OUR WII FALLS JOURNEY :
A SUNDAY IN ADA FOAH ESTUARY AND ITS BEACHES
Ada is a town is located along the Volta River, in the estuary of the Guinea golf.
The Volta River Estuary is the place where the waters of the sea and the river join.
The original estuary was shifted across the Volta River towards the other side by the force of the waves.
As a consequence, this original site was dredged open by the Volta River Authority to reopen the estuary and allow salt water to enter the river.
March, Sunday the 12th
We were invited by friends there to do sailing with their boat.
As a sunny sunday (as usual in fact) and we drove for 1h45 to get there, going through Tema on the motorway, 70 km on the East side.
To go there, if you do not have a car, you can take also Tro-tro from Tudu Station in Accra or STC-Bus. It takes more than two hours and costs us about $3 each – a bargain to reach the dreamy coastal town.
And to get to the other side of the Volta River there is a ferry connection to and from Anyanui too, but it only operates on Wednesdays and leaves Anyanui at around 1pm and 6pm and takes about 1 1/2 hours. It departs in Ada Foah around 8am and 3pm.
Ada history :
Tradition says that people living in Ada were coming from the east in XVII century.
Afterwards, Ada became a big place thanks to its trategic positioning in the mouth of the river.
The sea traffic reached the locality of Yeji. Then Denmark occupied the territory until 1872 when the British Colony arrived and changed the political organisation of Ada to such a point that the territory did not have a leader ( the Matse) anymore. They bought their forts and trading posts to the Danish, and Ada became a major market for the salve trade until it had been abolished.
They had to wait until 1727 to see Dake II be the chief and 1977 Abram AkuakuII wich is the actual one.
Ada has no much traces of physical structures such as forts, factories and shops remaining, since large parts of the town
have been eroded and washed into the sea.
In order to solve this problem, the construction of a sea defense wall is under way since 2010.
With the start of the cocoa industry, Ada lost its importance, since cocoa was transported on the road instead of the river and was harvested far away from Volta River.
Also, the construction of the hydroelectric dam in Akosombo dried up the Volta River and ships could no longer pass…
Discovering the islands in Ada
The islands in the river and in the estuary are a wildlife paradise: marine turtles, birds, crocodiles and monkeys are some of the animals living there.
The mangrove vegetation in the salty parts of the estuary is another attraction and an important ecosystem.
It is however endangered by human activity along with rare animals that are often hunted down.
The estuary also offers the best conditions for water sports like sailing, canoeing, fishing, water skiing, wake boarding and jet skiing.
You will also see beautiful houses from rich ghanaian people such as the brother of the president :
There is a ferry and boat harbor at the riverside where boats can be rented for a cruise around the islands in the river.
The Ghana sailing club located at the Volta River, is open to members only.
Our time in Ada:
We had prepared our lunch box to be able to stay on a quiet and lonely beach on the banks of the lake.
We took their boat with the dog too ( the boat which is “2 in 1” being also a jetski).
The place is so beautiful, the palm trees which fall into the lake and the sand with coconut tree which have fallen down into water make it special and amazing place.
You can observe the fisherman there : they build their traditional fishing boats which requires much work and is very expensive. The lower part of the boat is made of one big piece of wood, the upper part of planks.
All the boats are then painted in many colors with religious sayings written on it. There are many fishing villages around, the bigger ones being Akplabana and Pute.
And there are also different types of birds on Keta lagoon as you can see below :
This island hosts thousands of migratory European birds wintering in Ghana.
If you look carefully to the sand, you will oberve hermit crabs
What about crocodiles, turtles and monkeys?
There used to have many crocodiles living on one of the islands in the river. But increased human activities drove them away. All that is left nowadays are two or three crocodiles living in a small walled cage on Pediatorkope island
There is no tour to visit them, but any boat operator will take you there if you want or just rent a canoe and paddle there yourself.
We did it one time going with a fisherman boat and we saw crocodiles in a duck pond : they were given some part of chicken (if we paid for it).
The attraction worth it because the crocodiles open their mouth and within a second the chicken is Destroyed and nothing exceeds its mouth.
