It takes a lot of energy, commitment and time to pull out a net full of fish caught during a fish hunt on the high sea’s by local fisherfolk’s in Ghana. This is one of the indigenous occupations that involves a lot of dedicated team work. A team of highly skilled people( mostly men) goes fishing on the high sea at night and return at dawn with a high or low catch depending on the season of the year. They use their traditional fishing boats to bring their catch to a point where they call everyone one of the village to assist pull the catch in a net with a long rope to the shore where women of the village later buy them to sell either smoked or fresh at a nearby market. According to these local fisherfolk’s, it sometimes takes almost half a day to be able to draw the net full of fish caught from a point in the sea to the shore. I joined one of their pulls one morning to experience how it feels and it was not easy at all but i love their communal team work and songs.
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Harmattan (dry season) also known as northeast trade wind is a climatic condition that Ghana among other West African countries experience. It is usually cold, windy with dust and humid. In Ghana, Harmattan starts from late November to mid March every year. The effect of Harmattan on people includes skin dryness, dry and itchy throat, cough and cold related ailments. During this period a lot of trees shed off their leaves and most water bodies also dries up. Animals in the ecosystem have to travel longer distances to search for food and water. However, this season is considered to be best for game viewing at any of Ghana’s wildlife reserves especially Mole National Park.
The image shown is a rooster designed coffin purposely built to bury a deceased who was a poultry farmer while alive. These kinds of coffin designs were traditionally common among the Ga-Dangme ethnic group of Ghana but are now a popular tradition across Ghana. The deceased is buried in an aesthetic coffin designed to suit his or her profession, interest or hobby while alive. It is a unique way of honoring the deceased by some families here in Ghana.
Commercial vans popularly known as ”TroTro”, are a cheap way of commuting and most of the locals preferred means of transportation in Ghana. They are common to find on the roads in Accra and other big towns. Traditionally, a four seater minivan like Toyota Hiace carries three people on a seat at ago whereas a five seater big van like Mercedes Benz sprinter carries four people on a seat at ago. Sometimes, many trotro overload passengers making sitting too tight and uncomfortable. You will mostly catch a trotro by standing beside a road to a direction where you are heading. You will then either see the driver’s mate making a hand sign or hear them shouting loudly, names of the location they are heading. Trotro’s are usually operated by two people thus a driver and his assistant popularly called “mate”. The driver is always the boss and mostly know the routes in which they commute. The “mate” on the other hand calls for passengers and also act as financial managers during time of work because they take the fares from passengers and gives back changes where needed. Catching a trotro at certain times of the day can be a headache due to the high demand. For instance it get busy in the morning around the hours of 6:00 am to 10:00 am and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the evenings at certain commercial areas. Boarding a trotro can be dramatic sometimes, from some passengers not adjusting themselves well on the seats for enough space for other passenger’s to mates cum passengers arguments on prices of fares. Also you may see a preacher men or women and even hawkers in, especially ones that travel long distances. It can sometimes be interesting especially when topics of national agenda arises. Do catch a trotro just for a new experience next time you are in Ghana.
A taste of any of our local brewed beverages is as refreshing as the morning dew of our tropical forest. Some of these traditional or home-made beverages (both alcoholic and non alcoholic) brewed in Ghana includes but not limited to Asaana, Lamugee, Pito, Torsie, Sobolo and Palm Wine. Pito is mostly popular in the northern parts of Ghana and it is brewed from millet or sorghum into a fine smooth beer. It sometimes become strong (alcoholic) when left to ferment for a long period during brewing. Also, Palm Wine which is popular in the southern parts of Ghana is brewed by tapping the palm tree whereas further distillation process can be applied to produce a natural spirit (raw alcohol) called Akpeteshi. Our local beverages used to be served in a clean healthy calabash from the gourd tree but are currently being served in a plastic disposal cups due to the massive introduction of plastic bag usage in the country recently. Interestingly, our local drinks have some of the best taste in the world.
Ghana is a country where almost every transaction is done using cash. This means that paying for essential consumables like bottle water from the streets to settling an expensive hotel bills requires cash. Whereas the west is familiar with card payments, it is very rare in Ghana. However, It is only on limited occasions where you will find some big hotels, restaurants and malls accepting card payments. This events only happens at some few hotspots in Accra and other big towns like Kumasi, Cape Coast and Takoradi. Having cash, preferably smaller denominations on you during your holidays in Ghana will ease any headache of “we are sorry, we don’t accept card here”. Contrary, there is an electronic method of payment known as “Mobile Money” which is widely popularizing the country. A lot of businesses are now accepting payments from this platforms. They are operated by the mobile telecommunication networks and can be linked to ones bank account locally. One best way to use this method of payment is to get a local sim to use or have one of those trusted money transfer platforms that you are familiar with and can send money direct to a mobile money account here in Ghana. Ghana is not a country where tipping is mandatory but giving something appreciable to your service attendant for an excellent service offered may bring joy to someone.
There are variety of breakfast meals to lay hands on in Ghana. The commonest to find at almost every corner of the street are waakye (mixed rice and beans cooked with sorghum leaves to give it reddish brown color) eating with shito (hot black pepper), spaghetti, gari and other sides of ones choice. Hausa Koko (fermented millet dough and natural spice cooked in a liquid-ish style) eating with either koose (blended mixture of pre soaked beans, onions, chili pepper and other spice fried in oil), bofrot (puf puf) or white bread with other sides like roasted groundnut (pea nut), milk, sugar or honey. Of-course you find other breakfast meals like egg and toast with tea, oatmeal, tom brown, rice water (broken rices cooked in liquid-ish style) and many more. Since breakfast is considered an important meal of the day, don’t forget to try either of the above traditional dishes and give your comments.
Taxis are very common everywhere in Ghana especially in the cities and big towns. A lot of these taxis offers drop off services meaning you will privately charter to your destination at a fee sometimes negotiable. There are others that offer shared services, where a required number of four passengers (one at the front seat and three at the back seat) are on-board at a time usually running from one destination to another or vice versa. However, there are some locations in Ghana where passengers on-board maybe six or more (two at front seat and the rest at back seat) at a time due to scarcity of commercial vehicles. Also, there are instances where you may find children siting on the laps of their parents or wards purposely to minimize cost. Most of the cars used as taxis in Ghana do not have a working air condition unless they are newly registered (even not all times). Taxis feels a little comfortable compared to trotro’s especially when you charter them privately and you do not have to share with other passengers. Taxis in Ghana have yellow painted colors at all four corners above the tires with a cap boldly written TAXI on top. Their vehicle registration number plates are also yellow colored. Some taxi drivers can be polite whiles others can be rude without paying much attention to passengers needs. Additionally, if you want to charter a taxi for a drop off please ask of the price of the fare before you hop in the car. This is to makes sure the driver’s offered price is fair and reasonable enough to go with your budget and if it does not, do bargain to settle at a price fair to you. If the driver do not agree upon further negotiation please let them go and look for another taxi that come with a reasonable price. Do share you experience next time you use a taxi in Ghana.