After 13 years as a professional traveler, I’m finally on my way to West Africa for the first time! Come with me as I fly to my 81st country, Ghana! Then, join me as I try Ghanaian street food for the first time in Ghana after flying from Miami to Accra!
My adventure began on the tarmac at Miami International Airport, which has basically become my second home in recent years! In just hours, I’d be setting off on an 11-day road trip around Ghana with Jolinaiko Eco Tours. This would be my seventh trip to Africa and my first to West Africa!
We would start our 11 days in the capital, Accra, before driving to Cape Coast, Elmina, Kumasi, Mole National Park, and finally, Tamale. Obviously, traveling during a worldwide pandemic complicates things a lot, but Ghana is open to American travelers. Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test from no more than 72 hours before their departure to Ghana. You also have to get one in Ghana to get back to the U.S., which you pay for in the U.S.
My flight to London-Heathrow was pretty quick. It was basically a ghost town, as London was on lockdown as I arrived. I got access to the lounge. I had never seen Heathrow so empty. Every shop was closed and the lounge I usually visit was closed as well.
I was able to get a hot meal—a sandwich and some soup. Then, after a last-minute switch-up with the gate, I boarded my 6-hour flight to Ghana. The flight was only half full. We hit a ton of turbulence along the way, which is my biggest fear.
After landing in Accra, I got in line for my COVID test. Then, I got my negative result, went through security, and got my bags before meeting with Isaac, my tour guide from Jolinaiko Eco Tours! I was super hungry, so I couldn’t wait to eat some late-night street food! In the car, I met Ben, who would be joining us in Accra.
Accra is home to 2.5 million people, but 30 million live in Ghana alone! My hotel, OLMA Colonial Suites, is located in the Osu neighborhood, which is a popular area for visitors. Oxford Street is lined with restaurants, shops, and street food vendors. I could see kebabs, tilapia, and more!
We stopped at a street food vendor selling grilled tilapia and a corn-and-cassava dough called banku. It came with tomatoes, ginger, onions, green peppers, carrots, and cabbage. It looked spicy!
First, you use some soap and a bowl of water to wash your hands because you eat with your hands! Then you add the ball of banku to your bowl and eat a bit with the rest of the food. Just be careful of the bones in the tilapia.
It was so good! The spicy, tomato-rich, peppery sauce had a kick of ginger and went really well with the banku and flaky, white fish. It was like an 8 out of 10 as far as spice is concerned. I loved the ambiance while I was eating. There were lots of street vendors nearby and there was African music playing!
I love eating with my hands, and Ghana is another country where it’s customary. Even though it was after 10 p.m., it was still really hot and humid out! After we finished eating, I washed my hands at a spigot. Our meal came to 102 cedi, or about $11 USD. Then, we drove two minutes to OLMA Colonial Suites, which is a beautiful hotel! There’s a pool surrounded by greenery outside.
It feels like an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. It has 11 rooms. Mine was a two-bedroom suite. It’s colorful and spacious, with a big bathroom, paintings on the walls, a huge living room, a full kitchen with appliances, a TV, a couch, and a dining room. All of the artwork was done by a famous Ghanaian artist!
The guest bedroom has a queen-sized bed, and the master has a king-sized bed, a storage trunk, a vanity, and a nice bathroom.
It’s the perfect place to stay when you’re in Accra. Huge thanks to OLMA Colonial Suites and Jolinaiko Eco Tours for making my first night in Ghana so much fun. Eating Ghanaian street food in Accra, Ghana on my first night in the country was an amazing experience!
I hope you liked coming with me as I try Ghanaian street food for the first time in Accra, Ghana! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!