Wanderer Wednesday #6: Frequently Asked Questions

Today we are going to cover some of the frequently asked questions about Green Bug Adventures and Ghana.

Frequently asked Questions about Green Bug Adventures:

Q. Will the owner Leif Ryman be leading the trips?

A. No. Part of what makes Green Bug Adventures unique and prescribe to some of the principles of Ecotourism is that we partner with local companies to operate and lead our trips. We put a lot of time into researching the best local companies, then we go and meet with them and there guides to find the best companies to partner with. We also evaluate them on their operations and how they take care of the environment, community and conservation. We feel this is the best way to do things, no only do locals know about their home the best, but it is important that they get to benefit from the proceeds and have a voice in the process also.

Q. What is included in the price of the trip?

A. This really depends on the trip you are choosing.

For our general trips the following is included:

  • Transportation (car/driver)

  • Stipend for the Driver/Guide

  • Driver and Guides time

  • Accommodations each night

  • Drinking water

  • Breakfasts

What is not included in our general trips:

  • Airfare

  • Entry Visa and Passport

  • Lunches and Dinners (see question below)

  • Drinks and beverages beyond the water provided

  • Activities (see question below)

  • Additional night’s stays before and after the trip itinerary.

What is included in our surfing trips:

  • Accommodations in Busua

  • 3 meals a day while in Busua

  • Surfing guide or instructor

  • Use of a surf board

  • Drumming lessons

  • A drum

  • *Transportation (only if you buy the option with transportation to and from Accra)

What is not included in our surfing trips:

  • Airfare

  • Entry Visa and Passport

  • *Transportation to and from Busua (unless you specifically bought the option with transportation)

  • Drinks and beverages beyond what is provided at the meal

  • Activities other than surfing and drum lessons

  • Additional night’s stays before and after the trip itinerary.

What is included in our Volunteer Programs:

  • A home-stay accommodation

  • 3 Meals a day

  • Transfer to and from the Airport in Accra to your volunteer site in the Volta

  • Volunteer program and guidance

  • Support and evaluation by our partner staff

What is not included in our Volunteer Programs:

  • Airfare

  • Entry Visa and Passport

  • Drinks and beverages

  • Activities other than the volunteer program

  • Transportation for day trips or other activities

  • Additional night’s stays before and after the trip itinerary

 

Q. Why do you not include lunch and dinners in the cost of a tour?

A. Many of our competitors include meals into the cost of the tour, and the way this works is that you the traveler then must stay within the budget set by the tour company for each meal. Often they will not tell you what that budget is, they will just tell you when you go over it and how much more money you owe.

We know that people will want to have many choices available to them at meals, and the variety and cost of meals varies widely in Ghana, depending on where you are staying and what you would want to eat. We encourage our guests to try local meals but understand that this is not always what you may want. If you want a steak or a lobster dinner we do not want you to feel like that will cause issues with a meal budget. This also can save you money also, if you are eating less expensive meals or don’t feel like having a meal then that is money you saved rather than money we kept. In general it offers more flexibility and less concern about negotiating which meal you may want with your guide when you are hungry and ready to eat.

Q. Why are activities not included in the cost of a tour?

A. Once again this is not about being cheap or wanting to short change you. This is to allow you ultimate flexibility as a traveler. Plans change, one day you might want to do something else other than what is planned for the day on the itinerary and that is ok, we don’t want you to have to worry about missing out on activities that you already paid for. We also don’t want you to feel like you can’t do something because you did not pay for it ahead of time. Some days you might just want to sit on the beach and relax.

The cost of most entrance fees and activities in Ghana is very low. We will let you know what the estimated costs for the activities that you may want to do on a trip will be ahead of time to help in your planning.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ghana/

Q. Where is Ghana?

A. Ghana is in West Africa between the countries Togo and the Ivory Coast. That may not be much help to you. See the google map below.


