Accra, Ghana

Photo: Muntaka Chasant / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

It’s time to branch out. You’ve made a couple of trips to West Africa and enjoyed the region more and more with each visit. You keep going to the same cities, including Dakar and Lagos, though. Accra should be next on your list.

Accra is the capital of Ghana. The country, whose name means “Warrior King,” was the first in Africa to declare independence from its European colonizers in 1957. Unlike some of its neighbors, Ghana found peace and stability in its sovereignty. It’s now one of the most developed, thriving, and welcoming countries on the continent. Unspoiled beaches along the Gulf of Guinea are a huge draw, as well. It’s surprising you haven’t been there yet.

The Ga people first arrived on the Gulf of Guinea in the 17th century. Europeans, who built forts along the coast, followed. First, the Dutch, the British, and the Swedes. Then the Portuguese, the French, and the Danes. They all tried to assert their control over the slave trade. Many of their forts are now museums. The solemn sites are a constant reminder of Accra’s troubled history. But the city doesn’t live in the past. Its colonial architecture is now mixed with modern skyscrapers. Its international airport is now a major hub. Its new neighborhoods are artsy. Its nightlife revolves around music and dancing. While its playtime is focused on those beaches.

Photo: Legacy Hotels

Labadi is Accra’s main beach. Anything goes on the long stretch of sand. In the morning, it’s used for workouts. Makeshift restaurants and souvenir vendors appear in the afternoon. So does music. There’s always a drum beat and reggae in the air. By sunset, everyone is facing west. It’s always festive on La Pleasure Beach.

You obviously want to stay in this area given the super-chill vibe. Luckily, one of Accra’s best hotels is just steps from the sand. Labadi Beach Hotel is surrounded by coconut trees and tropical gardens. Two pools—one lined for laps—sit among them. Modern rooms feature dark-wood furniture and contemporary artwork. Ghanian specialties are served at the Akwaaba Restaurant. Three bars, including the elegant Terrace Bar, mix cocktails. There’s even a small spa with a hydropool and a sauna. It’s exactly what you’ll need after an exciting day on the beach.

One thought on “Accra, Ghana

  1. So much to learn about Accra. Wow! I’ve got two friends schooling there all the way from Lagos and they usually return with awesome tales.
    I’ll consider visiting sometime in the future…

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