Surviving the Sun in Accra

My Adventures Living & Working Abroad in Ghana

The Price of Power…

…a price arguably worth paying at almost any cost – There is nothing quite like experiencing your first ‘real’ blackout. Mine happened last Saturday morning… at 4:30am, when we were frantically trying to pack and shower to catch a bus out of town.


Naively, we assumed that we were prepared for a blackout and were generally surprised we hadn’t experienced one yet, but knew that if it came we would be ready. Of course the moment that it happens however, you find yourself somehow surprised that you don’t have batteries in your LED headlamp, and you don’t know where they are so you spend the next 30 minutes cursing under your breath in the dark stumbling through luggage in hopes of finding those two measly AAA batteries.


In the end it was fine; we survived our first blackout and left the house half presentable after dressing in the dark. An hour behind schedule, we eventually made it to the STC bus station (state transit bus system) and purchased tickets to Cape Coast. After futile attempts in the last two weeks to visit the Gold Coast, we were finally going to make it and couldn’t be happier.


The drive was only three hours (to the West), and went by quite quickly. After checking in at an amazing little resort on the Atlantic Ocean, we headed to Kakuum National Park where we went on a canopy walk (an eco-tourism destination created by Canadians). The walk was amazing and none of us were bothered by the 50+ metre heights along the canopy of the semi-deciduous tropical rain forest. We weren’t fortunate enough to see a great amount of wildlife, but we did see a few truly beautiful butterflies along with a few tropical birds.


Next on the list of to-dos was touching a crocodile at a local crocodile lagoon… so we did (and I was definitely the most petrified). Nothing says safety quite like a woman holding a bowl full of raw meat and a thin poking stick!


The majority of the rest of the trip was spent visiting the two largest slave castles in West Africa (Elimer Castle and Cape Coast Castle). Both were created by colonial powers centuries ago and the European architecture was stunning. Walking through the slave chambers and condemned cells was horrific. We found it hard to spend two minutes in them with the high humidity, temperatures and lack of ventilation. It is incredible anyone survived up to six weeks in such awful conditions before being put onto ships which were typically just as bad if not worse. The tour guides that we had for both castles were excellent and I felt as though I learnt a great deal about the history of colonialism and the slave trade across West Africa. It was definitely worth the trip and although it was disturbing to stand there casually as a tourist, I’m glad I was able to experience it as it has played a huge part in the history of Africa. Recently I have been researching more into child slavery, which today still remains an unrelenting problem in Ghana especially in farming and fishing practices (ex: cocoa production).


On our last day at Cape Coast, we woke up to the waves and ate breakfast beside the ocean. It couldn’t have been a better finish to a great weekend away from Accra. The rest of my week is dedicated to laundry and hopefully Saturday morning we’ll be leaving for Mole National Park (located in the far north). I can’t wait to see some animals on a safari, but I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the 12 hour drive on washed-out dirt roads. I guess it’s true what they say – everything in Africa is an adventure – especially driving on the roads! 🙂




  Amanda wrote @

Wow, that sounds like quite the weekend away. The way that you describe how it felt to be in the slave castle reminds me of my feelings in when we went to see a German concentration camp. It’s sick what people have done to one another over the course of history. Cape Coast sounds amazing!

  Jeneane wrote @

I really enjoy reading your blogs, and it’s great to hear that you’re enjoying yourself!

  Kim Starchuk wrote @

Hey Kelse!!
Your blog is amazing, thanks for the exciting updates! I haven’t talked to you in a while, but it seems as though things are great. What a terrific experience this is for you!! Be safe and have fun!

  Carly wrote @

You touched a crocodile!!! 🙂

  Linda Munro wrote @

Gram Case sent me your blog! Amazing! From where has this generation got the wanderlust ? This will be an awesome experience, the good and the bad. Enjoy! Aunt Linda

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