How To with nearby beaches (and other week-end outings)
WELCOME TO GHANA !
Nice beach and other outings near Accra
West of Accra
East of Accra
Inland and Volta Lake
In Accra, when one thinks “Beach”, Labadi beach comes to mind. You will discover that stretch of sand and sea while going east along the road from Accra to Tema, left from the end of Ring Road after Labone and Osu. Also called La Beach, this is a lively place with a local crowd on week-ends; very large on public holidays. There are several bars and restaurants, people watching, soccer games, horse rides and more. A definite "local" experience. Walking east all the way to that single tall palm tree at the end will take you away from the crowd. This video will give you an idea and fly above with this aerial view.
The entrance is between the Labadi Beach Hotel and La Palm Beach resorts. Fee: GHS 2 on weekdays, GHS 5 on week-ends.
Labadi beach is not the only beach in Accra of course. Indeed, it is interesting to discover the few seaside spots in the city, from the Presidential Castle all the way east till Jamestown and after the Korle Lagoon. Access is not easy though as Accra’s seashore is definitely not “put in value” and is mostly occupied by downgraded dwellings.
Furthermore, the quality of the water is such that swimming is not recommended anywhere, not counting the floating plastic debris. (see the concerned paragraph in this post on the Editor's Blog).
The idea for this page is to help you enjoy nice and clean beaches without driving too far, while getting out of town and away from your daily environment. Here are ideas and details for nice day or two-day trip to the beach and other spots, within an hour and a half drive. After all, especially for Accra and Takoradi residents, Ghana’s main asset is its seashore.
In addition, this Resource page includes a couple of ideas of short trips in Accra’s countryside: lakes, rivers, hills, bush and even flights in light aircrafts!
Please note that Ghanaians generally reach public beaches after lunch, especially on Sunday, so those looking for peace are advised to arrive in the morning.
WEST OF ACCRA
That is the most popular destination close to Accra due to easy access and a well-known hotel called Big Milly’s, popular with young expats and local rastas. Kokrobite is a small fishing village located on a long stretch of beach. It is also known for its Academy of African Music and Arts (visit www.african-music-dance.com).
There is a nice long beach on the left before reaching the village with a couple of basic beach clubs and bars/restaurants and quieter stretches further west. Kusum is one of them and has been noted for good service. A small entrance fee is usually requested.
Notes: the beach in the village is not wide at all, there has been successive confirmed reports of bad service at Big Milly's and security incidents on the beach there. Still, a short stroll on the beach, in a group only and eventually a drink, can make up a good discovery of the area.
Sankofa Beach Resort is the place we like, west of the village, run by Masao, an American Member of our website. Set in a quiet area along a long beach. it offers a few rooms and a good restaurant on beautiful large grounds that are perfect for family/group week-end or day outings or simply for relaxation. Sankofa Beach House is where we hold accraexpat.com bi-annual Day at the Beach since 2012.
Should you wish to stay within Kokrobite village, Kokrobite Garden is a casual nice place: close to the ocean and set in welcoming grounds, it offers a few affordable rooms and one extra large one for four. Its restaurant may well be the only decent place for meals in the village, with good pizzas, pastas and salads. Contact Franco from Italy or Caye from Spain at 0546 392 850.
Bojo Beach is a long and beautiful white sandbar on the ocean separated from the mainland by a waterway. A well-known destination close to Accra, this beach has been developed commercially with various facilities (incl. a hotel and a restaurant) but luckily, those are on the mainland side, away from the sandbar which remains natural but ca also be busy and noisy. A boat will ferry you to it and back. Entrance fees apply. Tel: 0242 325 169 / 0302 912 946. See the website and Facebook page.
Directions: same than for Kokrobite below. Once you have left the main Cape Coast road, drive straight for about 5mn till the next Bojo Beach signboard and junction on your left.
Directions to Kokrobite:
Drive west of Accra on the Cape Coast road. The junction to turn left towards the ocean is 19km from Danquah Circle, 12.5km from Nkrumah Circle only and 6 from Mallam junction (where the Tema highway joints the Cape Coast road) but the time it takes to get there will vary depending of the timing of the trip. Watch for the Bojo Beach signboard at the junction on your left called Old barrier (with a traffic light).
Carless people can take a trotro at Nkrumah Circle, get off at the main junction and contnue with a shared or drop-in taxi. Considering the short distance from Accra, a drop-in taxi can be hired.
