available.[N.I.]  Flight to London overnight.

[N.I.  = not included]






11 DAY TOUR ITINERARY

GHANA TOURS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HIDEOUT LODGE

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