Accra

Road Trippin’ from Lagos to Ghana – II

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Our second stop on our Lagos – Ghana road trip was Accra, Ghana. Our first stop during this tour was Grand Popo in Benin Republic and we had such an amazing time. I wrote all about it here.

grand popo beach

After spending two days at our hotel in Benin, it was time to check out. We tried to pay with our cards, all six of them. None worked. You’d think I’d have learned never to travel with only a Naira based card after my experience here but no, I did not.

In our defense though, we did try to get cash in dollars before we travelled but that didn’t work out. We also changed some money at the border earlier but we were still short. After a bit of running around, with the hotel staff’s help we were able to sort things out before making our way to the Benin – Togo border at Hillacondji.

Crossing the borders at Hillacondji & Aflao

Lagos Accra road trip

After sorting out our hotel bills, we left to Lome, Togo with the hopes of withdrawing from an ATM in the city. A hotel staff told us that some other Nigerians they had hosted had the same issue but were able to get money in Togo. To cut the long story short, we weren’t able to do so and by the time we got to Aflao border, we were completely stranded.

We were asked for about 2,000cefa on the Benin and Togo side for my sister’s first crossing (I crossed for free). Two people we met there (one Ghanaian and the other Togolese) covered this cost for us. When we got Aflao border, we were asked for 3,000 cefa each.

At that point, I broke down out of frustration and that did the trick for us. They let us go without paying anything.

Lagos to Accra road trip

Once in Ghana, my friend (MT) jumped in to save us and four hours later, we were in the city of Accra. We spent the next day trying to sort out our cash issues and thanks to friends back home and new ones we made here, we were able to do so.

I love accra

That same evening, MT took us on a mini tour of Accra. We visited the Independence Square, The State House, Accra International Center and a sweet little spot in the city where we could watch waves crashing heavily on boulders. We loved this place so much, we returned the next day. (The show was more spectacular at night though).

We also tried Ghana’s famous Banku and Fish…

banku fish

and attempted to settle an age-long dispute between Ghanaians and Nigerians. Yes, we tried Ghanaian jollof rice and…DUN DUN DUN!!!

Ghana Jollof rice

We loved it! Was it better than Nigerian jollof rice? Let’s just say I’ve had both better & worse in Nigeria. Lol, not about to start a war here.

Anyway, we spent the next few days seeing as much of the city as we could, walking for hours, visiting sites, window shopping and making new friends. We met a few Nigerians touring the city as well…

accra independence square

Kwame Nkrumah Park

We returned to our hotel after dinner and prepared to leave for Cape Coast the next day…

Trip Overview:

Here’s how we got to the Seme border

From the border, we took a shared taxi into Cotonou and dropped off at the last stop. (I think it was Tokpa market but we stopped in a different park)

We took another shared taxi from the park heading towards the Hillacondji border and dropped off at Grand Popo.

From our hotel in Grand Popo, we took a motor taxi to the border and then a shared taxi into Lome. Another motor taxi from the last stop got us to Aflao border, where we took an STC bus into Accra.

The final installment of this series is up next. I’ll break down costs and talk more about what to expect when crossing the borders from Lagos to Ghana afterwards.

Have you been to Accra, Ghana? What are your favorite places to visit?

PS: Here’s a list of all the articles in this series;

Road Tripping from Lagos to Grand Popo

Grand Popo to Accra

Accra to Cape Coast (The Castles & Kakum National Park)

Travel Cost Breakdown

A Review of Services.

22 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to visit Ghana too! This post just gingered me, for real.
    Thank you for sharing! I will also be sharing my experience when I visit.

    Oréoluwa’s blog

    • Hey Ore, you’re welcome and thanks for your comment. Happy to know you’re motivated to visit Ghana. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your visit 🙂

  2. I’m itching to try out this

  3. I went to Ghana in 2015 by air to write an HR exam. It was a wonderful experience leaving Nigeria for the first time. I stayed in a hotel near Makola Market (nice, clean and good service) but I didn’t see as much of the city as I would have loved to so I hope to go again pretty soon.

    I love your pictures 🙂

    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Thanks Fehintola. I heard of this market when we visited but never got around to going there. Accra is a good destination for a first-time visit outside Nigeria. It’s not too different from Lagos which makes settling in and moving around so much easier. I hope you get to visit soon… will be following your adventures on your blog 🙂

  4. Don’t ever leave Nigeria only with a naira based debit card. Carry a few dollars in cash.

  5. I knew since last year in Togo that our Naira card do not work outside Nigeria. I was able to use $100 in Kenya and Joburg via POS sha.

    Border wahala alone can zap the excitement from one. But the experience is always worth it is the end.

    • I was eventually able to use my card for POS transactions in Accra. I wonder why it never worked in Benin Republic. And yep, those borders are the worst. Seme especially!

  6. Took the same trip with my sister in 2015, but our route was a bit different calavi-Ganvie-Ouidah-lome-Accra-capecoast.
    We ran into similar issues at the borders, I see things haven’t changed even after 2 years.
    Our money issue started when we got duped at Aflao border, good thing my sister had a friend in Accra too, who accommodated us and took us sightseeing. Her mum was so nice she cooked for us all through our stay when she heard we were duped. We also ended up saving money by paying citizens fee at tourist sites(all we had to do was smile and nod heads while our Ghanaian friend spoke Twi and show her student ID.
    I might do this again soon and this time, I will change routes to include grand popo.
    As always it was a fun read, keep up the good work.
    Safe travels.

    • Oh man, sorry about getting duped. Glad it ended well and I already love your friend’s mum! Bless her!

      You’re right about the borders, not much has changed in 2 years and from the looks of it, not much will change in the next 2. I hope I’m wrong though. I read posts as far as 5 years ago and it’s basically the same thing. It’s so ridiculous.

      I haven’t been to Calavi, I’ll check it out and will visit next time around. Thanks for reading and commenting, Bukola

  7. jennietobbie

    OMG!! I would have done about-turn after that second episode of unnecessary frustration. What is it with these people? I am looking forward to my “first crossing” and I admire your strong and resilient spirit.!!!

    • Haha, thanks! We thought about going back home or back to Grand Popo at least but we didn’t travel so far just to turn back. (aka we didn’t have money to go back!).

      For your first crossing, things will be easier if you travel with one of those standard buses. The fare will be more expensive but they will handle everything on your behalf

  8. Mahn these cards are a nightmare! Was it a visa MasterCard issue or the card just won’t work? Also all these stops are doing my head in! I don’t know how you do it girl! Kudos 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    • I think it was a Nigerian bank policy issue. They keep changing policies overnight, it’s so annoying!

      The stops aren’t so bad, well, except Seme (on both the Nigerian and Benin sides). That is the worst of them all!

  9. It’s so inconvenient that we can’t use our cards abroad anymore. Sorry about the wahala. Thankfully you were able to sort it out and have some fun.

    • Thanks UN. It really is frustrating. Especially when you see the same banks we use in Nigeria in these other countries.

  10. Hello. Have you ever thought about organizing a group travel?

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