Tills Beach at Gomoa Fetteh
The junction to Tillls beach is about 30mn further west on the Cape Coast road, past Kasoa (look for the White Sands and Tills signboards). The main difference with the Kokrobite area is the real natural environment that you will start enjoying during the longer drive from the junction. As much as the road to Kokrobite is just a plain road with buildings on both sides, the 15km of road to Tills beach is in pure nature.
Two options are available once you reach the sea at Gomoa-Fetteh, where expat kite-flyers like to spend the day:
- Till’s No1 Hotel. This local beach resort is located at the beginning of the beach and is patronized by foreign day-trippers each week-end. It offers a secured parking, a restaurant, a bar on the beach and lounge chairs. The resort is not in good condition but it is the only place on the beach with services. Parents are strongly advised to keep an eye on children at all times.
- the beach alone: driving past the entrance to Till’s No1 Hotel, the fairly bad road continues down along the beach with several access points (most are private and you will beprobably asked GHS 5.00 per person, negotiable at GHS 5.00 by car). This is ideal for those who wish to feel alone, be away from any buildings and enjoy a natural beach and sea. Taking a drive further on that road will take you deeper in nature.
There is also a high-end private resort just east of the village on the hill called White Sands. Day-use for non-Members is Monday to Saturday only is GHS 80.
Further east is the German-owned and run Blue Diamond Beach Resort, a few kilometers past Winneba junction. The beach is beautiful.
For those wishing to wander further west in the Elmina/Cape Coast area, here is a list of hotels. Be aware that this is a longer drive from Accra and the round-trip should not be done in a single day.
EAST OF ACCRA
Between Accra and Tema
There are several beaches between Accra and Tema but none are especially attractive. Only Prampran, east of Tema, could eventually be worth a trip (take the road to Togo at the Tema roundabout and turn right at the Prampram sign).
Ada Foah is, we would say, “the best of all”, about 120km from Accra, where the Volta River meets the ocean. May be not the best beach in itself but a unique combination of ocean, river and more.
The area is just past the town. When arriving, you will see the sea on your right and the river on your left. See this aerial video.
We advise to walk the long beach ocean side all the way to the end and then turn left along the river to one of the two small resorts where you can have lunch, relax and negotiate a boat to return to the village or for a ride on the river and/or stay overnight in a basic hut. Swimming on the seaside is great but somehow rough and on the river side best avoided.
Ada Foah is home to the Ghana Sailing Club, run by a committee of expatriates since the 1960's. The lagoon is a great sailing spot and anyone who likes to sail should get a catamaran (import or buy from a departing Club Member) and join the Club.
Learn more on Ada Foah on Ezime website, on the website of the Ghana Sailing Club and on Ada Tourism.
Should you wish to spend the night, here are some options:
- Tsarley Korpey, very near the Ghana Sailing Club. Rooms start at about US$110/night. Tel: 0207 898 660,
- Brightest Spot Hotel. AC equipped rooms start at GHS 40 per night. Call Gloria at 0244 065 760,
- Ezime Guest House. A colonial building with nice interiors and five double rooms, owned by a German couple. AC equipped double rooms at GHS 105 single and 120 double per night, including breakfast. Contact Festus Kayang at 0246 470 083 or 0209 631 600. We recommend this hotel.
2015 news: Ezime has opened a Pizzeria & Restaurant on-site.
- Aqua Safari Resort on the river
- Maranantha Beach Club. Basic accommodation at GHS 20+ per night. Call +233 (0)243528248 / +233 (0)302944676
email@example.com - ask for Papa or Winfred.
- you can book other beach huts with Theo at 0243 808 357.
Take the highway to Tema and then the main road east of Accra towards Togo till you reach Ada and turn right to reach Ada Foah. Carless people can take a trotro at the Tudu station downtown across from GT Bank. Ask if there are any direct trotro. Otherwise, take one to Ada (note that on Sundays, the trotro may take 45mins to fill up so you may want to take a trotro to Aflao at the Togo border and leave faster). Get off at Ada and take a drop-in or shared taxi to Ada Foah.
For those who don't mind the extra distance past Ada on the main road, the Keta area is further east. It is a nice remote seaside spot which is very natural and has a few places of interest, including an amazing 24,000 sq.km lagoon with abundant birdlife.
