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
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.
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.
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…
and attempted to settle an age-long dispute between Ghanaians and Nigerians. Yes, we tried Ghanaian jollof rice and…DUN DUN DUN!!!
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…
We returned to our hotel after dinner and prepared to leave for Cape Coast the next day…
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;
Accra to Cape Coast (The Castles & Kakum National Park)