View Larger Map

Q. What is there to do in Ghana?

A. There is so much to do in Ghana and it really depends on what you are interested in. In the south the beach is a big draw along with castles, and forested national parks. In the North there are game parks, and some great community based tourism villages. Please take a look around our Adventures to get a better idea of what you might do on an adventure to Ghana.

Q. What do people eat in Ghana?

A. Ghanaian food tends to be spicy, there are a number of variations on their staple meals. Typically the most popular with Ghanaians is a dish that has a starchy consistency lump in a bowl of soup. The starch is eaten with the hand and used to pick up the soup and eat it. There are different kinds of starches and different kinds of soup and then different proteins that can be added also. Some of these variations are listed below.

Fufu- Fufu refers to the starchy lump which is made from cassava flour, and plantains. It is beaten to a slimy consistency and is by far the favorite for Ghanaians overall. It is typically swallowed without chewing.

Banku- This also refers to the starch. Banku is thicker than Fufu and is usually served piping hot. It is made from a corn meal and is more grainy then the slimy Fufu. I personally like this one very much.

KenKey- Like the above this name also refers to the starch, KenKey kind of reminds me of massa like what is used in Tamales in the US. But it has a bit of a sour taste due to it being fomented in a banana. It can be found on most road sides and id not typically eaten with a soup. Because of that it is good for going on the road or taking for a lunch. You usually eat it with Pepe sauce, which is a pepper and tomato sauce with some onions in it, very spicy but very good. Often it is also accompanied with a smoked fish. You eat it with your hands an break little bits off the kenkey ball and use it to pick up some pepe sauce and fish.

There are many other starches that are eaten in this similar manner in Ghana and it seems that each region has its specialty. There is Omo-Tuo which is a rice ball, travelers usually love this one. There is also Tezert (unsure of spelling) which is more common in the north and often called TZ and it is almost a thick liquid consistency.

Palm Nut Soup- This is a soup a that is eaten with Banku and fufu and is made from the nut of the palm tree, the Palm Nut. It has a bit of spice to it.

Ground Nut Soup- This is one of the most popular soups and it is made from a peanut butter base. Also usually spicy.

Okra Stew- Other than Ground Nut Soup this is the other most popular. It has a thicker consistency because of the okra, and is very savory.

Those are the primary meals that many Ghanaians will crave and eat over and over again. After picking your starch and your soup you then pick your protien. Many place only fish will be available. But for the most part you can find chicken, Guinea hen (in the North very yummy), and goat.

There are also some other dishes different from those above:

Redred- Named because of the color of the red bean with the fried plantains (has a red hue to it, especially if fried in palm oil), then Gari is sprinkled on top, which is a form a casava, it has next to no flavor but the texture of cheese. This is by far the favorite of travelers to Ghana.

Jollof Rice- This is the second favorite of visitors to Ghana and a dish that different variations of can be found throughout West Africa. It is a stewed rice that is red due to the peppers and tomato’s that it was cooked in. It can vary in spiciness but usually has a little bit of a kick to it. It is primarily served with fish or fried chicken (I have to say the best fried chicken I have ever had is in Ghana).

Q. Is Ghana Safe?

A. Ghana is not immune to crime, the same as anywhere else in the world. Ghana has a very safe history. No where in the news can I find anything about tourists being attacked or any major issues. Just like there a places in the US that you should not go to at night there may be some places in Accra or Kumasi that would have the same advisory. There are reports of petty crime here and there but no more prevalent than anywhere else. Travel during the day, don’t flaunt your well and be publicly drunk and there is a great chance that you will have no problems

Q. Are people nice and friendly?

A. Ghanaians are said to be the friendliest people in the world and you will here that you are welcome and Akwaba many places that you go. People greet each other on the street and ask how you and your family are doing. Westerner usually have issues with market areas where there are high pressure sales pitches, and in tourist areas where they are more inclined to be asked for money. But if that bothers you, there are probably not a lot of places that you can go in cities in the US anymore then.

Please if you have more questions ask them in the comments below.  I will be happy to answer them and I will be turning this into a permanent page on the website soon.

 

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