Turtles are revered to as god for the local people life in Ada and are therefore not to be touched, killed or eaten. But unfortunately, some still eat them or sell them to make money with it.
Every year from August to February the Leatherback turtle, Green turtle and Olive Ridley turtle lay their eggs at the seashore. The main nesting areas are the islands/sandspit between the two estuaries and beaches westward of the estuary. Unfortunately it was not the good period for ud this time to see them …and be there at night!
To see monkeys (Spot-Nose monkey and Green Monkey) on so called “Monkey Island” you will have to get up early and arrive around 6.30 a.m so that you may see them because they go inside the forest during the day.
END of the day…
We have swim and rest under a parasol and after a while we went water skiing as you can see me below 😉
I was a great day for all of us and we got fresh ideas to start a new week in great shape!
March, from the 5th to 7th Independance day ‘s long week-end
COMING INTO JERICHO VILLAGE, 30mn FROM TEMA
Few weeks ago, I asked my driver how it wad in his house, how he sleeps, if he had a shower… and I asked him if one day I could see is family and their house in his village.
He was very pleased thatIasked for it and he told me that he would be very proud to show me to his neighbourg in his village : for them, it is showing that he has a good job and is liked by his boss and with “Madam” as he always call me.
Since I’m in holidays right now (french school february holidays), I decided to go there, 30 mn from Tema, about 1 hour drive from Accra.
I prepared a chocolate cake in the morning and brought fruit juices and coke to have snacks with his family after his children school.
When we arrived , I was a bit “scared” because people were looking at me, maybe wondering what I was doing here alone with only Thomas, my driver!!
I think that they can believe that I came here to see them as if it was a zoo…
Thomas spoke to each one when we walked through the village, explaining in his language called” Fanti” why I was here;
On the image above on the right, there is a small shop with some drinks and food and the yellow and green hut is in fact where they buy their tickets to bet in the bingo (loto)… to maybe become rich one day!
Then , Thomas showed me the rice manufactory at the back of the village.
It is a big production and they sell it afterwards by 25 kg for 80 GHC (18€). It is much less than in Accra Mall!!
See underneath the man working with the machine and the woman “cleaning ” it and separating the scrambled rice, which will be used for other things such as corn flakes.
After this interesting “visit”, we went to see the cultures of wheat, bananes, rice and kasava… located just behind the rice’s manufacture.
They have water coming here to irrigate under the ground it s why it is very green because we did not have rain for 3 months…
Inside the village, there are animals such as chickens, cows, sheaps… and everybody share their live together!
Women clean their clothes with hands of course… and take water from the back of the village in a channel. It is the same for them to take a shower putting water in a basin.
After that, we went to fetch is second son, Manuel, to the school which is private, always in the village. All students were a purple uniform. It cost 300 GHC for a semester (school fees + books). It is very expensive when you compared it to their wage which is about 450 GHC/month for a driver as Thomas (which is above most of the wages…).
They were so pleased and happy to see me! When I took my camera from my bag, they were shouting and running around me ! Some of them wanted also to touch my arm and were laughing 😉
Then, we went inside his house : there is only one room with a bed, 2 small sofas. All his family sleeps in the same bed : and they are four!!
He has also a large tv (from 1990 I tkink ;)…) which he could afford when he started to be a taxi drinver years ago. And a frige is just before the entrance of his house.
Then they called their neighbours to share the chocolate cake I made for them. We stayed outside since it was too hot in his house.
People were coming one after the other, sharing in the same glass sometimes juices and coca cola. Some kids coming back from school took a small piece also.
Thomas’ wife told me that she will “remember all her life this day”.
It is really strange to feel so special to them, and make them happy only to share time and talk with them. We are like them, equal, but for them, we are different and they are proud to share time to speak with white people in their everyday life and home.
It was a great day for me too, I was happy to see how it is different from expat living conditions…
The last moment together is when I offer Manuel a little book with stickers to learn the alphabet and they went inside daddy’s car of course 🙂 🙂 🙂
Before driving home, I bought two coconuts (1,5 GHC each : 0,40 €).
Hope you enjoyed visiting their village and “meet” Thomas’ family with me, leave me a comment if you feel like to!