See Keta Adventures for more information and details as well as to discover all the possible activities for adults and kids together. Keta Adventures is managed by an interior designer based in Accra who is in love with the area. Call Selassie at 0204 856 622.
A pleasant place to stay is Aborigines Beach Resort.
In Nov. 2013, we organized a stay there for the German band playing at our Oktoberfest Accra event and they were delighted.
Discover as well A & Y, Antonella Sinopoli guest-house in Aflasco within the Keta area. Contact: 0241 624 717 or 0541 574 954.
To reach Keta, take the road on the right (Dabala junction) about 15mn after the bridge over the Volta river at Sogakope and enjoy the beautiful ride to Keta. The road goes towards the sea and then east to Keta. It takes about 45mn from Sogakope to Keta.
An option is to turn west when reaching the sea and stop at the nice Meet Me There African Home Lodge (linked to the Dream Big Ghana NGO). Continuing will take you to Anyanui on the estuary of the Volta River where you can take a boat ride to Ada Foe (average price of GHS 5.00). The Keta Adventures office there can facilitate and they also rent bicycles and kayaks.
Health and safety advisory
Keep in mind that rains during the May-October rainy season push all kinds of sewage from gutters into the sea, across the whole Ghana coastline. Currents are also stronger than normal during that period.
WISH TO GET OUT OF ACCRA BUT NOT TO A BEACH?
Just north of Accra is Rufus Green Parks: a beautiful complex of parks, trees and lawns with a restaurant on the east side of the Dodowa Road, just after the junction to Aburi. See map and details on the website. Aburi, about 25km north of Accra, is the closest to the city where one can find a change of scenery. Perched on hills, the drive up to Aburi is really different, views are nice and riding the road further north for a while is a nice drive for an escapade close to home. One can visit Aburi's Botanical Gardens.
Shai Hills and Stone Lodge
North of Tema on the road to Akosombo and the Volta lake, is the Shai Hills reserve, and just north of it is Stone Lodge, a sprawling nature resort.
The drive along Shai Hills reserve is nice and a visit there would be a good addition to your day at Stone Lodge. Shai Hills is the closest national park to Accra and is made of dry savannah and rocky hills with three caves which can be visited. Widlife is mainly birds and monkeys.
You can walk or drive around and even cycle with you own bike. It is also possible to camp or we heard that there are a few guest bungalows. It is wporth taking a guide for directions and information. Christopher is recommended.
The entrance gate and office is on your right coming from Tema. Entrance fee: GHS 30 per head; guide: GHS 80; vehicle: GHS 7 (as of summer 2014).
Stone Lodge offers a restaurant, a large field as a playground (with a volley-ball court) and a very nice swimming pool area with a bar (nice for lunch). A nice walk or MTB ride can be done in the surroundings bush. See aerial views of the area.
The fee for using the swimming-pool is GHS 15.00 per person. Note that Stone Lodge offers conference facilities (two rooms – 40-seater and 20-seater). Tel: 0246 149 057 - 0208 292 311 - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com - Visit Stone Lodge website.
Directions: coming from the interchange at Accra Mall, drive to Tema till the end of the Accra-Tema highway, turn north at the roundabout on the road to Akosombo, pass the first and second entrance to Shai Hills and then turn right on the next paved road; Stone Lodge is a few kilometers on your left and all-together 66km from Accra. Again, travel time will vary depending on traffic out of Accra and Tema.
Fly over Ghana and open your eyes… The beauty of flight is just a short drive away…
North of Shai Hills, just 30km south of Akosombo, Kpong Airfield is home to WAASPS, a flight training and aircraft engineering base.
WAASPS offers Air Experience flights. A flight in a light aircraft will not only give you a better view of Ghana, it may also open your eyes to the achievements of some determined Ghanaians… and also to the challenges of living in the parts of Ghana you simply cannot get to by road, and how some of those challenges are addressed, in a sustainable partnership.
Visit WAASPS for a Trial/Air Experience Flights, starting from $150 (rate may change), and you will find out that Kpong Airfield, Ghana’s leading General Aviation Airfield, represents what can be achieved with determination and dedication, complete with a great deal of discipline and training – and when you take to the skies, your view will change forever…
Find out more at WAASPS and Medicine on the Move, their affiliated NGO, and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book your flight. Discover the parts of Ghana that others cannot reach. Visit Kpong Airfield even if you don’t intend to fly.
