Updated: Oct 29
'Seek knowledge, even if that takes you to a far land seas away. Lands as far as China.' This, a noble prophet taught his people; about fourteen hundred years ago.
'Travel,' underlined. Well, maybe it is cliche for a travel company to be preaching why one needs to travel as much as one changes his handsets but here I am, merely sharing my first solo-trip with you.
Enlightenment is just but one sure thing that followed me back as I sat in the bus heading up north again. Reminiscing; about the hustle, serenity, bustle, splendor, suffering, humor, grief, sweet-spirits, sorrow and inspiration.
While I can not exhaust the list of experiences, realizations and knowledge one gets from traveling every now and then, I sure can exhaust the list of things I did while in Accra for the first time, officially.
1. Nkrumah & Mandela Conference
Being in Accra without a routine surely was one of the most memorable moments of my life. The best part? It afforded me the luxury of attending the maiden 'Nkrumah Mandela Conference' to commemorate the birthday of the revolutionary pan-Africanist and father of my nation Ghana, Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah.
The conference which was a two day program hosted at the University of Ghana, Legon saw some remarkable personalities; as Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, H.E. the ambassador of South Africa to Ghana, Lulu Xingwana among others.
One unforgettable lesson I imbibed from the conference were the words of Prof. Jane when she said: "the youth is looking for hands up, not a hands out."
This to me summarized the very delightful speech she gave for about forty-minutes.
2. Circle, Accra
Circle literally occurs to me, the circle of Accra and hence Ghana.
By the way, did you know that many people up north of Ghana call Accra "Ghana?" Well, why won't they when everything about Ghana literally goes on in the capital city.
Circle to me is one of the best places to visit when in Accra. Especially the Kwame Nkrumah statue that was beautifully situated in a vantage position between the over-heads. Where as many may see it as just another tourist site, I saw the statue to be a symbol of how the life of the Osagyefo is central in the development and progress of Ghana. His life was one that leaves much inspiration to Ghana and Africa.
3. Dikan Centre
Tell me to take a picture and I will show you the best place to visit to truly appreciate the magics of the camera. Located in a serene neighbour in Osu, Accra.
While in Accra, there seemed no other better place to visit during the week than the Dikan Centre & Gallery. The centre does not only feature more than 300,000 photo-books from thousands of photographers but is home to intermittent displays and exhibitions that will blow your mind.
Tell you what, while I posed for a picture courtesy a new friend I met at the centre, I never knew the inspiring personality that was pointing his camera at me. After exchanging contacts, the chit-chat revealed the wonderful photographer I just met as a new friend in Accra.
Thus, traveling is one sure way one can expand your network and meet great minds and skills your comfort zones lack.
Traveling to Accra was truly one of the most humbling experiences for me. It surely was one of the most inspiring moments of my life as well.
Humbling because it is ironic how young men flee opportunities in the north seeking greener grounds further south and what unbearable conditions they come to meet. Alas, this angel is better than the devil they flee, no matter how hard this gets.
Humbling, because I saw in the faces of many youth on the streets, the hunger that motivated their grit. And that caused me to ask myself many questions like "why do you get lazy sometimes; with all this gift?"
Inspiring, because where as the hustle and bustle humbled me, the splendor that littered 'Ghana' - I mean the city - was so motivating. Some neighbourhoods gave me the utmost reasons to reach for the stars and settle for nothing less.
From the list of itinerary, it may look little but surely was a very packed and insightful week in my life.
So yes, this was my experience in Accra and my first official solo-trip. I hope you picked a few lessons from my experience.
Let Melanin Travels Magic help you tell yours too.
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Client testimonials we have helped exploring & planning their trip to Ghana
REBOUND staff & Teenagers, Group of 10 Travelers from MINNEAPOLIS, USA, Corporate retreat, July 2023
Review 1: Christy Botts, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023
Our non-profit organisation took a group of young people to Ghana in July 2023. The experience was an amazing one that was spiritually moving as well as fun! We had an excellent tour guide who brought the country to life for us. Our youth were able to connect to one another and to the country in ways we could only have dreamed possible.
The Cooking Class was my favourite activity- being invited to our guide’s relative's home to cook "with the aunties" and hang out, listen to music, dance, laugh, get to know people, and eat was SO FUN. We felt like family!
It was a good occasion to bond with other group members and Ghanaian Culture.
Review 2: Danielle Draughn, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023
"I am an educator so I really enjoyed visiting with the children at the school. However, words can't even begin to explain the experience and tell all the wonderful things we were exposed to.
Best tour guide ever. The cameraman and driver were also good. Kwame was the absolute best tour guide who turned i to a friend I have ever experienced. He is very knowledgeable, caring and professional. He made sure we all had whatever we needed and made sure we were comfortable.
He was highly motivated to make sure we had the best knowledge and experience regarding our culture. This is a trip every black person should take. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to experience Africa in such an amazing and spiritual way..."
Review 3: Samm Joyner, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023
"Excellent experience, beyond my expectations. Our guide was a Godsend. My favourite activity was visiting the school for the charity day."
Adrien, France, UK, Solo trip to Ghana, Travel planner on service and 10 day package
"Christina was able to show me the right direction when I was looking for a trip to West Africa. She had the right connections, and helped me build up a relevant agenda according to my ideal trip. She made sure I was safe and everything went according to plan in Ghana.I highly recommend Melanin Travels Magic for any trip related enquiries!"
Candy, Germany, December 2021 Group Trip to Ghana, 10-day Black heritage and leisure package.
"I went to Ghana with Melanin Travels Magic, and Freelancenana Travels was their local partner who helped coordinate our 10-day tour of the country. Many thanks to Nana and his team for the personal attention given to us. I can’t speak highly enough of Michael, our amazing driver, who was always very protective and respectful and got us to places safely. Our tour guide, Thompson, was with us the whole trip and made sure we were well taken care of. He gave us an outstanding personal tour that exceeded all my expectations!
He was a brilliant ambassador for his country, very knowledgeable, warm, organized and honest. He is extremely amiable and takes pride in his work and in the community that he serves. We were lucky to have him to gain such an insight into the history and culture of Ghana. He was quick to accommodate our requests as well as needed changes in the itinerary. Most of all, he was great company and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Thompson is also the founder of Creating Smiles Foundation, an NGO, which distributes stationery to underprivileged children and food to street kids.
The itinerary arranged for us included so many wonderful things- First, we toured Accra and visited must-see landmarks like the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
and the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial. We also went to Accra’s Art Centre, where Thomson helped us haggle. We crossed the Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway for a view of the wildlife and landscape; gained insight into the history of the Ashanti Kingdom and the Slave River and drove to Elmina and Cape Coast Castle to learn about the thought-provoking history of the transatlantic slave trade. We saw a variety of crafts, from learning how to play the drums, cook African food to Kente cloth making.
I thoroughly recommend Melanin Travels Magic and Feelancenana Travels to help shape your journey and enable you, too, to have a memorable experience in Ghana. Wishing you both every success with your tour businesses. Thank you Thompson for treating us like family, I fell in love with Ghana and its people through you. Someday I hope to return to Ghana and explore more of the country with you. I know you are going to do great things with your foundation. Medaase to all of you."
Imani, USA, December 2021 Group Trip to Ghana, 10 day Black heritage and leisure package
"My first visit to West Africa was with Melanin Travels Magic. Because I had no experience with the company I will admit I was a little hesitant. I am so grateful that even in Christina’s absentia she ensured we were connected with our country host and in constant communication. I commend her for doing her due diligence to connect with local contacts to make sure there is a heartfelt connection. I look forward to seeing what else comes from this budding travel group!"