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Ghana is a dynamic country with an abundance of natural beauty and unique scenic panoramas. From high mountain tops, to long winding coast lines and thick, lush forestry, it is fair to say that Ghana has it all.

Most websites or tourist boards you seek for information about the various regions will, however, spare you details of the high expense of accommodation, or the fact that many tourists get overcharged for almost everything and swindling foreigners is quite commonplace.

Getting around can be difficult for newcomers or those who do not know the system well. Most of the information on the internet is either misleading, outdated or entirely wrong, so when you go looking for what you believe you are certain to find, it’s often not what you expect, where you expect, or how much you expect to pay. Being prepared for delays, detours and extra expenses is an absolute must.

Some regions that contain rural villages rather than cities like Kumasi or Accra may not have a direct bus route and so, in certain instances, taking one or even two Tro-Tros is the only way to get there. These journeys can be long and uncomfortable and stops for bathroom breaks or food and drink are rare.

Frequently though, sellers carrying their wares upon their heads will pass by and one can easily purchase their merchandise for reasonable prices, and so dehydration or hunger is generally not going to be an issue for concern. Taking children via these Tro-Tros, however, may present some problems. Those with illnesses or strict travelling requirements may also want to reconsider their options when attempting to reach particular regions.

The beaches around Cape Coast and Elmina are pleasant and fairly quiet, though pollution is obvious and hard to ignore. Many villagers deface the beach in various ways and rubbish or waste is strewn here and there in parts. Swimming may not be an appealing pastime in these areas, for the currents are strong and the ocean is quite dark and murky.

The boats in the harbour are quaint, however, and the fishing community is interesting to observe. Fresh fish is available in abundance and, with some fried yam, can be pretty tasty. The town also retains two ancient castles quite close to each other that demonstrate its rich and deeply tragic history.

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The Volta Region does not have the benefit of a coast and is more a forested area, with thick, luscious greenery and beautiful trees. It also boasts two monkey sanctuaries and the very picturesque Volta Lake, which can be crossed easily by ferry. Certain foods are impossible to find once you reach the rural areas, so within a few days you may be pining for a decent meal, or something other than rice.

The Wli Waterfalls are definitely worth a visit. A guide will bring you for a hike up the mountains, through a thick forest and after two or three hours you reach the falls. They are breathtaking and completely uncontaminated by pollution or any kind of human interference. The mountain is fairly devoid of wildlife, however, so if you were hoping to see anything larger than a butterfly you may be disappointed.

Locals are always willing to help you find your way or escort you to a particular place for a certain price, but some take advantage of the ignorance of visitors and attempt to overcharge them, or raise the price from the one which was originally agreed upon. It is wise to know exactly where you are going and at least a rough estimation of how much it should cost.

On the whole, Ghana is an intriguing, colourful, scenic country to traverse and, as long as one bears in mind the expense, the pollution, the somewhat difficult journeys and the lack of availability of much variety in diet, then it is well worth exploration.

Source: Deirdre Bashorum || The Chronicle
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