Dodi Princess Cruise on Volta lake
MAY 12 NOTE: the M.V. Dodi Princess has been destroyed by a fire. We hear that a new boat will be launched.
DEC 13 NOTE: management has informed us that the new M.V. Dodi Princess is expected to be completed in 2014.
MARCH 15 NOTE: We have been informed that the Dodi Pricess Cruise will be in service later this year.
The M.V. Dodi Princess is a ferry docked just north of Akosombo, the city where the dam of Volta Lake is located. On every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday, the Dodi Princess Cruise departs at 10.30am to Dodi island and comes back around 4.30pm. The views during the cruise are beautiful as the lake is quite narrow and the shores curving. It really is a nice and easy outing and fun to do as a group, like the US Embassy did in 2011.
Read an account on that cruise in accraexpat.com Editor’s Blog and visit Dodi Princess website
Rates were GHS 45.00 adults and GHs 35.00 children in 2012. The rate for children is below 12 years of age. The price includes the cruise, a BBQ lunch, a drink and a live band.
For further information, contact: tel: +233 2896 71313 / +233 (03430) 20731 / +233 (03430) 20746. Email: email@example.com
Cruise Volta Lake on the brand new Ohemaa LXI yacht
The Ohemaa LXI is a modern yacht that was refurbished in 2010 which can accommodate up to 20 guests; for a group of friends or business day outings on the lake. Contact: +233 24 081 8185 - 0266 308 853 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you go to Volta Lake on a Saturday, you should extend the trip by remaining in Akosombo for the evening and night. We suggest:
- Afrikiko River Front Resort right on the lake, off the road to the dock,
- the « high-end » Volta Hotel in town, owner of Dodi Princess,
- Adi Lake Resort at around GHS 100 for a standard room,
- the affordable and simple Adomi Hotel. Tel: 0544 517 570.
On your return, see and enjoy the beautiful Volta River south of the dam next to Kpong by making a stop at Sajuna Beach Club.
If possible, we suggest to do the detour via Koforidua for its renowned bead market, then coming back to Accra via the scenic road atop the hills of Aburi.
Directions: coming from the interchange at Accra Mall, drive to Tema till the end of the Accra-Tema highway, turn north at the roundabout to take the road to Akosombo. Once there, continue straight at the junction to the bridge over the Volta river on your right. Continue through and past Akosombo and pass the dam till you reach the dock. Do not hesitate to ask for directions and do leave Accra about two and a half hours in advance, that is around 8.00am. We advise going on Sundays to avoid traffic out of Accra
North of Akosombo for a least a three-day trip.
Those wishing to take a short vacation out of Accra in a very different environment and who like hills, hikes and greenery should plan a trip to Biakpa.
Past Akosombo, take the road to Hohoe for over two hours. At a junction where the main road turn left, turn right as you see signs to Biakpa Mountain Paradise, the place to stay: enjoy the great views, hike down to the water fall and up to the top of the highest and bare hill across the valley. A great break from Accra. On the return, continue past Biakpa as the good road to Hoe is good - then onto Accra.
Get an idea of how Ghana's eastern hills look like with this video of Wii waterfall, further north near Hoe Hoe.
Note that during the current repairs on the Akosombo bridge, the crossing of the Volta River by ferry is a delaying challenge one must take in consideration.
A note to bird lovers traveling out of Accra: buy "Field Guide to the Birds of Ghana" from the authors of "A Guide to the Birds of West Africa". You can also attend the monthly Bird Walks organized around Accra by Birdlife International (see our Calendar of Events in the "Sports & Outdoor" category).
We hope this Resource page makes you want to get out of Accra in the week-end. Remember that it gets dark at 6pm in Ghana each and every day of the year so do leave as early as possible or better, spend the night at your destination. It is not advised to drive at night anywhere in Africa outside of cities.
For all the above destinations, visiting the website links of the various locations mentioned and doing some extra research of the Internet will give you more information and a better idea of the places. Also read your travel guides (see our Introduction to Tourism) and ask around expatriate circles about everyone's experiences. But no need to choose: visit all these places during your posting!
Lastly, your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated and will help improve this page. Please send them to email@example.com. Thank you.
We wish you great week-ends during your posting in Ghana!