Ghana

02.02.2014-27.02.2014

Distance driven: 1106km

Days spent: 24

Distance driven/day: 46,08km

Diesel price: 0,72€/l

Money spent: 1214€

Costs/day: 50,50€

Costs/km: 1,10€

Visa:

We aquired our visas in Freetown (Sierra Leone). The embassy of Ghana (N8 28.283 W13 16.130) has recently moved from the city centre up the hill and is easiest reached by taking a poda poda up to Wilberforce Roundabout. The usually only issue visas to residents so it took us a couple of hours of explaining and waiting until our application was accepted. Having the Nigeria visa already in our passports helped as it proved our intentions to travel to South Africa. It took 6 days to process our applications as everything had to go through Accra and had to be done perfectly. Even the smallest mistakes on the application form needed to be fixed with correction fluid and rewritten.

You get one form from the embassy and need to copy it three times. The four identically filled out forms together with another form provided by the embassy and 4 passport photos should do the trick.

We paid 100US$ (no notes smaller than 50US$ accepted) for a 1 month single entry visa with entry within 1 month.

 

We were first convinced that we would not get the visa for Ghana en route anymore. Luckily we had success in Freetown and could enjoy this easy-going country. Our first impression was not the very best with grumpy locals and corrupt roadblocks but very soon we discovered that Ghanaians are very open, chatty and funny people. Even the street hawkers and souvenir salesmen were lovely. The beaches and sleepy small villages west of Accra are very inviting and we spent a great deal of time at several of them. Accra is a modern and generally very clean city with terrible traffic during the afternoon rush hour. We especially liked the Volta region where the Wli Falls are located with its green surroundings and little humidity.

The police was more corrupt than in neighbouring countries but nothing too bad.

 

The border crossing east of Grand Bassam was easy and cheerful on both sides and we did not have to pay any fees. Make sure you stop buy in the duty free shop on the Ghanaian side to stock up on imported spirits at extremely cheap prices (1l Bombay Gin – 9,50€, 1l Scotch 12 years old – 12€, 1l Absolut Vodka – 9,50€)! J

 

Benin visa:

The embassy (N5 37.005 W0 11.195) is a bit hidden but still in the main area of diplomatic representations. A 14 day single entry visa costs 40Cedi (11,60€) and a one month multiple entry visa 80Cedi (23,20€). They tried to extract an extra fee for same day processing but gave up quickly so we could pick up our passports at 14:00. We had to fill out two times the same form and provide 2 passport photos.

 

Togo visa:

The embassy (N5 34.559 W0 10.698) is located away from other diplomatic representations but easily reached via the Ring Road. A one month single entry visa costs 35.000CFA (53,30€) and we were told that it is not possible to pay in another currency. We arrived late in the afternoon and bargained hard to pay an extra 10Cedi/person (2,90€) to get the visas issued immediately. Two identical forms had to be filled out and 2 passports photos handed over.

 

Angola visa:

The embassy (N5 36.736 W0 11.219) is located in the main area of diplomatic representations but not signposted. The staffs were friendly and professional but also strict on requirements to obtain a visa. Applications are only accepted on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00-12:00 and visas can be picked up on Fridays. You actually keep your passport until Thursday when you have to come in to register fingerprints and pay the visa fee and thereby finish your application. The following is needed to obtain a one month single entry tourist visa:

 

3 passport photos with white (!) background

Filled out form provided by embassy

Passport copy

International driver license copy

Vehicle paper copy

Yellow fever certificate copy

Bank statement or copy of credit card (front suffices)

Letter of introduction explaining your situation and listing all the countries you will travel through

Itinerary describing your date of entry into Angola and places/sights you want to visit

Equivalent of 160US$ (116,80€) in Cedi (recently changed from US$ to Cedi)

 

Note that we were not allowed to place several copies on the same paper (e.g. driver license and yellow fewer certificate). The visa is valid for 2 months from date of issue which means you have to enter Angola before the expiry date and are then allowed to spend one month in the country. We tried everything to extend these 2 months or let them write down a later date of issue but to no avail. They were also not allowed to issue us with multiple entry visas which not long ago was still possible. On both matters several phone calls from different staff members were made with Luanda without results. As we want to enter into the Angolan enclave Cabinda first and do not want to use up our one month visa they provided us with a stamped and signed letter explaining our situation addressed to the Angolan consulates in Pointe Noire and Matadi. We will update later on the success or failure of us obtaining a transit visa for Cabinda.

 

Recommended Campings (prices for 2 people and a 4×4):

 

Ezile Bay Lodge, Cape Three Points – roughly N4 45.013 W2 04.387

French run eco lodge at a sheltered bay with brilliant food, clean beach and friendly staff

20Cedi/night (5,80€)

 

Hideout Lodge, Butre – roughly N4 49.578 W1 54.779

Majorly chilled out place right at the beach with service minded staff and good food

20Cedi/night (5,80€)

 

Alaska Beach Resort, Busua – N4 48.451 W1 56.234

Located directly in relaxed Busua, close to other restaurants and bars, bit grumpy staff

20Cedi/night (5,80€)

 

Stumble Inn, Elmina – roughly N5 04.655 W1 22.320

Nice eco lodge at the beach, walking distance to Elmina castle, good restaurant

10Cedi/night (2,90€)

 

Big Milly’s Backyard, Kokrobite – N5 29.751 W0 21.942

Famous overlander meeting spot close to Accra, good base for visa businesses, young crowd

22Cedi/night (6,40€)

 

Waterfall Lodge, Wli – N7 06.931 E0 35.324

Lovely German run campsite with friendly owners, green garden, good ablutions and mountain views

18Cedi/night (5,20€)