When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone? Have you ever been both scared and excited?
I put out a post about my intentions for 2018, which included touring more African countries. Well, have you heard the saying “be careful of what you wish for because you might just get it”? I got the opportunity to finally visit Lagos (aka Lasgidi) last month. Sis, they weren’t joking about the energy, traffic and crazy driving. The drive and tenacity of Lagosians is unmatched, it’s a love/hate relationship. Although I couldn’t wait to get back home, i will definitely love to go back. Here are a few places or activities I’d recommend if you’re planning to visit.
1. New Afrika Shrine – If you’re familiar with Fela Kuti, his work or his story then you’ve probably heard of the famous “Shrine”. Most weekends feature live band performances and if you’re lucky a special performance from the legendary Femi Kuti, saxophonist and son of the late Fela Kuti. When you go, ask for the bottled palm wine and peppered goat meat and enjoy an amazing musical experience.
Cost :N 1500 – N 5000
2. Gidifest – Tasty food, cocktails and amazing performances by your favorite Naija artists on the beach? Sign me up please!
Cost : N 10,000 – N 15,000
3. Lekki Conservation Center – This is home to the longest canopy walk in Africa and 2nd in the world. If you’re a nature lover and/ or an adrenaline junkie, this place is a must go. Apart from that, the park consists of a walk through nature, animal sight seeing, a 70 feet treehouse (which I climbed) and a family picnic area with floor games.
Cost: N 2000 – N 3000
4. Orchid Bistro – Some days call for a visit to a cafe to catch up on work while having a glass of wine. This location is the perfect place to feel serene and concentrate. Luckily, they have locations on both the mainland and the island, they’ve got you.
Cost: N 2000 – N 3000
5. The Place – This is your one stop restaurant for traditional Nigerian dishes, located hey’re located all over Lagos. Allow your taste buds to get adventurous too!
Cost: N 700 – N 1500
Eye Opener: It never occurred to me how deeply I loved my country until I was in Lagos. Not to say I didn’t enjoy my stay but I had a new found appreciation for Ghana. I’m more than motivated now to leave it in a better condition for the next generation to also be proud of.
Are you looking for a Safari experience in Ghana? You’re at the right place!
Northern Ghana is full of amazing tourist attractions that are just waiting for you to explore. Even though the heat can get unbearable sometimes, the air is dry which doesn’t make you sweat. Don’t let that stop you from seeing the beautiful cultures and wild life that awaits you. I’ve specifically tailored a 3 day itinerary just for you, no excuses now! What are you waiting for?
Day One: Tamale, Northern Region
I’ve found that markets have a way of showing a certain aspect of culture you’ll never find anywhere else. Tamale Central Market should definitely be on your to-do list when in Tamale, especially if you’re looking to score some good Shea butter. Make sure you eat breakfast and carry a bottle of water with you, we don’t want you fainting in the heat.
National Culture Center
Ride a yellow yellow or Tuktuk to one of the local restaurants and try Tuo zafi and dried okro soup with salmon for lunch. Next, visit the National Culture Center. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the traditional dancers practicing their routine. Finally, the Chief’s Palace which is a beautiful structure having the traditional architecture design built with modern materials.
Day 2 : Bolga, Upper East Bolgatanga
Basket Market & Art Village
There are buses available at the Tamale market to Bolgatanga. The drive is 2 HRs but depending on how frequent your bus stops, it might be more or less. On the way, you’ll see the Tongo mountains which also serves as a shrine which you should definitely check it out if you are using a private car. When you arrive at Bolgatanga, your first visit should be to the basket market where you’ll find variety of designs and also witness how they’re made. The Bolga Art Village is home to different ranges of traditional arts and crafts known to the area.
Paga Crocodile Pond
Now it’s time to see the crocodiles!Paga Crocodile Pond is a 45 mins drive from Bolga. Be aware of the time you leave Bolga for Paga because you’d want to get back to Bolga then Tamale before it gets too dark.
Day 3: Damongo, Northern Region
Larabanga Mosque & Mole National Park
Damongo is home to the Mole National Park and the ancient mosque of Larabanga. The township itself is about 2 HRs 30mins from Tamale. The town Larabanga, where the mosque is located, is on the way to the Park. A tour guide will take you round while giving you a brief history of the oldest mosque in Ghana. The Mole National Park which is home to wild life was built around a settlement. It’s common to see some animals like the bush pigs and baboons around the town even the elephants come and visit sometimes.
Eye opener: Littering is (becoming) a big problem in Ghana. Throughout my trip, I kept seeing a lot of plastic waste as a result of travelers throwing them (plastic waste)out the moving cars. It then occurred to me that in a few years, we will not have these beauties of nature to admire if we ignore littering. In your own way practice keeping Ghana clean, if not for you, for the next generation.
Is 2018 the year you hope to travel more? Are you ready to explore but don’t know how? Then climb aboard this solocation train and lets explore together!
2/3 years ago, a group of friends and I went to a village called Gbulinyore (apologies for the name butchering) near Tamale, Northern Region for a week doing volunteer work. Since then, I’ve always wanted to go back with the intent to explore and learn more about my other culture (my mother is from Damongo). So this year, I packed my bags and damn well did it! I’d say this has been one of the biggest learning experiences for me and I’ll love for you to get that feeling too with these 3 steps!
First things first! You have to figure out was why you are going, how long you plan on staying and what you expect from the trip. Something like a mission and vision, I know it sounds ridiculous and funny. This step is very important because it guides the activities you’ll be engaging in and basically sets a trend for your travel experiences. (The budget presented may not be the same for you, because this is tailored to the items that applied to me)
For this, you need a laptop, some good internet and a cup of tea/glass of wine because it’s now time for some research into activities and places to visit. You have to research and list the places you’d like to visit then based on the distances apart or from where you’ll be staying, you schedule them for the days. If you’re lucky to know someone who’s been to where you’re planning to go, then you need to verify this step by them, it’s a huge help. Let me warn you before hand, this was the least fun part for me at least! It took me aprox 10-20 HRs to get this done. That might also be because I like cross checking a billion times before I’m sure but hey, assurance is good and helps me sleep at night. The next thing you have to do is draw up a budget based on your list of activities, transportation (in, around and out), accommodation, food , might be simplifying it but it requires details.
Now hold on, hold on! I know you’re excited to just go but one thing I’ve learnt is choosing and packing clothes that are appropriate for where you’re going and the activities you’d want to engage in. Read about the temperature and the general culture of the place when it comes to clothes. Make sure you list every item you’ll need and crosscheck them when packing. And don’t leave the packing till the next morning, I’d suggest a day or two before you’re set to leave. Finally, prepare thyself for the road ahead lol, get some snacks etc, be wise!
Challenges turned Lessons
1. Self -reliance: Nobody else wants it as bad as you do so don’t rely on someone else to make it happen. Planned to go with a cousin and got disappointed last minute but I’m grateful for that because I wouldn’t have been open to strangers make the connections I did (language barriers couldn’t stop me!)
2. Determination : You want it, go get it! The morning of the trip, I got to the bus station only to realize that wasn’t the right one. By that time bus had already left, went back home and got the later ticket which I almost didn’t go for (that meant traveling throughout the night which ended up not being so bad after all!)