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West African Wanderings

Part 1 -Glorious Ghana 14 days

Extension- New Year’s Festivals in Togo– 6 days

 

Ghana, home to the mighty Ashanti Kingdom and fought over by Colonial Powers for its many riches is now a shining light in Africa; a stable nation moving forward in the modern world.

One of Ghana’s many riches is its textile and bead-making traditions that still prosper to this very day.

We’ll travel this fascinating country from the dry grasslands of the north down to the tropical beaches of the south observing traditional methods in textiles and bead making as well as participating in workshops to make treasures to take home.

Weaving, Batik, Indigo, Beads…there are many small artisan workshops to visit [ in the West we would name these Fair-trade type ventures– dealing directly with the makers at reasonable prices]

Enlarge your stash for back home projects and take time to learn how it is done [bring an apron you will be getting your hands dirty!]

Warning: Ghanaian fabric from handmade batik to African wax print is completely addictive.

Togo will offer a very exciting visit to New Year’s Festivals– wild beats, much dancing and rejoicing.

All Creative Arts Safaris Tours are fully escorted, small group tours focusing on textiles, arts and culture and yummy local cuisine. We like to get our hands dirty doing things, taking workshops and exploring locations and culture, getting off the beaten track. Our friendly groups welcome women and men to join us and are good for solo travellers who do not want to go it alone

Group size 8 to 14 people.

Next trip planned for Aug 2020

Want to know about our next outing? Send us a note.

Sample Itinerary

Next trip planned for Aug 2020- waiting on dates for festivals

Want to know about our next outing? Send us a note.

Day 1-Tues, 20 Aug 2019    Accra, Ghana

Arrivals to Kotaka International Airport in Accra, where you’ll be met and transferred to our hotel.

Day 2-Wed, 21 Aug 2019    Accra

Bring your apron, we are straight into a batik workshop with Esther. Batik; rich, multi-layered batik is a highly desired dress material in Ghana and our teacher’s business produces some of the best around.

By the end of the day you’ll have worked up 2 metres to take home with you and had a wonderful home cooked lunch.  Artisan’s Alliance and coffin viewing in the afternoon– these are not just any coffins but works of art!

[Includes breakfast, lunch,dinner]

Day 3-Thurs, 22 Aug 2019      Korfuidua /Atimpoku

This morning we are heading to the Koforidua bead market. Held weekly it is a treasure trove for the bead addicted and the centre of the bead trade in West Africa and increasingly international clients as well.

In the afternoon we are heading to Atimpoku and a beautiful spot on the Volta River for the evening.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 4-Fri, 23 Aug 2019                             Atimpoku/Atsiekpoe /Accra

A bit of an adventure today- crossing the Volta River to the small village of Atsiekpoe to poke around and experience village life.

[Includes breakfast,lunch,dinner]

Day 5-Sat, 24 Aug 2019          Atimpoku /Accra, Ghana 

Back to Accra this morning and the afternoon will find us wandering around to see what’s on at the Chale Wote. WE are trying to pin down the exact date of the festival so fingers crossed- will keep you updated.             

Day 6-Sun, 25 Aug 2019     Accra/ Tamale/Bolgatanga /Karimenga

After an early start and short flight we are heading to the far north of Ghana and the evocative painted village of Sirigu, then check out the Navrongo Cathedral, on the UNESCO tentative list. This area is renowned for its arts, crafts and traditional architecture.

Smock market and Basket makers to visit along the way and then we are staying in a beautiful eco-tourism grass hut style guesthouse tonight– we’ll book the whole place and have a range of rooms or the option to sleep on the roof, local style.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 7– Mon, 26 Aug 2019                             Karimenga/Tamale

Working with local women we will start the day learning how to make shea butter- a fabulous moisturizer it literally grows on trees in this area.

This community has also pooled their resources to make a village library– if you have a spare spot in your bag you might like to bring a children’s book to donate. In the afternoon we are heading south to Tamale for the night.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 8– Tues, 27 Aug 2019                             Tamale- Daboya

Today is a real adventure: we’ll visit the isolated village of Daboya, west of Tamale, after we cross the White Volta River by dug-out canoe. We’ll need dash to gift the chief and then wander the village to view strip weaving and indigo dyeing. “Daboya strips” are used throughout northern Ghana to make the distinctive smock worn by the men of the region. Definitely off the tourist trail, Daboya feels like we are stepping into the past as we cross savannah where the shea trees grow.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 9- Wed, 28 Aug 2019                             Tamale/Kumasi

Starting south today we go to Kumasi, a big drive watching the scenery change from the semi-arid north to the more fertile Kumasi region and a lovely waterfall along the way. [includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 10-Thurs, 29 Aug 2019                             Kumasi

Kumasi, home to the legendary Ashanti kingdom and heart of traditional crafts and culture of Ghana. This is a base for a few days to explore the region.

