Staying with locals will show you another side of West African culture
Ghana is known for its coastal forts, rich wildlife, national parks and waterfalls, as well as long beaches. But the country has much more to offer! According to some, Ghanaians are the most welcoming and warm hearted people of Africa! This is what you truly experience by staying in a local village.
Duara’s first West African destination, small fishermen’s village Senya Beraku is located about 40 km of Accra, on the coast. Despite a small fort nearby the town, no travellers or tourists stay in the area, and the locals enjoy their traditional and peaceful life rythmed by fishing and farming. The village is great for all those interested to discover how locals live in Ghana outside the touristic areas!
Good to know about Ghana
Ghanaian cuisine follows the West African food culture where chili peppers, onions and tomatoes are the principal ingredients. The main dishes are staple foods with maize, rice, cassava, yam and beans accompanied of sauces or soups. The specialities of Senya Beraku and its region are Banku, served with grind pepper, fish or a soup, and Fufu, prepared with cassava and plantain, served with a soup and a stew.
Fish is largely eaten in Ghana and especially in the coastal villages you’ll find delicious grilled and smoked fish-dishes. However, meat is also one of the main ingredients and the concept of vegetarian food is not largely known, especially in the villages. If you are vegetarian, be prepared to get dishes which might include meat-stew for example!
Some locals have their own gardens from which they use fresh ingredients for cooking. Papayas, mangos, guavas, oranges and pineapples grown in these gardens are used for fresh juices.
For Breakfast the Ghanaians usually serve maize porridge eaten with toast. Milo, a chocolate drink, is commonly drank cold and bottled, or hot for breakfast, as well as Lipton tea!
Among delicious snacks you’ll find plantain chips, salty pastries, peanuts and roasted plantain, hibiscus juice (sobolo) or fresh coconut.
As Ghana is located just in top of the Equator, the climate is tropical. However the South coast is more humid than the North.
November to March is the dry season, and therefore the high tourism season. Harmattan, the dry desert wind blows especially in the north of the country from end of November until January.
There are two rainy seasons, the most important-one being in April, May, June and smaller rains falling between September and mid-November.
In the south coast, the temperatures are usually between +25 C and +33 C and the climate is good for visiting all year round.
The Cape Coast Festival (Fetu Afahye) is celebrated the first Saturday of September each year. The festival features a procession accompanied by drumming and dancing, and commemorates the first encounter of colonial visitors with Ghanaians.
In the modern events, the street art festival Chole Wote is organised in Accra every year bringing art, music and dance to the streets and giving opportunities for young artists to bring out their talents.
Like in many other Duara destinations, right hand is used for eating and greeting and for receiving and giving items. Greeting is very important when getting in a place, or if more people are entering the room. When a stranger greets you on the street, greet back!
Don’t make comments about any religious, political or ethnic group or behaviour. Ghana is tolerant and respectful of all its diverse tribes, religions and customs.
Dress properly and respectfully. Shorts, tops and t-shirts are fine for men and women. However, if visiting schools, long trouser or long skirt is a good choice. If you happen to be in the village on a Sunday, it’s good to have something tidy to wear in the church.
Sunday church services are an important occasion for to community to meet up and sing and dance together. You are warmly welcome to join!
The locals love rhythms, dance and music, don't be shy to participate!
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