Frenchman’s farm is a very basic accommodation; I would probably describe it more as a home stay, with great hospitality and one on one service provided by the owner Paul. Paul has 3 rooms for let and the rest of the structure is his personal home. The stilted building consists of probably 5 or 6 rooms in total that run the length of the building, in front of the rooms is a walk way that runs the length of the building that is elevated about 3 feet. The construction is made of wood and bamboo, I think that it has settled over time because the floor of our room was not entirely level. There were a few other houses on the hill in the surrounding area, I think they were all part of Paul’s farm and the people living there help him with the farm. He grows primarily Cocoa and Maringa from what I understand. Being up on the hill the temperature it was very cool with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
Paul (the owner and gracious host) you would assume would be a white Frenchman from the name of the place. But he was born in Ghana and primarily raised in the Ivory Coast. He had become a prominent photographer back in the 60s and was featured in a few French and African magazines. He has a wealth of knowledge and stories that he loves to share with visitors. He also directed and played in a movie that came out in the US in 1984 called “Baby” about dinosaurs, which was filmed in the Ivory Coast. Along with Paul and his great knowledge and stories there are some fun kids from the surrounding compounds that get quite the kick out of playing and giggling with some Obruni’s. All of this interaction with locals in such a laid back relaxing environment makes this a very special place in Ghana.
Frenchman’s is a great place to stay if you are spending some time at Ankasa Reserve. The guide books do not offer a lot of information about this place or how to find it but it is worth the extra effort. It is about a mile or two from the main gate of Ankasa. Shortly before the main gate on the feeder road from the Elubo road there is a village on the right with the lodging for the Wildlife Division built on the hill over it. You can miss the Wildlife Division development in the day with all the pink modern building built on the hill to the left as you approach Ankasa. There is a road that takes off the right there that passes through a village and then up a steep hill and into the forest. This will go about a mile beyond the village until the road levels off on top of the hill where you will notice an old gutted out concrete building the left with a Moringa tree growing out of it. Right after that on the left you will see the long stilted building which is Frenchman’s Farm.
Meals are prepared by either Paul’s wife or a lady that helps him around the house. Breakfast is served with eggs and some wonderful Baggett style bread. Dinners are local dishes with almost entirely local supplies. When I was there I enjoyed some great Tilapia Palavar Stew and rice.
Mornings are beautiful and so pleasant with a dusting of dew even in the dry season; being so close to the rainforest this place has its own weather. Be careful because this could be a place you will want to spend some more time and delay the rest of your trip.
Because this place is very special and more like a home stay then a commercial lodging provider we have no evaluated with the same regards we have the commercial places. There is no running water or showers but it is still very comfortable. Clean water is provided in a bucket for bathing and washing. There is both a sink and a toilet in a little bathroom in the back of each room that you can use the bucket of water with.