An early visit to a weaving village to see Ashanti Kente weaving– this village is special also for the responsible approach to tourism– a well-informed info centre and a village that believes tourists should be able to wander around in peace and appreciate their village.

In the afternoon- Adinkra Printing with Gabriel [Gabriel says Adinkra means talking and each symbol associated with this style has a clear meaning, so your choice of symbols imparts a lot of information]. Gabriel and his family still source bark from up towards the Sahara to make the traditional inks.

[includes breakfast, lunch]

Day 11-Fri, 30 Aug 2019                             Kumasi

Today is all about Ashanti culture and history, crafts and stories as well.

[includes breakfast, lunch]

Day 12-Sat, 31 Aug 2019                             Kumasi/ Cape Coast

Major Market Meander Day this morning ...delve into the enormous Central Market at the heart of Kumasi [it boasts to be biggest in West Africa!]….it seems literally anything is possible in this market even things you never dreamed could be there...textiles, food, second hand goods, the odd fetish item or 100– parrot wings, dried bats, vulture heads all those things to stock the cupboard back home!

A guided tour of the market in the morning then we head off to Cape Coast today.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 13-Sun, 1 Sept 2019                             Cape Coast

Today is about African time…taking it easy at a beach side resort, we will check out the history of the area, this coast was once the centre of the nefarious slave trade. Cape Coast and its castle has been possessed by many European nations in its history and is a now a world Heritage site- lots to explore.

This area is famous for its Fante Flags- appliqued flags of various warrior groups, last visit we were lucky enough to be invited to a flag viewing and hope we can repeat it, it depends on the honourable, elderly gentleman responsible for his troupes’ flags- we will try.

Afternoon visit to the beauty parlour and learning how to put on the amazing headwraps all women wear.

[includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day14- Mon, 2 Sept 2019                          Cape Coast/ Elmina/Accra

Picturesque Elmina today just down the coast and then up to Accra for last minute shopping and a farewell dinner [includes breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day15– Tues,3 Sept 2019  Departures  Accra/Home

[breakfast]

 

Extention Fully escorted, with transport, accommodation, English/French various local languages guide, breakfast each day.

You will need to get a visa on arrival as we enter Togo- current cost US$30

Day1- Tues, 3 Sept 2019 Accra

don’t jump on a plane, put your feet up instead

Day 2 to 5- Wed to Sat, 4 to 7 Sept 2019 Lome, Togo

This is an add on to the original itinerary, it is New Year in West Africa, the harvest after the summer rains is in and lots of festivals happen.

We will to travel to Lome in Togo as our base and can go out and visit events over the next few days.

The Ekpe Ekpe Voodoo festival of The Ge people is confirmed, associated with that in the area are Puberty Rites and Twin Doll Ceremonies.

Usually the Agbogboza Festival of the Ewe People follows the next day…. But African politics or just simply African time means it sometimes follows by a week. At the moment we can’t get a clear confirmation, should come soon.

Either way there is so much going on, amazing markets and villages we will have an exciting few days.

We will visit the Vogan Friday market, the biggest markets in Togo, truly the best place for fetish items [No not leather and whips! Voodoo fetish supplies- Dried creatures, special bones and such]

Day 6- Sun, 8 Sept 2019     Lome/Accra

Return to Accra or fly out of Lome. See what works best for you, I find more flights and better deals out of Accra

Day 7- Mon, 9 Sept 2019   Accra/home  

 

Cost is roughly US$1690 – depends on numbers joining us and could decrease if more than 5 of us go.

 

If you are joining us, please consider filling that extra space in your suitcase with empty glass bottles.

Especially in blue– it will make the perfect present for the re-cycled glass bead makers. Bombay Sapphire Gin is especially desired because the bottle makes the most beautiful blue beads!

Children’s books are great gifts for various village libraries we will visit

 

  • pick up from and dropping to airport ANYTIME DAY OR NIGHT for the trip
  • accommodation on twin share basis [or choose single supplement]
  • group transport during trip
  • all sightseeing and workshops listed in itinerary
  • breakfast and meals mentioned in itinerary

Shopping!!

-airfares

-visa

-travel insurance

-laundry

– meals not mentioned in itinerary

-drinks and bottled water

-gratuities/ tips