Ghana 2022: Sekondi Takoradi

When Zec arrived in Ghana I asked him what were the essential spots that he wanted to explore during his visit. Almost immediately he said he wanted to do the canopy walk at Kakum National Park. I immediately agreed. Though I have done the canopy walk twice before, I was keen that he see the picturesque views that take your breath away. However, I was also keen to introduce something new into the trip for me as well. We decided that we would travel past Cape Coast to Takoradi and visit Cape Coast on our way back. As we were making our abstract plans we mentioned them to Akos. Akos was instantly on board. Fast forward some phone calls to Uncle and some negotiations with British Airways and we had confirmed our trip to Takoradi – or so we thought. (We later found out that we were actually in the twin city, Sekondi-Takoradi!)

Akos’ Uncle arranged for a driver to collect us at 5am in the morning. The drive was long and it was best to avoid traffic. So, at 4:55 we received a call that the driver was outside. I sprinted – very much still undressed having just stepped out of the shower – towards the wardrobe and pulled my clothes onto my back. I realised as I wheeled my suitcase into the living room – packed the day before – that I had not heard Zec. I poked my head around his door and let him know the driver was outside. “Okay” he said, only just sitting up from sleep. 

We threw our shoes on in a fluster and headed out of the front door, out of the gate and into the street. There was no car. We called the driver’s number to find that Google Maps had completed his journey round the corner. Eventually he found his way to Grandma’s house and we hopped in. A short drive to Akos’ Grandma’s home and we were truly on our way. 

We were shocked to find that by 6am, the streets of Accra were already abuzz with movement, adventures, and people heading to work. Not ready to join the vibrancy, Akos and I took the drive as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed sleep. What felt like a short while later we woke up close to our destination. As we approached the house, the bustling atmosphere quietened, there were less people around. The car persevered up a steep gravelly hill and we faced an unassuming gate. A G4S security guard opened the gate. Walking into the house itself were greeted by a chef and a house manager, who asked us what our needs would be during our stay. We were informed about the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and asked whether the proposed options were acceptable. We excitedly agreed. 

Photo by Zec Luhana

After enjoying some freshly squeezed orange juice, coconut water and bananas we decided to enjoy our stay at the house. We took some photographs, videos, TikToks before wandering down to the beach and became well acquainted with the hammock.

The beach – though not gated – very much felt exclusive to the residents of the area. For a long while, we were the only people on the beach, the quietude of which may have stood out more were it not for the waves clashing against the rocks and the shore. 

Photo by Zec Luhana

The beach was absolutely beautiful, but we were taken aback by how poorly it had been looked after. Plastics and rubbish lined the beach, discarded rubbish seemed to be all the fishers were picking out from the water once they began. As we wandered onwards, we noticed a sea turtle that initially I was unsure whether it was dead or alive. On closer inspection by Zec and Akos it became clear that the sea turtle had passed on and left to decay. It was strange being confronted by the cyclical nature of life, which I am more often protected from. I also noticed the large crabs which gathered and travelled seemingly in packs. 

Photo by Zec Luhana

Eventually the house manager came to the beach to find us. He was worried that we would struggle to navigate our way back to the house once it became dark, and dinner was close to being ready. So we followed the polite instruction and made our way back to the short walk back to the house. As we walked we passed the mosaic of smashed black tiles that had been left on the road outside the back gate. There was such beauty in the remnants of this particular destruction, though always a sadness about how poorly we are treating the Earth that so loves us. 

Photo by Zec Luhana

That evening, the chef prepared fresh salad, hand cut chips, and a spread of sea food for us. Over rum, wine and freshly squeezed juices we discussed the big topics: life, purpose, politics and love. As the sun set and the darkness spread, we played a card game of truths and dares; and learnt more about one another.

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